Gaming Rig - the Lesser of Two Evils


Feb 9, 2009
Hi, I am looking to buy a new gaming rig in Canada (higher prices for parts + not so many retailers). My goal is to optimize my experience for a Dell 24inch ultrasharp screen at 1920x1200 and aim to future proof my system as much as possible. I have a good idea of the parts to buy from Newegg, but have no clue how to assemble them and honestly do not have much time/energy to learn from scratch. Additionally, local stores around me offer either overpriced parts or hardly have any experience assembling core i7 rigs.

Given all this, I am looking into the following systems. I apparently get more for my money with Dell. However, the rig will be limited to 6GB of RAM due to their Mobo. Does Alienware have better builds to justify the difference? I need some help here.

P.S. Is adding a SoundBlaster card worth the money or should I stick with the original?

Alienware Area 51 X58

Intel® Core™ i7-920 2.66 GHz 8MB Cache
Alienware® P2 Chassis with AlienIce™ 3.0 Video Cooling
Alienware® Standard System Lighting
Alienware® Standard System Cooling
Alienware® 750 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
Single 1,792 MB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 295
6GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz - 3 x 2048MB
Alienware® Approved Intel® X-58 Motherboard- Socket 1366 Core i7 Ready, Dual Triple Channel DDR3 Memory
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (64-bit Edition) with Service Pack 1
250GB SATA 3Gb/s 7,200RPM 16MB Cache
20X Dual-Layer Burner (DVD±RW)
High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio
Standard Keyboard
Razer DeathAdder™ 1800dpi 3G Infrared Gaming Mouse
1-Year AlienCare Onsite Service and 24/7 Toll-Free Phone Support

CDN$2,735 Shipped / tax not included

XPS 730x

Intel Core i7-940 (2.93GHz, 8MB cache)
Aluminum with Clearcoat Chassis
AlienFX Lighting
Copper base Heat Sink with aluminum fins
EPA compliant 80+ 1KW power supply
ATI Radeon HD4870X2 2048MB
6GB Multi-Channel DDR3 at 1066MHZ (3x2GB DIMM)
Intel® X58 Chipset
Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 64-bit Home Premium (English)
1.28TB Performance RAID 0 (2 x640GB SATA-II, 7200 RPM HDDs)
16x CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Dell Consumer Multimedia Keyboard
USB 6-Button Logitech Mouse
3 year - Next Business Day Parts and Labor On-Site Service

CDN$2,682 Shipped / tax not included

Thx for the help!


Jan 26, 2009
Alienware and Dell are SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPER overpriced, there are plenty tutorials on the web to show how to build a system, dont go with either, trust me, you will save around 400 dollars.


Nov 11, 2008
You are probably (actually, definitely) going to get a lot of responses telling you to build it yourself. Although I find it a rewarding exercise, and it can save a good portion of money on a high end build, if you want to buy it, their is nothing wrong with that. Alienware, though, is notoriously overpriced and dell is known, even in their gaming pc's, to use sub-par parts. My suggestion, if possible, is to select the parts yourself and have the system built by a local system builder , or have the builder suggest the parts. IBUY Power also has some good deals on computers, but have been known for build quality issues and, unless to pay extra, sub-par components. Good luck with whatever you chose.