Alienware launches game console-like X51 gaming PC

The Alienware gaming PC division of Dell has been known for their high end (and highly expensive) desktop and notebook PCs. Today Alienware revealed its latest desktop PC and it's a huge departure for the company in many ways. The X51 PC has a small form factor that, as you can see in the photo above, makes it look more like a next generation game console than a desktop PC.

The case itself is 13.5 inches in height, 3.7 inches wide and 12.5 inches deep which makes it not much bigger than Microsoft's Xbox 360 Slim model. Alienware, as usual, will allow the customer to have a number of options in terms of what kinds of hardware will be in the X51. The hardware specs for the PC are:

  • Intel Core i3 Dual Core (standard) and Intel Core i5 and i7 Quad Core Processor Options
  • Intel H61 Express Chipset Architecture
  • Mini-ITX Motherboard
  • Powerful NVIDIA Graphics Card Options
    • 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GT 545 (Standard)
    • 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 555
  • Configure with up to 8GB of DDR3 Memory (4GB Standard); 2x 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM Slots
  • Fast 7,200RPM 1TB Hard Drive
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (Standard) or optional Blu-ray Disc Reader
  • Internal High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio with Waves MAXX Audio Software
  • Integrated 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet NIC and Integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Wireless LAN (standard)
  • USB 2.0 (6x); USB 3.0 (2x); Microphone In; Headphone/Speaker Out; HDMI 1.4 Output; RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet; Front, Rear and Center Speaker Ports; SPDIF Digital Output (TOSLINK); SPDIF Digital Output (Coax)
  • Alienware 240 Watt Power Supply (Standard) or optional 330 Watt Power Supply
  • Dual-orientation tower system dimensions: h: 13.5” (343mm) x w: 3.74” (95mm) x d: 12.52” (318mm)
  • Starting Weight: 12.1 lbs. (5.49 Kg.)

The starting price for the Alienware X51 is just $699, although obviously the price will go up depending on what kind of optional hardware is put inside. While the X51 is not yet available for sale at the Alienware.com web site as of this writing, it should go live later today.

Dell and Alienware have also launched a new customer service feature called Alienware Gaming Services. It allows customers to get some added support for things like game installation and setup, game troubleshooting, increasing your game performance and installing third party mods for an additional fee.

Image via Dell/Alienware

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54 Comments

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make it smaller, say 220 mm x 220 mm, and throw in a thunderbolt port, and i will buy in a snap. that would be perfect as a portable game/workstation.

This is actually perfect for what I have been considering lately. I hooked my current gaming PC up to my TV this past weekend and loved it, but my wife hated the huge Thermaltake tower sitting in our TV room. So this would literally be perfect for a secondary PC to hook up to my PC and serve as a nice little media center.

This is pointless!! Why would you pay $700 for the basic config of this when you could build and or buy a system for the same price with much better specs?

Looks nice but so, so pointless.

Colicab said,
This is pointless!! Why would you pay $700 for the basic config of this when you could build and or buy a system for the same price with much better specs?

Looks nice but so, so pointless.

This was always what Alienware was about, even before Dell bought them. You are paying a lot of money for a silly looking case.

I love what they are doing.. the i7 and GTX 555 will be able to play every game that is available right now at med-high detail.. I bet this thing is way more quiet then my huge XPS 720 with a 1000W PSU.. I would actually blow the fuse at my old how while gaming so hard and turning on a microwave at the same time.. This thing can be used in so many different ways and thing about how Kinect for Windows may change gaming..

On really cold days my GF would make me game hard so that I could warm up our apartment!

It looks like what they are doing is putting the M14x laptop in a desktop case, adding ports and a desktop sized hard drive.

Astra.Xtreme said,
So this is basically a laptop in a bigger enclosure and without a screen?

Considering that, what a ripoff...

how is that? its perfect if you dont want to waste your money on a battery and other laptop parts.. This is far cheaper then a gaming laptop at the same level

also, these computers do not need to have intel hd 3000 switchable graphics because they dont need to be super efficient ever.. Another way to save some money

Edited by Lachlan, Jan 18 2012, 4:43pm :

Lachlan said,

how is that? its perfect if you dont want to waste your money on a battery and other laptop parts.. This is far cheaper then a gaming laptop at the same level

also, these computers do not need to have intel hd 3000 switchable graphics because they dont need to be super efficient ever.. Another way to save some money

Considering I can get a laptop with equal specs (i7 w/ Nvidia 555m) which includes a screen all for about $800, yes this Alienware is a huge ripoff.

Customization of this system is now up at their website. i7 system starts at $1149.

EDIT: watch out, some freebies are not selected by default, keyboard/mouse are showing as $0.00 but not selected by default. Lame.

este said,
I really wonder what the high end i7 machine is selling for...

After tax, the tower alone is almost $1700 no monitor, speakers, keyboard, or mouse

littleneutrino said,
Rather ugly case design. However, it would Work nice as an HTPC

Looks like they borrowed some design ideas from the xbox?

1uk3 said,
Looks very nice. Not really a gaming PC though with those specs unfortunately.

I'm just curious. What would make it a gaming PC? I'm honestly unsure of the difference in specs.

M_Lyons10 said,

I'm just curious. What would make it a gaming PC? I'm honestly unsure of the difference in specs.

I've always taken "a gaming pc" to mean a computer with a high-end processor, lots of RAM and a meaty graphics card (or two). Basically something that can play any current game flawlessly, and also play games released in the next few years without any problems.

Why not? Hook it to a tv and run it at 720p or possibly 1080P (with a few options disabled) and it will look a **** load better than a PS3 or 360.
It's not really meant to replace a high end gaming rig.

ahhell said,
Why not? Hook it to a tv and run it at 720p or possibly 1080P (with a few options disabled) and it will look a **** load better than a PS3 or 360.
It's not really meant to replace a high end gaming rig.

Does the pricing reflect your opinion or did you just decide because it looks like a console that means it doesn't have to compete with other PCs?

ahhell said,
...and it will look a **** load better than a PS3 or 360...

Really? I'm a PC gamer and over the last year I've become really disappointed in the quality of graphics the PC platform. It feels as though the developers are aiming for xbox 360 graphics and not pushing for more on the PC. I've not seen a PC title that's pushed the hardware like we used to see, not even 2-3 years ago.

For mainsteam titles (cross platform), the quality of graphics on the PC is sometimes worse then those of the 360 and at most they are the same. Even the much hyped Crysis 2 was a utter fail on the PC.

Intrinsica said,

I've always taken "a gaming pc" to mean a computer with a high-end processor, lots of RAM and a meaty graphics card (or two). Basically something that can play any current game flawlessly, and also play games released in the next few years without any problems.

It has an i5 and i7 as an option, obviously you get what you pay for.

xendrome said,
It has an i5 and i7 as an option, obviously you get what you pay for.

Oh I wasn't arguing, merely giving my definition of what I consider "a gaming pc" to be.

sagum said,

Really? I'm a PC gamer and over the last year I've become really disappointed in the quality of graphics the PC platform. It feels as though the developers are aiming for xbox 360 graphics and not pushing for more on the PC. I've not seen a PC title that's pushed the hardware like we used to see, not even 2-3 years ago.

For mainsteam titles (cross platform), the quality of graphics on the PC is sometimes worse then those of the 360 and at most they are the same. Even the much hyped Crysis 2 was a utter fail on the PC.

It's true that the majority of PC titles over the past 4+ years have been developed for console technology, with a few exceptions (Skyrim for example), Crysis 2 I believe was also developed for console.

On the up side, we can probably expect next generation consoles soon, and with them a higher standard of visuals at last.

M_Lyons10 said,

I'm just curious. What would make it a gaming PC? I'm honestly unsure of the difference in specs.

Basically the processors are not the problem. You can have a very budget gaming PC with the top end i3 (sadly it doesn't say which models are available) and a solid gaming pc with an i5.

The problem is the graphics card, the 545 is a very basic card that is in no way good for gaming, and the 555 is not much better. It needs to be a couple of product lines up for even semi - decent gaming at HD.

sagum said,

Really? I'm a PC gamer and over the last year I've become really disappointed in the quality of graphics the PC platform. It feels as though the developers are aiming for xbox 360 graphics and not pushing for more on the PC. I've not seen a PC title that's pushed the hardware like we used to see, not even 2-3 years ago.

For mainsteam titles (cross platform), the quality of graphics on the PC is sometimes worse then those of the 360 and at most they are the same. Even the much hyped Crysis 2 was a utter fail on the PC.

Battlefield 3 is a great game for graphics.

Article
The case itself is 13.5 inches in height, 3.7 inches wide and 12.5 inches deep which makes it not much bigger than Microsoft's Xbox 360 Slim model.

Thanks for the comparison! Now I can see how much sleek the device is.

"240 Watt Power Supply (Standard) or optional 330 Watt Power Supply"

I'd prefer to have something with a little more juice in there, Surely that's cutting it close to the mark? (Please do enlighten me as I'm probably wrong)

Grayski said,
"240 Watt Power Supply (Standard) or optional 330 Watt Power Supply"

I'd prefer to have something with a little more juice in there, Surely that's cutting it close to the mark? (Please do enlighten me as I'm probably wrong)

with nvidia and amd moving to 24nm graphics cards this should be enough juice to get the more efficient cards running.. As long as we have the xbox 360 and ps3 this will be plenty to play these games..

I hate these press releases.

What do they mean by Powerful Nvidia Graphics card options?
The mentioned options are low-end. The lowest config at $700 is HTPC and not be called gaming PC. Not want to over react or nitpick, those cards will be outdated the moment the system lands at your door step.

-KJ said,
I think it looks quite good aesthetically.

It's kind of like a cross between the current Xbox and the original Xbox 1 console... pretty nice.

TCLN Ryster said,

It's kind of like a cross between the current Xbox and the original Xbox 1 console... pretty nice.

It reminds me a little of the IBM ThinkCentre 8118 PC I'm using at work...

-KJ said,
I think it looks quite good aesthetically.

Absolutely. But Dell's always "look" nice... Mechanically is where they falter unfortunately.

M_Lyons10 said,

Absolutely. But Dell's always "look" nice... Mechanically is where they falter unfortunately.

I've never had a problem with Dell hardware. I have over 50 laptops and 250 desktops at work. I think the last time I had a hardware failure was 2 years ago, when a hard-drive went... Which was a Western Digital brand, so that really isn't Dell's fault either. Otherwise, not a lick of problems.

My guess is the majority of Dell owners have not had "mechanical" problems either.

In fact I would go out on a limb and probably say they are up in the top of "least" hardware problems of the OEM systems.

xendrome said,

I've never had a problem with Dell hardware. I have over 50 laptops and 250 desktops at work. I think the last time I had a hardware failure was 2 years ago, when a hard-drive went... Which was a Western Digital brand, so that really isn't Dell's fault either. Otherwise, not a lick of problems.

My guess is the majority of Dell owners have not had "mechanical" problems either.

In fact I would go out on a limb and probably say they are up in the top of "least" hardware problems of the OEM systems.

I wouldn't quite say that. A company I do consulting work for used to have Dell exclusively, but after damn near every one of them had problems, they moved to HP. They had everything from motherboard problems, to power supplies burning out. Not to mention one model had a recall that they were never informed of. Personally, I hear more bad stories about Dells than good stories.

Not going to outright say Dell is garbage, but that is part of the reason why they are a low-ranked PC brand.

Regarding Alienware, yeah they are owned by Dell, but it's not like Dell has a huge influence on the product.

M_Lyons10 said,

Absolutely. But Dell's always "look" nice... Mechanically is where they falter unfortunately.
Yep. I can attest to this having owned a Dellified Alienware and XPS system. "High-end," to me, is something like OriginPC or DigitalStorm. They are far more worthy...

Astra.Xtreme said,

I wouldn't quite say that. A company I do consulting work for used to have Dell exclusively, but after damn near every one of them had problems, they moved to HP. They had everything from motherboard problems, to power supplies burning out. Not to mention one model had a recall that they were never informed of. Personally, I hear more bad stories about Dells than good stories.

Not going to outright say Dell is garbage, but that is part of the reason why they are a low-ranked PC brand.

Regarding Alienware, yeah they are owned by Dell, but it's not like Dell has a huge influence on the product.

I'm not sure what Dell's involvement with Allienware is, but it would be enough to keep me from getting one (Which is a shame, because Dell does make very nice "looking" hardware).

We used to purchase Dell's exclusively for home and work. That was until they all died not long after purchase. My laptop that I'm on now as a matter of fact, had to be sent in to Dell for repair 4 TIMES within the first 6 months. With each repair a bigger headache than the last. This will be my last Dell. I have moved everyone else in the office over to Toshiba's and Asus computers, and have not had a single problem at all. And, as an added bonus, neither of those brands run red hot like my XPS does (That miracle of engineering that it is)...

Dell USED to build very good computers. I bought Dell's for years. That hasn't been the case unfortunately for quite some time, and as a result I have moved on to PC vendors that care about quality a bit.

Astra.Xtreme said,

I wouldn't quite say that. A company I do consulting work for used to have Dell exclusively, but after damn near every one of them had problems, they moved to HP. They had everything from motherboard problems, to power supplies burning out. Not to mention one model had a recall that they were never informed of. Personally, I hear more bad stories about Dells than good stories.

Not going to outright say Dell is garbage, but that is part of the reason why they are a low-ranked PC brand.

Regarding Alienware, yeah they are owned by Dell, but it's not like Dell has a huge influence on the product.


ha... HP is worse.

M_Lyons10 said,

Absolutely. But Dell's always "look" nice... Mechanically is where they falter unfortunately.

500 Dell PC's and 200 Laptops here with next day business support. Barley have issues, if we do they are sorted the next morning.

Same with home user. I've always used Dell XPS laptops and desktops at home. No issues