Today we will be going through the process of configuring an Alienware Area-51 Gaming Desktop with a 5820k Intel Processor, 16GB DDR4 Ram, 2TB HDD and a NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980 Graphics card. High end PC gaming has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years thanks to the ease of software platforms like Steam, GOG and Origin and the upcoming VR onslaught will only further the need for such a high end device. The following spec will not only end up being comparable to building a custom build yourself, you will also benefit from Dell’s great customer support if the off chance something should go wrong.
The emphasis with this build is making the specifications suitable for upcoming VR devices like the Oculus Rift and the HTC re-VIVE HMD’s. Basically a quick guide aimed at achieving the ultimate VR ready gaming box with the least of amount of effort. This System configuration comes with the default Alienware Mouse and Keyboard. It Does not however, include a monitor. You can add other peripherals during the configuration process or use your own existing equipment.
Oculus recently released their minimum recommended specs for a gaming PC to achieve uninterrupted “presence” (the sense of being somewhere else) in the Oculus Rift:
- NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8GB+ RAM
- Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Windows 7 SP1 or newer
We are not going to match these specs, we are going to go one better and surpass them in every respect, So lets get started.
- Navigate to The Alienware Area-51 Gaming Desktop webpage.
- Select the second option Alienware Area-51 configuration which has a base price of $3,199 (as pictured).
- Scroll down until you reach Video card and then click choose options. You now should be able to see a selection box with various video card options.
- Select the option NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980 with 4GB GDDR5 (as pictured). This will update and now say included in price.
- At the bottom check add to cart – make sure you are still selecting the second configuration option.
- You are now viewing the Dell Service & Software options popup, click Customise Accessories if you do not want to add any extras.
- Click Review Cart on the next screen.
- You will now arrive at the final checkout screen. At the time of writing this Alienware Area-51 configuration will currently cost $3,798.50 But do not checkout just yet!.
- If you scroll a little further down you will see an area called Discounts and Coupons, here the fun begins. Enter the coupon code $69L?$BP2FGJMJ and click apply. At the time of writing this code was valid though you can always find the latest Dell Codes right here.
- The final total should now be $3,228.72 with a saving of $569.78 (as pictured)
At the time of writing the final price of this gaming box ends up being $3228.72 Delivered. Is it cheaper and more cost effective to build it myself I hear you ask? Lets have a look using the usual market hobbyist prices as a reference. We will try and match the specs of the Alienware Area-51 as best we can.
- Intel Core i7 5820K: $529
- Nvidia GTX 980: $750 depending on availability.
- G.Skill Ripjaws 4 or similar 16GB Kit DDR4 Desktop RAM: $299.00
- Microsoft Windows 8.1 64bit: $125.00
- Capable Power Supply: $200.00
- Premium Case: $250+
- Premium SLI supported motherboard: $200 – $300
- 2TB Sata HDD: $120
- Gaming Keyboard: $100
- Gaming Mouse: $60+
- Liquid Cooling: $180
- DVD / Blu-Ray: $20 – $50
The approximate total for a custom build similar to this Dell Alienware ends up being $2833+ depending on availability. This also doesn’t factor in individual component delivery prices and the effort of building and installing it yourself – and it definitely will not look as good. For those interested, In the future I will do a guide building a custom PC at a more mid range price ans spec point – It is fun building it yourself though not for everybody.