Alienware Aurora R3 System Autopsy
SiSoft Sandra & CineBench
We continued our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2009, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests (CPU Arithmetic, Memory Bandwidth, Physical Disks). All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor running at its default clock speed and with 4GB of DDR3-1333 RAM (2 DIMMs).
Our SiSoft Sandra benchmarks virtually ignore the dual graphics cards and place the attention squarely on the processor, memory, and physical disk(s) subsystems. At this point, we already know that Intel's Sandy Bridge platform is a solid performer, so what we're really looking for are any signs of system instability or poorly configured components, and we didn't spot any. Even the RAM with its DDR3-1333 frequency performed better than expected, and though the Aurora R3 (as configured) lacks a wicked fast solid state drive, the HDD in our setup spins at 7200RPM, has ample cache (64MB), and is free to run wild with a SATA 6Gbps interface.
Maxon's Cinebench R11.5 benchmark is based on Maxon's Cinema 4D software used for 3D content creation chores and tests both the CPU and GPU in separate benchmark runs. On the CPU side, Cinebench renders a photorealistic 3D scene by tapping into up to 64 processing threads (CPU) to process more than 300,000 total polygons, while the GPU benchmark measures graphics performance by manipulating nearly 1 million polygons and huge amounts of textures.
CineBench is one of the most taxing benchmarks we run. That's because it's tuned for workstations and professional-level graphics cards, not for home systems and gaming. With that in mind, the Aurora R3 put on a comparatively strong showing, and though not included in our graph above, it scored 84.07 frames per second in CineBench R11's OpenGL benchmark. What all this tells us is that like every other gaming system to come through HotHardware, the Aurora R3, while spunky, should stick with gaming and not professional-level content creation.