HELP, need to decide fast! Alienware Area 51 TR vs Custom Built? - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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HELP, need to decide fast! Alienware Area 51 TR vs Custom Built?

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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi there,

I'm going to buy (or build) a new PC.
Here's a little breakdown:

What is it for?
Motion Graphics, 3D for my business work

Main Apps
Cinema 4D + X-Particles + Arnold, Blender 3D, Adobe CC, Affinity Photo & Designer, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve & Fusion, 3Ds Max

What I'm currently Using
Dual Xeon E5-2620 v2 2.10 Ghz
32.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 799MHz
232GB Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB ATA Device (SSD)
2794GB Hitachi HGST HDN724030ALE640 ATA Device (SATA)
Win 7 Pro 64-bit

I did some research and I decided to go with the Threadripper 1950x.
After putting some parts together, my list comes down to a total of $3,400 (with taxes).

Since this PC is for business, I'm reluctant to build it by myself for a few reasons.

  1. Time: I did build my previous box by myself, but it took me time, sweat and some headaches.
  2. Fixing: If something goes wrong, I have to stop my work, deal with the hardware and get things fixed.
  3. Warranty: It's what the part comes with.

Therefore I thought I should go with Dell (as I did it in the past before my custom built PC).
The Alienware, with the same specs, is about $4,100 (without taxes) which includes 4 years Dell support.
I used Dell support in the past and, to me, is a piece of mind. If I can't fix it (and if it's hardware I don't want to deal with it), there's the on-site/at home support. Done!
So, for what concerns the three points above, I'm covered.

Now I know it sounds as if I already have made up my mind. But I trust your opinions a lot (I built the previous box almost 4 years ago thanks to your help!)
So, first off I'd like to ask you guys:

1) Is there any reason, after the above considerations, to still prefer a custom built solution to the Area 51? (other than price, of course)

and

2) Are there Area 51 owners here who, possibly, are using it for graphics applications and can give me an honest feedback on how this PC performs?

Hope to get your help soon, I need to decide quickly!!

Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pser View Post

Hi there,

I'm going to buy (or build) a new PC.
Here's a little breakdown:

What is it for?
Motion Graphics, 3D for my business work

Main Apps
Cinema 4D + X-Particles + Arnold, Blender 3D, Adobe CC, Affinity Photo & Designer, Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve & Fusion, 3Ds Max

What I'm currently Using
Dual Xeon E5-2620 v2 2.10 Ghz
32.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 799MHz
232GB Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB ATA Device (SSD)
2794GB Hitachi HGST HDN724030ALE640 ATA Device (SATA)
Win 7 Pro 64-bit

I did some research and I decided to go with the Threadripper 1950x.
After putting some parts together, my list comes down to a total of $3,400 (with taxes).

Since this PC is for business, I'm reluctant to build it by myself for a few reasons.

  1. Time: I did build my previous box by myself, but it took me time, sweat and some headaches.
  2. Fixing: If something goes wrong, I have to stop my work, deal with the hardware and get things fixed.
  3. Warranty: It's what the part comes with.

Therefore I thought I should go with Dell (as I did it in the past before my custom built PC).
The Alienware, with the same specs, is about $4,100 (without taxes) which includes 4 years Dell support.
I used Dell support in the past and, to me, is a piece of mind. If I can't fix it (and if it's hardware I don't want to deal with it), there's the on-site/at home support. Done!
So, for what concerns the three points above, I'm covered.

Now I know it sounds as if I already have made up my mind. But I trust your opinions a lot (I built the previous box almost 4 years ago thanks to your help!)
So, first off I'd like to ask you guys:

1) Is there any reason, after the above considerations, to still prefer a custom built solution to the Area 51? (other than price, of course)

and

2) Are there Area 51 owners here who, possibly, are using it for graphics applications and can give me an honest feedback on how this PC performs?

Hope to get your help soon, I need to decide quickly!!

Thanks!!!

You can PROBABLY squeeze out a better build with that much money as Alienware is mostly just overpriced. Apart from that, it contains all those parts that you can find in the market in a custom built PC, so no there's no difference wink.gif

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh yes, I'm well aware of that. For instance, with the difference I could already squeeze in a second 1080ti.
But what's holding me back is the fact that this time is for work, bad luck happens and it happened. When I built my current box, after a month the mother board failed. I had to unmount all the pieces, ship the Mobo to Asus (pay for the shipment), wait about a month for a replacement (which didn't look like a new Mobo but rather a refurbished) rebuild the machine and pray that everything would work. If that would happen today I would lose money on the job.
So, yes, I totally agree that the Alienware is over priced, but that price is something I have to take into account as time and piece of mind from a professional standpoint.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pser View Post

Oh yes, I'm well aware of that. For instance, with the difference I could already squeeze in a second 1080ti.
But what's holding me back is the fact that this time is for work, bad luck happens and it happened. When I built my current box, after a month the mother board failed. I had to unmount all the pieces, ship the Mobo to Asus (pay for the shipment), wait about a month for a replacement (which didn't look like a new Mobo but rather a refurbished) rebuild the machine and pray that everything would work. If that would happen today I would lose money on the job.
So, yes, I totally agree that the Alienware is over priced, but that price is something I have to take into account as time and piece of mind from a professional standpoint.

Then Alienware is fine wink.gif

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 11:34 PM
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When you absolutely, desperately, need something to get fixed ASAP, buying a pre-built with a solid warranty is really the only way to go, unless you can afford to have spares of essentials around, or easy route to buying and replacing within days of something bad happening.

That was one thing I struggled to get through to one of my previous bosses; yes, building yourself allows much greater control of the hardware and software used usually at a lower price, but provisions must be made for when something goes awry.


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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter View Post

When you absolutely, desperately, need something to get fixed ASAP, buying a pre-built with a solid warranty is really the only way to go, unless you can afford to have spares of essentials around, or easy route to buying and replacing within days of something bad happening.

That was one thing I struggled to get through to one of my previous bosses; yes, building yourself allows much greater control of the hardware and software used usually at a lower price, but provisions must be made for when something goes awry.

But one thing to keep in mind for custom built PCs is that you are essentially purchasing parts from retailers and each one of them has their own "service after purchase" as we say in french whereas pre-built PCs, you can consult directly to the main vendor who sold you the PC (mostly these are huge companies e.g DELL, HP...). So i'd say you're much safer with Pre-Built PC than a custom built one...

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shad0wboss View Post

But one thing to keep in mind for custom built PCs is that you are essentially purchasing parts from retailers and each one of them has their own "service after purchase" as we say in french whereas pre-built PCs, you can consult directly to the main vendor who sold you the PC (mostly these are huge companies e.g DELL, HP...). So i'd say you're much safer with Pre-Built PC than a custom built one...
That was rather my point...

"buying a pre-built with a solid warranty is the only way to go..."

wink.gifthumb.gif


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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter View Post

That was rather my point...

"buying a pre-built with a solid warranty is the only way to go..."

wink.gifthumb.gif

Haha, misread that! I read it during my commute to work.

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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the insights, all valid points.
Two things to consider though: you still need to take care of the issue by yourself and waste time on the shipping side, which in case of a business is a deal breaker. Also, the warranty on the parts is usually 1 year (maybe 2 at most?). With Dell I'm getting 4 years warranty, on the support
and
the parts.

Now a rather important question. The PSU on the Alienware is 850w and the computer can mount up to 3 video cards, which made me think I should go with a higher PSU. The strange thing is that adding one more card to the configuration doesn't give me any warning about the PSU, so it goes with the 850w. I called Dell and they confirmed the PSU is enough. Isn't that strange? I knew with two video cards I would need at least 1000w.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-21-2017, 01:13 PM
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What are the specs of the Alienware?

I would recommend exactly what you yourself observed. With a prebuilt system you get a warranty and support if anything goes wrong. For business thats paramount.

Alienware however is typically focused on gamers and from the sound of it your not gaming. There are likely workstation options that will cater to your needs better and possibly for less money than a gamer-centric prebuilt. Its hard however to make any recommendations outside what you propose without knowing what specs the Alienware would have.
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