Alienware Aurora R5 Review: Small Stature, Big Performance

Aurora R5 Review Summary And Conclusion

The Alienware Aurora R5 is a surprisingly difficult desktop PC to nail down with a simple description. Let's get the easy observations out of the way first. It's a fantastic performer at a reasonable price. It looks great on the outside and is intelligently constructed on the inside.
alienware aurora r5 mordor onscreen

As much as we like the new Aurora, it is still a mass market product that lacks the some of finer touches of some boutique systems. There's no side panel to show off the internals and the plastic shell doesn't have the most inspiring feel to it. The single fan radiator should get overclockers pretty far, but it can get a little loud to compensate if forced to ramp-up. Then again, it is equipped with a solid liquid cooling solution and the system, despite its relatively small size, is capable of handling a powerful configuration like the one we tested, complete with NVIDIA's latest GeForce GTX 1080 and the fastest Skylake chip out there. 
alienware aurora r5 rear three quarters psu open

Nevertheless, Dell's Alienware Aurora R5 is an excellent machine for anyone who wants to jump into gaming and have a powerful desktop PC for heavier duty productivity and content creation workloads. It provides a first rate experience without sacrificing upgradeability or requiring significant experience to get the system humming along just right. With a wide array of configuration options starting at $799, the Alienware Aurora R5 earns an easy HotHardware recommendation.
  • Compact, sharp-looking case
  • Solid, steel-frame construction
  • High-end specs and performance
  • True 4K and VR gaming potential
  • Overclocking headroom
  • Tool-less upgradeability
  • Capacity for Dual GPU configurations
  • Fully modular PSU
  • Low-key LED accent lights
  • A little noisy under heavy OC loads
  • All plastic external skins
  • Some configurations can be pricey

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