Alienware updates Area 51 gaming desktop with AMD Ryzen ThreadRipper, Intel Core X-Series processors

Dell's gaming arm will be the first manufacturer to ship a system with AMD's 16-core CPU when it becomes available at the end of July.

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Alienware Area-51 gaming PC

Intel Core i9: It's not whether you need 12 cores, but whether you'll pay for them

The processor market is heating up once again, with AMD and Intel back to having "core and speed" wars. But if the latest leak is accurate, Intel's next-generation silicon is likely to be out of most people's budget.

Alienware is embracing AMD's latest attempt to compete with Intel in the gaming PC market, announcing at the E3 expo that it will be the first manufacturer to sell a pre-built system using the new Ryzen ThreadRipper processor.

Dell's gaming arm will be refreshing its Area-51 desktop with the new 16-core CPU, but Intel won't be completely shut out. The Area-51 will also be available with the latest Core X-Series chips when they are release later in the summer.

With its new Ryzen processor family, AMD hopes to reinvigorate its presence in the performance PC space, as it's largely seceded it to Intel's Core lineup. The firm's first-quarter revenues were up due to demand for Ryzen, and ThreadRipper represents AMD's first legitimate challenge to Intel in high-end gaming desktops in some time.

Alienware says it will factory-overclock the ThreadRipper processors shipping with the new Area-51 and provide built-in liquid cooling, though it apparently will not do the same for Intel's new Core i9 CPUs. However, the Intel version will offer the option of the company's new Optane-powered SSDs. Both editions bring M.2 storage options to Area-51 for the first time.

No starting price has been announced for either new AMD- or Intel-powered Area-51. Alienware says ordering for the ThreadRipper version will be available starting on July 27, with the Core X-Series model launching on August 22. If you want a new system sooner, Dell's recently announced first Inspiron gaming PC is now available at a $599.99 starting price.

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