Review of the Alienware Area51 R2

System Maintenance


When I received this system, it was in need for some driver updates and as a builder I am used to hunting and pecking around the world wide web for drivers, I update very frequently and it can take a long time even though I have favorites for all the manufactures that have their hands in my PC.  I roam through Asus’ website for my motherboard, Intel’s for my chipset, MEI, NIC and a few others, then Patriots for potential firmware updates, NVIDIA for video, realtek for Audio and Datacolor for the Spyder5 and that takes some time, and surely I missed a few other sites.  Dell has a great feature for a one stop shop for the latest drivers for your system.

On their support site, just enter your Service Tag number, a sticker unique to each PC and it will take you to the latest and greatest collection of drivers, software and BIOS updates for this PC.


The service tag number can be found on the back of the machine


Once you download and install them you can click on the “Installation order” link to find the correct way to install them, it does make a difference on how you install them.  For example, your building your new house, you put the windows up, then you build a roof, install the tub, then lay the foundation then put up the walls, notice a problem there?  This little feature might not impress those of us that know a lot about computers, but not everyone does and this makes it a little easier for them.

Not to mention, one of the most worrisome updates to do is the BIOS update, flashing a thumbdrive, making it bootable, then transferring all of the files to the thumbdrive, booting to the thumb drive and flashing from there, good luck in not forgetting one simple step.  Now mind you, it has gotten little easier now, you can copy the bios file to the thumb drive, reboot, go into the BIOS and flash it from there, but even that can be a little complicated for those that may not know, Alienware has even made this easy, just double click on a file and a minute or 2 later, you are on the latest BIOS, its super easy.

Now back in the day, when this was the original Alienware, you would go to their support site and download individual drivers for your series of system which could contain an NVIDIA or an ATI (Not AMD back then) and if you didn’t know better you installed both.  Along with that, you downloaded and installed the Realtek AC97, MTech and Creative driver and got errors because it was not support, of course not, you had 1 sound card, not 3 but maybe you didn’t know which one you bought, that Service tag number is for your system and it knows your configuration, each part is tied to your order and entered into their database, now if you changed a component on your own, you might be on your own at least for that 1 component, but you catch my drift.

Talking about the individual components, this gives me the opportunity to tell you a little about what’s inside this machine.

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