Lifting the side panel off the chassis reveals the immaculate interior. Alienware really have no peers when it comes to building PCs that are exquisitely
tidy. This system sports sound proofing all around, and a good choice of cooling solutions to keep noise down. Let's investigate.
The FX-60 is undoubtedly the fastest gaming processor out there, so it's good to see it included here. It's cooled by a Thermaltake heatpipe cooler, which is very quiet considering the heat it has to deal with. As you can see, the rear exhaust is a 120mm which is throttled back to keep things quiet.
The hard drives are Hitachi Deskstars, and are SATA 2 with NCQ support. At 7200RPM with 8MB cache, they're pretty fast without being Western Digital Raptor-fast. The two 250GB models are striped using the NVIDIA RAID hardware on the motherboard. The two optical drives are fairly standard, with a multi-format DVD burner and a CD-RW drive, as we mentioned. The 500GB secondary drive means that you have a chunky 1TB of storage - surely enough for even the most hardened warez monkey. It also means you can back up your entire main drive to the secondary drive, if you are wary about the RAID array failing. Some power users may prefer to run RAID 1 mirroring instead.
The RAM is branded Patriot
, and has 2-3-2-6 timing. We'd like to see straight 2s there, especially since we'd like to see some extra headroom for overclocking. It's annoying that the 2GB is on four sticks, since it means there's no upgradability without chucking out some of the existing RAM, and also meaning that you're limited to 2T spec, rather than 1T, afforded by two sticks. The EVGA cards have the standard NVIDIA reference cooler for the 512MB card and are also clocked at the standard speeds.
The back of the machine is as you'd expect, with numerous DVI ports dominating. There's also the X-Fi card as well as the various on-board motherboard ports. Four USB and dual LAN should be enough for most people.