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Think of buying Area-51

Hi, I’m wanting to get a new pc in the next couple of months, and seriously considering the alienware Area-51, been looking at alienware machines for well over 5 years now but never had the money for one until recently. The main issue I’m having is the difference between the US site compared to the UK site.

Firstly, selection, far superior choice of components on the US site right from the first page to last.

Secondly, Water cooling, on the US site it states it has water cooling, doesn't mention this on the UK site, also what parts are water-cooled, if it’s just the processor on a closed loop or are the graphics card(s) and motherboard included?

Thirdly, price difference, I can spec a machine for around £700 cheaper on the US site with better components than the UK site, I want to get a quality machine and expect to pay a premium for it, but I can’t justify paying £700 extra for an inferior product, and I’m not able to buy from the US site because they (understandably) wont ship abroad. Will these prices be sorted out?

Lastly the build quality, Dell have a reputation for cheap P.C's and as such build quality usually suffers, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, they wouldn’t be one of, if not the, largest international computer suppliers if it was a problem, I just want to make sure Alienware have kept their quality in place, as I don’t want to have something break on it instantly and have to deal with dells infamous customer service as I have had more than my fair share of bad experiences with them.

Thanks in advance for any insight anyone can offer.

 

Replies (14)
453

 

 

It would be good if you could order from the USA and pay the extra shipping costs as they would still be far less than UK prices overall.

 

If those were the only costs - maybe.

But you then have to pay HM C&E their cut, and I suspect import duties on a full PC system would be absolutely horrendous

They'd almost certainly negate any savings you might've made on the system itself?

 

And then there's the problem of having support transferred to Dell UK.

It should be as simple as completing the international transfer form.  But who knows if it would actually prove to be as simple/quick as it should be?

Dell haven't exactly been 'shining bright' in the support department of late

 

So I'm in agreement;  a custom build (if self-build isn't an option) is undoubtedly the way to go for a high-end desktop system

From experience, I've found that:   “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!

 

XPS M1730:

Smoke Grey Magnesium Alloy Chassis - with White LED Backlights
17" UltraSharp WUXGA Widescreen TFT (1920 x 1200) with TrueLife
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300 @ 2.50GHz (800 MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)
4GB (2x 2GB) Patriot Signature PC2-5400 @ 667MHz
DUAL 512MB Nvidia 8800M GTX cards in SLi + 128MB Ageia PhysX
640GB SATA II (2x 320GB WD Scorpio Black 7200rpm)
8x Super-Multi DVD±RW
Creative X-Fi Notebook (ExpressCard) + Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II
Integrated 2MP Webcam
Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth 2.0 Module
Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-Card
TV Tuner and Dell Travel Remote Control
4-in-1 Flash Card Reader (SSD/MMC/MS Pro/xD)

230W AC Adapter / 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery

Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)

453

@"Evilping" the competitor was uk.insight.com, and i was just using it as an example of the poor service for a customer who spends a lot of money on a regular basis with them, and their failing to deliver a product that was "garanteed".

and i apreciate what vvaldez is saying, but if i could get the computer for the same price as you (without your 17% off) i'd be happy, even happier if i had good support and the same hardware option, but as a uk customer i can only order 1 hdd so 2x300gb 10krpm hdds isn't even an option for me, the cheapest, auror is £1099 ($1789) whereas for the states its £737 ($1199) and im never going to use a company that will charge me more because of where i live without a justified reason ( adn the vat/tax wouldnt effect it much)

 

thanks everyone but im going to go with"TheRealFireblade"'s advice :)

453

I just wanted to echo a lot of what people have said here.

Yes Alienware is now fully integrated into the Dell process.  There are positives and negatives to this.

I will say as a long time Dell customer, you get what you pay for.  Try to buy the absolute cheapest desktop/laptop, that's what you're getting.  However, I have mostly experience with their more expensive, high-end XPS line and now just purchased my first Alienware.

I have a lot of friends that are current employees, and the 17% EPP discount (can be used on friends/family) can now be used on Alienware, where last Christmas that was not possible.  This is a major positive for me.  Also, since I have a long standing Dell Financial account, I was able to benefit from 18 month no interest promo and basically defer my payments on this system.  Also, I'm admittedly not as familiar with other gamer-grade builder's warranties, but I've had Dell fully replace a system years into it's life.  

However, I have absolutely had my share of negative customer experience issues on the phone, and to a lesser degree live chat.  But honestly, I have also had great interactions with some as well.  On the same token, I've had really bad calls with the cable company, electric, phone, etc.  If you don't like certain rep's accents, then use live chat, or the community forums here.  I didn't know how helpful these were, I would have posted instead of calling long ago.  I've had a couple of minor problems, but these forums have helped me fix them.

Also, people often say these systems are overpriced.  I just wanted to say that is not so true.  I did a lot of research before I purchased mine, which was roughly $2500 after the coupon, but before tax+shipping.  Here is a link to a parts list at NewEgg, I have my wishlist shared, but not sure if you need to login or what:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?Source=MSWD&WishListNumber=8641189

Adding each item up, my total before tax+shipping is $2452.92.  That is for an i7 920, 6GB DDR3, 2x300GB 10K WD VR, and an ATI 5970.

I picked the equivalent components you can choose with dell.com Area-51.  Not bad considering this doesn't account for the vent and lighting you get with the Alienware.  Sure it is with a 17% coupon, but that's what I am working with, so I'd definitely rather have the vent/lighting, Alienware brand, and Dell warranty support and have someone else do the work :)

Also, in regards to the delays, I ordered mine on 12/14/2009 at 10:28pm (-6 GMT) - estimated delivery 1/11/2010.  I received it on 12/28 (it shipped on 12/23, if I had paid for better shipping I would have had it before Christmas).

A friend ordered a very similar system on 10/28/2009 12:36 am (-6 GMT), - estimated delivery 12/03/2009, and received it on 11/20.

I'm not saying the complaints aren't justified, but as many said, maybe it is just the Aurora.  Also, like others say, I am definitely more inclined to post problems somewhere, but if I am satisfied I'm spending my free time playing instead of writing about positive experiences.  Also wanted to take the time to say if you ever have any issues, DELL-Chris M has been extremely helpful.

 

System: Alienware Area-51: Core i7 920 @ 3.2 Ghz, OS:  Corsair Force Series GS Red 480GB; Data: 2x 300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor in RAID0 (OS/Games), RAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3 1600; Video: ATI 5970 + 5870

Displays: HP zr30w + Dell U2410 + Dell 2709W 27"

Peripherals: Belkin n52te, Logitech Driving Force Pro, Logitech G9, Alienware TactX Keyboard, TactX headset, PS3 Dual-Shock3 controller (using MotionJoy)

 

453

I suspect that much of the price difference is due to VAT Andy?

 

As a Brit currently living in the USA I have to say that ordering a AW PC from the UK is indeed very overpriced. I can also tell you that VAT has little to nothing to do with it. The Aurora that I recently ordered cost me around an extra $120 in taxes (8% in Nevada) on top of my $1600 system price. If the system cost the same in the UK then VAT would add around $250 or $130 more than I payed in the USA. Obviously the $130 extra does matter but is not a lot when compared to the $700 price difference that the OP noted.

 It would be good if you could order from the USA and pay the extra shipping costs as they would still be far less than UK prices overall. Obviously that wont happen because Dell would then be eating into the massive profits they make out of UK customers than those the the USA just wouldnt put up with. (I certainly dont miss rip off Britain since I have moved out here)

 

Yes there are alternatives and I for one would definately NOT have ordered a AW from the UK. Self build is fine if you have the confidence as well as the time to investigate, order and build the system. Otherwise definately get onto custom site where someone will build you a machine for a hundred quid or so on top of the component prices.

5 Iridium
946

I suspect that much of the price difference is due to VAT Andy?

 

But as I'm sure you're already aware... there are any number of sites in the UK who'll build you a custom spec desktop system, with recognised/quality brand/up-to-date components of your choice, for less than you'll pay for a pre-built system from any major 'shifter' - no matter who the "shifter" is

Alternatively... if you're not up to speed with 'what's hot - and what's not', those same sites also offer pre-built systems.

The difference is - their pre-builds use recognised/quality brand/up-to-date components, whereas you'll often (/usually) find cheap/generic/older products in systems from the big 'shifters'.

 

My advice would be to either opt for a custom spec build - with components of your choice... or just buy all the components yourself, and get a friend who's confident at system builds to put everything together for you

There are a number of benefits to doing it that way - primarily that you're buying exactly what you want/need.

Secondly... you can shop around for the best prices.  It's best to try and get as much as possible from the one source if possible of course, else you could end up spending more on postage, than any saving you might make on individual components!

 

Finally... you get the full manufacturer's warranty on each component.

Pre-built systems normally carry just a one year warranty - even though (i.e.) the PSU, hard drive, graphics card, might have three year warranties!

You might get lucky, and have a manufacturer accept a return/replacement (if necessary), after the system warranty has run out.  But it's not guaranteed.

 

 

So give serious considerations to the various options available to you Andy.

If you need any advice on where to go/what to buy, feel free to PM me, and I'll do what I can to set you right

From experience, I've found that:   “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!

 

XPS M1730:

Smoke Grey Magnesium Alloy Chassis - with White LED Backlights
17" UltraSharp WUXGA Widescreen TFT (1920 x 1200) with TrueLife
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300 @ 2.50GHz (800 MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)
4GB (2x 2GB) Patriot Signature PC2-5400 @ 667MHz
DUAL 512MB Nvidia 8800M GTX cards in SLi + 128MB Ageia PhysX
640GB SATA II (2x 320GB WD Scorpio Black 7200rpm)
8x Super-Multi DVD±RW
Creative X-Fi Notebook (ExpressCard) + Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II
Integrated 2MP Webcam
Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth 2.0 Module
Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-Card
TV Tuner and Dell Travel Remote Control
4-in-1 Flash Card Reader (SSD/MMC/MS Pro/xD)

230W AC Adapter / 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery

Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)

840

Maybe I was lucky, I don't know. It sounds like the Aurora is experiencing more delays than the Area 51. It must be more popular due to it's smaller size. It also could be due to the part of the world you live in. I have had many Dell computers in the past and never had any problems, so making blanket statements about how bad a company is can be misleading.  For example, if someone buys a BrandX and it is a lemon, then all BrandX's are bad. If someone else buys the same BrandX and has no problem, then it is the greatest product in the world. It's all from one person's perspective so you have to take what you read with a grain of salt. What you read on forums like this are mostly the people who are not happy with the product or customer service. Go to any company forum and you will see the same sorts of posts. What you don't see are the people who ARE happy. Posting on a problem you are having gives the company needed feedback, but what's the point of endless sour grapes posting? So far I've never had to deal with Dell's customer service over the phone so I can't say if they are good or bad. In this day in age, the out sourcing of customer service overseas has made it a nightmare to deal with. That goes for all big companies now days.

840

What competitor? And I think comparing a "boutique-ish" computer order with a pre-configured business desktop is like comparing apples to space shuttles.

Evil.

840

thanks for the info everyone, but from research i've done and people i've spoken to who have used dell, i''d be an idiot to spend this kind of money with them, too much money to gamble on getting a hassle free order. worst story i heard was dell being 6 weeks late on a garanteed order date, and trying to get the order cancelled so it didn't look bad on their stats, once the order did come through it was just a rebadged product, when their excuse was they were waiting for parts to complete the order (in the past this has been as simple as them not having a box big enough to put it in!) a better product was ordered from a competitors site, for 50% of the price, pre configured and on the desk within 12 hours! this is the quality of service they frequently gave to a company that spent close to, if not more than £1mil a year! if they treat business customers who spend that much money so poorly, why would i get anything better. because of all this, until i hear dell are offering a good service, and a fair price, with good tech and customer support they wont get a penny of my money, and strongly advise others not to touch them either.

840

I agree with Imele and congrats to AlienJimmy on the new toy :-) (POST SOME PICS or youtube videos I'd love to see those vents in action!!!). 

Alot of people are getting their systems now so it would seem that the initial issues are over and done with for the most part.

Not everyone posts on these forums typically only people encountering issues and hats off to the Dell guy Chris and the folks trying to help them.  From what I do see, the people who have waited and received their systems are very happy with them.

Anonymous
Not applicable
840

Here's 16 page of delay posts and frustration posted by customers. Hope you understand that in the end Dell don't care a bit about you, except of course your $$$.

http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/19307727.aspx

 

I got my Area 51 in 18 days.

All of us weren't as lucky as you.

Ordering it now  there is a very good chance you will get your system by the estimated ship date. I say this that now Dell is fully aware of its part inventory load they might have already taken corrective measures.

Highly doubt it, It's Dell we're speaking of.. again "DELL"

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