Alienware Aurora (2016) – Desktop Reviews

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Alienware’s latest Aurora gaming desktop (starts at $799.99; $3,604.99 as tested) uses the company’s mid-tower case, placing it between the console-size AlphaArea-51VR headset.

Design and Features
The top and front panels of the Aurora are ribbed black plastic, while both sides are silver-colored plastic with three LED-backlit strips that evoke the truncated triangle of the Area-51. Through the handle built into the top, you can route cables to the top-mounted USB and audio ports. There’s space for an optional optical drive (not included on our test configuration), but the front fascia is otherwise bare except for the backlit alien head Power button (an Alienware hallmark). The case itself measures 18.6 by 8.4 by 14.1 inches (HWD), quite a bit smaller than that of our former Editors’ Choice for high-end gaming desktops, the Maingear Rush X99 Super StockOrigin Chronos VR

Alienware Aurora (2016) The Aurora is equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700K processor, overclocked lightly to 4.2GHz (from 4.0GHz base), along with a pair of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards. As a result, it can handle just about any current 3D game, even at higher-than-full-HD resolutions. It managed excellent frame rates on our Heaven and Valley gaming tests (200 frames per second, or fps, on the former, and 131fps on the latter) at full HD resolution with maximum graphics settings. That’s quite a bit better than the CybertronPC TitaniumMSI Vortex G65Origin Genesis

See How We Test Desktops

While you’re mainly buying this system for its gaming prowess, it also delivers formidable day-to-day performance, as shown by its scores on the PCMark Work Conventional (3,745 points) overall performance test, the HandBrake video encoding test (53 seconds), and the Photoshop image processing test (2:34). All three scores are average for this highly overcharged category. The takeaway is that the Aurora is perfectly capable of getting work done during the day, when you’re not supposed to be gaming anyway.

In baseball terms, the Alienware Aurora is a fine utility player: reliable enough to depend on every day, but not as exciting as the grand-slam-hitting star. Consequently, like that utility player, the Aurora is a lot less expensive than the Maingear Rush X99 Super Stock and Falcon Northwest Talon

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