While a huge chunk of PC gamers in the community fancy an assembled build that they can put together with different components, a lot of people still rely on prebuilt machines for a quick escape into the world of gaming. And a majority of them turn to Dell's Alienware machines as one of the first options.
Alienware has established itself as one of the biggest players in the gaming industry with its incredibly powerful and stylish machines. Be it a laptop, a prebuilt desktop, or other gaming peripherals, Alienware has a ton of reliable options albeit a bit expensive.
Today, we'll be checking out the Alienware Aurora R11 gaming desktop that comes fitted with some of the most powerful hardware on the market. We've been using the Aurora R11 as our primary machine for a few weeks and here's what we make of it.
© MensXP/Karthik IyerDesign
The Aurora R11 looks much different from your conventional gaming towers. While most PC towers rely on bold design with things like transparent glass, RGB lighting, and a striking design, the Aurora R11 takes a completely different approach. It looks very different thanks to its design that's not too flashy or loud.
From the front, the Aurora R11 looks like a Jet engine. It comes in two color options - A Lunar Light chassis which we got for review and then there's one with a dark black chassis. Both models have an RGB halo ring on the front that illuminates along with the Alienware symbol.
Every bit of lighting that you see on this machine can be controlled via the Alienware Command Center software. On the front, you get three USB-A ports, a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, and a headphone and mic jack. Around the back, you get a ton of USB A ports, 1 USB-C port, 1 Ethernet, optical audio, and the standard display outputs that you get with the RTX 2080 Super that's powering the rig.
© MensXP/Karthik Iyer
We also like how easy it is to open the Alienware Aurora R11 to service it. Overall, we really like the design of the Aurora R11 desktop. It looks like something that was taken straight out of a sci-fi movie. It'll definitely look great next to a PS5 if you have one. They both have a very futuristic look and we absolutely love it.
The unit that we received for the review purpose was configured with an Intel Core i9-10900KF, an RTX 2080 Super GPU, and 32GB RAM. On paper, it's a top of the line machine that can potentially rip through any game or application that you throw at it.
Alienware offers a bunch of configurations for this machine so be sure to pick the one that suits your needs. We recommend going with our configuration if you don't make any compromises whatsoever when it comes to gaming. It's expensive, yes, but it'll deliver incredible performance on even the most demanding AAA titles.
You can check out the graph below to see how the Aurora R11 was able to handle some of the games we tried running -
As you can see, the Aurora R11 is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to running the games. Before getting into the benchmark numbers, I'd like to point out that the desktop has super-fast booting time and it switches between apps at a lightning-fast speed.
When it comes to gaming, we started our test with Yakuza Like A Dragon which is a new title with a demanding set of specs. At 1080p Ultra settings, we were able to get upwards of 100FPS at all times. Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War was also averaging upwards of 100FPS at 1080p high settings.
© MensXP/Karthik Iyer
Even the more demanding titles like the Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, etc. were running at over 70FPS at 1080p high settings. As we mentioned before, the Alienware Aurora R11 is no slouch when it comes to gaming. Although we didn't add Cyberpunk 2077 to the list of benchmarks due to its inconsistent performance, we were able to get upwards of 70FPS while running it at Ultra settings @ 1080p.
Throughout our testing, the temperatures of the machine stayed under acceptable limits and we didn't face any thermal throttling issues whatsoever. Yes, it does get considerably hot at times but it shouldn't affect your performance while gaming. The fans kick in at the right time and do their job very well.
© MensXP/Karthik IyerThe Final Say
Overall, we think the Alienware Aurora R11 is a solid piece of hardware packed with powerful internals. If you are someone who's looking for a hassle-free plug-n-play experience, then it really can't get any better than the Aurora R11. Yes, you are spending a lot more money than you would on a PC that you build yourself, but that's the price you have to pay for an outstanding gaming experience without moving a thumb.
If there's one thing we'd change about the Aurora R11, then it would probably be how it looks from the inside. Of course, you do get a very futuristic look from the outside thanks to its elegant case, but it would've been nice to have some sort of an opening to show off all the fancy components used inside. But besides that, there' hardly anything to complain about.
Considering how the newer RTX 3000 series GPUs are hard to come by at this point, the Aurora R11 offers incredibly powerful performance and you'd be set for at least a few more years of gaming before needing an upgrade.