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posted by martyb on Sunday May 17 2020, @06:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the trying-to-take-it-with-you dept.

Note: Dell has two models of the Alienware Area-51m. The Alienware Area-51m R1 was released in January of 2019. It is now announcing the Alienware Area-51m R2. Though both are upgradable, the upgrades are not interchangeable between these two releases.

Alienware's Upgradeable Laptop Still Holds Tons of Promise, But Not at That Price:

Dell really wants you to choose its Alienware Area-51m over a high-end desktop. The company has called it a "desktop replacement" since the model's inception, and not without reason: in addition to upgrading your memory and storage, you have the option to upgrade your CPU and GPU too. You can still do that with the upcoming Alienware Area-51m R2, which will be available June 9, 2020, but a starting price of over $3,000 is not a cost-effective desktop replacement. You also can't upgrade the soon-to-be previous model with a 10th-gen Intel processor or a RTX Super graphics card, but there's a good reason why. (I'll get into that in a bit.)

The Alienware Area-51m R2 comes with up to an Intel Core i9-10900K, Nvidia RTX 2080 Super, 64GB DDR4-2933 RAM, multiple single, double, and RAID storage options up to 4TB, and a 4K 60Hz display. I assume that $3,050 starting price includes the lowest-performing components available to configure the Area-51m R2, though. Otherwise, that $3,050 price tag would be a steal for all the above features and components. Most likely, you'll get the following for that price: Intel Core i7-10700, Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti, 8GB DDR4 2933MHz RAM, 256GB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD, and a 17.3-inch FHD 1080 144Hz 300 nit display.

The R1 model is still available and at a lower price, but...

But what you don't get with the Area-51m R1 is the ability to upgrade the processor and graphics card to an Intel 10th-gen and RTX 2070 Super or RTX 2080 Super. That's because of some architectural design changes. Intel has a new motherboard chipset, the Z490, for its 10th-gen desktop processors on a new LGA 1200 layout. The previous motherboard chipset, Z390, has a LGA 1151 layout. This means that a 10th-gen Intel CPU will not physically fit into the last-gen socket on the motherboard; the new chips have 1,200 pins where the older ones have 1,151 pins.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by toddestan on Sunday May 17 2020, @03:08PM

    by toddestan (4982) on Sunday May 17 2020, @03:08PM (#995374)

    The pin counts keep going up as more and more things keep getting integrated into the CPU's, like memory controllers, GPU's, PCIe support, etc. Also, as (peak) power consumption goes up, so does the pin count as many pins are just for supplying current.

    Some of the recent AMD sockets have pins counts of over 4000.

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