Alienware Aurora R3 System Autopsy

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Software, Accessories, & First Boot

Your bundle partially depends on how many add-ons you choose to dump in your virtual shopping cart when configuring an Alienware system. Need a monitor? Dell gives you a handful to choose from. Speakers, headsets, gaming controllers, and gaming software are also among the optional accessories.

If you choose to add nothing at all to your system, you'll still receive a basic multimedia keyboard and mouse, Alienware mouse pad, drivers and utilities disc, Windows 7 installation DVD, an applications disc (CyberLink PowerDVD 3D and RemoteMedia software), and an Aurora R3 Resource DVD with various odds and ends related to your system. Alienware included its TactX keyboard and mouse combination in our bundle, a $150 add-on that steps up both input peripherals with gaming grade features, like a much higher DPI and customizable profiles.

Remember how we mentioned that even though Dell owns Alienware, these specialized gaming machines are still infused with boutique system building DNA? Check out the desktop. We're not talking about the custom wallpaper, of which Alienware includes several, but the complete lack of performance robbing bloatware, toolbars, and other digital cruft to be shoveled into the recycle bin. To Dell's credit, we noted a similar experience when we reviewed the OEM's Studio XPS 7100 desktop system

Alienware systems also ship with Dell's proprietary Aliewnare Command Center software, a non-intrusive utility that allows you to manage your rig's thermal system and customize the LED light show. The latter is particularly cool, in that you can configure up the Aurora R3 to change its lighting behavior based on specific events, like when you get an email. There are different colors and transition effects at your disposal.

Both the TactX keyboard and mouse ship with customization software to setup different profiles, create profiles, record macros, change the lighting scheme, and so forth. What's nice here is how Dell integrates the software into the Alienware experience.

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