Dell Launches Cheaper Alienware X51 With Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Subject: Systems | April 9, 2013 - 03:37 AM |
Tagged: ubuntu 12.04 lts, ubuntu, linux, dell, alienware x51

Dell has been one of the biggest (major OEM) supporter of the open source Ubuntu Linux operating system, and it seems the Linux love is trickling down to the company's boutique Alienware PC lineup as well. A new version of the Alienware X51, a small form factor gaming PC, is now available with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS pre-installed. Quite possibly the closest thing (so far) to a Steam Box, the Alienware X51 can run the Steam for Linux client along with all of the Linux games available on Valve's digital distribution service. Granted, the Ubuntu version cannot tap into the relatively-massive Windows game library out of the box, but it is also $100 cheaper than the X51 pre-installed with Windows due to Linux being free, and thus costing Dell less.

The Alienware X51 hardware is decent for a small form factor system, though it maxes out at a NVIDIA GTX 660 in the highest-end SKU. For $600, you can get an X51 will a dual-core Intel Core i3-3220 processor clocked at 3.3GHz, a NVIDIA GTX 645 1GB graphics card, 6GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM, and a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive. On the other end fo the part configuration is the highest-end $1049 option, with a quad-core Core i7-3770 CPU clocked at 3.4GHz, a NVIDIA GTX 660 1.5GB GPU, 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory, and a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive.

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The Alienware X51 chassis measures 12.5" x 12.5" x 3.74" and should fit into most entertainment centers (if you can get past the significant-other approval factor, that is). The PC comes equipped with Dell's 1506 802.11g/n Wi-Fi card as well, for situations where Ethernet or Powerline Ethernet is not an option.

It is nice to see Dell continuing to support Linux in some small way. Hopefully as Valve pushes for further Steam for Linux adoption, we will see more Linux-compatible games and OEMs will take notice and support the open source OS more openly in consumer lineups (a geek can dream...)!

You can find more information on the Alienware X51 at

Does the inclusion of Ubuntu sway you towards the Alienware X51 (at least it's cheaper than the PISTON...), or will you be building your own custom Steam Box?

Source: Dell

April 9, 2013 | 04:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Dell & now Alienware listen to their customers

Thats why they get our business & patronage.

Glad the Ubuntu version is $100 less than the most basic Windows-based model.

As more games are ported this will only get better with time.

April 9, 2013 | 10:46 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I just wish Dell had some of their Mobile Laptop/workstations for sell in a brick and mortar stores in the Boston area, I need a professional graphics card with certified drivers! Altough the low end X51 Ubuntu would probably be goood for High polygon 3d mesh Modeling, but rendering is always a problem on the non pro-graphics uncertified graphics drivers that come with gaming GPUs!
Will pcper review this PC, and if so, could you test it with a Blender 3d High polygon count test Model in blender 3d edit mode, as well as the other gaming benchmarks!
It would be great to have a gaming rig and a graphics rig in the same box, and Linux has better disk cashing and memory management than windows!

April 9, 2013 | 01:37 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yikes... Dell might be a *bit* early with this. I hope the don't abandon this if sales are lackluster... try again when Valve starts releasing linux-based games.

April 9, 2013 | 05:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Tried to call Dell and ask them about this computer, sales people were too intrested in getting my personal info, rather than answering my questions! I want to see pcper get a low end version and high end version of Ubuntu alienware X51 system and see how they benchmark with Linux! I would like to some Blender 3d tests run on this system, as Blender is said to run faster on Linux! I am very intrested in the low end alienware X51 for High polygon 3d modeling and also gaming! Good luck gitting technical questions answered from Dell sales slack jaws! If it can work for what I need it for, and the Linux graphics driver support is there, I can use this computer, at least for high polygon 3d modeling now, and gaming as more support comes online for Linux based gaming!

April 9, 2013 | 05:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I build my own but its nice to see companies offering up the Linux option. It looks like a good system even if someone decided to load a pre owned copy of windows. Much better than having to pay for it twice.

April 10, 2013 | 10:11 PM - Posted by mrGREEK360

I have a Alienware X51 with a GTX 660 OEM Overclocked and it kicks ass especially since it was FREE :) Anyways if anyone is interested in how it performs check my youtube channel out @ LIQUIDG I hope PCPer gets one in with ubuntu in too test it out because it kicks ass for its size. I personally use it as a STEAM BOX on my 60 " 3DTV and it works great in my Bedroom. If you want PC Gaming on your BIG screen HDTV with your nice home theater surround sound then this is a nor brainer IMO. The GTX 660 OEM is a great gpu even tho its only 1.5 gb

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