Alienware has finally updated the design of its Aurora desktop PCs, ditching the the vastly oversized, angular, plastic-clad form of its Aurora R15 design and opting for a much more compact style. The new Alienware Aurora R16 PC design looks much more like a conventional computer case but still with some signature Alienware touches.
By adopting a more conventional cuboid shape, the new R16 design manages to be 40% smaller than the previous R15 model. This not only makes for a design that is likely to have wider appeal, thanks to it being a little less outlandish, but it also makes for a much more practical system to live with, thanks to it simply taking up less desk/floor space.
In terms of styling, the new case holds onto the rounded pill-shaped forms that have become the signature of the Alienware brand, with the corners of the case rounded over and a very stretched ring of light on the side surrounding the side air intake – dubbed the ‘Stadium Loop’. It’s a design that we generally quite like the look of and feel competes favorably with plenty of the cases on our best PC case list.
One crucial feature that is less common on standalone cases is that the side panel includes holes for graphics card ventilation. This provides both cool air intake and hot air exhaust and should ensure the case copes comfortably with the heat kicked out by high-end graphics cards. That said, the company is only offering up to RTX 4080 cards, with RTX 4070 Ti systems the maximum currently available. There are no AMD-based systems, either – it’s all Intel and Nvidia CPU and GPU combinations.
RGB lighting abounds in the new case with the Stadium Loop being surrounded by a 44-zone LED ring, plus the rear 120mm exhaust fan lights up and the Alienware head logo on the front glows too.
Internally, Alienware as ever employees a host of proprietary parts, despite seemingly using a standard size motherboard and case. There’s a custom 240mm AIO CPU cooler mounted to the top of the chassis and exhausting its heat out the top of the case. Then there’s a custom 120mm fan shroud pulling air through the front intake and across the graphics card.
The custom motherboard in has 12-phase voltage regulation for stable CPU power delivery, though overclocking won’t be an option, and you also get built-in Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6E and two M.2 SSD slots (up to 8TB of PCIe Gen 4 storage). The rear IO consists of one 20Gbps USB-C port, a 10Gbps USB-C port, two 5Gbps USB-A ports, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports as well as 2.5Gbps ethernet and an array of audio outputs.
The systems support up to 64GB of DDR5-5600 RAM and you can fit a 3.5mm hard drive. Power supplies vary with the configuration you choose, topping out at a 1000W 80+ Platinum model. The front of the case is also home to a USB-C port running at 10Gbps, three 5Gbps USB-A ports, and a 3.5mm headset jack.
Pricing for the new Aurora R16 starts at $1,750, which gets an Intel Core i7-13700F, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070, 16GB of DDR5 5600 MT/s, and a 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD.
While we here at Custom PC generally like to encourage the custom PC approach of building yourself, for many of us buying a pre-built system can save a lot of headaches. You get a warranty, for those new to PCs you can guarantee the thing works, and for those with limited time you get to just use your PC straight away, without the down time of building. Plus, you can always start your road towards customization and the PC building hobby by upgrading all the other aspects of your system, such as monitors, mice, speakers and more. The Alienware AW2523HF does, after all, make it onto our best gaming monitor list.
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