Alienware has rebooted its Aurora gaming desktop, giving it new aggressive styling and loading it with the latest hardware.
The vents along the top of the case not only give the new Aurora a distinctive look, but also aid in airflow to cool the system. As with the previous version, the Aurora comes with liquid cooling built in. You also get twice the number of programmable lighting zones as with the predecessor, providing you more chances to customize the color scheme complementing the black chassis.
Alienware has built the new Aurora around Intel's new six-core Sandy Bridge-E processors, with the Core i7-3930K overclocked to 3.9GHz coming standard. You can upgrade to the i7-3960X for a cool $500 extra. The $2,199 configuration comes with 8GB of RAM, while the $2,649 and $3,099 include 16GB RAM. (All come with 1TB hard drive and DVD burner, though you can customize with additional storage options.)
The base graphics card is the AMD Radeon HD 6870, with the $3,099 config coming with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 instead. You have the option to upgrade to a pair of Radeon HD 6950 cards in CrossFireX mode. Alienware also throws in a Dell UltraSharp 21.5-inch LCD with the priciest configuration. One thing you'll need to add is a keyboard, as it does not come included with the Aurora at all.
It's nice to see Alienware still addressing the gaming desktop PC market, though the standard one-year warranty is stingy compared to the service offerings from its boutique brethren. Would you still buy a gaming PC from the Dell-Alienware conglomerate, or from a smaller competitor? Let us know in the Talkback section.