Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dell Alienware Aurora ALX: The Boss Of Gaming PCs

A known fact is that Dell’s Alienware series of gaming rigs are meant for serious gamers and enthusiasts. Not too long ago, we tested one of the most powerful machines, the Alienware Aurora gaming PC, which was quite powerful and offered very good gaming experience, However if you thought that the Aurora was fabulous, think again.

Today we have with us an even more powerful variant, the Alienware Aurora ALX, yes, the one with motorized vents on top of the tower. Now, the design of this machine is almost identical to the previous Aurora gaming rig we tested, expect for the presence of active vents. The entire cabinet is plastic and black in color, except for the stylized translucent acrylic strip at either side that have LED lights behind them.

Calling this machine feature-rich would be a sheer understatement, it’s too powerful to be called just a gaming rig. When it comes to gaming and performance machines, it’s the hardware that makes all the difference. Built around an Intel X58 chispet, the Aurora ALX is powered by an Intel Core i7 Extreme 980X processor, which has six cores, is clocked at 3.33 GHz and has 12 MB L3 cache.

With a hyperthreaded CPU running six cores and 12 threads simultaneously at 3.33 GHz, you can imagine the kind of performance this machine would offer. For the record, the Alienware Aurora ALX is by the far the most powerful machine we’ve tested till date, not only in terms of processing power but also the graphics.

Speaking of which, there are two ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards, in CrossFire, and each of them have 2 DVI ports, an HDMI and a display port. Now these cards, along with the rest of the hardware, seamlessly handle the most demanding games at maxed out settings. Before we start raving about how brilliant the gaming experience is, let’s first take a quick look at the rest of the hardware.

Equipped with a whopping 24 GB RAM (a very rare scenario) the machine has two 320 GB hard drives. The latter is something meager to have in such a powerful machine, as in they might as well could have thrown in atleast two 500 GB drives. Onward, on the front panel you’ll see a series of memory card readers for different formats and a Blu-ray combo drive, so if you’re connecting an HDTV to the machine, it could double up as an HTPC, a very expensive one of course.

At the back of the machine, the ports of the motherboard include 7 USB ports (out of which, one is USB3), an Ethernet jack, six audio jacks and optical out. The machine even has a Kensington lock slot, not that someone can easily just carry the machine. Finally the rig comes pre-loaded with Windows 7 Ultimate.


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