Dell kicked off the Gamescom trade event in Cologne, Germany with the introduction of a pair of new gaming desktops that should appeal to gamers who can't afford to spend thousands of dollars on their rigs.
The more eye-catching launch is the Aurora R9 from Dell's Alienware gaming arm. It's the first desktop to be built based around Alienware's Legend industrial design, which was previously limited to laptops like the updated Area-51m. The company claims the Legend design principle allow the R9 to be slimmer while airflow is improved through the chassis, all while retaining the adventurous look that Alienware is known for. It will be available in a light or dark case color, and the front features Alienware's usual animated lighting effects.
Inside, the R9 houses the latest ninth-generation Intel Core processors, though you may want to upgrade from the Core i3-9100 in the base configuration. You also get a wide range of graphics card options from AMD and Nvidia, starting with the AMD Radeon RX 560X and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 and going all the way to dual Radeon RX 570X or GeForce RTX 2080 GPUs. The base model includes 8GB of HyperX Fury DDR 4 RAM, but you can add up to 64 gigs as well as choose overclocking options. You can equip the R9 with up to a 2TB hard drive or NVMe SSD in single drive options, or double that in a dual-drive option with both a 2TB hard drive and 2TB SSD.
The Aurora R9 is due to go on sale this week with a starting price of $969.99, though with upgrades it could quickly lose that mid-range price tag. Gamers with an even tighter budget may want to look at Dell's new G5 desktop, the first in its G Series of what had been just gaming laptops. Starting at just $629.99, the G5 obviously lacks some of the bells and whistles of the Aurora R9, sticking to a traditional compact tower design, for instance, though with a few design flourishes like an optional clear side panel and optional blue LED lighting touches.
The base G5 comes with the same Core i3-9100 CPU and similar graphics card options as the R9, but you don't get the premium RAM (or overclocking options). You're also limited to 1TB solid-state drives instead of 2 terabytes, and your GPU option maxes out with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (no dual-card choices). Like the R9, you can get up to 64GB of RAM, and there are dual-drive options up to a 1TB NVMe SSD plus 2TB hard drive. Of course, at that point you might look for a pricier desktop altogether, but at its sub-$700 starting price, the G5 could appeal to gamers heading back to school who prefers desktop gaming over the laptop variety.