Alienware Aurora R8 Review: A Compact RTX Gaming Powerhouse
Alienware Aurora R8: Ray-Traced Gaming Benchmarks
According to UL, the recently-released 3DMark Port Royal test is a “realistic and practical example of what to expect from ray tracing in upcoming games”. The test incorporated ray tracing effects, running in real-time, at a resolution of 2560 × 1440. 3DMark Port Royal was developed with input from AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and other leading technology companies, and while it can technically run on any DX12-class GPU with DXR support, it is only NVIDIA’s Turing-based GeForce RTX cards that have ray tracing-enabled drivers at the moment.
Port Royal brings results similar to our Time Spy testing. Once again we have test bench figures included so we have a point of comparison. The Aurora R8 is not able to keep pace with our test bench's RTX 2080 at stock speeds. Once overclocked though, the Aurora R8 strikes back with a reasonable performance edge.
Ray tracing enabled titles are only beginning to release. Battlefield V is the first big player to harness the power of NVIDIA's new RT cores. The result is a graphically intensive and visually stunning first-person shooter. We decided to step the Aurora R8 through a variety of RTX and DLSS settings on Ultra Quality to see how it fares.
There is a lot to digest here. Let's start the analysis with 1080p. DLSS is not available at 1080p with the RTX 2080. Naturally, the best frame rates result from turning DXR off. Even with DXR turned on, however, the Aurora R8 is more than capable of maintaining in excess of 60fps which should please most users. Maximum eye-candy and excellent frame rates? We will certainly take it.
Moving up to 1440p is probably the Aurora R8's sweet spot. Of all the DXR enabled settings, the overclocked DXR Ultra with DLSS provides the best framerates. We cannot perceive any degradation in image quality with DLSS enabled at these settings, so this is probably the preferred loadout to use if you want the best of everything.
4K DXR without DLSS can charitably be described as "playable" but we would not recommend it. Fortunately, enabling DLSS does recoup a 50% or so increase in frame rate, though it still falls shy of 60fps. 4K ray tracing is best relegated to the beefier RTX 2080 Ti at this point.
One take away from this testing is the generally small performance gap between DXR Low and DXR Ultra. If you have any interest in enabling ray tracing, it seems silly not to make the most of it, especially when DLSS can recover performance at higher resolutions.