Alienware Aurora takes top gaming PC honors in Tom’s Guide Awards 2020

Alienware Aurora
(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Alienware)

When it comes to stylish, powerful, customizable gaming PCs, the Alienware Aurora is one of the most reliable names around, and that’s why it’s won our first annual Tom’s Guide Award as the best gaming PC you can buy.

To see what’s so striking about the Alienware Aurora, all you have to do is look at it. Rather than a blocky box, each Aurora model is a sleek oval, complemented by black highlights and tasteful LED lighting. The Alienware Aurora has a distinctive aesthetic, but the system feels elegant rather than over-the-top or obnoxious, like may gaming PCs.

But what really sets the Alienware Aurora series apart is just how well it performs. You can get the latest Intel or AMD CPUs, plus GPUs ranging up to twin Nvidia GeForce 2080 Tis. Whether you want 4 TB SSD storage or 64 GB RAM, the Alienware Aurora offers you the customization options to build the machine of your dreams.

The machines don’t just have great parts; they perform well, too, often blowing past the competition in both synthetic and real-world benchmarks. Everyday productivity tasks pose no challenge to the Alienware Aurora. When it comes to gaming, the system can run games like Far Cry: New Dawn and Middle-earth: Shadow of War at 4K with frame rates exceeding 60 fps. You don’t have to wait for the PS5 and Xbox Series X to get UHD resolutions and rapid frame rates; machines like the Alienware Aurora can do it right now.

But Alienware doesn’t expect the Aurora’s initial specs to last forever, so the system is also easy to upgrade. You can pop open the chassis and manipulate the RAM and GPU without using a single tool. You’ll need a single screwdriver to work with the cooling unit or the CPU, but that’s still a far sight better than busting out the whole toolkit every time you need to make a minor adjustment.

The Alienware Aurora faced some stiff competition from machines like the Corsair One i64 and the MSI Trident X. Both systems are much smaller than you’d expect a gaming PC to be, but still deliver powerful specs, gorgeous chasses and fantastic performance. The Alienware Aurora has more customization options, though, and has generally performed a little bit better in our tests.

With the Alienware Aurora R11 on the way, this line of pricey gaming PCs is poised to become even more powerful. Alienware machines aren’t cheap, but they’re also built to perform, and that counts for a lot.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.