20 years of Alienware gaming PCs

One of the most innovative makers of gaming PCs is 20 years old. Learn more about how Alienware shaped the games scene...

13 Oct 2016


For the last 20 years, one brand has dominated the PC gaming scene; Alienware. From custom-built systems through to state-of-the-art chassis designs, Alienware has been the gamer’s choice.

This month it’s Alienware’s 20th birthday, so what better time than to celebrate some of their greatest successes.

(image source: Alienware)

The early years

The company we now know as Alienware was founded in 1996 under the name of Saikai. The name changed to Alienware in 1997, partly due to one of the founder’s love of The X Files. They began releasing their first custom-built PCs to critical acclaim in 1997. The systems were already so well designed that one reviewer didn’t want to have to return the test computer.

It was in 1998 that Alienware really started to become a permanent fixture in gaming culture, when their Area-51 desktop won the Editor’s Choice award from PC Gamer. The Area-51 became the benchmark for gaming PCs of the time, and in 2006 was named one of the 25 greatest PCs of all time.

Custom cases and iconic design

Alienware started selling custom painted desktops in 1999 and were offering a choice of eight colours at the start of the new millennium.

(image source: Alienware)

In 2003 we saw the release of the iconic Predator desktop case and Skullcap laptop design. These changed the way many people looked at PC cases, which had pretty much always just been big functional boxes up until this point. Alienware proved you can have style as well as function, paving the way for today’s elaborate systems with built-in lighting and transparent panels.

Birth of the gaming laptop

In 2002, Alienware brought out the first ever gaming laptop – The Area-51m. Prior to this, games on the go had consisted of a quick round of Solitaire or Minesweeper. Laptops simply hadn’t been up to the job when it came to complex games.

The Area-51m meant laptops could now be a serious consideration for gamers, and Alienware have continued to develop new and increasingly powerful systems that allow gamers to take their custom games machine with them. The latest range are designed to be used with VR headsets and come with powerful NV 10-Series graphics cards.

Making gaming better for gamers


(image source: Alienware)

Alienware has been looking beyond laptops and desktops to the future of gaming itself. From hosting gamer events through to creating communities such as Alienware Arena, the company has been dedicated to competitive gaming. More recently, Alienware has dived into new gaming technology by partnering with Oculus to help pioneer VR gaming.


View our range of Alienware desktops here

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