Alienware X51 R2 review: compact gaming system

Compact Alienware desktop


GeForce GTX 670, SSD and HDD

The motherboard has the Intel H87 chipset, positioned below the more deluxe Z77. It's an MSI MS-7796 equipped with a riser that's connected to the graphics card, a GeForce GeForce GTX 670 with 2 GB video memory. The X51 R2 is also available with a GeForce GTX 760 or GTX 760Ti with 2 GB. So while ours didn't have the most recent card, it's still pretty powerful thanks to the 1,344 915 MHz Cuda cores and the 6 GHz (1.5 GHz) 2 GB GDDR5 memory connected via a 256-bit bus.

Dell Alienware X51 R2

The interior of the compact enclosure is pretty full, as you can see on the photo. Under the video card the hard disk is located, in our case a 5400rpm 1 TB 2.5-inch disk from Western Digital. It's assisted by a 256 GB LiteOn M6S SSD. It's a very nice storage combination, even if you now only have the choice of a 1 or 2 TB disk (7200 rpm) or a 256 GB SSD, perhaps due to availability issues. In order to use the system as an HTPC, our sample was also equipped with a Blu-ray player that also serves as DVD burner. Network connectivity is provided by a Realtek gigabit adapter and a single-band 150 Mbit Dell 802.11n card. Fortunately the latter has now been replaced in several models by a 2x2 802.11ac card. We would have liked to see Killer network technology, however.

Product discussed in this review

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Dell Alienware X51 R2

Desktop, Intel Core i7 4770, 8 GB, Nvidia GeForce GTX 670, 1256 GB, Microsoft Windows 8

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