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Since its beginnings in Miami as a boutique PC builder, Alienware as a company has undergone significant transformations in those early days. The company was purchased by the industry giant Dell in 2006, and although the brand has experienced some successes and failures in the years since then. It is still a dependable choice for customers looking for quality prebuilt computers. The Alienware Aurora 2019 Desktop Gaming PC is one example of a model that the company has continued to develop and enhance over the course of its history.
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When was Alienware Aurora Introduced?
Since its debut in 2009 alongside the R1, the Aurora has gone through a number of revisions over the course of the past decade, each one bringing about incremental improvements to the device’s internals and introducing new aesthetics. The R9 is the most recent iteration released by Alienware, and each model comes loaded with some of the most cutting-edge technology available.
Picking up a PC like this that is ready to go right out of the box can help new users get into the world of PC gaming without the hassle (though it really isn’t that bad these days). If the idea of building a computer from scratch with lots of individual components, yards of wires, and nerve-racking installations seems a bit too daunting for you, picking up a PC like this that is ready to go right out of the box can help new users get into the world of PC gaming.
In the extremely competitive market for prebuilt computers, how does the Aurora R9 stack up against its rivals? Before you commit to making such an expensive purchase, you should read our review here and make sure it answers all of your questions.
Dell Alienware Aurora 2019 Review
Alienware Aurora 2019 designs for the vast majority of their products can be summed up using the word “polarising,” which is the best way to describe the company’s aesthetic. Their aesthetics have always had a sci-fi and alienesque feel to them, which has always appealed to some people. On the other hand, those who favor clean lines and minimal looks have always shied away from the company. This goes all the way back to the early days of the company.
The look of Aurora’s tower has evolved significantly from one model to the next, but the R9 maintains the same potentially divisive design in its overall appearance. When it comes to the Aurora, we’re basically saying that your reaction to it will fall into one of two categories: either you’ll adore it or despise it.
The R9 has a large air intake along the front that tapers from the back to the front and has a shape that is somewhat reminiscent of a futuristic oblong jet engine. At the moment, it is available in two different hues, namely grey and white. The R9 is quite cumbersome and large as a result of the design choice that was made, despite the fact that it is marketed as more of a mid-tower case. It weighs close to 40 pounds, and the exact number can change depending on the hardware that you choose. Because of this, you shouldn’t plan on moving it around too frequently if you want to avoid straining yourself.
Along this front, the intake is a slim flat panel surrounded by the R9’s only RGB lighting (more expensive models also include an RGB “Alienware” on the right side), which changes fluidly between various tones when powered up. This is a nice touch for people who do not love RGB plastered everywhere, but it is not enough for people who love RGB everything.
The well-known Alienware Aurora 2019 logo, which is also RGB, can be found at the very top of the panel. This logo cleverly functions as the power button for the desktop. Below is a selection of convenient ports, including three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port, a headphone/line out port, and a microphone/line-in port. The positioning of these is excellent, and as a result, users will have easy access to more than enough ports to connect virtually anything they need to connect to their tower.
Moving on to the top and sides of the case, one thing that is surprising about the R9 is that it does not adopt the popular new trend of including glass or plastic window panes so that users can see the internals of their personal computers. However, this style is not popular with everyone either. Instead, there are air intakes on the top and sides of the device, and the right side has a large Alienware label near the back of the device.
The back of the new Aurora model is made of bare metal, which isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing design choice; however, this isn’t really an issue because you will probably never see the back of the vehicle. Without listing the enormous number of ports on the back here (you can check the specs tab on this page for a complete rundown), the back is where all of your connections for displays, power, speakers, USBs, and other things are located. All of these components are very typical of desktop computers and are arranged in a vertical I/O shield so that they are simple to access.
Plug And Play
In Alienware Aurora 2019 it is prebuilt, and configuring your new personal computer is very easy. In fact, all you need to do is plug it in and start using it. If you want to get into PC gaming but don’t know the first thing about installing an operating system, troubleshooting build issues, or navigating the BIOS, this is another extremely important consideration to give some thought to.
After you have removed everything from the R9’s packaging, the first thing you will need to do is plug everything in. The most fundamental list for this consists of the power cable, the display port of your choice (the R9 comes with VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort depending on your hardware), a mouse and keyboard, and Ethernet if you do not intend to use the Wi-Fi card that is included.
After ensuring that your tower is connected to each of these components in the correct manner, you can then proceed to press the power button to begin the boot process. Because these personal computers already have Windows 10 installed, starting up the Aurora should only take a short while during the initial boot sequence. After that, you will be prompted to follow the on-screen instructions for configuring Windows in order to use it. This section is not overly complicated, so all you need to do is follow the on-screen instructions, which will have you sign in to your Microsoft account (or create one), connect to the internet, choose a language and time zone, and so on.
As soon as you reach your new desktop in Windows 10, the remainder of the installation process is largely determined by your choices. In most cases, I continue the initial procedure by checking for updates to Windows, installing those updates first, and then restarting the computer if necessary. After that, I download updates for the drivers and graphics cards. After you have completed the process of updating the essential software, the next best thing to do is to download your preferred apps and software that you want to use, such as Chrome, Steam, Spotify, and so on.
You now have the option to fine-tune the appearance of your new PC using the settings menu, or you can choose to keep everything as it is. If you’re using a monitor that has a higher refresh rate or resolution, it’s also a good idea to check the display settings and options on your personal computer to make sure it’s making the most of these features. After all, nobody enjoys the unpleasant surprise of discovering that their display, which is capable of reaching 144 Hz, is only running at 60 Hz.
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Which hardware options or model you go with for your Aurora R9 is going to be the single most important factor in determining how well it will perform overall. When it comes to output, you get the value that you pay for. To quickly summarise this point, you should always try to spend the most money possible to acquire the best possible components to fulfill your particular requirements while staying within your financial means. Begin with the graphics processing unit (GPU) if gaming is going to be your primary focus, as it is likely the most important component. Be sure to get a good central processing unit if you want your work and gaming performance to be roughly equivalent to one another.
Now that we’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way, we can move on to analyzing the functionality of our particular R9 model, which happens to be the most fundamental configuration available at the most affordable cost point. This model comes with a
- 9th-generation Intel Core i5 9400 processor.
- An NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card.
- 8 gigabytes of HyperX FURY DDR4
- XMP memory operating at 2666 megahertz, and a 1 terabyte 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s hard drive.
The budget build of the R9 models is probably going to be one of the more popular choices due to the price, despite the fact that none of these components are regarded as being at the top of their respective categories.
SDD And HDD
To begin, let’s take a look at the amount of time required to boot up. In contrast to the vast majority of the more expensive available choices, this model does not come with a solid-state drive (SSD) for the operating system. You are able to add one, but there will be an additional charge. The roughly 40-second boot time for our model leaves a lot to be desired because HDDs with a 7200RPM like the one on our version are notoriously slower when compared to an SSD. In contrast, an SSD will typically only take ten seconds of your time.
This HDD is also slower than others in all other respects. Everything that requires access to storage, such as searching through folders, opening files, loading games, and so on, will be performed more slowly than usual. It’s possible that my opinion is skewed because I came from a PC that used M.2 solid-state drives (SSDs), but it’s still an important factor to think about when perusing the available hardware options for personal computers. Even if it’s just for the operating system, I strongly suggest investing in a solid-state drive (SSD) if you have the financial means to do so.
It’s not going to blow your mind, but for most lighter tasks like browsing the web, shuffling through files, and doing some light editing with Adobe products, the i5 9400 CPU is perfectly capable for most average users. It won’t blow you away, but it will get the job done. You’ll need to shell out some cash for a more powerful central processing unit (CPU) if you intend to do a lot of intensive computing. Overall, this hardware configuration is adequate for casual users, but it is probably insufficient for people who want to do a lot of multitasking or intensive processing that relies heavily on the CPU.
If you have the money, gaming can range from good to amazing. Your performance in games is determined by the hardware that your Aurora has, just as it is determined by the hardware that determines your performance in everyday tasks. You have the option of going as high as a monstrous gaming rig equipped with a GTX 2080 or going as low as our little base model equipped with a GTX 1650; it all depends on how much performance you are willing to pay for.
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The performance of our R9, which only has a 1650 GPU, will be superior to that of the entry-level gaming consoles available at the time, such as a Nintendo Switch, PS4, or Xbox One. However, it is essentially limited to 1080p gaming; therefore, you should keep this in mind if you want to play at a resolution of 2K or 4K, as it will be difficult for it to provide reliable performance in those settings.
What’s New In R9
- We put the Alienware Aurora 2019 through its paces with a variety of games, ranging from smaller independent games to larger AAA titles, all of which have their own distinct approaches to optimization. To ensure that this peripheral would not slow down the computer, we chose a Viewsonic display that was capable of reaching 144 hertz and had a resolution of 1080p.
- Moving on to the examinations now. The first thing that we did was check the average frames per second (fps) for some of the larger games like Gears 5, Battlefield V, and PUBG while using the settings that were recommended. The R9 was surprisingly capable of running these kinds of hardware-intensive games, typically maintaining a frame rate of between 60 and 70 on average. This isn’t incredible by any means, but the performance is satisfactory and significantly better than that of an XB1. We did not notice any significant tears or stutters either, which we attribute to the adaptive synchronization technology that our monitor possesses.
- This particular R9 variant was more than capable of handling indie games or games with less demanding graphics processing units (GPUs), such as World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and Terraria. It was able to easily achieve over 100 frames per second and was even able to push our monitor to its maximum refresh rate of 144 hertz for certain games. This Aurora is a respectable choice if you want to save some cash and you are not the type of person who insists on having the best graphics settings or playing the most recent AAA games.
What I do not like
Aside from frames per second, the load times for games were much, much slower in comparison to my PC which was equipped with an SSD. This HDD R9 felt like it took twice as long or more to load into planets and zones in Destiny 2, which is comparable to what you’d see with any other current-generation gaming console. Loading into planets and zones in Destiny 2 only takes a few moments with an SSD (they all have HDDs).
Choose the best model you can afford within the constraints of your budget, keeping in mind how you intend to use your personal computer, and your gaming performance in relation to the Aurora will depend on the hardware, peripherals, and network speeds you use when playing an online game.
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When it comes to computers, a high-quality audio setup is something that is frequently overlooked, despite the fact that it is something that can really contribute to the overall enjoyment of your PC. A computer’s ability to create an immersive soundscape in a game or movie, an astounding dynamic range in music and dialogue that is crisp and clear are all factors that contribute to its overall quality.
The audio quality of the Alienware Aurora 2019 is surprisingly high thanks to the numerous hardware and software options that come standard with the device, one example of which is internal high-definition 7.1+2 performance audio. Due to the fact that the Realtek ALC3861 driver that is installed is unique to Dell products, it is somewhat challenging to determine where exactly on the spectrum the driver resides on this particular prebuilt computer that was purchased directly from Dell.
The R9 comes equipped with a multitude of ports that can accommodate your various pieces of audio equipment, so if you have a robust external audio setup that includes a large number of speakers, you are in luck. A center/subwoofer output, a rear surround output, a side surround output, and two coaxial S/PDIF ports are located on the back of the device. These ports can be used to connect an amplifier, speakers, or a TV to provide digital audio output via a coaxial cable.
Even though true audiophiles will still want to stick with a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), or digital-to-analog converter, the Aurora R9 packs in pretty decent audio options for most users.
Network Connectivity Of Alienware Aurora 2019
The network consists of reliable Ethernet and merely adequate Wi-Fi. In this day and age of the internet, the importance of having a fast and reliable internet connection cannot be overstated, especially if you are a gamer. Since the majority of people now get their software through online downloads, this fact is relevant not only to those who enjoy playing online multiplayer games but also to those who favor single-player games.
The Aurora R9, much like other contemporary personal computers, will deliver the best possible network speeds when it is connected to a standard Ethernet cable. The RJ-45 Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet port is pre-installed on all Aurora models, including but not limited to our R9 model. This port is capable of providing a maximum data rate of up to one gigabit per second if the appropriate Ethernet cable is used. Because the majority of people around the world still do not have access to internet speeds that quick, the included gigabit port will effectively be capped at whatever your internet speed is (ours is 200 Mbps).
Utilization of the included Killer Control Center software confers additional advantages upon the overall performance of your network. It is a nice bonus to have this program, which gives users the ability to control a wide variety of aspects related to their personal computer networks, included in the purchase. You will be able to determine which applications are consuming bandwidth as well as the percentage of total bandwidth that is being consumed by using this software. After that, Killer Control Center will either automatically prioritize certain applications or give you the option to manually select which programs you want to have priority so that they can function at their full potential.
Wi-Fi performance is something that is still very far behind that of a connection that is hard-wired, and the Aurora R9 is not any different in this regard. In comparison to Ethernet, downloading games through Steam was an extremely slow process, but the connection was adequate for surfing the web, streaming content, and playing online games (though subpar vs. Ethernet).
When we were in a pinch, the 802.11ac 2×2 Wireless, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1 that were included in the package served our needs adequately. There are multiple Wi-Fi options for hardware on the R9 if you are willing to pay extra for them, but we found that they worked adequately for us. Even so, using a cable is your best bet in this situation.
Software System Of Alienware Aurora 2019
Whether or not you adore Windows 10, the infamous operating system is what you’ll invariably get from Dell when you buy an Alienware Aurora 2019, regardless of how much you love Windows 10. It may take some time to get used to the system if you’re not familiar with it, but once you do, navigating it should be easy enough for anyone to understand.
Windows 10 comes preloaded with a significant amount of unnecessary software, despite the fact that no one has specifically requested it. The vast majority of this software is either pointless or incredibly annoying, but some of it may actually serve a purpose.
The Alienware Command Center is the piece of software that comes directly from Alienware and is responsible for the most interesting features of the included software. In a nutshell, this command center provides Aurora owners with the ability to do things such as select auto-tuned game profiles, browse overclocking options, and control RGB lights with the brand-new AlienFX settings.
Inside Temprature System
When you have thermal control, you are able to monitor the temperatures inside the system and adjust the fans so that they are operating within their optimal ranges. This helps remove excess heat from the system while keeping the fan volume to a minimum. If you are interested in overclocking, the Alienware Command Center comes equipped with an easy-to-use overclocking control module that allows you to coax an additional performance out of your computer. Here, users are able to generate their own profiles and activate them on demand at any time.
Cool Software Edge
AlienFX’s hardware and software offer RGB enthusiasts a plethora of possible combination options, with the total number of color possibilities reaching up to 16.8 million. In addition to the peripherals that are supported, users have complete control over the external RGB lighting that runs along the front and sides of the tower. A pretty cool perk is that the themes you create can be saved and applied to particular games after they have been created.
Price Range Of Alienware Aurora 2019
Although getting started in personal computer gaming is notoriously expensive, the prices of many components have continued to drop over the course of the last few decades. Even though the age-old adage that it is more cost-effective to build your own computer from the ground up still holds true, prebuilt computers have also become much more comparable. So how does this Alienware Aurora 2019 stack up against the competition?
The new Aurora isn’t exactly affordable, starting at $850 for our entry-level model and reaching all the way up to $5,000 and beyond for the most monstrous R9 models, but it’s not exactly terrible, either. With the help of PCPartPicker, we were able to construct a comparable personal computer for close to $700. You will need to put this together by yourself, but contrary to popular belief, it’s not nearly as challenging as it sounds.
Another thing to keep in mind about this situation is that the price of $850 does not include very many peripherals, and the cost of these can quickly add up to a significant amount. The Aurora R9 comes with a shoddy Dell keyboard and mouse, but these accessories are certainly the bare minimum, and they will not provide the best experience. The Aurora R9 does not include a touchpad.
Even though you do get some nice software features from Alienware and the price of the R9 is acceptable at best overall, it is still less expensive to build your own computer.
Alienware Aurora R9 vs. Dell G5 5090
Due to the vast number of possible hardware configurations, it is difficult to determine which gaming PC is superior to another in a head-to-head competition. However, Dell also offers prebuilt that are comparable to Alienware Aurora 2019 offerings outside of the Alienware brand.
If you are looking for a prebuilt gaming rig, you have a couple of options, including the recently released Aurora R9 and Dell’s G5 5090 (see at Dell). Both of these products were released around the same time in 2019. It is easy to see how the premium Alienware branding comes into play when taking a closer look at our entry-level R9 and comparing it to a G5 that is priced in a similar range.
You can purchase our R9 with a 9th-generation Intel Core i5 9400 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, 8 gigabytes of HyperX FURY DDR4 XMP memory operating at 2666 megahertz, and a 1 terabyte 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s hard drive for $850. However, for $750, you can move up to the second-tier G5 that is equipped with a 9th Generation Intel Core i5 9400, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, 8GB DDR4 at 2666MHz, and a 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s HDD. This represents a savings of $100 over the first-tier G5.
As can be seen, purchasing a product bearing the Alienware brand results in an additional cost of $100 and a GPU that is of lower quality. Your overall gaming experience will unquestionably benefit from the 1660 Ti’s improved performance, despite the fact that it is not a particularly significant upgrade. It’s possible to make the case that the Aurora is much more attractive to the eye than the G5, which isn’t exactly known for its good looks, but if you’re looking for the best possible setup for your money, the G5 is the better option.
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