Aurora Pro 9 puts gaming up in lights

Last week I reviewed Alienware’s 55-inch OLED gaming monitor, and while there was a lot to love about the sleek design, I couldn’t think of a reason to purchase it over an OLED television. Today I’m reviewing the new Aurora Pro R9 gaming desktop from Alienware, and its target demographic is easy to determine – me.

Over the last few years I’ve wanted to build a gaming PC. The benefits of a dedicated gaming machine are obvious – you can continue to improve it after purchase, as graphics cards become faster year on year, and Steam’s amazing catalogue of independent and flagship games is unmatched on any console. But I’ve never had the time or inclination to build a gaming PC – all the research and effort always felt like too much work.

Enter Alienware’s Aurora Pro R9 – designed specifically for these types of gamers who want the best hardware in a great case, but without doing all the research. Rejecting the gaudy and overly masculine designs of many of its competitors, the Aurora Pro has a sleek and beautifully designed case that feels almost like a gaming PC designed by Apple, if that company would ever take gaming seriously.

Aurora Pro R9 is customisable for future hardware updates.Credit:Dell

The case is not just pretty, it’s very well designed to funnel as much air through as possible, allowing the Aurora to run over-clocked for long periods of intense gaming. The Alienware Command Centre software allows you to easily tweak the thermal settings of the PC, so you can safely overclock the processor when necessary. Opening the case and removing or adding hardware is simple – just look for the small handles through the case with little padlocks on them. Without a manual, I was able to pull apart and put it back together very easily.

Off the shelf, the base model Aurora Pro R9 is $2499, with an Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, which is enough processing and graphics power for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at up to 140 frames per second. This base model would satisfy most gamers – I was able to turn up the graphics on all the games in my Steam library. For professional gamers that need some extra zing, the Aurora R9 is also configurable with an Intel Core i9 and the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card.

Without doubt, you could build a similarly specced gaming PC for less, and for many people with the passion to do so, this would be a sensible option. But for time-poor gamers that want the best PC without the research, Alienware’s Aurora brings console buying simplicity to the PC market.

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