Alienware Aurora R15 Gets 13th Gen Intel, RTX 40-Series, Better Cooling

Alienware Aurora R15
(Image credit: Alienware)

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.

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CPUUp to 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900K/KF
GPUNvidia: Up to GeForce RTX 4090, RTX 3090 Ti
Row 2 - Cell 0 AMD: Up to Radeon RX 6900 XT
MemoryUp to 64GB DDR5-4800
StorageUp to 4TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD + 2TB 7,200-RPM SATA HDD
CoolingAir cooler or 240mm AIO
Power Supply750W or 1,350W 80 Plus Platinum
MotherboardCustom Alienware motherboard with Intel Z7490 chipset
Chassis Volume44 liters
Chassis Dimensions23.2 x 20.1 x 8.85 inches
AvailabilityFall 2022

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.

(Image credit: Alienware)

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.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • Heat_Fan89
    At this point, I don't believe anything coming from Alienware. They BS'd their way with the R13/14 and promised so many things and we later found out thanks to Gamers Nexus, that redesign was worse than the previous generation, including a proprietary power supply. So you either have to buy an extended warranty or send the PSU off for repair to a 3rd party facility because Alienware is not going to sell you one.

    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..
  • maestro0428
    We have a 25% failure rate in 8 months with our R12s at my university. Mostly failed SSDs, some motherboards and one gpu. These things are hot garbage. Too bad were a Dell campus and we have no choice...
  • KyaraM
    So this time around they will castrate a 13900k to the performance of a 12700KF or worse? Sounds like an awesome deal!/s