As the latest GPUs and CPUs from NVIDIA and Intel make their way to consumers, Alienware updates its Aurora desktop to take advantage of these components. The new Aurora R15 is one of the first prebuilt systems to come with a GeForce RTX 4090 option, but even if you don’t go for NVIDIA’s new flagship, the R15 seems to fix one of its predecessor’s major flaws.
Building on the Legend 2.0 case design the company introduced last year, Alienware claims that the Aurora R15 offers improved cooling performance thanks to a few tweaks. If you configure the desktop for liquid cooling, it will ship with a 240mm radiator instead of a 120mm radiator as was the case with previous Aurora PCs. Additionally, with the move to Intel’s latest 13th Gen CPUs, every system with a K-series chip will have five 120mm case fans. According to Alienware, these changes result in a system that allows more power to be pushed to the CPU, resulting in a double-digit increase in performance. At the same time, the processor stays up to 5 degrees Celsius cooler. For comparison, the Aurora R13 was notorious for its inadequate cooling, making it not a good buy for the price Dell was charging for it.
Alienware has also optimized its custom Z790 motherboard, introducing a layout that moves the PCIe 16x slot to its usual location closest to the CPU socket. According to the company, it’s a design that allows the Aurora R15 to house larger GPUs. As mentioned above, you can configure the computer with NVIDIA’s new RTX 4090 for $1,600. Alienware will not be offering the cheaper RTX 4080 in either 12GB or 16GB configurations for the time being. If you want a cheaper GPU instead, you can opt for a previous-gen RTX 30-series model or an AMD Radeon RX 6000-series card.
Crucially, Alienware will also offer a more powerful PSU option alongside GPUs like the 4090. You can configure the R15 with either a 750 watt or a 1350 watt power supply. Previously, the most powerful power adapter offered by Alienware was a 1,000 watt model. You will definitely need the 1,350 watt power supply if you want to run the R15 with a 4090.
In addition to the Aurora R15, Alienware is introducing a tenkeyless gaming keyboard. The AW420K features Cherry MX Red board-mounted linear switches, double-shot PBT keycaps, and per-key RGB. It’s interesting that Alienware chose a tenkeyless layout for its first keyboardless keyboard. The market is saturated with TKL options and in recent years 60 and 65 percent layout keyboards like the Razer Huntsman Mini and the GMMK 2 have become increasingly popular among gaming enthusiasts. Still, it’s nice to see Alienware expanding beyond 100 percent layouts. The AW420K will cost $130 when it arrives this fall. Alienware plans to release pricing information related to the Aurora R15 closer to availability later in the year.
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