Dell announced last week that its Alienware X51 desktop now has an Ubuntu OS version for customers in the United States (opens in new tab).
According to Dell, the Ubuntu build of its Alienware X51 gaming rig has a starting price of $599 and spans across four base configurations, each featuring a third-generation Intel Core CPU and Nvidia GeForce graphics. The system comes with supported Ubuntu drivers from Nvidia right out of the box, Dell said.
"The operating system loads quickly and can handle multiple programs at the same time," said Dell's Mark Obee in a blog. "The Workspace Switcher is an example of multitasking done well. It gives you the option to split the screen into multiple work areas. It helps keep things in order and is easy to switch between (see image below). The OS also comes with a software center to download free open source apps, which is a great feature, as you will not be able to install your Windows-based software on the OS."
The base $599 system packs an Intel Core i3-3220 CPU clocked at 3.3 GHz, 6 GB of DDR3 RAM at 1600 MHz, a GeForce GTX 645 GPU with 1 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and a 1 TB 7200 RPM SATA 2 HDD. There's also a slot-load dual-layer DVD burner, Wireless N connectivity (mini-card), and Ubuntu 12.04. Customers can upgrade the CPU to a Core i7-3770 clocked at 3.4 GHz for $300 more among other options.
For those who want to start customizing on the high end, the top-of-the-line model sports the Core i7-3770 3.4 GHz CPU, 8 GB of DDR3 memory, and Nvidia's GTX 660 GPU with 1.5 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. But like the first model on the list, it has the 1 TB HDD, Wireless N mini-card, a slot-loading DVD burner and Ubuntu 12.04. Customers can upgrade to a 2 TB SATA 3 HDD for $50 more.
"You can easily install Steam onto the machine," Obee said. "Though many games are not yet supported, including most of the AAA releases, the list is continuing to grow and now includes classics such as Team Fortress 2 and Serious Sam. The highlight for the Steam integration is that it supports Big Picture Mode. The versatility and small size of the X51 made it easy to disconnect the system from the monitor in my office and connect it to my TV."
For more information about Alienware X51 desktops sporting the Ubuntu OS, head here (opens in new tab).