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The Alienware Aurora R10 is extremely fast and well put together, with lots of options available to fit your needs. However, it comes at price, inside an absolute unit of a machine that’s a bit too loud.
Alienware Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition Specs
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (4.7GHz boost)|
|Graphics||Radeon RX 6800 XT|
|RAM||32GB HyperX Fury @ 3,400MHz|
|Storage||1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 2TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s|
|Networking||Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2×2) 802.11ax Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 5.1|
|Front Ports||(1x) Headphone/Line Out (1x) Microphone/Line In (2x) USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A (1x) USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A w/Powershare technology (1x) USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C w/Powershare technology|
|Rear Ports||1 x SPDIF Digital Output, 1 x SPDIF Digital Output (Coax), 6 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x Microphone In, 1 x Line In, 1 x Line Out, 1 x Center/Subwoofer Output, 1 x Rear Surround Output, 1 x Side Surround Output|
Dell continues to update its range of Alienware gaming hardware and the latest Aurora gaming PC is a bit of a beast in more ways than one and comes in a range of prices and specs. It’s a little confusing because you’ll find the Aurora in both R10 and R11 versions. I’m not testing the previous generation here because Dell is using those model numbers to differentiate Intel and AMD powered machines. This isn’t made particularly clear, least of all on the official store which simply calls them the ‘New Aurora’ (that’s the R11 Intel range) and the ‘New Aurora Ryzen Edition’, which is the AMD option.
Design & Build
Over the years Alienware products have been pretty chonky and it became part of the style. Things have improved and although the firm has made some compact PCs like the X51, the Aurora R10 does not fit in the same category.
In fact, I’m not sure where it does fit. If it were a bus, you wouldn’t be able to say “You can fit a bus through there mate” and be referring to the Aurora R10 in good conscience. To say it’s a chonky boy is an understatement, it almost completely obscures a Dell 27in AIO on my desk in the photos.
This is the biggest PC I’ve ever tested so you probably get the point by now. Make sure you have space for it and, at a whopping 17.8kg, don’t go putting it on anything flimsy. The floor is probably the most suitable place.
Tucked under a desk doesn’t really mean missing out on the design either as it’s a little plain and the nicest bit is at the front. That’s certainly the case with the Dark Side of the Moon black model I was sent, the Lunar Light has more going on.
For a high-end gaming PC, from Alienware no less, there’s a surprising lack of lighting around the chassis. It really consists of the logo and the ring light. Note that the R11 has a slightly more interesting design at the front with more lights.
Some might like the minimalistic style, while others will prefer something with some glass and a lot more lighting going on. I quite like the sort of jet engine style front, which is for airflow not just show, but the rest is rather plain and basic.
A few USB ports and audio jacks on the front are handy but a card reader would be nice and despite the size, there’s no optical drive if you are wondering.
It’s easy enough to open the Aurora R10 up but it’s immediately clear why there’s no Perspex or glass panel in the side. There’s not much to see apart from a load of metal, a few wires and an empty space at the bottom – the PSU does swing out on a hinge to reveal the motherboard and GPU.
Specs & Performance
It might not be much to look at inside, but the Alienware hides some impressive specs. At the entry-level there’s an AMD Ryzen 5-3500, then there are three Ryzen 7-3700X models and a final four Ryzen 9-3900X options.
At the least you’ll get 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 1650 Super and the top-end model comes with the latest RTX 3090 with 64GB of memory.
There are plenty of choices in the middle and Dell gives you the option to customise certain elements should you want something dual-GPUs or more storage, for example. As mentioned earlier, you can get an Intel version by looking for the Aurora R11.
I’ve tested a Ryzen 9 with AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 XT which has 8GB of GDDR6 memory. The Ryzen is a 12-core chip with 24 threads clocked at 3.8GHz, able to boost to 4.6GHz. My test machine came with 16GB of RAM but you can spec some models to 64GB if you’ve got cash to splash.
There’s also a wide range of storage options with some coming with just a 256GB NVMe SSD, while others also have a 1TB SATA drive for storage. Consider adding the latter or spending a little extra for more space which will quickly get full of games. It’s easy enough to add a drive later even if you’re a novice, though.
Performance from the model I tested is excellent and fairs very well against competitors, especially in 3DMark and Geekbench 5. The PCMark 10 score is a little lower than expected but nothing to worry about, the machine is extremely responsive.
The Aurora R10 will be perfectly suitable for work, even without getting the Ryzen 9 and the framerates here are spectacular. Over 200fps at the peak and running Wolfenstein and Far Cry and 4K resolution still threw back results over 60fps apart from Far Cry on Ultra settings, which was 55fps.
Alienware Aurora R10 Benchmarks
|GeekBench 5 Single Core||1,663|
|Total War: Three Kingdoms||133 fps (1080p Ultra); 366 fps (1080p Low)|
|Metro Exodus||115 fps (1080p Ultra); 258 fps (1080p Low)|
It’s nice to see Alienware’s own liquid cooler fitted to the CPU which does a good job. However, the Aurora R10 can be extremely loud when the fans decide to go for it, which happens a lot so having it under your desk will help in this respect.
A gaming headset will be a good choice no matter where you put the Aurora R10.
Alienware Aurora R10 Price
There is such a wide range of Aurora R10 models that I can’t it’s a budget, mid-range or otherwise machine.
Things start at £949/US$$1,014 after Dell’s usual small discount and this will get you a Ryzen 5-3500 with 8GB RAM and an Nvidia GTX 1650 Super. It’s a nice place to start and should provide decent 1080p performance for those on a budget.
Things then range from £1,249/US$1,239 all the way up to £4,249/US$4,019 depending on what you want. They are all Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 9 machines with at least 8GB of RAM (64GB at the top end) and a range of graphics cards – a GTX 1660 Ti up to an RTX 3090. There’s also one model with an AMD Radeon RX 5700.
If you do like the look of a machine but want to tweak something, Dell offers you some choices when it comes to the processor, GPU, memory and storage. Oddly, I can’t seem to find the combination of specs I tested as none of the Ryzen 9 machines have the option for a Radeon card but you can pair this with a Ryzen 7.
Direct is the best way to view the range and make use of the build-to-order option. Retailers, as is often the case, just have selected models. You can buy the Aurora R10 and R11 from Currys PC World, Amazon and Very.
Check out our chart of the best gaming PCs to see what other options you have.