ALIENWARE X51 R2
The Alienware X51 is a brilliant and compact PC which provides a small form factor with a lot of power. This model can be built upon and become a new and progressing line of compact Alienware PCs.
Here are some ideas to make the PC even better:
Add intel Ivy Bridge CPUs when they arrive. They crave less power, produce less heat and have an improved performance.
Offer something more powerful than nVIDIA GTX 555. This is not a really powerful GPU and can barely handle new games at high settings. You advertise that it can handle Battlefield 3 @ 30FPS @ 1080p, but unless you're setting every general setting to low, this is not possible. As an avid gamer, I like to play at max settings on my lovely 24''. A step up to a nVIDIA GTX 570 with official modifications from a company like ASUS, Gainward, Zotac etc. (or a custom Alienware solutiuon) would provide a much better performance at a decent temperature.
I really miss SSD as an option. Less noise, heat and weight are three really positive features that comes along with a SSD - which is also faster and provides a nicer user experience than a HDD.
I was really disappointed when I learned that the X51 has only two USB 3.0 ports, and that they're on the front of the chassis where I rarely plug in anything, except a USB key now and then. Would it be too much to ask for USB 3.0 only or at least two ports on the back in addition to the ones on the front?
I was surprised when I learned that there isn't a SD card slot to be found on the unit. One can buy addons for that, but that takes away from the overall impression of this gorgeous stationary PC. A simple SDHC slot near the USB slots on the front would be a lovely addition.
What disappointed me the most with the Alienware X51 was the lack of a dedicated soundcard or a built-in solution with high performance. When I play games, I use high-end headphones, and without a good soundcard the sound is rubbish. Creative have some solutions for buil-in soundcards which are really good. The newest addition is the Creative Sound Core 3D. If you add this, I can as good as guarantee that you will please more gamers and get free PR. Good sound is important for gamers.
>>More about the Creative Sound Core 3D<<
I saw the cooling solution of the X51, and while it looks decent, there is room for improvement. A more effective fan could be added and you could also add quality thermal compound or offer it for an added price. I would be willing to pay up to 20$ for added thermal compound because it can mean several degrees in difference when compared to a unit without the paste.
>>Numbers don't lie - a big test of thermal compund<<