When you pack Intel's blazing new Core 2 Extreme processor and a pair of top-of-the-line nVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX graphics cards into a single gaming desktop, you can pretty much expect it to post impressive benchmark numbers. It's no surprise, then, that Alienware's newly-speced Area-51 7500
showed the videogame addicts over at IGN some of the best performance they've ever seen, and ran surprisingly quietly while doing so -- thanks in no small part to the liquid-cooling system. Also noteworthy was the new P2 chassis Alienware employed for this model, which improves on older cases both aesthetically -- it sports a glossier paint job and more configurable lights to play with -- as well as functionally, with the shorter-but-deeper design intended to support extra-long graphics cards. Besides the relative lack of configurability -- there's only one open PCI slot, so you can add a physics processor or dedicated sound card, but not both -- the only real knock against this machine is it's price; at just under $5,000, you're paying a lot for the snazzy case and Alienware support network. Still, busy gamers don't always have time to build their own rigs (sometimes they don't even have time to go to the bathroom
), so this version of the Area-51 sounds like a good way to get "best-of-the-best" performance without spending hours hunched over your work bench; instead, you'll be spending those hours working overtime at your day job to afford it.