This is the second Alienware desktop system we have tested in our labs. Both have been housed in this the Chieftech case with the alien head shroud. However, we are not that impressed with the shroud. Although it does look cool and the metal structure of the case is strong, the shroud feels like it was made of cheap plastic. It seems like it could break with the wrong drop or tug. This made moving the case a little nerve racking so we were cautious moving it around for pictures as not to damage it. On more than one occasion, the silver radiator cover on the top of the case popped out of the place at the point it attaches to the shroud.
While taking a look at the innards of the system, we found that Alienware had given us a pair of NVIDIA reference cards. Obviously, we would not expect anyone to get a pair of these in the system they order. To their credit, Alienware was the first system that we received and when they were building it, it was not long after the launch of the 7800 series cards.
Not for sale - reference cards do not have an FCC or CE certification.
During our inspection of the system we found what appeared to be some dried coolant on the graphics processor water blocks. We were correct, and found more in various places case: on the radiator, near both video card connections and on some sections of the tubing. This mess may have contributed to the awful smell we experienced when the system was running in our lab.