One wonders why the Area-51 isn't coming with a Firepro series, or better yet waiting for the Vega powered Firepro series card. 32 cores for a home user is way too overkill, and 3 RX 580s aren't going to be able to take advantage of the professional level programs that Threadripper is aimed at. I think it should be called "Alienware e-Peen" since it's going to be slapped down in benchmarks by a cheaper Vega based or Titan XP based machine with a 4 or 8 core processor, as this machine is easily in the $2000 territory, the 1TB NVMe drive runs near $450 these days from Samsung.
Dell also revealed that the Alienware Area-51 would soon support AMD Threadripper processors, making it possible to get 16 cores and 32 processing threads out of an Area-51 PC for the first time.
The Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition features your choice of an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 12-core/24-thread or 16-core/32-thread CPU, with up to 64GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory. Graphics options include both Nvidia and AMD cards, with the green team starting at a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and going all the way up to dual GTX 1080 Tis in SLI. AMD Radeon choices start at an RX 570 and go up to triple RX 580 graphics in Crossfire.
For storage, Dell is offering up to a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD and up to a 2TB HDD. The new Alienware Area-51 comes with an 850W or 1500W power supply, and dual gigabit Ethernet comes standard in the form of a Killer E2500 NIC. Wireless-AC connectivity is optional.
The Area-51 offers plenty of USB connectivity, with a USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-C port, a USB 3.1 (Gen2) Type-A port, and eight USB 3.1 (Gen1) Type-A ports. There’s also two USB 2.0 ports, in addition to an SPDIF output and a media card reader.
More details: Threadripper is a Dell OEM exclusive, will have Vega option
First, Area 51 will be an OEM exclusive for AMD's ThreadRipper for 2017. You’ll be able to build your own of course, or buy made-to-order PCs from builders or systems integrators, but among the primary system manufacturers--Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, etc.--Alienware will stand alone for this year. If it’s a feather in the cap of Dell to have this exclusively, it’s certainly a good sign for AMD, getting the whole-hearted support of a prominent OEM so early in the life of its new CPU.
Area 51 is ultimately configurable. We saw a version with three AMD Radeon 580 GPUs, and we saw a version with AMD’s yet-to-be-released Vega GPU inside. A Dell representative opened the Area 51 so we could see, but we couldn’t touch, and we couldn’t take pictures. An AMD representative was on hand to condone the viewing.
We also pressed Alienware about cooling, given these new high-end desktop processors. The chassis hasn’t changed (it’s still that same trapezoid-ish shape, with no alterations for air intake or exhaust), but the system’s liquid cooling required for ThreadRipper and Skylake-X demanded fans spinning at higher RPM, a bigger radiator, and changes to the hoses. An Alienware representative at E3 couldn’t recite the exact details.