Published on January 21st, 2024 | by James Wright
ALIENWARE AURORA R16 GAMING DESKTOP REVIEW
Summary: The Alienware Aurora R16 is a powerful gaming desktop rig but it does come at a cost!
Power at a cost!
If you’re looking for a straight out of the box gaming rig, it’s hard to look past Alienware and best of all, they support a variety of different configurations that can be tailored to your budget. The Alienware Aurora R16 Gaming Desktop starts at $2,798 (Jan 2024) and comes with the new Legend 3 design that has been designed to improve airflow and cooling inside the system without affecting performance. You can even choose a CPU liquid cooling option that makes it even quieter with lower temperatures to maximise your gaming experience.
Full configurations and specifications can be found at https://www.dell.com/en-au/shop/dell-desktop-computers/alienware-aurora-r16-gaming-desktop/spd/alienware-aurora-r16-desktop
The base model that we reviewed at Impulse Gamer was the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 version ($4,748.70) that boasted the following hardware highlights;
- 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900F
- CPU Liquid Cooling
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080
- Microsoft Windows 11 Home (64-bit)
- 32GB DDR5 RAM (5600MT/s)
- 512GB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (Storage)
As the review unit came with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080, it allows for high-end gaming (up to 4K), dedicated RT (Ray Tracing) cores for in-game ray tracing and NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 AI technology to help boost performance. Streamers will also be pleased that NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 supports their Broadcast App that allows for fine-tuned streaming to ensure a smoother presentation. Also supporting the gaming experience is a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900F and although it’s not the new 14th Gen CPU from Intel, the performance improvement is minimal as it still boasts excellent speed and multi-tasking thanks to its hybrid architecture.
The fast DDR5 5600 MT/s memory also complements the CPU and GPU to ensure smooth operations. The boot up speed of the R16 is fast thanks to the 512GB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD which does help with gaming as games still access the operating. As expected, the R16 comes with high speed wireless connectivity with Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E plus Bluetooth Wireless or even faster 2.5Gbps Ethernet wired connectivity.
In terms of design, the Aurora R16 screams Alienware with its gaming inspired aesthetics, including one of the coolest logos in the gaming hardware world around, the “X-Files” inspired alien head. The Basalt Black gaming case (Height: 418mm x Width: 197mm x Depth: 458mm) is very well-built and easy to access should gamers wishing to open the R16. However he entire rig is quite heavy at around 15.37kg – needless to say, a very solid gaming desktop.
Like other gaming desktops from Alienware, one part of the case features a clear tempered glass side that allows you to see components inside the case without opening it up and with the lighting inside, it makes for an impressive visual treat. Also supporting the external appearance of the gaming case is that when it is matched with other Alienware peripherals such as monitors, keyboards or mice (for example), you can use the Alienware Command Centre software to create some further amazing lighting effects across this ecosystem.
- 1 Global headset port
- 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
- 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1 port with PowerShare technology
- 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C® port with PowerShare technology
- 1 Rear L/R surround port
- 1 Optical S/PDIF port
- 1 Side L/R surround port
- 1 Audio input/microphone port
- 1 Line-out port
- 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C® port (10Gbps)
- 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C® port (20Gbps)
- 2 USB 2.0 Type-A ports with Smart Power Technology
- 1 Coaxial S/PDIF port
- 1 Center/subwoofer LFE surround port
- 1 Line-in port
- 2 USB 2.0 Type-A ports
- 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports (5Gbps)
- 1 RJ45 Ethernet port
- 1 Dual Self-Complementary Antenna (SCA) ports
Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action-adventure RPG set in the dark future of Night City — a dangerous megalopolis obsessed with power, glamor and ceaseless body modification. The game is developed by CD Projekt Red and basedMike Pondsmith’s tabletop game series. It’s easily one of the most detailed living breathing gaming environments and on the Aurora R16, it is super playable in 2180p, including 4K. With Ray Tracing enabled, the game looks phenomenal on 1080p.
Horizon Zero Dawn is a 2017 action role-playing game developed by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. The plot follows Aloy, a young hunter in a world overrun by machines, who sets out to uncover her past. On the R16, the game was super fast on 1080p at 195 frames per second, however on 4K, it easily pushes 110 frames per second that was my preferred resolution, just to appreciate the amazing attention to detail.
Lastly, we had Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the best Tomb Raider game! In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara must master a deadly jungle, overcome terrifying tombs, and persevere through her darkest hour. As she races to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, Lara must become the Tomb Raider she is destined to be. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is another game with some superb detail and on 1080p, 2180 and 4k with super smooth gameplay. However on the R16, the game takes a whole new level with Ray Tracing enabled at 4K.
The Alienware Aurora R16 Gaming Desktop is a solution for gamers looking for an easy out of the box system that plays all the latest games without the woes of building your own machine. However with that in mind, it does come at a cost with the base model at $2,798AUD (Jan 2024) or the second from the top model (which we reviewed) at $4,748AUD (Jan 2024). For gaming, it delivers that fast performance with exceptional graphics, including 4K and Ray Tracing courtesy of its CPU and GPU that in turn offers future proofing, including potential upgrade options for owners. It is also a very quiet gaming rig and Alienware should be commended on their cooling technologies that work well.
For more information, please visit https://www.dell.com/en-au/shop/dell-desktop-computers/alienware-aurora-r16-gaming-desktop/spd/alienware-aurora-r16-desktop