By way of its 20 yr historical past, Alienware has made a reputation for itself with an extended listing of memorable gaming PCs, and maybe some of the notable has been its mid-size tower, the Aurora. We had been ready for a comply with up for the Aurora R4 and its maneuverable followers because it was launched approach again in 2011.
And, it’s lastly right here with the Alienware Aurora R4: a leaner, meaner and much more head-turning gaming rig than the brand new Alienware Space 51.
Try our Alienware Aurora R5 evaluate video beneath
The Aurora R5 is seems the a part of a tower of energy, however it’s surprisingly tiny regardless of its dominating silhouette. Measuring about 1.5 ft tall and simply over a foot in depth, it is a much smaller system than your conventional mid-tower case and nearly veers into Mini ITX territory.
The second factor you may discover in regards to the Aurora R5 is how modern it’s. There aren’t any flat edges on any facet of the case. As an alternative, all of them slide off at odd angles, and even the desktop’s two ft are pitched at completely different inclines. That each one may appear random, however it provides as much as a gorgeously fashionable design.
Alienware’s designs have classically exuded an exotically extraterrestrial high quality to them. Nevertheless, the Aurora is extra industrial and appears extra like one thing from our personal future reasonably than an alien pod, just like the Space 51. Finally, although, there have not been many gaming PCs with a uniquely asymmetrical design like this earlier than.
Some components of Alienware’s older designs additionally bleed by way of right here, together with the facet panels that bend on the corners, like the corporate’s gaming laptops. You may additionally discover that signature glowing alien head and tri-beam accent lights on the edges, all of that are customizable by way of the Alienware FX software program.
Curiously, one aspect that is lacking right here is the middle backbone, which has been part of nearly each Alienware design for the reason that Space 51 Predator 1. As an alternative of a wedge form on the entrance finish, the R5’s façade is flat and nearly fully plain, save for the glowing emblem, an especially skinny disc tray and ventilated entrance consumption. One welcome new design aspect is a rear deal with that makes lugging across the system quite a bit simpler.
After all, the Aurora R5 has far more going for it than only a new look. Alienware has re-engineered its complete inner format, having discovered a option to fold elements into one another to avoid wasting house with out sacrificing accessibility or simple upgradability.
Most gaming PCs include a top- or bottom-mounted energy provide. Nevertheless, the R5 comes with one which’s turned on its facet and connected to an articulating arm that swings out of the case and closes over the motherboard.
It is a actually head-turning design that helps scale back the peak of the PC whereas utilizing up the empty house over the processor and CPU cooler, which is in any other case unoccupied on nearly all different desktops.
The facility provide meeting would not intrude with different elements, like crushing the reminiscence modules. The folding arm can also be designed to simply glide over the graphics playing cards, and it has a small nook for cables to run by way of and an area reduce into it to forestall the facet panel from clamping down on them.
You would possibly suppose that this might have a detrimental impact on cooling, however it really works fairly effectively. A fan pulls in cool air by way of the entrance whereas the GPU(s) breathes by way of fins reduce into the facet panel, and warmth radiates by way of the highest.
It is a massive improve from the standard CPU fan cooler, although it partially blows scorching air instantly into the rear deal with. This implies a portion of the warmth travels a number of inches earlier than smacking right into a stable plastic panel.
Right here is the Alienware Aurora R5 configuration despatched to TechRadar for evaluate:
- CPU: 4GHz Intel Core i7-6700Okay (quad-core, 8MB cache, as much as 4.2GHz with Turbo Enhance)
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X RAM)
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM (2,133MHz)
- Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD, 2TB HDD (7,200RPM)
- Optical drive: Tray-loading twin layer Blu-ray reader
- Ports: 7 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Kind-A, 1 x USB-3.1 Kind-C, 6 x USB 2.0, Ethernet, Four x DisplayPort, HDMI, optical out, headphone jack, microphone jack, 7.1 encompass sound out
- Connectivity: Intel 3165 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
- Weight: 32.67 kilos (14.82kg)
- Measurement: 8.35 x 14.19 x 18.6 inches (212 x 360.5 x 472.52mm; W x D x H)
Do not let the Aurora’s small dimension idiot you – it is a full-fledged gaming desktop and may even be VR-ready, relying in your configuration. The R5 begins at $799 (about £599, AU$1071) with an Intel Core i3 processor, Nvidia GTX 950 GPU, 8GB of RAM and 1TB arduous drive.
In actuality, although, you possibly can’t actually play many demanding video games with this beginning spec. So, you may possible should step as much as the $1,099 (about £825, AU$1,473) Intel Core i5 and Nvidia GTX 970 configuration, if you need a clean, say, Overwatch expertise. Even at this value level, the Aurora R5 is extra inexpensive than the Lenovo Ideacenter Y900 and Acer Predator G6 – with cheaper upgrades in addition.
In the meantime, the $2,529 (about £1,899, AU$3,390) configuration you see above is an almost maxed out unit with a number of extras, together with the upgraded 850W energy provide plus the liquid-cooling system.
With the higher-end energy provide, we went forward and plugged in a second GTX 1080 for our enjoyment … err, we imply, testing. The system ran like a dream with the second card and it truly is spectacular how one can improve the Aurora regardless of its restricted chassis.
After all, there’s the choice of upgrading your system much more methods, and Alienware has made your entire course of tool-less. You will not even should deal with thumbscrews to take away the enlargement slots, and there is room for 2 SSDs to slip in on tool-less trays as effectively.
This is how the Alienware Aurora R5 carried out in our suite of benchmark exams:
- 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 30,764; Sky Diver: 32,393; Fireplace Strike: 15,315
- Cinebench CPU: 865 factors; Graphics: 132.5 fps
- GeekBench: GeekBench: 4023 (single-core); 16,067 (multi-core)
- PCMark 8 (Dwelling Take a look at): 4,563 factors
- The Division: (1080p, Extremely): 91 fps; (1080p, Low): 201 fps
- GTA V: (1080p, Extremely): 78 fps; (1080p, Low): 176 fps
With Nvidia’s newest and hottest Pascal GTX 1080 graphics card and an Intel Core i7-6700 CPU on board, the Aurora R5 tore up all of the benchmark exams I put it by way of. It simply put up a few of the greatest scores I’ve seen from a gaming machine, and it even put the overpowered Maingear Shift to disgrace in sure respects.
With a single GPU, the R5 was capable of play GTA V at 78fps on Extremely, whereas the Shift achieved a 73fps efficiency with two Nvidia GTX 980 Ti playing cards. Pascal provides a lot extra efficiency than Maxwell, it simply outpaces each Nvidia-powered gaming desktop we have reviewed up to now.
The Alienware Aurora R5 is a revolution in gaming desktop design. Placing the facility provide on an articulating arm and having it float over the motherboard is a very unorthodox strategy, however it makes a whole lot of sense while you put it to follow.
This helps scale back the general top of the case whereas minimizing the quantity of unused house within the case. Because of this, the Aurora is dramatically smaller than most pre-built PCs.
Whereas Alienware’s programs have a repute of being exorbitantly costly, the Aurora R5 is approachable at $1,099 (about £825, AU$1,473) for an honest configuration – extra inexpensive than a few of its rivals. From there, you may improve the elements your self by way of a painless and tool-less DIY course of.
The Alienware Aurora R5 is a beautiful and well-planned system gentle on in house and value, however heavy on energy and potential.