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The new Area 51 is Alienware's radical take on the gaming desktop

Alienware's newest desktop PC has arrived in the form of the Area 51 — a behemoth hexagonal tower made to better serve gamers looking for top-line performance. It ships with the new Intel Haswell-E 6- and 8-core processors, and appears to be an apt successor to the company's long line of purpose-built gaming boxes.

Starting at $1699 and available to order tomorrow, the Area 51 is equipped to allow all sorts of customization, like the ability to fit five hard drives (SSD or HDD) and three double-wide 300W graphics cards on the inside, or program nine different lighting zones on the outside.

While customization isn't anything new to even the average PC user, the design of the Area 51 is more than just eye-catching — it's supposed to make it easier to get around the tower to make those changes. Each of the three shorter sides has a handle that makes gripping and flipping the tower on end simpler, and the longer, angled sides serve a purpose as well. Not only do they make it easier to access things like the USB ports in front and the various plugs in the back — a welcome change after decades of blind fumbling — they also clear a path for the hot air generated by the 51's internals to be vented upwards at an angle instead of straight back at a wall like usual. And considering the extreme hardware that can be installed inside, that's a very good thing.

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