If we had to sum up the performance of Alienware's Aurora ALX gaming system in two words, they would be "extremely fast." This rig provided the highest scores we've seen in six of the benchmarks that partially comprise our test suite. Granted, we expected it to do well with its cutting edge hardware and configuration, but the extent to which it dominated our real world gaming tests was truly impressive. For a gaming system, combining Intel's most powerful Core i7 processor with two killer graphics cards is truly a combination that currently can't be beat.
Alienware certainly knows how to configure a gaming machine, but the Aurora ALX isn't quite perfect. Without a doubt, this is the fastest gaming system we've tested to date. During the time since we posted the Aurora ALX preview article, we spent countless hours in gaming nirvana, due to the unparalleled performance the system has provided. Our biggest complaint is the noise level produced at start up which lasts almost three minutes once the power button is pressed. Although normal operation was very quiet, we could do without the graphics card cooling fan initially running at full blast for so long. Furthermore, at this price point, we expect to see SSDs installed. Don't get us wrong, two 1TB drives in RAID 0 is an excellent combination of speed and capacity, but including one of the latest SSDs as the OS / applications drive would provide increased performance and match the rest of the system's top of the line components. Lastly, we are still scratching our heads over the processor intensive Cinebench and LAME results. Even at stock speeds of 3.33GHz, the Intel Core i7 975 should have posted better results for these tests.
Loaded with some of the best components money can buy, it is easy to see why this system performed so well in our benchmark suite. A pair of ATI Radeon 5870 videocards in CrossFire will handle every current game with ease while supporting next generation DX11 titles as well. Additionally, the AlienwareFX lighting system gives the machine an eye catching look that will turn heads at every opportunity. We feel that those who can justify the $4,000 price tag that this machine commands will be satisfied with their purchase. For hardcore enthusiasts who want the best and don't mind paying for it, we highly recommend the Alienware Aurora ALX.
- Extraordinary gaming performance
- Impressive lighting system
- Processor is liquid cooled
- Quiet during normal operation
- Very loud at start up
- No SSD drives