How would you like a gaming PC that can fit under your TV?
Gaming PCs tend to come in two, not particularly distinct, flavors when it comes to form factor; large and gargantuan. It's kind of a tradition. But now it's 2012, and more and more people are moving their PCs from their basements to their living rooms. The classic '2001 Monolith that's been used to surf through an LED factory'-look is becoming less desirable.
Enter the X51; a small and, dare I say it, attractive gaming PC from Alienware. It's only marginally bigger than an Xbox 360 and, apparently, almost silent during general use. The basic model comes with a Core i5 processor, 4GB of 1333MHz ram, a 1GB Nvidia GT 545iii, a 1TB harddrive, a 240 Watt power supply and Windows 7 Home premium. This should, according to Alienware, run Battlefield 3 in 1080p with mostly high settings at around 32 frames-per-second. All for a meagre £699. Hey it's cheap! By Alienware standards.
"You either have a nice-looking small form factor PC, or you get a gaming PC. And you can't have both because it doesn't exist - there is no small form factor PC that offers any sort of good gaming experience," Alienware senior product manager Eoin Leyden told Eurogamer.
Not quite, Falcon Northwest has been offering gaming PCs in small form-factors for a while with their FragBox range, but they start at about two grand. Oh, and there's also the the Phantom, but I don't think that counts because it doesn't actually exist. Alienware might just be on to something here.
At the equivalent of about a thousand dollars, yes, you are paying the 'Alienware shiny-box tax.' No pre-built PC is ever going to compete, in terms of performance-to-price ratio, with a rig built with your own two hands. The X51, however, doesn't seem to be aimed at the traditional enthusiast market. Instead it looks like it's designed to snag some of those notoriously couch-adoring console gamers. For shame.