Alienware X51 R2 Desktop Gaming System Review

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Alienware X51 R2 External Features

Alienware X51 R2 External Images

The Alienware X51 is a nice looking rig. The side panel of the X51 is simplistic, though it can be flashy. The section in the center of panel can be illuminated in a variety of colors, it’s controlled through the Alien Command center application within the Windows operating system. There are times I like a little bit of ‘Bling’ to my system, other (more frequently) I prefer less, and the X51 from Alienware handles that without an issue for me.

Alienware X51 R2 External Images

The Alienware X51 R2 keeps everything stylish but not overstated. The front of the X51 chassis features a gloss black finish with almost nothing but the essentials. Up top we have the power button, on the left we have the slot loading optical drive while on the right we have a pair of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports and the 3.5mm head phone jacks. At the bottom we have the trademark Alien head, the eyes can be set to glow to match the side panels or their own independent color.

Alienware X51 R2 External Images

The top of the Alienware X51 R2 chassis is slotted to allow for the necessary airflow to keep the Intel Core i5 4430 processor cool.

Alienware X51 R2 External Images

The bottom of the Alienware X51 chassis is designed similar to the top with regards to providing the necessary airflow, though here we are working on keeping the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670  breathing. At each of the corners of the Alienware X51 R2 we can find a rubber foot that will prevent the X51 from sliding around on your desk.

Alienware X51 R2 External Images

The back panel of the Alienware X51 R2 is pretty common by today’s standards. The I/O panel features four SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, two HiSpeed USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, Coaxial and optical SPDIF out, HDMI and the usual six 3.5mm audio jacks. Towards the bottom of the X51 chassis we can find the pair of DVI ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort that is featured on the included NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670. Just to the left of the GTX 670 we can make out the plug for the system power. The back panel that doesn’t feature some sort of I/O is a mesh to aid in the system breathing during those long gaming sessions you’re bound to have with the Alienware X51.

Alienware X51 R2 External Images

The opposing side panel is quite similar to the first side panel, though there is one distinct difference. There is some alien scripting up top. As with the other side, the light panel can be adjusted to match the other side and eyes, or done on its own.

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  • John

    I’d like to address that the Windows Experience Index score and review on the bottom of the first page can be misleading information. First of all, It’s on a scale of 1.0 – 7.9, so most of them components reach or are close to MAXIMUM score, which is awesome. Also, Windows 7 has a problem, in which Primary Hard Disk ratings are generally 5.9 the highest, even for most of the high-end hard disks, so that part can be ignored. WIth an ACTUAL average base score of 7.75 / 7.9, this is easily one amazing high-end computer.

  • joey

    Does the keyboard on this light up??

    • ihd1234567890

      Judging by the keyboard image I saw on their website, I don’t believe so.

  • Kevin

    I have the AW 14 (2 years old now) and just picked up the basic AW X51 connected to a 24 inch Dell HD display and I’m in heaven. I mainly enjoy shooters but would like to see a Forza racing game for PC someday. Guess that’s why I keep my XBOX :-)

  • Randome Guy

    How do i know if I have R2 or R1? Im not sure what i got…

    • ihd1234567890

      They don’t have R1 model products at their website. The R1 model is mainly noticeable by its graphics card, since that’s the part that gamers want. R1 has GTX 540 and 545. R2 goes up to GTX 740 Ti

  • Jess B. Balatbat

    Was thinking about my purchasing experience with Dell/Alienware. To Dell’s credit, it was very easy to buy. I actually had someone on chat while I was surfing the website (on a Sunday as well). I kinda new that the specs were good from my research, and asked a few technical questions. They also offered a discount. 

    From PC build perspective, I have no complaints. Runs BF4 with max settings with no lag, runs quiet, small footprint and nice case. Would benefit from SSD definitely. If all things being equal in terms of comparing builds between different pc’s, one of the key differences is to be able to get a pc built to these specs and build quality (don’t forget with warranty). It did take 10 days so not exactly off the shelf. 

    Having built my own pc before and things don’t quite go right, it can be hard to troubleshoot. It’s also nice to have dedicated forums as Alienware is quite mainstream (versus trawling hardware sites for issues/questions if you had to build yourself). 

    Ultimately you need to think about usage. For small form factor that will be able to handle latest gen with ‘some’ potential upgradeability then this is pretty good and can be purchased conveniently.

  • Sam

    I’ve been wanting this for awhile now but my boyfriend tells me it’s a bad choice and I’ll be wasting my money. I don’t want to mess anything up by building my own and I don’t want a huge computer taking up space so I thought this was the perfect choice but now I’m not so sure

    • crAB

      Hey, if you’d like some advice regarding building an ITX system, head over to http://hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=102

      Everyone there is pretty knowledgeable and helpful.

    • AgentDeep

      This is quite late reply but you could build ITX system as what crAB is suggesting. A Bitfenix Prodigy case as an example.

    • http://www.youtube.com/PoeTheGamer PoeTheGamer

      Your boyfriends a lair this is the best computer youll ever have in your life.
      Well maybe not the best but a pretty DAMN good one.

    • Jurick Pastechi Genaro

      Your boyfriend is right. You can build your own pc even better than this and still pay less than this build alienware :)

  • fenix144

    Man the inside of that pc is ugly. I know why they don’t put a panel on there.

  • Jess B. Balatbat

    Hi Thanks for the review. I’ve had the x51 r2 for about 2 months now and agree about the boot time. Have had an ssd on my old laptop and was wondering if you think there would be space to slot in an ssd as boot up disk with the original as slave. From the photos looks like a snug fit plus not sure if extra cables are available. Was it easy to dissemble?

    Everything else is pretty awesome but just need some spare time so asking the question first.

    • Dan Stoltz

      Sorry about the delay, but there should be room to pop in a SSD inside the chassis. The i7 edition of the X51 has the option for a 256GB SSD as well as a hard drive. It’s only a couple of screws to remove the Graphics card carrier. If memory serves, there are only 2 screws to do that.

      • Jess B. Balatbat

        I know it has been awhile but thanks for responding. Haven’t quite had the time to add an SSD at the moment as machine is running well. Am curious if anyone has added an SSD?

        • Obiwabkenewby

          I have, there are no screw mounts for the ssd. I used some foam tape to mount the ssd over the DVD drive.