Last month Dell remixed a not-so-oldy but goody in stylish flare. The product announcement made a stir and drew some wide-eyed initial impressions, making it a perfect focus for our first CoolNation meta-article. Meta-articles or metareviews will pool key opinions and thoughts from around the industry to give our readers a slice of what enthusiasts and media are thinking regarding a given product. So, lets jump right in and see how the press has received the powerful and alluring Aurora R9 gaming PC with Asetek powered liquid cooling.
The Aurora R9 is configurable up to an Intel Core i9-9900K. To keep the processor cool and working at optimal performance, the system can be configured to employ an Asetek-designed AIO CPU liquid cooler, which features a potent 120mm radiator that fits elegantly within the system’s ultra-sleek enclosure. Our patented pump and coldplate design provide deep heat dissipation to easily manage the thermals of the latest cores from AMD and Intel.
The Alienware Aurora R9 is a refresh of the company’s Aurora R8 gaming PC, which is still one of the finest pre-built game-ready rigs for gamers and those with more professional eSports aspirations. It’s currently used as the official tournament machine in major eSports events like the inbound League of Legends World Championship. However, Dell and the Alienware crew are not ones to sit idle and found a way to improve both performance and style with the launch of the gorgeous new Alienware Aurora R9.
Like its predecessor, the Alienware Aurora R9 was designed to support fully customizable upgrades and can be configured with Intel’s 9th Gen Core I9 processor – including Intel® Core™ i3-9100 CPU through i9-9900, optional CPU liquid cooling from Asetek, and Nvidia’s RTX 2080 TI graphics. It stands 19.9 inches tall and is just under 9-inches wide.
The bold new elongated design immediately draws the eye. It features an LED-lit panel for the front USB ports plus microphone and headphones jacks. The tiny footprint is also worth noting, which makes the Aurora R9 marry quite easily within any gaming den. In fact Tech Radar confessed that they were quite impressed with the look of the older Alienware Area 51 system and that the new Aurora R9 retains that stunning aesthetic. They also had this to say, “The Alienware Aurora R9 adopts the ‘Legend’ design language, first used in the Alienware Area-51m, then the m15 and m17 laptops. This abandons the edgy design language that a lot of similar gaming devices offer, providing something that looks a bit more elegant sitting on your desk.” TR takes note of the upgradeability and the easy-to-access internals. They end their early impression with, “The Alienware Aurora R9 is yet another brilliant design from Alienware and should help define what prebuilt gaming desktops look like over the next few years. The Lunar Light color option is especially appealing, as you won’t have to hide your desktop in shame whenever someone comes to visit.”
Digital Trends also reported on their experience seeing the Alienware Aurora R9 gaming system. Again, no one really has firsthand performance numbers. We hope to get our hands on the system soon to flaunt how well our AIO’s manage the CPU thermals. However DT did have this to say about the aesthetics and appeal, “Reminiscent of the engine on a jet, vents are found alongside the oblong-shaped front panel, and Alienware added an oval, Tron-esque LED ring — known as stadium lighting, after the shape from which it was inspired. The design is definitely unique, but it’s still understated enough for creatives who want the workstation performance of the Aurora’s dual-GPU setup in a more professional setting.”
It’s true the new illumination is striking and distinguished without overdoing it, which can be the case with RGB and LEDs. PCWorld highlights the subtle premium feel the lighting quality brings to the table, “Like the general aesthetic, the LEDs are reminiscent of Alienware’s redesigned laptops. The lighting is customizable, as well, so you’re not stuck with blue if that’s not your preference. This is unlike the Dell G5, a budget gaming tower that Dell announced alongside the Aurora R9 that can only glow its darker blue color. That may be a small feature, but it’s one of those aspects that separate the more premium Aurora from its more affordable counterpart.”
Raw game performance and thermals will have to remain a mystery for now. However, WindowsCentral noted Dell’s design logic behind that super sleek case, which does speak toward thermal performance. “The new design isn’t just for look, though; Alienware says that the PC has been built with better airflow in mind. The revamp increases airflow efficiency with less obstruction than the previous design, dropping temperatures by up to eight percent, according to Alienware.”
It’s no secret that we’re tight with Dell. So, this is all we can say for now… Tested and benchmarked at UHD 4K resolutions in games and synthetic benchmarks, the Aurora offers brilliant resolution and exceptional frame rates, featuring options like the latest generation of NVIDIA graphics up to GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards. Configurations with dual-RTX 2080 cards are also an option, so expect outstanding single- and multi-gpu game performance from NVIDIA’s latest Turing GPU architecture when paired with the Aurora R9.
The Alienware Aurora R9 is available now starting at $970. Configure yours today — available in black and white with air or premium liquid cooling option. You can probably guess which cooling option we recommend.