When it comes to desktops, Alienware prides itself on delivering over the top, supremely expensive mega-towers for the rich and powerful. The Aurora changes all that. The starting price for this range is a mere $1599… but of course Alienware sent us the top-end unit priced at around the $6,000 price point.
We have to give them points for the gorgeous new chassis, which is definitely unique. It’s not too big, at around 14 inches deep by 18 inches tall and 8 inches wide, with unique tri-glo neon lights on each side. It’s a totally tool-less design, and Alienware has managed to deliver a case that is very customisable, and also able to handle a crap-load of hardware. Removing the side simply involves unlocking a hinge and sliding the panel free. The PSU positioning is very odd, on the top right side, but it folds out after a couple screws are set free – so much for tool-less.
Our system came loaded to the gills with the best of the best. Intel’s 6th Gen Core I7-6700K comes packed in the box, and apparently our sample was pre-overclocked. We know this, because the system crashed during one of our benchmarks – upon rebooting we were informed the overclock settings had failed so it reverted to default speeds. Our sample also came with 16GB of DDR4 2133MHz memory, while the long term storage options could only be described as exquisite. Samsung’s 512GB NVMe SSD and a 2TB mechanical hard drive.
For such a small system, we didn’t expect to see twin Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080s stashed away inside. The result is a rather cramped interior, which we’d expect to be hot and therefore noisy. However, we measured a mere 41dB during our game tests, making this essentially silent.
If there’s one issue we have with the Aurora, it’s the bloatware installed on it. Much of this is used to control the lighting scheme, monitor system details and more, but it kept popping up during our benchmarks, causing us to have to re-run the tests. As any gamer will attest, there’s nothing more annoying than being in the middle of a game and the window’s focus shifting to some crappy monitoring software. Dell aren’t the only ones guilty of this practice though, although the inclusion of McAfee AV software is almost – almost – a deal breaker.
When it comes to performance, you should know what to expect from a six grand monster like this – power, and lots of it. We tested all of our benchmarks at 4K resolution with Ultra detail, and it pounded them all into the ground, no sweat.
The new Aurora comes in a delicious new package that can be tailored just the way you want it. Although we did have a few overclocking and bloatware issues, we do like its Tardis-like nature; it might not look that big, but man you can chuck a lot of hardware inside.