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Alienware X51 review: A proper, affordable gaming slim tower

We review the new Alienware X51 gaming slim tower, and come away impressed.

Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET

I expect Alienware will sell a lot of these.

There's very little about the new Alienware X51 gaming slim tower a mainstream buyer won't appreciate. You can buy a reasonably fast configuration, like our review unit, for less than $1,000. It's on an aesthetic par with an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3. You can even put it on its side and slide it into your media rack.

It's still a PC, of course, with all the content benefits and interface and software hang-ups implied therein. And in spite of Alienware's clever work cramming in a full-size 3D card, the X51 will make a finicky upgrade platform. You get no other expansion card slots, there's room for only one hard drive, and the 330-watt power supply (an upgrade over the 230-watt default) limits you to mainstream graphics cards.

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Still, the bumped-up GeForce GTX 555 card in our review config can run Battlefield 3, Skyrim, or pretty much any other game at 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution with smooth frame rates and respectable quality settings. That's all many gamers will ask for, particularly those shopping for a PC like this one.

Read the full review of the Alienware X51.