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CNET First Look
Alienware X51The attractive Alienware x51 is easy to recommend to anyone willing to pay a little more for the novelty of a competent slim tower gaming desktop.
Hi. I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET. Today we're gonna take a look at the Alienware x51. This is Alienwares new slim tower gaming PC. It starts at six ninety nine, our (review unit?) goes to nine ninety nine though. There's a 3 gig Intel Core F5 CPU, an NVIDIA Geforce GTx555 Graphics Card,terabyte Hard Drive and 8 Gigs of memory. So we know Alienwares generally a higher end boutique gaming vendor, but with this system , they're trying to bring it sort of unique styling down to the mainstream prices. This is one of the first slim tower desktop from Alienware that's also one of the first that started under a thousand bucks. It can stand upright or you can lay it down on the side. You can make the logo look right and overall this actually looks like it could fit into a home entertainment system. It got a slot loading DVD drive, that's pretty nice feature. Although we wish it had Bluray. There are some slim towers in the same price range from other vendors that actually do have Bluray. Perhaps the most unique feature about this system is though is here in the back. There is full high dual slot graphics card. Most other slim towers land half height card and have to be very low power because of the constraints of heat and power management that comes with these small cases. Alienware though has done some pretty good work in making this system fast but also pretty compact. While we're here on the back, let's take a look at the ports real quick and see there's a couple of USB 3 jacks, USB 2.0, 7.1 audio. Digital audio up to two different kinds, HD might interbred into the mother board although its disabled because it has a graphics card installed. It also have an ethernet port. Inside the system goes where it gets really interesting . So there's one screw here we need have to undo. There's a connector here for the lights that light up the (??) eyes on the side. So there's actually a video of a whole process of disassembling the system already. We encourage you to take a look at the review where you can see us do that. This daughter card here goes from the graphics card down to the motherboard. So that bridges the PCI expansion slot and that's how Alienware can do this graphics card full height going along the side of the CD. Otherwise, it's pretty straightforward. There's a mechanical hard drive underneath the graphics card. It got memory down here and her's the optical drive. The CPU of course is underneath the fan right here. So, on our testing we found this is a pretty decent gaming PC, at least for its price. You'll play Battlefield 3 at nineteen by ten with high detail and pretty good speed and there's no real slow downs that we noticed. Overall its a pretty solid gaming system. That's said, its CPU performance wasn't that great. If you wanna spend a little bit more, you can upgrade to a Core at seven chips, so that's a nice option and this x51 does have a 330 watt power supply in here which lets it use a faster graphics card, but it probably can't use a much faster card then that which you can certainly get in a standard mid tower. All that said, I actually do like this PC and recommend it to anybody who really does want a compact gaming system. So, I'm Rich Brown and this is the Alienware x51.