Best Alienware desktop Windows Central 2022
Building a killer gaming PC can be a daunting task for a novice, with cutting-edge hardware running up costs and compatibility mismatches causing headaches. Even the most hardcore enthusiasts spring for a pre-built machine if individual parts suffer from chip shortages and price hikes. Custom-designed gaming rigs from Alienware, a subsidiary of computer giant Dell, are designed with performance in mind, taking advantage of their custom-made cooling technology and sleek case design. The Alienware Aurora desktop PC line features a wealth of impressive hardware, so we've picked the best Alienware desktop and some alternatives.
- Best overall: Alienware Aurora R13 (RTX 3080)
- Runner-up: Alienware Aurora R13 (RTX 3070)
- Best for AMD: Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 (RX 6800 XT)
- Budget friendly: Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 (RTX 3060)
Best overall: Alienware Aurora R13 (RTX 3080)
It's no secret that Alienware desktops aren't usually known as a budget-friendly choice when it comes to pre-built computers, but if you're looking for high-tech hardware without the stress of building a PC yourself, then the Aurora R13 has it all. Leading the hardware list with the latest 12th generation processors from Intel, the R13 features an i9-12900KF, a 16-core CPU clocked at 3.2GHz capable of overclocking up to 5.2GHz.
Taking advantage of the DDR5 support that comes with the 12th Gen Intel Core CPU, Alienware includes 64GB (2x 32GB) of dual-channel RAM clocked at 4400MHz, with support for up to 128GB should you decide to upgrade the R13 rig later.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 with 10GB of VRAM is standing the test of time as being the best graphics card in its class. Providing the best performance versus cost, this addition to the Aurora R13 completes the package as an exceptional gaming PC and the best Alienware desktop. Completely capable of 4K gaming and beyond, the 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive has plenty of storage space for your games and more.
- Latest generation Intel CPU
- Fantastic GPU
- Stunning case design
Alienware Aurora R13 (RTX 3080)
Massive performance without going overboard
The Aurora R13 configured with the GeForce RTX 3080 pairs perfectly with the 12th Gen Intel Core i9 and 64GB DDR5 RAM to provide exceptional performance in 4K gaming and beyond. Expensive, but with the price gouging and scarcity of PC hardware, this could be your best bet.
Runner-up: Alienware Aurora R13 (RTX 3070)
Considering the significant price drop from the initial Aurora R13, it's forgivable to feel confused over the naming system for the customizable Alienware desktop PC line. Fortunately, the hardware doesn't suffer from the cheaper cost since this Aurora R13 also offers a 12th Gen Intel CPU, the i7-12700KF, a 12-core processor clocked at 3.6GHz and rated for overclocking up to 5GHz.
The memory size might take the most noticeable drop down to 16GB (2x 8GB), but it's still dual-channel DDR5 rated at 4400MHz and supports upgrading to 128GB should you feel at all restricted by a lack of RAM. Where it makes up for the loss is in storage space; its 512GB NVMe M.2 PCIe solid-state drive is backed up by a mechanical 1TB SATA hard drive, rated at 7200 RPM for 6Gb/s transfer speeds.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB continues the trend of cutting costs without sacrificing too much GPU performance. It's better suited for gaming at 1440p rather than 4K, so bear that in mind when pairing your Aurora desktop PC with a monitor. Considering the price difference, the RTX 3070 still puts on an impressive display with its ray tracing and DLSS support.
- Latest 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake CPU
- GeForce RTX 3070 still a strong contender
- Much cheaper
- Limited RAM
Alienware Aurora R13 (RTX 3070)
A strong contender for less
An alternative configuration to the Aurora R13 swaps out the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 for its little brother, the RTX 3070. Saving a huge chunk of money, the secondary hard drive makes up for the drop in GPU performance and RAM size with extra storage space. Great for 1440p gaming.
Best for AMD: Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 (RX 6800 XT)
AMD continues to push its technology forward and stand as the strongest competitor to Intel and NVIDIA, with their Ryzen processors proving to be fantastic for value for money. The Aurora Ryzen edition R10 comes with the 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 5800 CPU, rated up to a maximum of 4.6GHz when overclocked, and pairs up with their powerhouse AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT GPU, all contained in a sleek case.
16GB (2x8GB) of dual-channel DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200MHz is upgradeable to 128GB, should you decide to add memory in the future. A pairing of a 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe solid-state drive for the operating system and a 1TB mechanical 7200 RPM 6Gb/s hard drive for extra storage leaves plenty of space for games and software, with super-fast boot times thanks to the SSD.
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT 16GB is part of the AMD 6000 Series GPU lineup, supporting ray tracing and FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technology, AMD's answer to the NVIDIA DLSS image upscaling tech. This excellent combination of hardware makes the Aurora R10 Ryzen edition a worthy alternative to the Alienware desktop PCs featuring Intel and NVIDIA hardware.
- Powerful AMD 6000 Series GPU
- 2TB combined storage space
- Sleek case design
- Limited RAM
Best for AMD
Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 (RX 6800 XT)
A worthy competitor with its powerful GPU
Taking the alternate route away from Intel and NVIDIA, AMD covers the CPU and GPU with their fantastic Ryzen and Radeon hardware. Huge storage space and FSR support on the GPU make for comfortable 1440p and 4K gaming.
Budget friendly: Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 (RTX 3060)
As previously mentioned, AMD offers plenty of value for money with their PC components, so it's no surprise that a Ryzen CPU makes the pick for the best budget setup. The Ryzen 7 5800 is an 8-core CPU rated for up to 4.6GHz overclocked capable of running modern games, paired with 16GB (2x 8GB) of dual-channel DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200MHz. A single 7200 RPM mechanical drive provides 1TB of storage for installing games.
The real star of the budget show is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, packed with 12GB VRAM, complementing the CPU and memory perfectly. The second of its kind in the RTX 30 series (above the 3050), the 3060 supports all the luxuries that come with RTX cards, including ray-traced lighting and reflections, G-Sync monitor support, and DLSS image scaling.
4K gaming might be out of the question with this build, but if you aim your sights closer to 1080p or 1440p, then the Aurora R10 is a great entry-level Alienware PC desktop. Naturally, all of the hardware is upgradeable, so you could upgrade the CPU, RAM, GPU, or anything else in the future. This Ryzen edition PC will get you into PC gaming with ease and last for many years with upgrades.
- Cheaper access to GeForce RTX GPU
- Ryzen 7 still a capable CPU
- Slower OS boot times without SSD
Picking up a pre-built gaming PC can be as easy as choosing a console, and the Alienware Aurora range from Dell makes sure of it. With the hardware breakdown on each Aurora desktop, it's easier than ever to target hardware for the games you want to play. The state of PC hardware parts has been like a rollercoaster ride in recent years, with graphics cards utilized for cryptocurrency mining causing the demand to skyrocket.
The Alienware Aurora R13 packs cutting-edge hardware into a gorgeous case and will be ready for the future of PC gaming with its fantastic NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. Coupled with the latest-generation Intel Core CPU and lightning-fast DDR5 RAM, it's the best Alienware desktop for the price. So if you prefer to leave the PC building process to the experts, Alienware has you covered, letting you focus on gaming.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Ben Wilson is a freelance writer for Windows Central with technology expertise. Keeping up with cutting-edge electronics, his experience in technology sales helps him make informed recommendations. Usually fueled by coffee, you would likely find him behind one screen or another.
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