...things aren't always what they appear to be, and so it is with Dell's Alienware X51 R2, a small form factor (SFF) gaming PC in console digs. It's shaped similar to Microsoft's Xbox 360 Slim, and though it's slightly larger than either a 360 or PlayStation 3, the X51 R2 would be right at home in a living room setting nestled next to a large screen TV. Indeed, it's adept at running Steam's Big Picture mode, and if your primary objective is to play games in the living room, go ahead and consider the X51 R2 a hybrid game console.
We know from our autopsy that the X51 R2's internal organs are decidedly PC, just like the original X51 that Dell beamed into our lab last year. The R2 model we're dissecting here today is evolved with Haswell DNA, the codename for Intel's 4th Generation of Core processors. It also has 16GB of speedy DDR3 1600MHz memory, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 graphics card, and a Micron RealSSD 256GB solid state drive (SSD) all working in tandem to, uh, serve man (or woman, as the case may be), only without a chilling plot twist. Here's a look at the full monty...
Any major computer upgrade generally requires a full software reinstall too. No so if you heed the advice in the guide to Upgrading a Motherboard without Reinstalling. PCSTATS Tips