Alienware's powerful, triangular Area 51 gets hardware tweaks and a new Command Center

Alienware refreshes its powerful, triangular flagship

Credit: Daniel Masaoka/IDG

Alienware’s Area 51 is already famous—or perhaps notorious—for shutting out other major PC vendors from AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper for all of 2017. That was then, this is now: It's 2018, so Alienware has to find some new tricks. On Tuesday at CES the company announced a few hardware refreshes for this flagship gaming desktop, plus a deeply revamped Command Center that should be a handy one-stop shop for both casual and serious gamers alike. Preorders for the Threadripper version start Tuesday; the systems will ship in February. 

The hardware changes seem small, but they're nice touches that help the Area 51 stand out a bit in a very competitive market. Alienware added two more fans, in part because of another addition: support for the U.2 interface for SSDs, meaning you may have a few more drives to keep cool.

alienware area 51 toolless graphics Daniel Masaoka/IDG

Alienware's Area 51 has a special feature called Toolless Graphics, a door in the back of the PC that secures card brackets without finicky screws. 

Our favorite addition is the Toolless Graphics feature. It's a little door that swings out from the back of the Area 51, exposing the card slots. You can insert a card and just shut the door, no screws necessary. Now that's progress for DIY builders. 

The deeper changes come to Alienware's Command Center software. The goal of the revamp is to unite all of your gaming needs in one package. New features include support for all major gaming services, so you can view, say, your Steam library within the Command Center software, complete with product names and bookmark info. 

alienware command center library Daniel Masaoka/IDG

Alienware's revamped Command Center supports major libraries, letting you view them all in one place. 

Tweaking the hardware for maximum output used to require multiple separate utilities. Alienware tries to simplify that as well, offering menus for adjusting thermal output and overclocking. You can set game profiles, adjust your lighting, and more. 

alienware command center thermal profiles Daniel Masaoka/IDG

Alienware's upgraded Command Center includes utilities for overclocking and managing thermals. 

Alienware's Area 51 may look the same on the surface, but its internal upgrades make the gaming desktop better where it counts. Add in the upgraded Command Center software, and you're getting a raft of new features, most of them free. Well, with the purchase of an Alienware system, natch.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags DellCES 2018

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Melissa Riofrio

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?