Alienware Aurora R8 Review: A Compact RTX Gaming Powerhouse
Alienware Aurora R8: General Compute Benchmarks
For each of our benchmarks, we ran the Aurora R8 with both its stock profile and our custom overclocking profile described on the previous page. The overclocked results are designated by an OC next to the model name.
Cinebench R15 + R20
3D Rendering Benchmark
We start things off with the tried and true processor benchmark, Cinebench R15. During our testing, Cinebench R20 was also released to the public, so we have both results for comparison
In these benchmarks, the Aurora R8's Core i7-9700K stares down a number of workstation-grade, many-core behemoths from Threadripper to Skylake-X. While this consumer oriented processor cannot compete on the multi-threaded front, it does put up strong single-threaded numbers, which are important for gaming and general system responsiveness.
CPU Ray Tracing Benchmark
POV-Ray, or the Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer, is an open source tool for creating realistically lit images. We tested with POV-Ray's standard 'one-CPU' and 'all-CPU' benchmarking tools on all our test machines and recorded the scores reported for each. Results are measured in pixels-per-second throughput; higher scores equate to better performance.
POV-Ray is another benchmark which benefits heavily from many-core processors. The Aurora R8's middle of the pack multi-threaded performance is respectable when you consider the Core i7-9700K has just 8 cores and 8 threads up against the Core i9-7980XE's 18 cores and 32 threads.
Once again its single-threaded performance is strong in the field, though we find the same single-core performance regression from Cinebench when overclocked. We do not have an explanation for this, per se, but it does not seem to create performance issues elsewhere.
PCMark 8 simulates the workloads computers face in several different settings, including home, office and content creation. The benchmark also has a test that simulates a creative professional’s usage, as well as battery and storage tests. We ran the tests with OpenCL acceleration enabled to leverage the power of the system's GPU, CPU and storage subsystem combined.
The Aurora R8's PCMark 8 score reflects a well balanced system. It comfortably outperforms other single GPU systems and is within striking distance of the top performers. Admittedly there can be a bit of variance between PCMark 8 runs, but we can say with confidence that this configuration is a strong performer here.
Next Generation Productivity
PCMark 10 covers a wide range of activities from everyday productivity tasks to demanding work with digital media content. It is broken down into four subscores. Essentials covers common, everyday workloads including Web browsing, video conferencing, and app launching. Productivity measures system performance with office applications including spreadsheets and document writing. Digital Content Creation reflects digital content and media creation including photo editing and video editing, rendering and visualization. Finally, Gaming tests real-time graphics and physics with two graphics tests, a physics test, and a combined test.
We are still bringing PCMark 10 up to speed and don't have a ton of data from other gaming systems, but what we do have looks promising for the Aurora R8. At stock speeds, it handily beats out the Core i9-7980XE powered Area-51 thanks to its higher default clocks. Once overclocked, however, the Area-51 has enough headroom to muscle out our Aurora system. It's possible more aggressive overclocks on the Aurora could tip the scales back in its favor, but it all comes down to the silicon lottery in the end.