Pros Aesthetically pleasing, compact. Win 8 is really nice.
Cons Poor graphic and Sound quality on the GTX 660. Can't run any games on higher than Medium quality...so not really a gaming computer.
Summary Bought this as a replacement for a 4 year old computer that I was thinking about upgrading. With all the changes I needed to make to that one, figured it would be easier to just go with this model, since Alienware used to be the industry's topline gaming pc manufacturer. Got the WIN 8 OS and GTX 660 graphic card upgrades. I got home and decided to see what this bad boy could do. Not much unfortunately. It seems that the graphic card is unable to handle anything above Medium setting (even though Nvidia says I can run my games on Ultra, it seems anything above Low or Mid results in a crash to desktop, or reboot of computer). Even at low settings the sound start distorting after about 5 mins or so. I assumed it was just a bad graphics card; however. this is apparently a common problem, without a solution, as I've found multiple entries on tech forums (Alienware's solution is to turn off your McAfee...which I did, but it didn't help). In short, it seems that the X51 has missed the mark.
Pros Nice style, nice subtle lighting that's not annoyingly bright. Fast & powerful, quite hard to bog this system down.
Cons Digital optical/coaxial ports are NOT 5.1 compatible.
Summary I'd give this computer the best review possible... except for one fatal and unforgivable flaw. The optical/coaxial digital outputs are NOT 5.1 compatible. I have it hooked up to my $650 Yamaha receiver that decoded 5.1 with no problems from my stand alone blu-ray player, and all I get is 2.1 sound. When I try to access the dolby modes and audio enhancers, my receiver says "not available". I have this hooked up to my 55" TV via a HDMI connection. When I connect an optical cable from my TV's output to the optical input on my receiver, I get 5.1 surround, and can access all my enhancers and dolby modes. I only have a short optical cable... perfect for reaching from the computer to the stereo receiver... not so perfect for reaching the 12' from the TV to the stereo receiver. This is yet another long and expensive cable I'll need to purchase and snake down thru all the spaghetti behind my entertainment center, and this atrocity simply can't be forgiven. I should be able to hook up an optical or coaxial direct from the computer's output to my stereo and have full capability without having to go thru a middleman.
The computer itself is fine. It does whatever I command with no BS, and I have yet to have it bog down or fail to follow a direct order. Unfortunately, the audio output ruins an otherwise perfect system.
Pros All in one for gaming - probably not quite right there for the really high end gamers (dont have any of those games). Buit should cover us quite nicely for a while now.
Cons Runs hot (as expected).
1) Runs Hot (but as expected).
2) Risk? - Early days / New model - no longevity / MTBF / living with it reports - gone out on a limb - an expensive limb.
Summary Just the ticket (so far)
Old machine needed a serious upgrade, or ditching everything (apart from the shell) and building up from scratch. Though I know a bit its enough to get it wrong and end up spending more than an X51 would cost.
A bit more expensive then I'd like, but now I have seen the future directions, and its not a gaming console.
Witcher 2 (Enhanced Edition) is probably the most demanding game we have at the moment runs like a charm at one notch below may graphics (but should look at some tweeks - it may run at good fps even at the top setting afterwards).
Now we can start thinking about looking at some of the more demanding games out there.
Pros Size, performance, price, design
Cons GPU should have been GTX 560Ti, a bit more heat than I would like.
Summary The performance is probably best-in-class for its size and it makes for an excellent LAN party computer. It easily fits in a backpack and the price was not too much. However, due to the smaller size, heat dissipation is not very good so it gets hot easily.