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Alienware Unveils The X51, Its First 'Budget' Gaming PC

Matt Gardner
Alienware, Alienware X51, Gaming PCs, Small form PCs

Alienware Unveils The X51, Its First 'Budget' Gaming PC

Alienware has unleashed its new sleek, compact and relatively cheap mid-range gaming PC - the X51 - upon the world today, in a move that the company is hoping will start a trend of offering affordable gaming PCs at a lower mid-range price.

"It's really knocking on some pretty serious limitations at this point," said Leyder of the X51's size. "To get smaller you have to start compromising ... And the core thing for Alienware is we're not willing to trade on performance.

"The Alienware name carries a reputation for gaming performance. Compromise to a half-height graphics card, and those minimum frame-rates might drop to below-20s. That is not playable in our view. That would not be an acceptable trade-off."

Time for a specifications deluge! Well the bottom spec X51 will kick off at £699, with optional upgrades, expanded RAM, hard drive space and graphical capabilities obvious bumping the price up a bit. You can choose from the new crop of either an i3, i5, or i7 Intel processor alongside a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 545 or an Nvidia GeForce GTX 555 graphics card; with from 4-8GB of DDR3 RAM available, a couple of USB 3.0 ports, internal 7.1 audio and surround sound out ports, HDMI 1.4 and integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless LAN.

If there is a bit of a disappointment, it's that the optical drive is 'just' a 24x dual-layer DVD-RW component rather than Blu-Ray, but for under a grand you can't have everything. The top spec i7 model starts around £949.

In terms of performance, Eurogamer reports that in spite of the lower price tag, the machine can handle itself pretty well.

The bottom range X51 can power Battlefield 3 in 1080p at an average of 32 frames-per-second, with high resolution textures, 4x aniostropic filtering and medium anti-aliasing turned on.

The top-end X51 can power Battlefield 3 running the same settings at an average of 54 frames-per-second.

Asked by EG just how much noise the machine would make, Leyder responded in balanced fashion.

"Depends on what you're doing," he answered. "In general computing terms, if you're just messing around the internet it's pretty silent. As you continue to stress the hardware, some of the active cooling systems come on, the fans come on, the graphics card fan comes on.

"If you play Battlefield 3 you'll have some noise," he said. "But if you're gaming, you're either going to have it running through your speaker or headphones; not usually an issue."

And yes, it does remind us a little bit on an Xbox 360 slim...and it's not much bigger either.

Add a comment3 comments
DivideByZero  Jan. 18, 2012 at 13:17

So, Alienware - or Dell as they are known to most people, have decided to release a low powered PC in a rubbish case that will probably have heat issues from the lack of space / vents in the case.

While I would love so much for this to take off and help PC gaming be the common place future of gaming... have some doubts.

But then again I did spend well over £2k on my main gaming rig.

DivideByZero  Jan. 18, 2012 at 13:30

Also, what the hell is Medium AA?

I can do anything from OFF to 64x - so medium would suggest 16-32... but I bet it is nowhere near that high.

phil16  Jan. 18, 2012 at 15:46

Budget gaming PC - don't make me laugh. I spent £500 on my PC 3 years ago and with a minor GPU upgrade (GTX285 free from a mate) it still plays BF3 at HD res on medium/high settings. Also I could build a similar spec to i5 £849 for £500 + OS now anyway so don't see how it can be called good value???


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