When it was first released almost 4 years ago, the Alienware Area-51 Threadripper was one of the most advanced pieces of gaming machinery available to the mass market.
At the time of its release, the base version cost $2,699, with prices still playing around that range. But 4 years later, is it still worth it? We got ours 4 years ago, and we’ve put it through the ringer, both with normal wear-and-tear and because of constant gaming. And honestly, in those 4 years, not a single warning sign that it needed repair.
Alienware Area-51 Threadripper: 4 Years Later
In 2017, the Area-51 Threadripper was both awed and ridiculed: yes, it’s one of the most powerful machines ever, but what’s the point? When were you ever going to use all of that computing power? Well, 4 years later, and we can safely say that the rig stands up to both the test of time and the progress of technology.
To say that this Threadripper-powered rig was ahead of its time is an understatement: Alienware’s Area-51 might be too powerful even for 2021: as a performance test, we hooked it up to a number of our best monitors, fired up Metro Exodus and set its legendary realtime ray tracing tech to 11, and just for good measure, rendered a couple of animation videos in the background.
The result? Our writers wasted 4 hours of their time playing Metro Exodus lag-free and FPS-drop-free, and completely forgot about the rendering animation. Officially, it was a successful test of Area-51’s capabilities. Our boss wasn’t exactly happy, but hey, at least we got a benchmark (because, as we all know, UserBenchmark is pretty shit).
Alienware Area-51 Threadripper: Still a Beast
In an industry where being obsolete is a very real, and often very quick, reality, Area-51 manages to exceed expectations and its own lifetime. Sure, people are going to say it’s expensive and that there are more powerful rigs out there, and granted, this is all true, but I would counter with: you’re comparing those rigs to a 4-year old machine, and the latter is holding its own. Uh, YEAH, I’ll pay the extra moolah.
Area-51 is not a budget rig: it is expensive, it is powerful, but honestly, after COVID-19 and lockdowns, powerful gaming rigs are just one of those tech trends that are here to stay.
Alienware Area-51 Threadripper: Quick Specs
Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
Processor: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16-Core/32-Thread,Overclocked on all cores (1920X also available)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti w/ 11GB GDDR5X, lower-end GPU options mGPU – SLI/CrossFire compatible
Memory: 32GB Dual Channel DDR4 at 2667MHz; up to 64GB, DDR4 XMP 2933MHz options
Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (64MB Cache, 7,200 RPM)
Cooling System: Alienware Premium socketTR4 CPU Liquid Cooling
Connectivity: Dual Killer™ E2500 Intelligent Networking (Gigabit Ethernet NIC)
Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1
Front Panel Ports: (2x) SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
(1x) Headphone 1/8″ Port
(1x) Microphone 1/8″ Port
(1x) Media Card Reader
Rear Panel Ports: (2x) RJ-45 Killer Networks E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Port
(2x) Hi-Speed USB 2.0 (6x) SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
(1x) SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
(1x) SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C w/ 15W PowerShare technology
(1x) SPDIF Digital Output (TOSLINK)
(1x) Line-In (blue port)
(1x) Front L/R / Headphone (green port)
(1x) Center Channel / Subwoofer (orange port)
(1x) L/R Rear Surround (black port)
(1x) L/R Side Surround (white port)
Power Supply: Alienware™ 1500 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply with modular cabling