Question Alienware Area-51 Desktop CPU Question

Mikey520

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Bear with me as I know very little about CPUs in general. I’ve decided to save money for an Alienware Area-51 desktop PC. My primary use for getting an Area-51 is for heavy gaming and maximum performance.

I’ve been a bit overwhelmed from all of the different types of CPUs to choose from Dell when customizing this system. I want to make sure I choose the right CPU for my gaming needs and reach as much maximum performance as possible on ultra settings.

I’ve been doing a little research and I’ve learned that the i9-9900K is the best gaming CPU out there, but unfortunately there is no option to choose this CPU for the Area-51 desktop from the Dell customization page. The most expensive intel CPU they have for the Area-51 desktop is an i9-9980XE or AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X. All other customization options from Dell for Intel CPU’s for the Area-51 desktop are i5 and i7 Extreme Editions.

I read that the i9-9980XE is meant as a workstation CPU. It has more cores than the i9-9900K, but the i9-9980XE max turbo frequency is 4.40GHz, and the i9-9900K is 5.0GHz max turbo frequency. The i9-9900K is also cheaper in price.

I should also note that I also have the option to purchase the Alienware Aurora desktop and it comes with the i9-9900K. If I decide to purchase either system, I was thinking to use one GPU. I don’t know if it’s necessary to use dual GPUs for the i9-9980XE or Threadripper 2950X. Suggestions?

My main question is, will the i9-9980XE be a good CPU for maximum gaming on the Area 51? Or is the Threadripper 2950X a better gaming CPU?

Is it better to just purchase the Alienware Aurora desktop with i9-9900K? Thanks for any suggestions and advice.
 

Gmoney06ss

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If you're using the pc for strictly gaming, neither the 9980 or 2950 are the best choice. As you stated they're both more workstation cpu, and the 9900k will outperform both in gaming only situations. I would definitely choose the 9900k system, as it will more than likely be cheaper as well as perform better.

As far as gpu choice, my vote is for the fastest single card you can afford. Dual gpu are not needed and in a lot of current titles, are not even supported. So in some instances dual gpus will actually perform worse than a fast single card.

It sounds like for you budget is not really a concern. So I'd recommend a 9900k/2080ti system. And at least a good 1440p monitor. If playing in 1080p, that will be a very overkill system, and you wouldn't really see peak performance. Or you'd be leaving a lot of performance on the table.

Have you considered building a system yourself? You'll save a good bit of money. And there's plenty of video guides, as well as a lot of folks on here that's be willing to help make sure you do it correctly.
 

Gmoney06ss

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Just took a peak at the area 51, and honestly would not even consider it at the prices offered. The aurora is a better gaming system and is priced a little better. They give very little info on motherboard choice or RAM options though.

If building your own is not an option at all I'd opt for the aurora system. But I'd also suggest looking at other rebuilt systems as well. The Dell systems give little to zero info on what actual parts you're getting as far as mobo, ram, cooler and most importantly psu. And at 3-5k, those are things you want to know. The 9900k can be a bear to cool, and not knowing what cooler is installed makes me a little leary of choosing that system. And 850w psu with no other info is also kinda scary. There are very good psu at that wattage and some that are complete trash. I understand the need for a warranty and such, but at that price point I would highly consider doing some more research and consider building your own system.

Here's a quickly thrown together build that could be easily customized with a monitor. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ncDtvn
You could choose other parts to save some money. Like mobo, ram, psu and cooler. As well as a different gpu, memory and case.

Also if you're not in a rush to buy a system, you may wait and see how the ryzen 3000 actually performs once reviewers get it. It may be better and for less cash. But yes currently the 9900k is top dog.
 
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Alienware (my opinion) has historically been a quick way to pay 50-60% markup on what you could quite easily build yourself, and using better components....

I realize not everyone builds their own systems, but,......well.....they should! :)

(Additionally, Alienware does some stupid stuff, like making a gaming 1950X a few years back...; total 'dolt' move, yet, they probably sold 100 of them to folks now curious why folks with R5-1600-based rigs are outframing them)

Anything sold as gaming with 9980XE processors is intended to separate gamers from their cash.....period. Who wants to spend that much money and be outperformed in all games by everyone with a 9700K and 9900K?
 
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Gmoney06ss

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Alienware (my opinion) has historically been a quick way to pay 50-60% markup on what you could quite easily build yourself, and using better components....

I realize not everyone builds their own systems, but,......well.....they should! :)

(Additionally, Alienware does some stupid stuff, like making a gaming 1950X a few years back...; total 'dolt' move, yet, they probably sold 100 of them to folks now curious why folks with R5-1600-based rigs are outframing them)
They now offer a 2950x "gaming" system. The thing that really scares me about the aliens are stuff is the complete lack of actual specs. I agree every one should build there own if possible, and as such included a pcpartpicker build with a monitor, for less than the asking price of the aurora. Couldn't agree more with your statement.
 
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Mikey520

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Just took a peak at the area 51, and honestly would not even consider it at the prices offered. The aurora is a better gaming system and is priced a little better. They give very little info on motherboard choice or RAM options though.

If building your own is not an option at all I'd opt for the aurora system. But I'd also suggest looking at other rebuilt systems as well. The Dell systems give little to zero info on what actual parts you're getting as far as mobo, ram, cooler and most importantly psu. And at 3-5k, those are things you want to know. The 9900k can be a bear to cool, and not knowing what cooler is installed makes me a little leary of choosing that system. And 850w psu with no other info is also kinda scary. There are very good psu at that wattage and some that are complete trash. I understand the need for a warranty and such, but at that price point I would highly consider doing some more research and consider building your own system.

Here's a quickly thrown together build that could be easily customized with a monitor. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ncDtvn
You could choose other parts to save some money. Like mobo, ram, psu and cooler. As well as a different gpu, memory and case.

Also if you're not in a rush to buy a system, you may wait and see how the ryzen 3000 actually performs once reviewers get it. It may be better and for less cash. But yes currently the 9900k is top dog.
I’ve never built a PC before, so I would rather spend the money to have one built for me. I’m willing to spend 3-5K but I would like to do it smartly. I really like the Alienware systems. I’ve had my Dell XPS 730x that has served me well for 9 years, but i’m way overdue to buy a newer PC especially because newer games are more demanding.

I agree with you that the Aurora would be a much better choice, but as you stated, I’m a little worried about the 850w PSU. My XPS 730x has a 1000w PSU. I want to use dual 2tb hard drives (1 SSD, 1 SATA) and I hope that the 850w PSU in the Aurora is capable of handling those two drives.

I also agree with you and wish that Dell would include more information about the specs; motherboard, ram, cooler, etc. But either way I’m almost 100% positive that the Aurora comes with liquid cooling for the i9-9900K CPU. Here is the build I want get for the Aurora... suggestions?

-9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9 9900K (8-Core/16-Thread, 16MB Cache, Overclocked up to 4.7GHz on all cores)

-NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2080 Ti GDDR6 (OC Ready)

-2666MHZ MEMORY: 64GB DDR4 at 2666MHz Dual Channel

-Dual Drives: 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Boot) + 2TB 7200RPM 3.5" SATA HDD (Storage)

-Chassis: LIQUID COOLING
Alienware™ 850 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply with High Performance Liquid Cooling

-Optical Drive: Tray Load DVD-RW Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)

-Wireless: Killer 1535 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2
 

Gmoney06ss

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The 850w is plenty of power, IF it's a high quality unit. Its not the wattage rating that worries me, but the complete lack of any other information about it. Power supplies are a very important component and one in which should never be cheaper out on. Drives use little power and aren't normally a concern. What is a concern is the quality of the supply.

And as far as liquid cooling, again that could mean a lot of things. There is a very wide variety of liquid cooling. Ranging from 120mm size to 360mm size and also ranging from complete and utter junk to quality products. I've read of some prebuults trying to use a 120 sized to cool the 9900k, which is a little weak in my opinion. While it may work, temps will probably not be great.

The build looks good, minus the ram. 64gb is crazy overkill for a gaming system, and not at all needed. 32 is more than enough, and probably will be for years to come. And again the complete lack of info about actual parts used.

My honest suggestion is to do a lot more research on building your own system. You'll get more for your money, and the satisfaction of doing it yourself. There s plenty of great diy videos on YouTube from a lot of the big name techtubers that will provide plenty of good info. While it may seem like a daunting task, it's actually quite simple. And mostly plug and play. I understand that you've never done it before, but any time is a good time to learn. I just have a hard time recommending something with so little information provided by the manufacturer. Look at some other prebuilt systems that offer more info, or honestly do some solid research on diy.

Check out digitalstorm. They let you chose every component and actually list brand name. Price is comparable and customization is way better, as well as info provided.
 
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Karadjgne

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Heh. DigitalStorm, I built a pc knowing what it takes to really cool a 9900k. $5000 later.. But Damn it was awesome. Yes, capital D.. Full custom loop cpu/gpu, color matched fluid and full psu cabling, rgb, the works.
So I tried MainGear. $4700 and almost as nice.
Origin, $3800 and now departing from top line mobo's and cooling. Really, a 240mm AIO..


I can't see the R7 as being much different in its flaws.

Personally, building your own isn't that hard, unless you get seriously exotic like setting up Optane memory and custom loops etc.
 
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Karadjgne

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My issue is with the 9900k. It's a monster cpu with Minimum recommended cooler of a Noctua NH-D15S or equivalent, Good 240mm AIO. That cpu alone, with no help from OC will hit 250w, that's the max limit of those coolers. So gaming temps will be in check, but don't try any extended video editing, compiling, rendering that'll use all 16 threads or you'll be looking at thermal throttling. A D15S would be that cpus stock cooler. Now try and cram that in an Aurora. I don't see it performing upto its pricetag. A 9700k, no worries, even with a 2080ti, but a 9900k is best suited for full custom loop that'll handle the 500w± of heat from those 2 components with out issue.

If push came to shove, I'd buy all the parts myself, no-markup and good quality components, then cart the whole thing to a reputable pc store and pay them a $couple100 to build it for me. Then I'd at least know what I was getting, not relying on Dell to say it's good, just ignore all the Chinese characters....
 
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