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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: 2) by takyon on Monday May 18 2020, @12:22AM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday May 18 2020, @12:22AM (#995528) Journal []

    MediaTek Dimensity 1000 smartphone SoCs will have it. It looks like Intel's Rocket Lake [] will have it, but maybe not Tiger Lake []. Not sure about AMD and Nvidia's GPUs later this year.

    I think AV2 adoption will be a little faster since it will build on AV1. It's necessary because MPEG is not standing still. H.265 is fairly widespread and H.266 [] will definitely leapfrog AV1.

    There is a patent troll threat against AV1, so that might slow adoption.

    USB is a mess, but USB Type-C is better than what came before it.

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
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