Alienware Aurora R7 review

    There’s a distinction between issues being funds or a terrific worth in that the previous isn’t essentially good high quality whereas the latter means you is perhaps paying a bit extra money for one thing that boasts nice high quality. Such is the case for Alienware’s most up-to-date replace to its Aurora gaming desktop.

    At $2,904 (£2,569, AU$three,749) for our evaluate config, the Alienware Aurora R7 is just not precisely essentially the most inexpensive available in the market. However with options like a killer, 6-core Intel Core processor, a high-end GPU that boasts body buffer energy, a plethora of ports that can allow you to set up your individual little gaming village, and its tool-less design makes upgrading straightforward as taking part in with Legos, this rig undoubtedly provides nice worth.

    That’s uncooked energy, comfort and suppleness we’d be joyful paying extra money for.

    Spec sheet

    Right here is the Alienware Aurora R7 configuration despatched to TechSwitch for evaluate: 

    CPU: three.7GHz Intel Core i7 8700Ok (hexa-core, 12MB Cache, as much as four.7GHz)
    Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11GB GDDR5X)
    RAM: 32GB twin channel DDR4 (2666MHz)
    Motherboard: Dell Proprietary (Intel Z370 chipset)
    Energy Provide: Alienware 850 Watt Multi-GPU Accepted Energy Provide with Excessive Efficiency Liquid Cooling
    Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, 2TB HDD (7,200 rpm)
    Ports (entrance): 1 x headphone, 1 x microphone, 1 x USB-C, three x USB
    Ports (rear): 6 x USB,  four x USB, 1 x USB-C, Rear L/P encompass, Coaxial S/PDIF port, optical audio out, Ethernet, DisplayPort
    Connectivity: Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth four.1
    Working system: Home windows 10 Residence 64-bit English
    Digicam: none
    Weight: 32.67 kilos (14.81kg)
    Measurement: eight.35 x 18.6 x 14.2 x inches (21.1 x 47.2 x 36.1cm: W x D x H)

    Worth and availability

    Like its predecessors, the Alienware Aurora R7 is available in completely different configurations, the most affordable of which is at $999 (£949, AU$1,499). This most elementary config, solely about $150 greater than the Aurora R6’s, which was furnished with the Intel Core i5 8400 processor, 8GB of DDR4-2666MHz RAM, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU, and a 1TB exhausting drive.

    Step up one config up for $1,329 (£1,099, AU$1,785) and also you’re VR prepared due to this configuration coming with a extra highly effective Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card, plus twice as a lot reminiscence. 

    In the meantime, the priciest mannequin, which is able to set you again $four,279 (£four,029, AU$6,619), is tricked out with the Intel Core i7 8700 CPU, 64GB of RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, 2TB HDD and twin Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti with 11GB GDDR5X every. In addition to the eight configurations you possibly can select from, you may as well choose and select your individual specs and customise your desktop based on your gaming wants and calls for.

    Our personal configuration, as seen to the appropriate, prices $2,904 (£2,569, AU$three,749). The value tag is perhaps on the upper finish, however this machine is future-proof. It’s acquired excessive sufficient specs to primarily allow you to run nearly any recreation you need on the highest settings with out problem. An affordable worth for a complete beast – that’s nice worth.

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    Although not as tricked out as different gaming PCs, the Aurora R7 is certainly a handsome machine. It’s acquired a extra down-to-earth fashion than the Space-51 and easy but customizable LED lighting on either side and on the Alienware emblem up entrance (that additionally serves as the facility button). 

    At 18.6 x 14.2 x eight.35 inches (21.1 x 47.2 x 36.1cm: W x D x H), it’s not essentially compact in design. However it isn’t huge and hulking both. It does have some heft to it at 37.67 kilos (14.81kg), however it’s straightforward to lug round due to the deal with on the high. Massive exhausts additionally alongside the highest of the machine takes a lot of the inner area, complimented by a few fairly sizable intakes on the appropriate aspect and on the entrance, giving it good airflow.

    The most effective factor about its design, if not its portability, is its accessibility. The chassis options that tool-less, simply upgradable design we love. Taking the right-side lid off solely requires a easy pull of the lever within the again, revealing the facility provide mounted sideways on a panel hooked up to a hinge. 

    It would look difficult, however the one trick to it’s undoing  the 2 switches that this panel in place. From there, you possibly can swing out the PSU backwards and forwards effortlessly to disclose the remainder of the together with the processor, graphics card, motherboard and reminiscence. And on the again are three growth slot covers that simply slip proper off.

    Securing the lid again on is a bit of difficult, however seeing how simply every thing else is to deal with, it’s a trade-off we are able to overlook.

    Plus, it has oodles of ports. The highest entrance has three USB ports, a headphone port, a mic port, and a USB-C port. The again has six USB, 4 USD and one USB-C ports in addition to a DisplayPort, an Ethernet port, a Digital Optical Audio, and HDMI ports. This implies flexibility in the case of connecting a plethora of gadgets.

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    Alienware Aurora R7’s chassis is designed for upgradability. Its affordable measurement means loads of area for brand new and further elements, particularly these necessary for gaming. Moreover, its common structure and its tool-less design permits for max accessibility. Which means changing and/or upgrading elements is a breeze, a lot in order that even newbies can do it.

    The exhausting drive, sits simply beneath the the facility provide, is well detachable, replaceable and upgradeable to as much as 2TB. Beneath the pre-installed GeForce graphics card in our evaluate unit are two growth slots on the motherboard—a brief PCI-E X4 slot and a second PCI-E X16 slot (the primary one being utilized by the GPU).  These slots permit for a further GPU, sound card and different further elements. 

    There are additionally 4 RAM slots on the left aspect of the multi-core processor. Our unit comes with two sticks of 8GB sticks of DDR4 RAM, leaving two extra slots to improve to as much as 32GB – or simply begin from scratch for a full 64GB of RAM. Lastly, there are two 2.5-inch drive bays on the backside for secondary drives.


    With its wonderful processor, high of the road GPU and sizeable RAM, it looks like the Aurora R7 can do no fallacious. Actually, all of the elements are so strong in our evaluate configuration that it’s exhausting to pinpoint particular person faults, if there have been any.

    On the coronary heart of it’s, after all, the Intel Core i7 8700Ok. This hexa-core CPU is a giant step up from all of the quad-core processors that powered earlier itterations of the Aurora. Alienware claims the flagship chip of the eighth era is alleged to permit the R7 to carry out as much as 25% higher than its predecessor. 

    It’s additionally an unlocked CPU, which permits overclocking for even quicker speeds – although actually, it didn’t appear to wish a motive for it. The R7 cuts by demanding video games like butter and handles common laptop capabilities effortlessly.

    There’s additionally the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, Nvidia’s flagship GPU that the corporate guarantees to ship as much as 3x improve in efficiency. Its 11GB GDDR5X of video reminiscence helps the body buffer ship quicker loading whereas eliminating any noticeable latency.

    Right here’s a superb instance of this GPU’s functionality: the primary chamber of Doom the place you’re swarmed by demons from all instructions is a state of affairs the place you may count on body price and texture drops from a much less highly effective machine. However the R7 dealt with it like a professional, staying sharp, rendering frames quick sufficient and maintaining with our frantic, huge POV actions.

    When taking part in Name of Obligation, whereas this reviewer had a little bit of bother maintaining with what was happening, this beast dealt with the in-game physics fantastically.

    And we are able to’t overlook the 32GB of twin channel DDR4 RAM that our evaluate unit comes with. There aren’t that many video games proper now that want that a lot system reminiscence, nevertheless it’s good to know that if we wish to play one, it will possibly deal with it. 

    Basically, as a result of the Alienware Aurora R7 can take no matter you throw at it—Doom, Name of Obligation: World Struggle II, Center Earth: Shadows of Struggle – each recreation is rendered in beautiful element with a gentle, plodding body price that doesn’t stop. Couple that with a kickass laptop speaker system linked by the digital optical audio, and also you’re in enterprise.


    Right here’s how the Alienware Aurora R7 carried out in our suite of benchmark tests:

    3DMark: Sky Diver: 47,362; Fireplace Strike: 20,729; Time Spy: eight,802
    Cinebench CPU: 1,390 factors; Graphics: 141 fps
    GeekBench: four,977 (single-core); 26,275 (multi-core)
    PCMark eight (Residence Take a look at): four,905 factors
    Whole Struggle: Warhammer II (1080p, Extremely): 72 fps; (1080p, Low): 158 fps
    Center-Earth: Shadow of Struggle (1080p, Extremely): 110 fps; (1080p, Low): 179 fps

    As anticipated, Aurora R7 fared significantly higher within the benchmark exams than the Aurora R6 and the VR-ready MSI Infinite A. It scored greater on the GPU-leaning 3DMark Sky Diver and Time Spy exams in addition to the Cinebench and GeekBench exams for the CPU. 

    The Sky Diver, Fireplace Strike and Time Spy exams did push it exhausting and you might hear the fan going – although not overly noisy to be deemed annoying, simply sufficient in order that it’s undoubtedly noticeable particularly whenever you don’t have your audio system or headsets on. Nonetheless, it did swimmingly at 47,362, 20,729 and eight,802 factors respectively.

    It additionally scored competitively with Chillblast’s Fusion Spectrum Ryzen 7, which options the octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 1800X and the identical GPU. These outcomes say lots, contemplating that these three are a number of the greatest available in the market right now.

    Moreover, we ran it with the Whole Struggle: Warhammer II benchmark that proved simply how highly effective its i7 8700Ok 6-core processor is. On this closely CPU leaning recreation, which primarily controls lots of of various “characters” and has all these parts appearing independently, it surpassed 60fps on extremely settings and nicely above that at 146.6fps on the bottom. 

    We additionally examined it with Center Earth: Shadow of Struggle. Although that is clearly not the best-looking recreation or essentially the most CPU intensive, it’s nonetheless price noting that the R7 obtain wonderful outcomes at 110 fps on extremely with affordable loading instances and crisp textures.

    On high of these, we performed Doom, Name of Obligation: World Struggle II and Nier Automata, all of which it dealt with fantastically.

    Closing verdict

    Once we’re reviewing gear, typically there’s a tiny little bit of guilt, albeit pointless, after we’re raving a few explicit product as a result of clearly nothing is ideal. However actually, you’d be hard-pressed exhausting to search out fault within the Alienware Aurora R7. 

    This machine is beautiful out and in, not essentially in gaming-type aesthetic—it doesn’t include all of the bells and whistles of the Chillblast Fusion Spectrum or the Darth Vader meets Transformers look of the MSI Aegis 3 – however in its energy, performance and expandability.

    Aurora R7 boasts a extra approachable look, made for gaming however not too aggressive to place off some potential patrons. It’s additionally acquired a extremely developed inside design so you possibly can add, swap and improve elements with no need a lot as a screwdriver. Past that, this rig runs video games fantastically with no noticeable body price drops, crisp textures, and no latency points even on the highest settings. And with such top-of-the-line elements, it’s additionally future-proof.

    Admittedly, it’s not the most affordable gaming desktop obtainable. What it does provide is nice worth, and that’s what issues extra. Plus, should you’re actually on a tighter funds, there are extra inexpensive configurations.

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