Just in time for Alienware's 25th anniversary, the company is announcing a redesign of its Aurora gaming desktop.
The new design adopts more industry standard parts and layouts, a common feature in some of the best gaming PCs. It's not for sale yet, but is expected to be a part of the next major Aurora launch. While existing Auroras use a swing-out power supply (also found in some Dell XPS desktops), which effectively makes that part difficult to upgrade or replace, the redesigned model does not. It’s still not entirely clear, though, if the company has switched to standard ATX power supplies.
The upcoming Aurora, for which Alienware did not reveal most specs, has a refreshed chassis with 1.5 times as much internal volume as the existing line. The outside of the case looks largely the same, with the familiar jet-engine aesthetic in the front. But now there's an optional clear side panel that allows you to see all of your components.
The new design will measure 23.2 x 20.1 x 8.86 inches (589 x 510 x 225 mm) and weigh up to 34.2 pounds (15.5 kgs).That's significantly larger than the Alienware R10 we reviewed, which measured 18.9 x 17 x 8.77 inches, The new chassis also appears to be on a bit more of an angle than the previous design.
The new case also allows for a bit more of an RGB light show, if that's your thing. While the previous machine had up to four lighting zones, the models with the glass panel will allow for up to eight.
Beyond the fact that it will be offered with up to an RTX 3090 graphics card, Alienware isn't talking about specs just yet. I suspect, following Acer's announcements yesterday, that this PC will ultimately end up with Intel's 12th Gen processors, possibly with support for DDR5 memory and PCIe Gen 5.
The system will include up to four 120 mm fans, depending on the configuration. There are also liquid cooling options with an all-in-one cooler, so at least one of those fans may be attached to a radiator. Alienware claims that this machine is 13-16% quieter at idle than the R10 and R12 with liquid cooling, and is 9% quieter during heavy CPU workloads. It's also promising lower CPU temperatures with liquid cooling, generation over generation. You can also overclock the CPU, and Alienware says its cooler will be 13% quieter than previous overclocked models.
One part that's less standard here is the motherboard. Alienware uses a custom board, with power connections placed at the edges for cleaner cable management and better airflow. Alienware claims this allows the front ports to connect to the processor without a daughterboard, which may mean a continuation of the oddly shaped boards it used in previous designs. If that's the case, it would be a disappointment, as HP, Corsair and others have moved on to largely off-the-shelf parts.
On the rear, Alienware has a new cable cover that slides into place behind the rear ports. It gives the whole desktop a more rounded profile, but as someone who reaches behind his desktop often, I think I'd end up leaving it off.
We're likely to find out more about this bigger, redesigned Aurora later this year, including how much more upgradeable it may be, as well as how much it costs and what parts power it. But for now, all we have are some pretty renders and a dearth of key specifics.