The Bottom Line
- CrossFire Graphics Give It Strong Graphics Performance
- Well Designed, Easy to Access Case
- Free of Trialware Applications
- Expensive for the Hardware Configuration
- Small Hard Drive
- AMD Athlon X2 7750 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
- 250GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 20x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- Dual ATI Radeon HD 4850 Graphics Cards in CrossFire With 512MB Memory Each
- 7.1 Audio
- Dual Gigabit Ethernet
- Eight USB 2.0, Two FireWire, eSATA
- Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Guide Review - Alienware Aurora Value Gaming Desktop PC
Aug 4 2009 - Alienware markets the Aurora being a value computer gaming platform and it shows in a number of their hardware choices. Rather than it using Intel's processors, it uses the older AMD Athlon X2 7750. This certainly is a great value for those looking for performance on the cheap, but it seems well out of place in terms of a gaming system that ends up costing over $1000. It is possible to get Core i7 920 based systems for this price range.
So, why is the price so high? Alienware packs the system with two ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics cards each with 512MB of memory into the Aurora system. This provides the system with very strong 3D performance including playing most games at 1920x1200 or higher with high detail levels. Of course, these levels can also be achieved with a single 4890 graphics card that would allow for future expansion and something possible with the 750W power supply included in the system.
While the graphics are clearly above average and designed for gaming, the storage is pretty much the minimum. The 250GB hard drive is roughly one third of the storage capacity of the 750GB drives found in most similarly priced systems. Sure, many games don't require that much space but the cost difference between the drives doesn't really merit the use of such a small drive. The dual layer DVD burner is a fairly common optical drive to find in any desktop.
At least the Alienware systems do give their software configurations a very minimalist approach. The system comes with the base OS and that is pretty much it. Most PCs come packed with a wide variety of trialware and other applications that can eat up resources making the systems slower than they can be.
Overall, the system is decent for gaming, but it sacrifices features solely for gaming and ends up costing less than a real value.