And You Thought Macs Were Overpriced…

By on September 6, 2004

…how about a $4,200 Alienware 4.2GHz gaming machine? An article on C-Net has details about the overclocked and liquid-cooled Pentium 4 Area-51 ALX desktop, which looks like it belongs on Captain Proton’s spaceship.

It could also be mistaken for a 1950’s-era toaster. Somebody ought to fill Alienware in on the fact that good design costs no more than bad design. And producing professional looking hardware — like the Apple G5 PowerMac — is probably less expensive than all the cheesy plastic eye candy.



  1. Yeah, it’s cool. But would it still look cool after having it sit on your desk for a week? a month? a year? It’s a look that will grow tired after a while.

    The blue and white G3’s and the G4’s were a bit over the top — I’ve never been too thrilled with their looks. But the G5’s simple and elegant design is something that doesn’t take getting used to, and will stand the test of time. Mine should be on my desk in a week or so. (insert huge grin here)

  2. That price-tag isn’t about the looks. Okay, maybe it’s a little about looks. But if you dig into alienware a little more closely, you’ll find that it’s really about having hand built computers custom built with top of the line components and hand-tweaked drivers and software.

    Alienware markets to hardcore gamers. Gamers like a nice looking box, but more than that, they like the fastest thing available to man. How many other manufacturers do you know that are using the kind of components found in these things, adding water cooling systems, and then overclocking and testing each machine to make sure it meets various performance and stability requirements?

    This is basically the machine a hard-core (wealthy) gamer would build himself, but without all the headaches that go with doing it yourself. It’s not for everyone, to be sure, but you can’t accurately accuse them of charging high prices simply for the funky cases. After all, is your G5 overclocked and watercooled to make sure you can squeeze every last clock-cycle out of your hardware?

  3. I’ve never viewed a computer as anything other than a means to an end. Mac users are a curious bunch; many of them view their computer case as an end, a piece of art or an object with esthetic value. Soon Apple will be putting their designs in wind tunnels and such. Many home built PC enthusiasts are the same way (with different esthetics).

    For me they’re all, Mac included, small variations of ugly metal or plastic boxes best kept under the desk so as not to clutter my workspace. Hopefully, what the computer actually does will serve my creative interests.

  4. you can get a computer with the same hardware as an alienware system for about 1000 dollars less if you shop around

  5. It is not very difficult to build a computer. Even a computer with parts like an Alienware. It’s really just a lot of hype. You could build a computer with the exact same parts and a custom case that looks a lot better for thousands less than the Area-51.

  6. Agreed with the two above. Take for example, this british company site that builds custom systems: – There’s no controversy about the power one is able to impliment into their desired machine with this sort of hardware fitted…and into some particular modish cases for the those that fancy the looks. Furthermore, there’s no contention in the amount cash you’ll keep in your wallet by purchasing through other businesses like this.

    Alienware, is somewhat loosely analogous with Nike and Moschino etc; it’s the kind of gear that’s suitable for people that are more… logo orientated. The money you could save through buying elsewhere, could go towards some extra juicy hardware within the shell.

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