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Searching for Greener Pastures
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I have had my Area51 for about 2 months now and decided to give a review of it to anyone who cares. I already went through all the "I could have built one faster for $10" crap, so hopefully this post wont turn out that way. (When I asked for detailed price list w/ everything no one got within $300 and I am sure you could build it for less now.)

It took about 18 days to come after I ordered it and they had a pretty cool way to track it's progress from gathering parts to assembly to burn in, to shipping.

It came in a HUGE box that must have been 4-5ft tall. It was well packaged and no damage to computer although several corners of the box were crushed.:mad: No problems putting it together (comes with a pretty neat wire organizer).

Fit and finish is really good. The CD/power switch area can be locked as can the side of the case. It is a full tower and is just plain BIG. It would be a load to take to a LAN party.

Performance is great (understandably). I have had no problems with anything to this point. It comes with it's own personalized owners manual in a nice binder that contains all the specs and benchmarks of this computer.

Other pluses were a GREAT mousepad. This sounds strange I know, but they have a rubber mat that the pad sits inside of. The pad is reversible, one side is really smooth (for optical mice) and the other is rougher for wheel mouse (Razor Boomslang 2000). It runs pretty quietly (considering the NVIDIA 5900 Ultra). It has 4 USB in the front and 2 in the back. Lots of slots for expansion. They send EXTRA SCREWS for the inside of the case for future expansion!:bow
A big bonus is they don't have their own BS bundeled with Windows. It came with XP Pro and their Alien Autopsy (sends them info if I experience a crash) but I can install XP without the rest of their BS (not like Dell for instance).

Original keyboard they sent was black (I ordered blue). I called and had to put the new keyboard on my credit card until it arrived and sent the black one back in the preaddressed package and they refunded me. That wasn't great to me...

I did this as an experiment (I built all previous computers around 8) and found it pretty nice. Not entirely sure if I will buy from them again because I am a do-it-yourselfer, but it was nice getting everthing on the same day and plug it in and go. No spending 4-5 hours of bloody knuckles and fear of breaking something and then finding out you are missing a cable or something doesn't work. I can see some things that I will do different on my next computer that I build (wire routing) so it was worthwhile in my opinion.:thumbup

Now for the pics...
Starting with the overview... Notice the AWESOME monitor!
 

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Searching for Greener Pastures
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Discussion Starter #2
Hear is the cool mouspad. If you look, you can see the seam were the pad can be removed from the mat. Clip for the mouse cord is cool too!:rock
 

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Searching for Greener Pastures
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Discussion Starter #3
Nice paint job. I love the 75 CD organizer! :D
I see I need to clean the dirt from the vents in the front.:blush
 

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Searching for Greener Pastures
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No floppy... No need anymore. In it's place is a very nice 5in1 card reader. I think they replaced it with a 7in1 the day after I bought it:mad: It is pretty nice. It shows up as a bunch of hard drives that are not used until you put a card in. It doesn't load or anything, it just suddenly show up in My Computer.
 

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Searching for Greener Pastures
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The wire organizer is OK. It does help keep the wires from pulling out if you pull the computer out from the wall.

There are 5 case fans not counting the powersupply fans. Heat is not a problem, and the noise is surprisingly low.
 

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Searching for Greener Pastures
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This comment goes with the last pic. Notice the notch in the sidepanel? You have a thumbscrew and a philips on the back of the case to get the sidepanel out. Then you have to push in the front of that slot and get it to pop out and then you can slide a handle to finally open the case. The handle has a lock on it so you could theoretically keep a would be thief from your internals. Unfortunately, the little cover doesn't pop out (or in for that matter) very well and is the chinsiest piece on the computer (I don't think chinsy is offensive. If so I apologize in advance.)

Now for the real beauty! Check out the lack of wires in the main area. Simply awesome! Also notice the extra screws in the rail that holds the ps.:bow
 

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Searching for Greener Pastures
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Discussion Starter #7
Two SATA hard drives in RAID 0, 1G matched low CS memory, P4 3.2G, 5900 Ultra Video (256 Mem), Intel Mobo, Audigy sound, copper heat sink w/ heat tubes.:jump :jump :jump

Notice memory in slots 1 and 3.:fact
 

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Searching for Greener Pastures
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Discussion Starter #9
Not a great picture, but notice the fold job on the one IDE cable. Truely a work of art.:)

And yes the SATA cables ARE flat!:2bitchsla
 

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Administrator
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That looks pretty badAss... ! Thanks for sharing.... I've always checked out AlienWares website but the extra $ for them has kept me from getting one... I want a new laptop soon though..
 

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Searching for Greener Pastures
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Discussion Starter #11
I didn't put any performance comparisons because I don't have anything to compare it to (my old pc is a 1.5 GHz P4). At this point there is nothing out there that stresses it. I can play all games in 2048x1536 resolution with all details cranked up and no glitches at all. For some reason I seem to get sick if I play too long at those resolutions... Maybe that is a key that the frame rate is jerking and I can't detect it visually. I usually play at 1600X1200 to ease the sickness.

I am waiting for Doom3 (may never be released at this rate) and HL2 (F$&^#*@^!*@! HACKERS) to give it a real workout.
 

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L8R2U
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:thumbup
 

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El Assholio Supremo del Mundo
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have you ever tested it with the 3DMark gamers benchmark?
Just wondering how it would copmpare to other systems.
 

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Searching for Greener Pastures
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Discussion Starter #16
Tell me where to find the benchmark. I would love to see myself.
 

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Yes, It's true, blue is faster
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Wow.....no wire clutter...gotta love that. Nice rig.
 

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Tap dat...
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Alienware is always exceptional in how they manage the PCs they sell. Sure you can get it all for cheaper if you do it yourself but as you pointed out...they do a burn in and take all the hassle of "does it work or not" out of it for you. Also...the other goodies you get are definitely worth it! :D
 
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