With the latest GPUs and CPUs from NVIDIA and Intel making their way to consumers, Alienware is updating its Aurora desktop to take advantage of those components. The new Aurora R15 is one of the first pre-built systems to come with a GeForce RTX 4090 option, but even if you don’t go for NVIDIA’s new flagship, the R15 looks to address one of the main flaws of its predecessor.
Building on the Legend 2.0 case design the company introduced last year, Alienware claims the Aurora R15 delivers improved cooling performance thanks to a few tweaks. If you configure the desktop for liquid cooling, it will come with a 240mm radiator instead of a 120mm one as was the case with previous Aurora PCs. Additionally, with the move to Intel’s latest 13th-generation CPUs, any system with a K-series chip will feature five 120mm chassis fans. According to Alienware, those changes make for a system that allows it to push more power to the CPU, translating into a double-digit uplift in performance. At the same time, the processor stays up to 5 degrees Celsius cooler. For context, the Aurora R13 was notorious for featuring inadequate cooling, making it not a good buy for the price Dell was asking for it.
Alienware has also tweaked its custom Z790 motherboard, adopting a layout that moves the PCIe 16x slot to its usual position closest to the CPU socket. According to the company, it’s a design that will allow the Aurora R15 to accommodate bigger GPUs. As mentioned above, you can configure the computer with NVIDIA’s new $1,600 RTX 4090. For the time being, Alienware won’t offer the more affordable RTX 4080 in either its 12GB or 16GB configurations. Instead, if you want a less expensive GPU, you can go with a previous generation RTX 30 series model or an AMD Radeon RX 6000 series card.
Critically, Alienware will also offer a more powerful PSU option alongside GPUs like the 4090. You can configure the R15 with either a 750-watt or 1,350-watt power supply. Previously, the most powerful PSU Alienware offered was a 1,000-watt model. You’ll definitely need the 1,350-watt PSU if you plan to run the R15 with a 4090.
Alongside the Aurora R15, Alienware is introducing a tenkeyless gaming keyboard. The AW420K features plate-mounted Cherry MX Red linear switches, double-shot PBT keycaps and per-key RGB. It’s interesting that Alienware has gone with a tenkeyless layout for its first non full-sized keyboard. The market is saturated with TKL options and in recent years 60 and 65 percent layout keyboards like the Razer Huntsman Mini and GMMK 2 have become more popular among gaming enthusiasts. Still, it’s nice to see Alienware expand beyond 100 percent layouts. The AW420K will cost $150 when it arrives this fall. Alienware plans to share pricing information related to the Aurora R15 closer to availability later in the year.
Correction 09/28/22 4:24PM ET: Alienware has clarified that the price of the AWK420K is $150, not $130 as the company's public relations agency first quoted.