Review of the Alienware Area51 R2

Part's Breakdown


Well, the inside of this machine, is pretty unique


First off, you will notice the cards are in at about a 45-degree angle as I have mention before.  Cool air comes in from the bottom up through the cards and more cool air from the top over the CPU to the top of the cards then vented out of the back of the machine.  Taking a closer look at the card, shows that it is a nice looking card, though it has been fitted with a base to hold the cards in place to keep them from shifting potentially snapping during shipping.


The lip, slides into that plastic peace which snaps into a mounting bracket just in front of the fan on the front of the case.


There you can see all 3 cards, slid into the mounting mechanism, a nice touch.


At the end of the card, 3 thumb screws hold this lip in place.


You can see here, the cards have some nice speeds, though I can’t seem to put my finger on who makes these cards, they are custom from what I see, potentially direct from NVIDIA.


They also light up, though that part is common, still nice though and the bridge is nice too.  They are not only held at the front of the case, but also at the back, just to make sure they are properly screwed in and held in place.


Aside from the 45-degree angle, some may think “Why would the case be triangle shaped like that, well it seems they put a lot of thought into the case, a lot.  Many people for some reason put their cases in a cubby, hidden from the eyes your friends and not taking up space on the desk…. Taking up space, this is a piece of art and should be displayed as such.  Well, the other reason they do it is aside from the cubby, devoid of breathing space (they need air too), some people push them up against the desk or a wall, these things need a way to exhaust some heat.


To give you an example, I placed a piece of cardboard up against the back of the case to simulate a wall or a desk to help you understand why this design is good.  Against a wall, the angle helps give the case enough space to properly exhaust that hardware damaging heat and still enough space to plug in all your cables.


So removing the cards, shows that this board has a mini PCI-E slot that holds the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 WIFI, Bluetooth card, check it out.


On the bottom right side of the board, sits 6 x SATA Ports and the USB3.0 header, with the connector seated powering the front USB3.0 ports and additional PCIE power to power the hungry GTX980’s.


Yup, it’s a custom board too, notice the alien head with the alien writing.  Even though it is a custom board, it does look like you can add whatever parts you would like.


On the flip side of the machine, is where all of the drives go, I be you thought they were invisible huh.


You can see, 2 of the 4 bays are being taken up by drives, the Samsung 256GB SSD and the Western Digital 4TB


Samsung SSD

And don’t worry, you can add 2 additional drives in the system if you choose.  The system can house up to 4 drives.





At the front, as I mentioned, sits the SD card reader, dual USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks and slot loading optical.  The other thing about the case which is nice, it each of the 3 edges (top, front and rear) can also be used as a handle to carry the machine, no they are not spoilers.


Oh, the Alien head on the front of the machine is actually the power button too.


Oh the lights, yeah, almost the entire system lights up, and they are adjustable through the AW Command Center as are the CPU clocks, memory and more, yeah, you can overclock the system and control the lighting through software, check it out.


Pretty sweet I would say.  Pricing this machine out on Alienware’s website, comes out to $4,499.99 with free shipping (No Keyboard, Mouse or Monitor), but is it worth it?

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