Goodbye Mac Pro... Hello Alienware

lexR

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 12, 2013
210
23
UK
So, i went through a long and interesting process of upgrading my 2009 machine to suit my needs, i upgraded the processors, ram, cpu and even installed an additional psu to cope with additional power requirements. However, there was certain restraints with the processors and the motherboard i just couldn't overcome. When editing 4K videos and viewing 4k playback, as well as the odd gaming session i noticed that it just was not as smooth as i have seen people getting on other systems.

So i took the plunge, after reviewing a number of different options including the HP workstations, I went for a Alienware area 51 R2 as seen below... just for a complete change.



It has the X99 motherboard with the i7 5930K which will be swapped for the i7 6950x:

The latest news on the Broadwell-E family comes straight from XFastest who have confirmed that Intel’s Core i7-6950X processor which is also the flagship processor of the Broadwell-E lineup will feature 10 cores and 20 threads. The processor will run at a base clock of 3.00 GHz followed by a turbo boost clock which is yet to be determined but I think Intel has made a point, that they are not stopping at 8 cores for their HEDT family but increasing the core count even further for consumers. The processor rocks 25 MB of L3 cache (2.5 MB per core) and will be compatible with current generation X99 motherboards that feature the LGA 2011-v3 socket.

Straight out the box it deals with the 4K work process i was doing (with the same GPU - GTX 980 ti sc) and its massive onboard 1.5kW of power will be able to run a number of GPU's in SLI, the onboard 2400Mhz DDR4 ram is nice and the liquid cooled processor makes this a very quiet machine. Although not as beautiful in its design i actually quite like the quirky triangular look.

I was gutted to see my cMP go and loved the beauty in the design, its solid feel and how it has stood in an ever changing world for 7 years before me feeling i need a bit more, i am just sad that Apple have not come up with a revised MP... COME ON APPLE!!
 

NostromoUK

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2014
112
157
I'm in a similar position and may follow the same path...but waiting on the WWDC to see if the poor MPs get a refresh.

Lots of bang for your buck there! Enjoy the performance.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,061
34,140
Boston
Nice setup,

I can those machines being very tempting, but for me, losing OS X, at least at this point is something I don't want to do. I like how I can easily boot into Windows or OS X on my iMac which was the major tipping point on deciding to buy a PC or an iMac last November.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,482
9,987
Detroit
but for me, losing OS X, at least at this point is something I don't want to do
I'm in a good position to have both. I use the Alienware and the MacBook Pro daily. Everything I need and want to do, I can do with both platforms. Plus, if I need it, I still keep Windows 10 in a VM on the MBP that I fire up once or twice a month for updates.
 

8692574

Suspended
Mar 18, 2006
1,244
1,923
So, i went through a long and interesting process of upgrading my 2009 machine to suit my needs, i upgraded the processors, ram, cpu and even installed an additional psu to cope with additional power requirements. However, there was certain restraints with the processors and the motherboard i just couldn't overcome. When editing 4K videos and viewing 4k playback, as well as the odd gaming session i noticed that it just was not as smooth as i have seen people getting on other systems.

So i took the plunge, after reviewing a number of different options including the HP workstations, I went for a Alienware area 51 R2 as seen below... just for a complete change.



It has the X99 motherboard with the i7 5930K which will be swapped for the i7 6950x:

The latest news on the Broadwell-E family comes straight from XFastest who have confirmed that Intel’s Core i7-6950X processor which is also the flagship processor of the Broadwell-E lineup will feature 10 cores and 20 threads. The processor will run at a base clock of 3.00 GHz followed by a turbo boost clock which is yet to be determined but I think Intel has made a point, that they are not stopping at 8 cores for their HEDT family but increasing the core count even further for consumers. The processor rocks 25 MB of L3 cache (2.5 MB per core) and will be compatible with current generation X99 motherboards that feature the LGA 2011-v3 socket.

Straight out the box it deals with the 4K work process i was doing (with the same GPU - GTX 980 ti sc) and its massive onboard 1.5kW of power will be able to run a number of GPU's in SLI, the onboard 2400Mhz DDR4 ram is nice and the liquid cooled processor makes this a very quiet machine. Although not as beautiful in its design i actually quite like the quirky triangular look.

I was gutted to see my cMP go and loved the beauty in the design, its solid feel and how it has stood in an ever changing world for 7 years before me feeling i need a bit more, i am just sad that Apple have not come up with a revised MP... COME ON APPLE!!
You actually spent an insane ammount of money .... could have built that yourself for a lot less!!!
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,061
34,140
Boston
You actually spent an insane ammount of money .... could have built that yourself for a lot less!!!
The same can be said with someone buying a Mac, but there's I think good reasons to buy a Mac or an Alienware computer.
 

8692574

Suspended
Mar 18, 2006
1,244
1,923
The same can be said with someone buying a Mac, but there's I think good reasons to buy a Mac or an Alienware computer.
You buy a Mac for OSX.... Definitely NOT for the specs .....as they are a year behind at least!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,061
34,140
Boston
You buy a Mac for OSX.... Definitely NOT for the specs .....as they are a year behind at least!
I buy Macs for the design, OS X and the specs.

Apple was the first with retina displays, on MBPs, the retina MacBook is an industry changing design, including being the first to use USB-C. Apple as the first maker to use 5k displays on their iMacs, and in fact its still the best cost effecient method to get a 5k display. The iMac costs in the neighborhood of 2k, and Dell sells a 5k display for 2k. I could go on how they were not a year behind but an industry leader in design.

I'd also say the majority of consumers opt for Macs for the way they are designed and the specs are good enough for most consumers, not because of the OS.
 
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lexR

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 12, 2013
210
23
UK
You actually spent an insane ammount of money .... could have built that yourself for a lot less!!!
I could have but i got an insane deal on a Dell refurbished unit that was 'as new' with 3 year dell warranty. For me, that was the main point. plus you can't buy the case separately and i actually quite like the look, its a solid unit.

Nice setup,

I can those machines being very tempting, but for me, losing OS X, at least at this point is something I don't want to do. I like how I can easily boot into Windows or OS X on my iMac which was the major tipping point on deciding to buy a PC or an iMac last November.
I also have a 2013 retina MBP which is my daily unit, i also could not do without OSX for daily items, i love OSX and have some what 'bought' into the OS ... but the power with video editing and potential of new processors/motherboards and GPU combinations is just too tempting for me, i have now have 2x980ti SC in SLI which just slot straight in, a Hyper X predator SSD (not as fast as NVMe i know but fast enough for my process) and the X99 motherboard with the LGA-2011-v3 socket is the standard for the new extreme i7 10c processors. That said i could put in a Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 Octadeca-core (18 Core) 2.30 GHz Processor ... but i would have to win the lottery!!
 
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d5aqoëp

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2016
1,107
1,549
I got i7 6700K with ASUS VIII Ranger Z170 Motherboard and MSI GTX 970 100me GPU. Case is low Profile Corsair Carbide 330R.

I have made it into a hackintosh which is running beautifully on 144hz monitor. The smoothness is seen to be believed.
Damn easy to install OSX 10.11.4 (Which is the current macOS)

@OP good choice. I am digging the Dellienware design.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,561
6,828
Nice buy!

I bought an Alienware X51 R3 last November and like it a lot.
My ex has an Alienware with that type of case. If you ever upgrade the the graphics card, is very important to get a blower-cooled GPU. We put an open-air (EVGA ACX 2.0) type of card in there and it overheats the computer, even though it was a card known to run cool (GTX 960).
 
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