Like clockwork, when Intel and Nvidia release new components, PC vendors update their existing designs. And right on cue, Alienware has announced its Aurora R15 desktop, taking advantage of the new 13th Gen Intel Core CPUs and GPUs up to Nvidia's RTX 40-series, as well as Radeon RX 6000 options. Perhaps more interesting than the spec update is that Alienware is making slight changes to its case to allow for better cooling — an improvement that is sorely needed.
For years, the Alienware Aurora series has come with the option for 120 mm all-in-one liquid CPU coolers, even when the companies that make the CPU don't recommend them. Now, Alienware is offering 240 mm coolers (meaning a larger radiator and a pair of 120 mm fans), with a total of five 120 mm fans in the case.
|CPU||Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900K/KF|
|GPU||Nvidia: Up to GeForce RTX 4090, RTX 3090 Ti|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||AMD: Up to Radeon RX 6900 XT|
|Memory||Up to 64GB DDR5-4800|
|Storage||Up to 4TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD + 2TB 7,200-RPM SATA HDD|
|Cooling||Air cooler or 240mm AIO|
|Power Supply||750W or 1,350W 80 Plus Platinum|
|Motherboard||Custom Alienware motherboard with Intel Z7490 chipset|
|Chassis Volume||44 liters|
|Chassis Dimensions||23.2 x 20.1 x 8.85 inches|
Additionally, Alienware has added side venting. Without the glass side panel, it looks like an interesting flourish. But with glass, it appears to take up a significant amount of space under the glass side panel. That glass is now far smaller, showing less of the internals inside the case. If it truly means better CPU performance, I'm for it. But I'll have to see how it looks in person. Otherwise, the design hasn't changed much at all, down to the odd optional rear cable cover. Even though it has often made our list of the best gaming PCs, cooling has been a sore spot for the Aurora line, especially for tasks other than gaming, so we're curious to see how the extra venting and larger radiator help out.
To make room for the bigger cooler, it seems that Alienware has removed the HDD cage from the top of the stem. But there's still a 3.5-inch drive bay in Alienware's pictures, just on the bottom of the system.
To future-proof the system, Alienware is offering up to a 1,350-watt power supply, up from 1,000W in previous generations. That should be plenty for even top-end graphics cards, but with both CPU and GPUs requiring more power, it's good to have breathing room. All of the PSUs that Alienware is offering, from the 750W base option up to the top-end version, are all 80 Plus Platinum-rated. (In the Alienware R13, a 460W starting capacity is bronze rated.)
The other changes include moving to faster DDR5-4800 memory (up to 64GB in two DIMM slots) and 12-phase voltage regulation with the aim of maintaining peak performance for longer periods of time.
It appears that Alienware is still using a custom motherboard. While that allows for extra ports in the front, it's still a shame to see that with these other small updates, the motherboard will remain largely irreplaceable for those inclined to hang onto a system for several years and want to upgrade.
Alienware claims that these changes let it deliver 58% more power to the CPU and achieve "double-digit" increases to performance, while also running the CPU up to five degrees Celsius cooler. It also says the vents allow for 19% more airflow in the system..
Alienware hasn't announced pricing yet for the Aurora R15. It says that will come closer to its launch, sometime this Fall.
The R10/11/12 also showed air vents on the side indicating it was sucking in air. It turns out they were cosmetic and air wasn't getting sucked in from the sides.
Alienware/Dell is downright cheap and lazy. The only way I would buy a system from them is if it was at least 50% off and you are still being ripped off..