© 182309159/Shutterstock.com

Key Points

  • Alienware is a branch of Dell, and they make an excellent gaming computer.
  • Their newest desktop is called the Aurora R12. It can handle multiple spec levels and is available at various price points/
  • The Alienware Aurora R12 costs approximately $1,799 USD.
alienware brand logo on a dark background
One of the best Intel gaming PC, the Aurora R12 is power-packed and spots a stunning design.

©182309159/Shutterstock.com

It is difficult to find a more recognizable PC gaming brand than Alienware. Love or hate them, Alienware, a subsidiary of Dell, has been making excellent gaming computers for decades. Their new Aurora R12 Desktop is no different. If you have no budget concerns, get one that has an RTX 3090 in it! Their desktop has multiple spec levels and is available at various price points. But if you want to remain on a lower budget, they also have builds to fit that need.

No review of any Alienware device is complete without talking about the design. Alienware has some of the boldest design languages of any PC, but that doesn’t necessarily mean good. The gamer aesthetics are off the charts for most of their computers, and the Aurora is no different.

Quick Facts

Release Date
18/03/2021
Original price
$2,299
Units Sold
N/A

Best Deal Today

Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop - Intel Core i7 11700F, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SDD + 1TB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB GDDR6, Windows 11 Home - Dark Side of The Moon
$1,699.99
  • 11th Generation Intel Core i7 11700F (8-Core, 16MB Cache, 2.5GHz to 4.9GHz w/Intel Turbo Boost Max)
  • 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 XMP Dual Channel up to 128GB (additional memory sold separately), 512GB PCIe M.2 Class 40 SSD (Boot) + 1TB 7200 RPM SATA HDD 6Gb/s (Storage)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8GB GDDR6
  • Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2x2) 802.11ax Wireless + Bluetooth 5.1
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/03/2023 04:56 am GMT

Alienware Aurora R12: Product Overview

Release Date and Price

The Aurora R12 was released on March 18th, 2021, soon after Intel released their 11th generation of CPUs. Alienware did not want to leave the customers behind, so after Intel promised a 19% boost in performance compared to the 10th generation, Dell was quick to integrate the Rocket Lake CPUs into not just Alienware but across the board.

Like many pre-built PCs, there is a range of price points to meet people’s different needs. On the low end of the specs for the Aurora R12, you can find one for around $1,199.00. However, with more specs and configurations, an Aurora desktop with RTX 3080 64GB of RAM and water cooling will cost you $2,349.00.

Features

Dell claims to be “raising the bar once again” with this desktop and its bounty of features. There are impressive technical feats like improved overclocking, innovative airflow, and legendary looks. The computer also has software packages to help control the LED lighting, overclocking and thermal control.

Now Dell, Alienware’s parent company, is notorious for the bloat software that they send along with their PCs. So your mileage may vary on whether that suite of software will help you out or just gum up your computer until you uninstall it.

 Specifications

Alienware Aurora R12 Desktop
Form factorMid Tower
CPU optionsIntel Gen11 i3/i5/i7/i9;
GPU optionsRTX 3060, RTX 3060-Ti, RTX 3070,RTX 3080, RTX 3090,
RAM slots4 Slots
Max RAM128 GB
USB ports(6x) USB 3.0 Type A; USB 3.0 Type C;
(6x) USB-A 2.0; USB 3.1 Type C; USB 3.1 Type A;
Other portsRJ45; Headset; Line-Out; Line-In;
S/PDFI optical/analog; Front, side, center, rare outputs;
PSU550/1000 W

Aurora R12 Desktop: Review

Performance

All those numbers are fun to look at, but we all came here to see how it games. After all, it is a gaming PC, so let’s check out some games and see how the computer performs.

Keep in mind that the results may vary from spec to spec, but overall you can expect reasonably decent performance regardless of your chosen spec. I want to make sure and point out that there are models out there that offer 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and I would not recommend going with these models. Reportedly, all these models are being shipped out with single stick memory configurations, severely limiting your PC’s capability.

With a spec near the top of the top, people have been getting average frame rates of around 155fps for Doom Eternal and 80-100fps for Horizon Zero Dawn.

Another hiccup a lot of reviewers have run into is because of Aurora’s design. There is not a lot of fresh airflow throughout the computer, so if you are pushing this machine, you might experience some thermal throttling, which is never fun.

Thermal throttling is when the computer’s components reach a certain temperature threshold that doesn’t allow them to operate at full capacity.

Design

Dell alienware keyboard and mouse on a desk
Alienware aurora 12 gaming desktop comes with a mechanical keyboard with onboard memory, 13GB lighting zones and programmable macro key functions.

©1196621986/Shutterstock.com

Alienware design still screams early 2000’s gaming computers. It’s the kind of desktop that when someone sees it, they can immediately know that this person is a gamer. That might be what you are going for, though; to each their own.

There are aspects of the design that I like. For example, I am a massive fan of Star Trek, and I think this design has a little of that Star Trek feel. If Alienware ever does a crossover design with the original enterprise design language, I will be waiting first in line to get that computer.

Customer Service

One of the biggest reasons I would recommend a pre-built gaming PC like this to someone is the customer service and tech support that comes with every purchase. While this service is not specific to the Aurora R12, Alienware and Dell have your back if you are a new PC user or just want 24/7 customer support.

The Dell website has helpful resources, including drivers, utilities, parts, and accessories. Self-help is possible via downloadable manuals and video tutorials. Contact options include phone, email, and live chat methods.

Alienware Aurora R12 Pros and Cons

List the pros and cons of this item in bullet format. 

Pros:

  • Works with Nvidia graphics cards
  • Powerful intel processors for gaming
  • High-performance XMP DDR4 memory
  • Excellent support and self-service option

Cons:

  • Fewer customizations Works
  • Basic mouse and keyboard

Alienware Aurora R12 Desktop: Is it a Buy?

The R12 desktop is undoubtedly a top gaming PC. It incorporates the latest Nvidia graphic cards, has good memory and storage options and provides excellent connectivity.

Buy if…

You are looking for a sleek machine with tremendous power to play modern-day games. Aurora R12 is a pretty good computer that does its job.

Don’t buy if…

You are looking for something that has an easier upgrade path and is friendly to work in as you get more comfortable with PCs, the Auro 12 might not suit you. Many pre-built PC companies use off-the-shelf parts that are easy to upgrade down the road so that you won’t buy a new PC each time.

Check out the Alienware Aurora R12 on Amazon.

NEXT UP…

Reviewed: Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop – WHOA FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is Alienware R12 good for gaming?

For most games, the Aurora R12 handles a majority of triple-A games. Although it has an issue with thermal throttling, keep that in mind.

Is the Alienware Aurora R12 upgradable?

They are poorly designed, use cheap parts, and are not upgradeable, except for fans and cooler and adding drives.

Does Alienware Aurora R12 have WiFi?

The Aurora R12 does have built-in WiFi that performs very well.

How much is an Alienware R12?

Depending on which spec you are looking at, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,199.00 to $2,349.00.

When did the Aurora R12 come out?

The Alienware Aurora R12 came out on March 18th, 2022.

About the Author

More from History-Computer

  • Hardware Corner Available here: https://www.hardware-corner.net/desktop-models/Alienware-Aurora-R12/
  • Dell.com Available here: https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/desktop-computers/alienware-aurora-r12-gaming-desktop/spd/alienware-aurora-r12-desktop
  • Top Ten Reviews Available here: https://www.toptenreviews.com/alienware-aurora-r12-review
  • MKAU Gaming Available here: https://www.mkaugaming.com/all-review-list/dell-alienware-aurora-r12-review/
  • Amazon Available here: https://www.amazon.com/Alienware-Aurora-R12-Gaming-Desktop/dp/B09DK1NN3C/ref=sr_1_3?ascsubtag=toptenreviews-us-1064121008618527500-20&geniuslink=true&keywords=Alienware+Aurora+R12&qid=1659213107&sr=8-3
  • Engadget Available here: https://www.engadget.com/dell-xps-aurora-desktop-intel-11th-gen-150009385.html