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If you are looking to buy a gaming PC that is already beefed up to handle the heavy duty demands of most high end modern title, the popular gaming PC line by Alienware could be an ideal choice. Alienware Aurora gaming units offer great value for gamers who are looking to enjoy the best gaming experience for their budget.
If you are interested in a gaming computer, which model will be best suited for your needs? We explore in finer detail two leading picks in this Alienware Aurora R7 vs R8 review.
Alienware Aurora R7 Review
The Aurora R8 might be an upgrade on the R7, but the latter is an impressive unit that is adequate for most gaming needs. Would this model offer value for your desired gaming experience? Can it handle your gaming expectations? Just how upgradeable is it? We explore the Aurora R7 in this in depth review.
Aesthetics and Build
The tool-less design of the Aurora R7 is inspired by the R5’s build, but like its predecessor, the R7 is pretty straightforward in its aesthetic. The Aurora R7 features a plastic frame with reinforced metal lining, but the opaque build can often be considered as plain when compared to other open frame options.
The Aurora R7 makes up for the dull build by adding a set of customizable LED lights, as well as superior ventilation for noise free operation and a minimal risk of overheating.
This model offers multiple ports on both the front and back panels, which offer multiple connectivity and support options. From USB controllers to multiple displays, the R7 will enhance your gaming experience.
The portable build of the R7 is enhanced by a carry-on handle, allowing for easier use across different locations. The standard 1 year warranty on offer can be extended to ensure comprehensive purchase protection.
Productivity and Performance
The Aurora R7 is optimized for gaming, and you can be guaranteed faster launch times and quicker boot loading. The liquid cooling system ensures the Intel Core i7-8700 CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 video card stay cool even with intensive use.
While it compares badly to the R8 in the GPU specifications, it will still deliver an impressive output for multitasking and most medium to heavy duty titles. The Aurora R7 ranked well when compared to other gaming rigs running similar components, outperforming most options in multitasking and other aspects of everyday use.
Thanks to specialized Alienware software, such as the Alienware FX and Alienfusion, all aspects of your gaming experience can be customized , which makes this model a great choice for your gaming hub. While the 16 GB RAM on offer is limited compared to the 32 GB on offer with the R8, it will still be sufficient for demanding tasks and heavy duty processes. The 256GB SSD+2TB HDDin storage should allow you to store large titles and content without too much limitation.
Alienware Aurora R8 Review
The angled fleet and sloped top of the Aurora R8, borrowed from the R5, is a major trademark for this highly upgradeable and powerful gaming rig. But what does this high end gaming unit offer? Can it match your gaming needs? Here are some of the key features and specifications.
Aesthetics and Build
While the opaque plastic frame compares badly to modern open chassis cases, this high quality build actually fares well in terms of durability. The strong build is enhanced by metal lining, with the deceptively small build offering impressive upgrade potential.
The Aurora R8 will accommodate multiple cards, with some of the closest competitors such as the Digital Storm Lynx and Origin PC Neuron, which are at least 7% larger. It also features a carry-on handle, which makes it more portable than your average gaming unit.
That said, the model is not at all plain. It features minimalist LED strip lights that enhance the overall aesthetic, and which can be controlled by the preinstalled Alien FX software. We like the cable management, but gamers should still be careful when handling upgrades to their unit to avoid clipping or bending any cables.
The intuitive port placement allows for a large range of connectivity options. The mainstay ports on the rear include SPDIF, Ethernet, display, HDMI and additional USB ports, which should offer convenient use when combined with the extensive options on the front panel as well.
Like the R7, the R8 comes with a standard 1-year warranty with additional extended packages also on offer.
Productivity and Performance
The upgradeability of the Aurora R8 extends beyond supporting two graphics cards. Our review unit featured twin 16 GB HyperX RAM chips, with two additional slots allowing for an expansion to up to 64 GB RAM.
For gamers who are concerned about the paltry 512 GB SSD for storage, the model also features a 2GB HDD with up to 5 storage bays for appropriate expansion. The R8 will support multiple large titles and content, and will offer future upgrade capacity in this regard as well.
Our review model shipped in with the Intel Core i7-9900k CPU, which offered an impressive output for gaming and other applications. The unit is optimized for faster launches, and the quick loading times were an attractive draw. From video encoding to editing, this unit will live up to high standards.
The model also featured a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, which is well suited for heavy duty use. It supports dual graphics, which should ensure superior output even for the biggest titles on offer. The unit performed well even with games that require more complex rendering, but the fan system proved to be a bit noisy when it was taxed consistently.
So, which of Alienware Aurora R7 vs R8 is best suited for your needs? The Aurora R8 tops the R7 in performance, but the latter Is still a very powerful option. As we’ve explored in our table, both models will be suited for powerful game play, with the enhanced upgradeability allowing gamers to keep up with future releases.
The right gaming unit for your needs between these two models will depend on the intensity of your use, but we feel the R8 is the better option for powerful output.