This month marks 25 years since Alienware set up in a garage outside Miami, and to celebrate, the Dell-owned company has announced big changes to the design of its flagship gaming desktop, the Aurora.
The Aurora is a perennial favorite here at Tom's Guide, so we're excited to see the next iteration of this classic chassis. Here’s everything we know so far about 2021’s Alienware Aurora redesign.
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Alienware Aurora 2021 release date
Released on October 27, 2021, both the Alienware Aurora R13 and the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R14 are available to buy now. But you may have some trouble finding one since demand for high-performance PCs and components continues to outstrip supply.
Alienware Aurora 2021 price
As of October 27 Dell is selling two new models of Alienware Aurora, the Alienware Aurora R13 and the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R14. The Aurora R13 has a starting price of $1,479, while the Aurora Ryzen Edition R14 has a starting price of $1,249.
The big difference here is that the R13 comes with Intel CPUs and the Ryzen Edition R14 comes with, you guessed it, AMD Ryzen CPUs. However, the R13 packs the very latest Intel Alder Lake 12th Gen CPUs, which are hitting the market in October right alongside these new Auroras. These chips are Intel's first hybrid desktop CPUs, and they promise to deliver remarkable power and efficiency.
AMD also has a new line of Ryzen CPUs on the way, but they're not expected to debut until early 2022. That said, the Ryzen 5000-series chips in the Aurora Ryzen Edition R14 are still plenty powerful enough for most PC gaming enthusiasts, and they should stand you in good stead for years to come.
Alienware Aurora 2021 design
With the initial announcement, this is where Alienware has shared the most details. It all centers around a brand-new chassis: the Legend 2.0. This offers more internal space, more efficient airflow and overall quieter operation.
The addition of an optional clear side panel aside, from the outside the new case certainly looks familiar, albeit somewhat more angled. There’s an optional cylindrical cable cover you can add to the back if you like your desktop computers curvy, though people who need to cable manage often are best advised to leave it off.
That said, it adopts a much larger footprint, measuring 23.2 x 20.1 x 8.86-inches which goes some way to explaining the improved airflow — indeed, it apparently has 50% more internal volume than the current options. The company adds that the custom mainboard has power connections placed on the edges, which also makes for better, more airflow-friendly cable management.
Additionally, the new Aurora has space for up to four 120mm fans, with liquid cooling options also available. With said liquid cooling and the aforementioned adjustments to airflow, Alienware says the computer is 9% quieter than the current R10 and R12 models when under heavy CPU load and 16% less loud when idle.
The Alienware Aurora 2021 will come in two colors: Lunar Light (white) and Dark Side of the Moon (black).
Alienware Aurora 2021 specs
Unfortunately, this is another area where the company was quite tight-lipped. The only thing revealed about the 2021 Alienware Aurora’s specs is that it will come with up to an Nvidia RTX 3090 GPU which is something that pretty much anybody could have guessed. (Though it does say that performance was 5% faster using the same GPU as the current R12, which is encouraging.)
Given Alienware’s love of pushing the top-end specs, however, it's possible it will be configurable with Intel’s 12th-generation processors. We wouldn’t be surprised to see DDR5 RAM support, either.
Alienware Aurora 2021 outlook
All in all, the new Alienware Aurora looks like an elegant way for the company to celebrate its 25th birthday in style.
In a sense, it doesn’t really matter that details are so light on core specs. Alienware systems have always been as overpowered as your budget allows thanks to the heavy customization options available, and that’s likely to be the case again here.
The improvement to airflow, volume and performance from the new design could be far more significant — assuming Alienware’s already high prices aren’t also due an unwelcome 25th birthday adjustment.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.