Hello, new owner of Area 51 R1 and Aurora R6

bryandowen

New Member
Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
3
Hi folks!

My father-in-law just bestowed upon me not one, but two Alienware desktops! About a decade ago, he decided that he wanted the best that money could buy for his daily driver PC, and bought an Alienware Area 51 (R1), with all the RGB lighting, the breathing scales on top, liquid-cooled CPU, and a RAID farm under the left cover. I'm not sure he ever played a video game on it more taxing than Windows Solitaire. What a hoot!

All these years later, after he'd upgrade a couple of times, he asked me if I was interested in fixing it up. Everything was there except the hard drive, which he'd taken out and given to his son (my BIL) to put a bullet through so that nobody would get his banking credentials.

After cleaning the heck out of it and evicting a couple of spiders, I popped in a new $40 1TB SATA drive, did some spelunking to find a Windows 7 Home Premium .iso to burn onto a bootable USB drive, popped in the Product Key stuck to the back of the computer, and voila -- I've got a working gaming rig! She's not a super speed demon by today's standards, but no slouch either!

My FIL's next PC after the Area 51 was another Alienware -- this time a circa-2017 Aurora R6. He gave that to me as well, since he's replaced it with an HP of some sort. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the R6 has an Nvidia 1070 GTX in it. Aside from a sticking mouse button ($10 replacement), the thing works like a charm.

I'd never really given Alienware a second look before adopting these two. I probably wouldn't pay retail price for a new one, but I'm so happy to have these two. Especially the Area 51, since it has such a novel case!

My fun project now is going to be to upgrade the electronics in the Area 51 to something worthy (today) of its surrounding hardware. I've seen scattered stories about upgrading to a new mobo that will properly interact with the daughterboard that runs the lighting and air flow actuators. Also about buying aftermarket power supplies to support modern video cards (e.g., Cass Ole on eBay). I'll be hitting the other boards here to study up, and happy to share my experience!

Thanks for being here, and I'm happy I stumbled upon this treasure of a community.

-Bryan
 

MattyB

Moderator
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
3,029
Welcome! Congrats on the new desktops!

I'd always wanted the Area-51 and I managed to find a cheap one online and grabbed it over the weekend. It wasn't free but it only cost me $150AUD which is about $110USD. I got the ALX version with the motorised front panel. Unfortunately it's missing the plastic fins on top but I have someone who can hook me up with some new ones.

@Cass-Olé is basically the worldwide guru on these machines so hopefully he can help you out if you have any issues.
 
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