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My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (Late 2014): Compatibilities, Damages, and Other Issues

// Last update on October 5, 2015 | The unit is still in process for a resolution

 

// Last update on January 9, 2015 | The replacement units are damaged again (Pictures on page 6):  

http://en.community.dell.com/owners-club/alienware/f/3746/t/19608440?pi21932=6

 

// Last update on November 29, 2014 | Section on the drives and RAID

 

On November 4, 2014 I ordered my New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) with:

Intel Core i7-5960X (8 cores)

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit English

32GB Quad Channel DDR4 at 2133MHz

128GB SSD SATA 6Gb/s Main + 2TB HDD 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s Storage

Dual NVidia GeForce GTX Titan Z with 24GB Total (2x 12GB)

4 Year Alienware Enhanced Support

Total Price: $7,482.56 CAD

Estimated Delivery Date was for December 4, 2014.

 

On Tuesday November 25, 2014, I received my delivery with Purolator. As you can see in the two pictures below, I was happy until I saw the box was damaged.

The New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) box had only 2 of 4 clips that hold the top-box to the base-box. Purolator delivered my Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) box upside down.

2474.001.jpg

7455.002.jpg

Here is a sample of my conversation with the delivery guy:

Me: It would be nice to see the people to handle it with gently with care.

The Purolator Delivery Guy: Why would I? It’s just a big heavy box?!!

Me: Because you’re holding a super expensive computer the box is damaged. Do you still have the two missing clips that hold the box in place?

The Purolator Delivery Guy: No I don’t have them. I received your box like that when I loaded my truck this morning.

Me: Alright... I’m hoping everything is fine when I’ll open the box. Would it be possible to help me bring this big box upstairs? It’s a bit difficult to handle alone.

The Purolator Delivery Guy: Sure, I can.

Once we got on my apartment floor, I signed on the terminal for the reception of my delivery. Before he left, I told him: I’m worried my computer is damaged.

The Purolator Delivery Guy: It’s normal! The damages happen all the time for a delivery and if something happens to your computer please contact Dell. Plus there are no symbols, signs or icons to show that’s fragile or which side is up. How am I supposed to handle the box if there’s no indication. Normally this kind of box should not be delivered by one guy, but two. Also, the bottom was hanging out so I had to handle it upside down. The clips were not strong enough to hold the bottom part of the box. They should add more tape around it.

Me: Well, I guess they didn’t think that it was necessary.

  

I noticed Dell changed their packaging this year. They cheaped out a bit with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) box compared to the old Alienware Aurora R4 (2013) box. Here’s a video showing the unboxing of the Alienware Aurora R4 (2013) for comparison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3irfNNI4U5Q

In order to show how the quality of the box has changed, I compared the previous year to this year.

From this YouTube video, you can definitely see the old Alienware Aurora R4 (2013) was really well packaged.

4010.AW A R4 000.jpg

You’ll notice there’s a symbol with an arrow on the box below the kid’s left hand showing the right side up. Also, at the same level on the box, there are other instruction symbols which are not on the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) packaging.

As you can see in the two pictures below, the big box contains two other boxes, each with padding on the corners.

3362.AW A R4 001.jpg

5305.AW A R4 002.jpg


One of those two boxes is accessories box, with foam compartments for the manuals instructions, discs, mouse, keyboard, power cord, mouse pad etc.

4747.AW A R4 003.jpg

The second box is the computer box that has 4 clips at the bottom.

7462.AW A R4 005.jpg

You have to remove the clips before pulling the upper part of the box.

3252.AW A R4 006.jpg

Inside that box you will find 4 foam corners padding the computer casing and with the computer case protected by a cover sheet, preventing scratches and rubbing the computer case against the foam.

3252.AW A R4 007.jpg

2604.AW A R4 008.jpg

As you can see, the Alienware Aurora R4 (2013) was really well packaged for transportation.

5327.AW A R4 009.jpg

  

For the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) Dell has omitted the necessary layers of protection and to secure the unit in place so it won’t have any accidents.

I detached the two remaining clips in order to pull up the upper part box to reveal the contents inside the box.

3660.003.jpg

As you can see the presentation of the Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) box is unpleasant to see and is not grandiose like the previous one I showed above. At the top you‘ll notice the accessories box, however it is not padded like the prior model.

3005.004.jpg

On the top front and back of the computer there are two cardboard triangles, meant to stabilize the computer. However the triangles were squished and essentially useless.

Then the computer casing has a foam hat to cover the top of the computer. But the computer casing was not place correctly in the foam place holder base.

8551.005.jpg

The computer was actually standing on one side corner of the hexagon shape. The state of the two triangles cardboard that’s squished show that they were not strong enough to hold the computer casing in place when the delivery guy flipped the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) box upside down during the transport. Another important mistake Dell made in the packaging that wasn't present in the previous year, is not having the computer casing covered with a cover sheet or a thin plastic film to prevent rubbing of the foam against the computer casing during transportation.

Due to the lack of protection on the casing, the casing was damaged. Below are pictures of the damage on the computer casing.

Scratches on the right door.

8551.006.jpg

Scratches on the left door.

3264.007.jpg

Scratches on the left door and dents on the black plastic frame and dust.

4331.008.jpg

Other dents on the black plastic frame.

8055.009.jpg

There’s a bend on the left metal frame edge where the left bottom door sits on before the door can be snapped on the casing.

0121.010.jpg

On the picture below, the left door has a gap because the left metal frame edge is bent inside the computer casing.

8463.011.jpg

The gap also prevents the left door LED light from lighting up because the contact doesn’t touch with the Alien FX connector. Also there's no stickers for Express Service Code and the Product Key for the Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64bit English.

I immediately called Dell.ca to report the issue. For the three hours, I was transferred back and forth between Canada USA where I had to explain my problem to 5-to-6 customer service agents before someone helped me submit a request an exchange.

   

After I finished the call with Dell Customer Service, I decided to look inside the accessories box:

2287.012.jpg

The box contained manuals instruction, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Recovery Disc, Alienware Disc, Power Cord, mouse and keyboard. The keyboard box was upside down. However there was no mouse pad, no DVI-to-VGA adapter, and no extra modular cable 6 pins to 8 pins to add a third GPU card.

4353.013.jpg

To be sure I wasn’t missing something, I looked inside the computer casing and effectively there’s is no extra modular preconfigured to add a third GPU card.

0143.014.jpg

Dell have completely removed the extra modular cables that were in position R3 and R4 of the power supply.

3757.015.jpg

However the cables should be there because I remember Eddy Goyanes (Alienware Marketing) mentioned the computer will be ship with the extra modular cable at 4:06/5:28

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xPG3AK9CE0

Joe Olmsted (Alienware Director of Product Planning) also talked about it here at 10:43/13:10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-urlcdzvgA

 

  

On a side note, for those who want to know the specification of the standard ATX Power Supply 1500W, see the picture below or http://www.plugloadsolutions.com/psu_reports/DELL,INC_D1500EF-00_1500W_ECOS%203950_Report.pdf .

3757.016.jpg

Further, the choice for default drives that comes with the unit could be better. The main drive is a Samsung SSD PM851 | MZ7TE128HMGR. The specifications below will give you an idea of the performance you will get.

6136.017.jpg

4478.017 SSD.PNG

http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/product/flash-ssd/detail?productId=7992&iaId=83...

The storage drive is a Toshiba HDD | DAT01ACA200, which is average and manufactured on OCT-2014. The date is quite recent like you can see on the picture below.

8203.018.jpg

The HHD specifications and performance are like the other drives in the same category of 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB cache.

0268.018 HDD.PNG

http://storage.toshiba.com/storagesolutions/client/dt01aca-series

I’m curious to know what kind of drives Dell will put in the system when you upgrade for the option of 256GB SSD 6Gb/s Main + 4TB 6kRPM SATA 6Gb/s Storage or 512GB SSD 6Gb/s Main + 4TB 6kRPM SATA 6Gb/s Storage. One thing for sure these upgrade come with a storage drive that run slower at 6kRPM compared to Toshiba HHD 2TB 7200RPM.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will not be able to RAID your SSDs. Dell/Alienware don’t officially support the RAID for SSDs in the bays/SATA ports 4, 5, and 6. They made a really bad decision and design choice for the motherboard firmware.  Most of the hard-core enthusiasm gamers will be very angry and furious when they will try to install their SSDs in RAID 0, 1, 5 & 10.

4073.018 SSD.jpg

In my case, I can’t even RAIDed all my Intel SSDs 730 Series 480GB the way I want.

NB to Dell or Alienware: Please fix your motherboard firmware and please unlock all the SATA ports for the RAID mode and add the support for the NVMe. Your X99 high-end PC desktop should have all those options available.

 

To my surprise, my first initial boot up was already done by someone. It has a username of “ooba1”.

7181.019.png

I don’t know what happen there? Why is there no initial setup when you boot the first time the computer?

Another surprise, the Intel i7-5960X is not factory overclocked at 4.0GHz like they stated on www.alienware.ca.

5824.018.PNG

It was set at 3.0GHz which is the default speed set by Intel.

3276.019.PNG

  

To conclude, I’m a bit disappointed to see my New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) with all these damages with the delivery, the lack of good packaging, missing the extra modular cables, the issue with the RAID Mode, the initial booting was already done by another user and the Intel CPU i7-5960X was not factory overclocked at 4.0GHz. It feels like Dell was not ready to release and they were rushing to push this product out quickly.

8233.Winter2014.jpg

There is a snowstorm in Montreal Canada; winter is here. I hope the next delivery will be better, but I doubt they had the time to improve the packaging so that it is more adapted to the weather conditions and for transport like the older model.

147 Replies
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RE: New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) and its Inadequate Packaging

Oh my God, I would  be so angry if I saw that presentation and I would immediately let the public know.

Dell has been "cheaping out" over the past couple years. Even the M18 $6000 laptop no longer comes with a leather covered manual and a few other goodies like the cloth cover.

If mine comes like that I will get a refund so <profanity> fast and take my money elsewhere.

___________________________________________________________________

By the way: You are not supposed to get the extra cables for another card that you don't have. In the release video they stated it ships with only what it needs. In your case you essentially have 4 GPUs (2 x TITAN Z) so why would you need em?

Correction: Apparently they are saying that they should ship with the spare GPU cables. I would call tech support in this case to clarify and see if they can ship them out.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware 52 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hello Zero989,

I called Alienware Tech Support Level 2 and they wanted to sell me the extra modular cables. I told them that doesn’t make any sense, it’s something that should be included with the computer. They told me to call the parts department to order what I need.

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RE: Damaged New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) due to Inadequate Packaging

Donovan,


ARGHHH thats awful..... best of Luck. What did AW do - agree to replace entire computer.

But thats what happens when Alienware sells out to Dell's ineptitude and builds all Alienware Computers in Juarez Mexico. Quality suffers.

I like all my Alienware Computers- but I agree the Quality and Standard is slipping BAD.

America and Canada expect quality from Custom Build products.

I just ordered the following: Delivery 12/5/2014

************************

My Order:

Alienware Area 51-R2

8 Core Processing

Microsoft Windows 7  64bit

Titan Z Dual Graphic Card

Hard Drive 512 GB

Memory 32GB

TOTAL PRICE: $7,252.00


***********************

Also ordered the Alienware X51 and it was delivered.

The package was suspect-- and I ordered the Computer with Microsoft Software- Alienware failed to send the Microsoft software or load it on the PC. So I got to spend 5 hours on phone solving the issue.

Overall- Hoping that this is just a Glitch for Alienware- or this once Great and Unique company will become the new <deleted> company tomorrow.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware 52 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hello brians4902,

Dell agreed to replace the entire computer with a brand new one, but I doubt the replacement will be in good condition unless they add the same level of protection as the old Alienware Aurora R4 (2013) packaging. Otherwise this kind of incident will provoke a massive return and exchange by many customers.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Donovan


Well my opinion you bought a Brand New Machine - clean and free of scratches and dents and defects.

That is exactly what you should receive.

Please keep us posted on your replacement experience.

Also did you notice the recent Post about SLI bridge? It gives you the party number- but I agree it should come with the computer.

Donovan I would like to add you as contact/ friend- I have several questions - that I do not want to post on this site- as I do not want to offend anyone. Can I add you and email you?

Thank you

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hello brians4902,

No, I haven't seen the recent Post about the SLI bridge. Maybe you can share the link and the part number with Hockeytown_N and with us aswell.

I accepted your friend request and please send me a private message with your questions.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

I believe that was my post regarding the SLI bridge.
I did receive a PM from Dell, I am sure hoping they can come through.

Right now the only option to upgrade is dual graphics cards with a 60mm bridge.
I bought this machine with plans for triple SLI (yea, its overkill but its advertised as supporting it).

Crossing fingers the part (GYN70) can be made serviceable and orderable through Dell.

Switching thoughts, 
Happy to see others start to chime in on this machine.
Little disappointed the internal theater lighting isnt better. The single LED just doesnt do well in the large interior space.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

HockeyTown and Donovan,


Yes I was referring to HockeyTowns post:

"Alienware Area 51-R2, Nvidia Triple SLI Bridge"

Donovan I will send you message- tomorrow..

Yes we need to post our disappointment-

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hey Guys,

I'm also interested in purchasing a new Alienware Area-51 R2 and transferring the two GTX 970's I purchased to it. From what's been posted it doesn't sound like we can use any of Nvidia's SLI bridges at the moment (at least the one's purchased through the nvidia store). Even for two cards correct?

It's not posted on nvidia's website about the size of the bridges but I assume the 2-way spaced is the same length as the 3-way bridge meaning that there's 40mm spacing between each connector on all of them. If anyone is running two cards in this system you would have to find 60mm spacing and I think EVGA sells one but its not as pretty 😞


Thank you for keeping us in the loop and I hope we can order the correct sli bridges soon through Dell.


kiax0001

Area-51 1kw PSU

Bios A09

CC 2.8.09.0

Windows 10

Nvidia GTX 970 SLI

Realtek HD onboard Audio

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

2Way SLI - you should be fine. There are plenty of 60mm SLI Bridges out there.
EVGA makes a nice looking one. P/N 100-2W-0021-LR.
Its when you go to 3-way SLI your going to struggle.

None of the Nvidia SLI bridges will work with this PC because they are designed with zero spacing between dual slot cards. This machine has a single slot between dual cards.

Proof that there are still people at Dell who do care about customers, I was overnighted a 3-way bridge at no cost.
Down the road, they should at the very least make that 3way bridge serviceable through spare parts so we can purchase.
The one sent to me was made by Nvidia and is a 2x60mm 3 way bridge. This is not the 3 way Nvidia bridge you buy from online stores.


Hope this helps.

 

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RE: Damaged New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014) due to Inadequate Packaging

thanks for sharing your experience, I think your case highlights a special need for Alienware/Dell to reconsider their shipping arrangements for these systems.

As we know,  Dell charges a much higher premium for these systems so it is only reasonable they don't cut corners with using cheap contracts with  low quality shipping companies or warranty service providers (we hear so many countless cases of technicans making the problems even worse).

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware 52 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hello Jonas200,

If you’re interested, I just added a section on drives and RAID issues in my post.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware 52 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Donovan,

My Area 51 R2 arrived in the exact same condition this but with no noticeable damage.
The box was crushed, security tap broken and 2 of the 4 plastic box assy clips were missing.

I helped the delivery guy lift it out of the van and I thought it was going to drop through.
Zero protective wrapping or covers on the PC itself. Just some foam and boxes wedged in there.

I have spent 3 hours today trying to get Dell / Alienware to give a part number and sell a triple SLI bridge.

Normally I would just go buy an EVGA or Nvidia bridge but leave it to Dell to use a wonky motherboard with non-standard PCI-Express spacing. Most are 40mm / 80mm. Dell is using a triple PCI-Express at 60mm and good luck finding a bridge that will work.

Tech support refuses to give a part number nor will they sell it through spare parts.

I am at a point i think i will return the machine.

Its sickening to see such an awesome machine ruined with horrible packing and even worse customer service / support. 

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware 52 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hello Hockeytown_N

I understand your pain. I still have to contact Dell again next week since they are closed for the weekend.

Dell Tech support won’t give you the part number unless you need a replacement part. That means you’ll have to buy the 3 NVidia video cards with your computer from Dell in order to get the Dell’s original NVidia Triple SLI Bridge. In your case you’ll probably have to cancel your order and place another order with a triple GeForce GTX 980s just to get the Dell’s original NVidia Triple SLI Bridge. If you don’t need the Dell’s original NVidia Triple SLI Bridge, you could search to find a third party flexible ribbon Triple SLI Bridge.

On another note, the current motherboard firmware limits down some features like the RAID. Dell/Alienware don’t officially support the RAID for SSDs in the bays/SATA ports 4, 5, and 6. I found out that Alienware doesn’t plan to unlock all remaining SATA ports for the RAID support via a motherboard firmware upgrade, which is ridiculous. I feel like the only way Dell/Alienware will unlock all the SATA ports for RAID support is if people speak up and ask them to unlock all the features that are hidden in the Intel chipset X99. I hope there will be an update to unlock the remaining SATA ports for RAID support and all the potential of the Intel Chipset X99.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

To further illustrate the design decisions for the R2 Area 51 ..

I ordered my Area 51 R2 with minimal components; I intended to add additional memory (16 GB->32 GB), hard disks (2 x 6 TB) and an SSD (500 GB) for the O/S and applications.  I also ordered the machine with a DVD burner intending to replace the optical drive with a blu-ray burner (which is NOT available as a build option).

Issue 1 .. NOWHERE is there the specification for the optical drive online.  I deduced that the optical drive was a slim slot loading drive from the few pictures available from the service manual. Yes, the sales page does say that the drive is "Slot loading" but the specs should be easily available and are not.

Upon opening the chassis (very easy, by the way) and removing the optical drive, I discover that the optical drive is a brand I've never heard of and the drive is not the "slim" type drive but a drive that is 5 or so mm SHORTER than the "slim drives". That is, the slim burner WILL NOT FIT into the optical drive caddy.

Moreover, the optical had its front bezel removed; the slot and the eject button are integrated with the chassis.

So much for standardization ..

Issue 2 ..

After I added the SSD and additional hard disk volumes, rebooted the machine in order to install single partitions on new drive (and format them), and verifying that the new drives, are, in fact, recognized by the system, I rebooted from the previously created USB recovery media fully expecting to asked on to which volume I wished to install the O/S, drivers and associated applications.  

Respawn rebuilt the O/S onto the 2 TB volume that came with the system and I was not asked by the software where I wished to install the O/S.

Foo ..

Issue 3 ..

The computer can accept up to 32 GB of RAM. I had the system configured with 16 GB of RAM expecting DELL to populate 2 of the 4 memory slots with 8 GB modules.  Upon examining the system, I discover that memory was 4 x 4 GB modules;  so, when I added the 2 8 GB memory modules I had purchased a week before, I had to extract 2 4 GB modules leaving me with 24 GB of RAM, not 32 GB.

Lets see if customer service will exchange 4 x 4 GB memory for 2 x 8 GB ..

 

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Update .. From the packing list from my Area 51 R2, I have deduced that the optical drive is a 9.5 mm ("ultra slim", I think) slot loading drive.  These drives are the ones on a Mac Book Pro, and while they have been seen on Windows laptops, they are few and far between.

Lets hope that Dell updates the documentation/sales pitch for the R2 Area 51.

A blu-ray burner with this form factor is the UJ-267 (Panasonic).

The 9.5 mm drives have the same power/signal connectors as the more numerous 12.7 mm "Slim" drives but do not have a front bezel, thus requiring the chassis to have a hole for the slot and a button that will be used to eject media on command.  That is consistent with the R2 Area 51.  They are also 3.7 mm less tall than the "slim drives".

I also incorrectly stated that the optical drive in the build I received was not a brand name.  That is incorrect . . the drive was an LG drive.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

I received my Area 51 on 12-5-2014.

The Box was completely mangled and had tape all over it holding it together.
I was a little in shock but had prepared myself for it- from previous posts like Donovan and others.
Alienware has to improve the packaging it is terrible.
photo(1).JPG
I do not know who taped the <deleted> out of the box- but the box itself was broken and the clips were completely pushed inward. The box was obviously opened when broken apart at the top and along the side.
photo(2).JPG
This is what the box looked like when opened.
Area 51 did not come with keyboard or mouse- didn't really care as the factory sends junk anyway.
But I would like to receive what I paid for. The Alienware Disks were not in the box at all either.
Damaged Box 4.jpg
Also- I ordered Microsoft Office 2013 and it did not come with that either pre-loaded.
I did receive the Microsoft Key package (I found it at the bottom of the box)
- so I got to spend 2 hours downloading software.
Damaged Box 3.jpg
Here you can see the upper box top that should hold the keyboard was completely broken.
I suppose the box was broken by shipper and the Keyboard was probably broken and removed by the shipper. No way the keyboard could have survived what ever broke that upper box.
Luckily- The Area 51 had no physical damage. I guess I was lucky there.
The Area 51 is working and functioning good- no complaints there.
I would like to point out that I have purchased over the years and still operate the following:
2 Alienware Aurora
1 M17 Laptop
1 ALX51 Desktop New
1 Area 51 Desktop New
I have always been impressed with Alienware and am a Loyal AW user. The packaging in the past has always been great and showed the pride Alienware took in the product.
The only thing I can say about the Area 51 packaging is that Corporate Greed at Dell is at its finest with this dismal packaging. I mean how much does good secure packaging really cost. My Aurora and M17  were packaged so well- you could have dropped them out of an airplane. LOL
I don't know where my disks are or my keyboard or my mouse- I have to call Tech Support- just haven't wanted to spend my weekend frustrated on the phone with Tech Support for 4 hours.
Overall I would rate the Area 51 computer performance a B+
I would rate the packaging and delivery a F-----------
I have been saying for many years now- that Dell has placed its stamp of Ineptitude all over a once Unique and Quality product.
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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

I got mine on Friday, no AW mouse pad, no hat, no decals.  nothing.

Mark
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Area 51 R2

Alienware 17 R3

Alienware - Area 51 R4

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

brian4902,


I'm shocked to see how bad your box was at the reception. I hope you're still happy with your new toy.

On my side, I'm still waiting after my new replacement. I still don't know when they'll be able to deliver..

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Okay now I'm worried. I have two Area 51 R2's coming...

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Zero

Well don't get overly worried.

My box looked atrocious but the computer was in good shape.

Not sure how Area 51 survived the pummeling the box took...

But happy it did- and it also works good-- minus upgrade capabilities.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Mine is coming tomorrow around 10AM. It's currently in Toronto. I'll post pics when I have (it) my 3x980 model.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

seeing the latest pictures was really distressing for me, I don't blame AW or Dell for this as I have experience in the logistics industry and it is like that everywhere, it part of the work culture to roughly handle big boxes.

I just question why people risk ordering quad SLI Titan Z or triple 980

not only are you paying a high price premium on top of market prices, the risk of damage goes up exponentially high knowing the atrocious handling by the shipping companies

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Jonas200


I never really understand your posts????

You always indicate that Dell and ALienware are never at fault for the long delays, and cancelled orders, and that they have customer expectations first and foremost. But then you always state that Alienware is overcharging for components???

***************

In the case of packaging- Alienware approved the package- nowhere on the box is it stated :

1.THIS SIDE UP,,  

2.HANDLE WITH CARE..

3.FRAGILE EQUIPMENT

So I put alot of the blame on Alienware... not the shipper... Do you think Fed Ex or UPS knows what Alienware is? I doubt it. Most people beside gamers- have no Idea what Alienware is.

Also- the package itself is FLIMSY and is not sturdy and barely holds the Computer in place... There is not enough internal foam support for such a heavy piece of equipment- which is why these boxes are being damaged. Granted the carrier should take care of shipment- But Since your logic states that all shippers are less than careful-- ALL THE MORE REASON FOR ALIENWARE TO PROVIDE BETTER PACKAGING.

***********************

One last thing- I think everyone gets your point that AW Owners pay a premium to buy Alienware Gear. You state that in every post- that Alienware users are overpaying for the components,

I would like to point out- I for one dont have the time nor patience to Build my own High End PC- Nor do I have the experience, I will gladly pay more money to have a quality machine with warranty and a company that will support me on an investment of 5,000.00 plus.

So I think you are missing the point in most Alienware Users. In my opinion.

I equate Alienware Users alot like Apple Users.. Loyal followers,,,

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

I would like to point out- I for one dont have the time nor patience to Build my own High End PC- Nor do I have the experience, I will gladly pay more money to have a quality machine with warranty and a company that will support me on an investment of 5,000.00 plus.

 

So I think you are missing the point in most Alienware Users. In my opinion.

I don't think that's the situation for most Alienware customers...the company targets a whole spectrum of price points. I think most customers see some great value in buying a base system and doing radical makeovers and 3rd party upgrades to get the most out of the machine throughout the WHOLE product life cycle, the Alienware forums and multitude of YouTube clips is a testament to this happening on a wide scale.

For minority of gamers, they are a victims of a fallacy that a specc'ed out system at point of purchase is terrific value from price performance perspective, this is especially the current situation with some of the options for the R2 such as early adopter premium for DDR4 RAM and triple GTX 980 or 4-way SLI

With the DDR4 RAM, there is much more incentive to upgrade later next year to much cheaper and lower latency memory than pay a huge premium for last-gen performance. Even Apple customers can appreciate this with the exorbitant prices in the Apple Store.

With the SLI video card options, very often you are paying a lot of real money for the 3rd or 4th GPU for very little improvement or none at all due to lack of driver support and optimisation beyond 2-way SLI. I think I read a post about a customer configured a system with $3000 alone on the dual Geforce Titan Z. Also customers with triple GTX 980 are in a precarious position, as the next-gen manufacturing technology is arriving in a few short months (around Feb 2015), and people who are willing to upgrade their own systems later can likely buy the similar performance in a top end single GPU card for one third of AW's asking price for triple SLI.

I equate Alienware Users alot like Apple Users.. Loyal followers,,,

I can sort of agree with this except many Apple users are hopelessly bound to the OSX platform for some inexplicable reason and have very little option to do after market upgrades beyond the RAM.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

To those receiving your orders, are they arriving earlier than your est deliver dates?

Mine was ordered 11/12/2014

In Production around 11/25/2014

But my est. Deliver date is 1/2/2015

I assumed it was a GTX 980 issue but it seems many of you are getting your tri GTX 980 orders and I'm just going for the one card for now.... what could be the hold up?

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

5960X

Triple 980

16GB DDR4

Blu-Ray

256GB SSD + 4TB HDD 5.9K RPM

Windows 8.1 

Ordered on November 20th (ETA was January 14 2015)

In Production November 26th

Shipped December 5th

ETA (up to date) December 9th

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

5960X

 

Triple 980

 

16GB DDR4

 

Blu-Ray

 

256GB SSD + 4TB HDD 5.9K RPM

 

Windows 8.1 

 

 

Ordered on November 20th (ETA was January 14 2015)

 

In Production November 26th

 

Shipped December 5th

 

ETA (up to date) December 9th

 

Thanks for the info. I just don't know what to make of it. Clearly my order is getting the backseat based on the dates and it's not the GTX 980 availability as I initially believed, Perhaps it's because it's a much less expensive purchase, and Dell is prioritizing based on invoice income. Glad to hear your order arrived in good condition today!

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

SocalPK


This is what I think- its not confirmed by anything.

I ordered the Area 51 - 2 separate times online.

Each time the order got cancelled- for some odd reason...

My delivery dates were like yours 1 to 2 months lead time...

**********************

Then the 3rd time I ordered my Area 51 -  I called and spoke with Alienware Sales Staff.  On November 24 I ordered the Area 51 and was given a Delivery Date of 8 December. The Area 51 actually arrived on 4 December. So that was less than 2 weeks. I ordered every single upgrade Cost 7,525.00.

So my take on this- is that Alienware (Dell) has a much faster delivery schedule for equipment ordered through Direct Sales Rep-  My guess is this is done to support the sales team- as well as the sales support team can push orders to front of line, Which you can not do ordering online. I also suppose that when ordered through Sales Support- there is probably overall- no Illegal configurations of the computer.

*****

Not sure this helped.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Brians4902, can you confirm Dell Part Numbers for the modular cables for the GPU... PCIE1 0TMR06 and PCIE3 0JPV3Y... PCIE2 ?... Nvidia Tri-SLi Bridge is GYN70... Trying to get Dell Support to supply parts without any luck. Thanks.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

I always order through a rep in Toronto. No way I'm talking to someone from India.

The problem is the discounts online do not always work ordering through the business side so expect to pay a little higher.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

I always order through a rep in Toronto.

Zero989,

I added you as friend because I have a question that I like to send you in private message.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

The Dell P/N for the 3way SLI bridge is correct - GYN70. Dell sent me one at no cost (overnight too)!

In my experience, you will also need the i7 5930k CPU with 40PCIx lanes in order for 3 way SLI to be enabled.

I ordered the 5820k and in 3way SLI - only 2 of the cards will link up. 5820k CPU only has 28lanes available.
I removed / disabled as many devices as i could - no luck. I know the M.2 card can use 4 lanes by itself so I thought that was the issue - no luck.

So I did some research online and only a handful of motherboard manufacturers (through bios) will allow 3way SLI with the 5820k CPU (8 lanes x 3).
Most will require the 5930k cpu for 3 way SLI.

I am sure as the new tech/hardware matures, so will the bios.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hockey, to get around the lane issue with the 5820K, just buy a motherboard with 2 PLX chips and you'll get 16x 16x 16x 16x Quad SLI with the 5820K. The ASUS X99 WS-E has it and so does a few of the ASRock boards.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Yea, I am or rather was tempted to just dump the MicroStar motherboard of Dell's.

I was a little bit worried about losing the lights/fan control through ACC.
In the past I have been successful with replacing the Aurora and Area 51 R1 motherboards and still getting everything to work.

In the end, I cant overcome the fact that I just spent $1800 on a brand new machine and now swapping motherboards. I already upgraded the Ram and moved my old video cards over. 

I just picked up a brand new Core i7 5930k cpu for $450 on ebay. Not sure what that guy was thinking. He had 4 brand new in box and they all sold within 5 minutes lol. My wife is gonna be pissed....!
I am hoping to get the 3way SLI functional with this CPU. We will see...

Anyways, for those interested, the stock Dell motherboard will take faster RAM.
Here is my machine running a Crucial 16GB DDR4 - 2400Mhz kit (photo below).
I did have a mini-heart attack though.  Installed, boot up - no BIOS or POST.
Shut it back down, repowered and then i get the error "memory changed".

Bios reports correct speed/latency..etc. Crucial P/N BLS4K4G4D240FSA.

IMG_2038.JPG

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hi Hockeytown,

i notice that u upgraded ur RAM to DDR4 2400Mhz., so this board does support 2400Mhz ? or maybe more ? as alienware support told me the max can go is 2133Mhz.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hello,
Yes, im running at 2400mhz and I am pretty sure it will support higher.
I found out through crucial's online memory configuration tool. It was a gamble, but i ordered and it worked.

The only issue experienced is upon installation, the first boot up produced a blank screen.
 I powered down, and then powered up again and got the memory changed F1 to continue, F2 to enter setup. All was good after that.

This is a MicroStar (MSI to PC builders) motherboard. That being said I couldnt find any consumer based X99 boards that match up to what the Area 51 R2 is using. I am guessing it will probably support higher but it is a gamble.

Dell will only certify baseline speeds (what they test to).

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (Late 2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Hi, Hockettwon_N;

just to verify; you replace the ram and Processor? or just the ram along?

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Both my Area 51's came. No damage on either of the boxes.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Both my Area 51's came. No damage on either of the boxes.

That's encouraging.
But was the box packing was the same as displayed in this thread's pics?
- 4 black plastic retainers holding the bottom of the box in
- Only card-board (no foam) surrounding the upper triad (holding it in place and protecting it when tipped).


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

There is foam on the top, the screenshots in the first post has the Area 51 at the WRONG ANGLE. Whoever packed his PC is an idiot.

On both my Area 51 R2 boxes, there are the 4 plastic retainer clips. 8 total. 0 missing. Lucky me I guess :s.

123.jpg

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

1. There is foam on the top,

 

2. the screenshots in the first post has the Area 51 at the WRONG ANGLE. Whoever packed his PC is an idiot.

 

3. On both my Area 51 R2 boxes, there are the 4 plastic retainer clips. 8 total. 0 missing. Lucky me I guess :s.

Thanks for taking the time to post this pic.

1. Good. But since it doesn't expand the whole width of the box top, do you feel that the card-board corners can support the weight of the tower-top if tipped on it's side or upside-down?

2. I think maybe the box fell apart (likely at the bottom) and the shipper tried to re-box with little care to contents. Just went down-hill from there.

3. Good. Yes, that is key to keeping the bottom in and machine "boxed-up". I pretty sure that equipment boxed like this is not meant to be carried from the sides (only held under the bottom). They try to make it "all easy" to just lift the top off ... but I think a conventional box (with a real bottom) would be better in this case.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

 
Zero989

1. There is foam on the top,

 

2. the screenshots in the first post has the Area 51 at the WRONG ANGLE. Whoever packed his PC is an idiot.

 

3. On both my Area 51 R2 boxes, there are the 4 plastic retainer clips. 8 total. 0 missing. Lucky me I guess :s.

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to post this pic.

 

1. Good. But since it doesn't expand the whole width of the box top, do you feel that the card-board corners can support the weight of the tower-top if tipped on it's side or upside-down?

 

2. I think maybe the box fell apart (likely at the bottom) and the shipper tried to re-box with little care to contents. Just went down-hill from there.

 

3. Good. Yes, that is key to keeping the bottom in and machine "boxed-up". I pretty sure that equipment boxed like this is not meant to be carried from the sides (only held under the bottom). They try to make it "all easy" to just lift the top off ... but I think a conventional box (with a real bottom) would be better in this case.

 

1. Not if it's pushed over hard or dropped on a corner.

3. I don't understand their reasoning for having the box made that way to be held with plastic clips that fall out. It weighs 60+ lbs..

Hi Hockeytown,

 

 

i notice that u upgraded ur RAM to DDR4 2400Mhz., so this board does support 2400Mhz ? or maybe more ? as alienware support told me the max can go is 2133Mhz.

 

I'm using 16GB of 2400Mhz right now. Really gave a nice boost to performance.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

1. Not if it's pushed over hard or dropped on a corner.

 

3. I don't understand their reasoning for having the box made that way to be held with plastic clips that fall out. It weighs 60+ lbs..

1. I didn't think so. [:(]

3. I don't agree with it either ... but it's so that you don't have to lift it out of the box
or
flip it over upside down, carefully remove the box, and then turn machine right-side-up

... like a 60 lbs box isn't going to get flipped-over, pushed over, and/or dropped on it's corner by normal shippers. There use to be lower package weight restrictions, and I think they resent the new higher ones.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

SocalPK

 


This is what I think- its not confirmed by anything.

 

I ordered the Area 51 - 2 separate times online.

 

Each time the order got cancelled- for some odd reason...

 

My delivery dates were like yours 1 to 2 months lead time...

 

**********************

 

Then the 3rd time I ordered my Area 51 -  I called and spoke with Alienware Sales Staff.  On November 24 I ordered the Area 51 and was given a Delivery Date of 8 December. The Area 51 actually arrived on 4 December. So that was less than 2 weeks. I ordered every single upgrade Cost 7,525.00.

 

So my take on this- is that Alienware (Dell) has a much faster delivery schedule for equipment ordered through Direct Sales Rep-  My guess is this is done to support the sales team- as well as the sales support team can push orders to front of line, Which you can not do ordering online. I also suppose that when ordered through Sales Support- there is probably overall- no Illegal configurations of the computer.

 

*****

 

Not sure this helped.

 

Ah, more clues! Except I did order thorough a rep. in fact initially I worked with a chat rep who found all sorts of nice things for me including discounts and a free tablet but my CC company didn't allow the purchase and the order was cancelled so I could contact the CC and confirm that it was me making the purchase and got the all clear. Not sure why they cancel the order immediately rather than give it 24hrs to get an approval but whatever. Called them the next day and dealt with someone who was pretty hard to understand and we reworked the order, when the est. delivery date came up I even asked why such a long time and I got the runaround answer of it has to be custom built and tested. I just assumed it was the GTX 980 because the website configurator changed the shipped dates based on their selection. But as people began getting their orders with tri GTX 980's I had to wonder...but now I am perplexed. I am wondering if my order lost the free tablet too but I just hate getting on the phone and having a hard time understanding what is being said! 

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Good Luck Zero.


I hope your gear is in good order.

Keep us posted- Donovan is right - unless we post Alienware won't correct the poor packaging.

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Donovan

I thought you had it replaced like 2 weeks ago?

Didn't Alienware promise to be there that same week?

If not that is really bad service... your AW should be in mint condition.

*****************

When I saw the AW box for my PC- I was in shock and expected the worse.

I was happy to find no damage to the PC- which is why I am not so upset about all the missing parts- and disks etccc...................

**************

Side note all the AW stress you need a Florida Vacation. LOL

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

brians4902

Nope, I still waiting for my Alienware Area 51 R2 (2014). Dell/Alienware told me the new replacement should arrived within 7 to 10 days. Now we are at 14th days and they don't know when they'll be able to send me the new unit because they don't have enough parts for the 32GB Quad Channel DDR4 at 2133MHz and the 2TB HDD 7200 RPM.

At this rate, I might be already on vacation with all the Alienware stress.lol

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RE: My Experience with the New Alienware Area 51 R2 (Late 2014): Damages, Packaging, and Other Issues

Uj-267 work fine but the eject bottom does not work I just installed a new one
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