Alienware’s Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 (starts at $i,079; $2,577 equally tested) is the company’s flagship AMD-CPU-based gaming desktop. Fully customizable with AMD’s groundbreaking Ryzen 5000 “Zen three”-based CPUs and your choice of AMD or Nvidia graphics, it tin be anything from an entry-level esports tower to a 4K screamer. Though our topped-out tester’southward performance leaves no room for complaint, its plastic build quality and loud cooling fans miss the mark. At least the R10’s competitive pricing softens the blow. Provided its sci-fi visuals aren’t too otherworldly for you, this Alienware is still a solid, safe selection for a mid-tower gaming rig, though the Corsair Vengeance i7200 remains our top pick in this price range.
Shut Encounters of the Alienware Kind
Sci-fi picture show buffs looking for a piece of the action will find 1 with the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10. Its bulbous looks are distinctly Alienware—there’s nary a directly edge to be establish. The belfry could easily fit in a futuristic picture show set.
Naturally, the Aurora’southward radical look foregoes universal entreatment. Parent company Dell’s XPS Desktop belfry is more conventional, though information technology’s unavailable with AMD processors or the very fastest graphics cards.
My review unit of measurement sported Alienware’s Dark Side of the Moon colour scheme; the mainly white Lunar Low-cal chassis, a $30 upcharge, adorned the Ryzen-based Aurora the last time we reviewed it, in late 2019. The tower is physically unchanged since then.
The Aurora has less lighting than might exist expected from an Alienware tower. The Nighttime Side of the Moon chassis has only a two-zone front console with an illuminated band and an alien-caput logo. Lunar Light adopters get a tertiary lighting zone (the vertical Alienware text on the right console). Lighting colors and patterns are customizable in the Alienware Command Center app, pictured hither…
The 34-liter example is big for a mid-tower, at eighteen.ix by 8.viii by 17 inches (HWD). Everything is plastic apart from its metal internal frame. Competitors like the HP Omen 30L and the Corsair Vengeance i7200 experience of much higher quality, swathed in aluminum and tempered glass. Alienware is ane of the few premium gaming brands not to offering encounter-through case windows.
Inside: Non Much to Wait At, But Plenty Serviceable
Getting inside the Aurora entails removing a screw at the back, so pulling the release lever for the left panel. I found replacing the panel unnecessarily difficult; you have to line up the bottom clips precisely.
The interior looks crowded merely is quite serviceable. The front end 3.5-inch bay and the 2 bottom 2.5-inch bays are like shooting fish in a barrel to access. Toolless caddies simplify bulldoze swaps.
The power supply is rated for 1,000 watts in this configuration, an upgrade from the base of operations model’southward 550 watts. It swings outward on an arm for access to the graphics card and iv DDR4 memory slots. The B550 chipset ATX motherboard has one Thou.2 solid-country drive slot in its lower right corner.
Practicality bated, the interior’s unattractive bare steel and multicolored wires would be unacceptable in a tower this expensive if non for its lack of case windows. As such, the only times you’ll come across within are while performing upgrades or cleaning dust. As a minor knock, the Aurora lacks removable dust filters.
The Alienware’s air intake comes from the power supply fan and another fan behind the front panel. The eight-cadre Ryzen 7 5800X processor is liquid-cooled past a 120mm top-mounted radiator. There’s one rear fan for frazzle. Intriguingly, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card in my unit of measurement sends much of its exhaust through a perforation in the left panel.
Alas, fan racket is one of the Aurora’south pitfalls. The fans seemed to be ever running and became fifty-fifty noisier while I was gaming. This is less likely to be a problem in a large expanse, but in a smaller room where the sound tin can bounce off walls, I establish myself reaching for a headset.
Beyond the customizable lighting, the forepart panel offers three USB iii.2 Gen 1 Blazon-A ports (the bottommost with Powershare, capable of charging devices when the tower is turned off), a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port (also with Powershare), and separate headphone and microphone jacks. Oddly, a headset jack (headphone/microphone combo) is missing.
On the motherboard y’all’ll find 10 USB-A ports (one version 3.2 Gen ii, three version 3.two Gen 1, and, for reasons that escape me, half-dozen legacy USB ii.0) and one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port. Audio jacks are plentiful—microphone, line-in, line-out, coaxial and digital SPDIF, plus side, center, and rear surround.
The Radeon RX 6800 XT offers ane HDMI and three DisplayPort video outputs, typical outputs for a loftier-end, double-slot card these days.
It’s possible to add more connectivity using the empty PCIe x4 slots. Fortunately, the antennas for the Aurora’due south wireless carte are built into the chassis instead of sticking out. My model’s Killer AX1650x card supports Wi-Fi six and Bluetooth v.
Beam Me Upward: Benchmarking the Ryzen 5000 Aurora
The $ii,577 Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 seen hither is mightily equipped for 4K gaming with an octo-core Ryzen 7 5800X (3.8GHz base of operations, up to four.7GHz boost), a 16GB Radeon RX 6800 XT bill of fare, 32GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, a 1TB NVMe SSD for its Windows 10 Home operating system, and a 2TB hard drive. Something Alienware doesn’t offer in the Aurora as I type this are PCI Limited 4.0 solid-state drives, although information technology’s advertised to support them. PCIe iv.0 drives should have been part of the engineering science refresh to accept full advantage of AMD’s latest platform.
Alienware is one of the few major brands that offers a high-cease AMD gaming desktop. Corsair is another with its $2,499 Vengeance a7200, though it has merely 16GB of RAM and sticks with a GeForce RTX 3070. The Intel field includes Alienware’s ain Aurora R11, which I priced at $3,309 online with a Core i9-10900K and GeForce RTX 3080. Adding that same bill of fare to my Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 brought it to but $2,871. I also found the HP Omen 30L for $two,989 on Amazon with a Cadre i9-10850K and GeForce RTX 3080. All in all, the Aurora I’m testing is more than competitively priced.
I only wish its standard warranty were longer than ane year. Upgrading to ii or three years of coverage is worthwhile on a tower this pricey. Dell offers monthly support subscriptions in case you don’t want to pay extra cash upward front, though they can exist more expensive in the long term. (For example, the standalone two-yr warranty is $195; the $ix.79 monthly subscription would piece of work out to $235 over the same catamenia.)
If you’re on a budget, you might consider the $1,079 base model of the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10; its six-cadre Ryzen 5 5600X is promising, but the rest of its loadout—an anemic 3GB Radeon RX 5300, a paltry 8GB of memory, and an quondam-school 1TB hard drive instead of an SSD—make it just a tease. Moderate upgrades to a 6GB GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD plus 1TB hard bulldoze combo bring it to $i,734. Factory customization is an important selling indicate for the Aurora.
For our benchmark tests, I compared the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 to the gaming desktops listed below. They’re all heavy hitters with 8- or 10-core processors and pinnacle-shelf graphics. The but ane that hasn’t been mentioned in this review already is the RoboCop-like MSI Custodianship Ti5, which might be the just PC here to out-outrageous this one on design.
Dell doesn’t offer factory CPU overclocking on the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10. Manual overclocking is possible using the Alienware Command Eye app, just I left all settings at their default values for our benchmarks. (Based on our overclocking experience with the Ryzen 5000 chips, expect minimal gains; these chips are pushed most as far as they can go from the factory.)
Storage, Media, and CPU Tests
Our first benchmark is UL’s PCMark x, an overall system performance assessment that simulates unlike existent-world productivity and content-cosmos workflows. The Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 scored an exceptional 8,431 points, more than than double what we consider a fine score and well above the MSI’s 7,566 points and the Dell XPS Tower’south 7,106 points. (At that place’due south no bar chart since the other units failed to complete the examination, which occasionally happens with loftier-stop hardware. See more about how nosotros exam desktops.)
Side by side are two CPU-centric tests: Cinebench R15 stresses all bachelor processor cores and threads while rendering a complex image, while in our Handbrake video editing examination nosotros see how long information technology takes to transcode a 12-minute 4K video downwards to 1080p.
Although its Ryzen vii 5800X has two fewer cores than its Core i9 competitors, the Aurora kept up fine, and blew away the viii-cadre Core i7 XPS. This matches what we’ve seen when reviewing these processors.
The concluding test in this section involves photo editing: Nosotros use an early on 2018 release of Adobe Photoshop Creative Deject to utilise ten complex filters and effects to a standard JPEG epitome, timing each operation and calculation upward the total. This test is not as CPU-focused as Cinebench or Handbrake, bringing the performance of the storage subsystem, memory, and GPU into play.
The R10 did well hither, merely a few seconds off the pace.
Graphics and Gaming Tests
Our offset ii benchmarks in this section use gaming simulations to appraise a system’due south 3D performance. In UL’southward 3DMark, we run two DirectX 11 tests, Heaven Diver (lightweight, capable of running on integrated graphics) and Burn Strike (more demanding, for gaming PCs). Unigine Corp.’s Superposition uses a dissimilar rendering engine to produce and pan through a complex 3D scene.
Its Ryzen processor gave the Aurora R10 a huge advantage in the 3DMark tests; it even bested the GeForce RTX 3090-equipped Aurora R11. Realistically, withal, the Superposition 1080p examination shows that its Radeon RX 6800 XT is on par with the GeForce RTX 3080 GPU in the Corsair and MSI towers.
Our last tests involve real games. We use the built-in benchmarks in Far Cry 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider at three different screen resolutions; Far Cry 5 uses DirectX xi, while nosotros flip the Lara Croft take a chance to DirectX 12.
The story is similar; the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 is on par with the Corsair and MSI towers and the Aurora R11 is barely leading. Its numbers are stellar for 4K gaming.
That said, these are just two games. If you plan to spend for a top-stop GPU, read our full Radeon RX 6800 XT review to figure out if information technology’s a amend choice for you than the GeForce RTX 3080.
High-End AMD Gaming With Compromise
The Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 is a dandy instance of how well AMD’s latest platform performs, outshining Alienware’due south own Intel-based Aurora R11 while costing less. That’s the definition of a win-win.
That said, this Alienware’due south plastic construction doesn’t feel very premium, facing strong competition from the aluminum and tempered-drinking glass towers usually plant in its lofty toll range. Its cooling fans could also be quieter. Just neither of those issues is a showstopper, especially if you’re afterwards a unique wait and AMD’southward latest silicon. Competitively priced and factory-customizable, the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 is a reasonable, if not outstanding, pick amidst high-end gaming mid-towers.
Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 (2021)
The Lesser Line
Alienware’s 2021 reboot of the Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 brings AMD’s very latest Ryzen 5000 ability silicon to loftier-end gamers, though its plastic construction won’t appeal to everyone.
Like What You’re Reading?
Sign upward for
to go the latest reviews and top product advice delivered correct to your inbox.