As a new Intel processor launch goes (our full review here), so goes a new chipset and motherboards, and thus we end up with new custom gaming rigs sporting the new hardware. Several such systems are landing today from most of the usual suspects, including Alienware, CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm, Maingear, Origin PC and Velocity Micro.
Alienware’s latest is a new Alienware Area 51, and its design is a departure from the norm. It has a triangular chassis that features a modular cabling system; room for up to three double-wide, full-length graphics cards; support for up to five SSDs or HDDs; nine programmable lighting zones; and liquid cooling.
There are convenient carrying handles at each point in the triangle. In addition to the caché of a unique look, the triangular design is intended to offer better airflow (because the slanted sides will never be stuck up against a 90-degree wall) and easier access to front- and rear I/O ports.
The forty-five-pound Area 51 comes with an overclocked 6- or 8-core Haswell-E chip, Killer gigabit Ethernet and 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi. Alienware did not share pricing information.
Digital Storm isn’t going as whole-hog as CyberPowerPC, but the company is now outfitting all of its Level 3 and Level 4 systems (i.e., the higher-end half of its product line) with Haswell-E CPUs and X99 motherboards, and DDR4 memory. Digital Storm’s chip of choice is the Intel Core i7-5960X, which the company says produced 150 percent better performance than the previous-gen Intel Core i7-4960X when both were overclocked to 4.6GHz.
Like CyberPowerPC, Maingear is adding X99 motherboard options to all of its desktop systems, dropping the new 8-core Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition, which boasts up to 45 percent better performance when compared to the previous 4-core systems.
The company has also updated the FORCE, a high-performance desktop in Maingear’s EPIC family. This machine uses the new SUPERSTOCK cooling system, which includes parallel cooling loops, new chrome fittings, premium cooling blocks for all components, and unbreakable PETG hard tubing.
Finally we have Velocity Micro, who announced that its line of Raptor gaming PCs and select ProMagix workstation PCs now sport the new Intel Core “Haswell-E” option. The systems will also provide X99 chipset motherboards and DDR4 RAM options.
The three new CPUs in these two systems are the Core i7-5960X (8 cores, 16 threads, 20MB of L3 cache) clocked at 3.0/3.3 GHz, the Core i7-5930K (6 cores, 12 threads, 15 MB of L3 cache) clocked at 3.5/3.9 GHz, and the Core i7-5820K (6-cores, 12 threads, 15 MB of L3 cache) clocked at 3.3/3.6 GHz.
You can read our full Haswell-E review here.
UPDATE: AVADirect announced on Friday that it's now offering custom gaming systems equipped with Intel's three new Haswell-E processors.