To be completely honest, I have no idea where to begin when discussing the R12. For several weeks, I had alternated between using it and my desktop computer. Using it for anything from regular business activities to gaming, which is an R12’s obvious use case.
Before we begin, I would like to let you know that this is not how I roll. If you came here looking for pages and pages of detailed information about every single piece of hardware in this machine or if you came looking for graphs and tables showing how the R12 compares to every other PC on the market. I enjoy discussing PCs, like the R12, from the perspectives of a gamer and an IT professional. Professional could be pushing it, but nonetheless.
The R12 can best be described by drawing comparisons to the Hulk. a beast that can annihilate practically anything that stands in its way. Almost.
Dell Alienware Aurora R12
|Processor:||Intel Core i9 11900KF 11th Gen|
|GPU:||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB GDDR6X|
|RAM:||32GB, 2x16GB, DDR4, 3200MHz Up to 128GB|
|Hard Drive:||1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD + 2TB 7200RPM SATA|
|Dimensions:||17 x 8.77 x 18.96 inches|
|Ports||Front: (2x) Type-A USB 3.2, Type-A USB 3.2, Type-C USB 3.2, Headphone, & Microphone|
Back: Coax, TOSLINK, RJ-45 Killer Ethernet, (6x) Type-A USB 2.0 Ports, Type-C USB 3.2, Type-A USB 3.2, Side Surround Output, Mic, Line Out, (3x) Type-A USB 3.2, & Subwoofer Output
|Colors:||Black & White|
pros and cons
- Top Notch Performance
- Top Notch Processor
- Great Design and look
- Nicely Optimized for gaming and heavy tasks
- More Specs – Much More Expensive
- Fans are Noisy
- Little Cooling Issue
Dell Alienware Aurora R12 Review
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000-series graphics cards power the majority of Alienware Aurora R12 models, which is a fantastic place to start for a gaming PC. These cards are the best currently available because of the excellent Ampere architecture, abundant memory, and appropriate ray tracing.
less expensive Alienware The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is the graphics card used in Aurora R12 systems, making it ideal for 1080p gaming and esports games like Fortnite, Warzone, and League of Legends on 144Hz and 240Hz displays. A more potent mainstream alternative that can play any game at 1080p and 1440p is the RTX 3070. Also great for widescreen displays.
The most expensive Aurora models feature RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 cards if you’re serious about playing the most demanding games and having plenty of future headroom. The RTX 3090 is a beast that can handle 4K and 8K gaming, multi-monitor setups, and the largest widescreen. The RTX 3080 can play games seamlessly at 4K. It’s a card that is looking into the future.
In contrast, the Aurora R12 with the lowest price tag makes use of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super. Although that card is capable of handling popular 1080p gaming and esports, it lacks future headroom and does not support ray-tracing.
This device varies from the Aurora Ryzen Edition, which uses AMD CPUs, in that Alienware mixes Nvidia graphics cards with Intel processors (opens in new tab).
Design & Built
The R12 isn’t everyone’s cup of tea in terms of aesthetics, but as the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Without a certain, it does not resemble the troll under the bridge, but there is a possibility for aesthetic development. Which the new R13 appears to have accomplished. So, there you go.
With its front covered with RGB lighting, the R12 sports the recognizable Alienware “spacecraft engine” appearance. The word “ALIENWARE” is written along the case’s lines from top to bottom on one side of the machine. Additionally, RGB lighting is applied to it. The top of the machine is rounded with a huge fan exhaust vent included allowing the CPU cooler fan to send all that hot air upwards rather than backward. The other side of the machine is the modular access panel to the machine’s internals.
The R12 casing, for the most part, is screwless, so you can add an SSD or more RAM as needed. To gain easy access to the RAM and PCI slots, simply open the case and swing the PSU outside.
There are two additional 2.5-inch HDD/SSD bays at the bottom of the case, but I could not spot any additional M. 2 NVMe slots available on the board. It wasn’t a major deal, but it would have been beneficial.
The 2TB mechanical drive that is part of this setup is located in a 3.5-inch bay on the case’s front. There isn’t much else of importance outside that. Although there isn’t a lot of room to move around within the case, everything is organized and tidy as you could expect.
Connectivity & Upgradability
Wi-Fi is obviously a basic feature on laptops, but it isn’t always there out of the box on desktop PCs. Although it is becoming considerably more widespread, it is still not the norm. The usage of external wifi antennas when a desktop does have wifi is also a pretty common practice. My computer does. Wi-Fi is present in the R12, although no external antenna is used. This startled me a little because electrical interference can significantly affect signal quality.
On my AX Wi-Fi 6 network, the R12 internal antenna performed on pace with my computer, nevertheless. And no, I wasn’t seated next to the router; instead, the two PCs were three rooms away, separated by brick, steel, and glass. It was able to maintain a solid 5 GHz connection at 1201/721 Mbps (Receive/Transmit).
Performance & Gaming
How many frames at 4K does the thing put out? is probably the most obvious query at the moment. The answer obviously depends on the game and the settings, but based on my prior observations, I’d say the average is “plenty!”
In comparison, Marvel’s Avengers ran smoothly between 90 and 100 frames per second, Forza Horizon 5 ran at 100 frames per second, Horizon Zero Dawn ran at 80 to 100 frames per second, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider played at 90 to 100 frames per second. All of these games had their graphics settings dialed all the way up and, when necessary, DLSS turned off.
Switching DLSS to “Quality” produced an additional 30%–40% FPS for DLSS-capable titles like Tomb Raider and Doom Eternal.
This particular system has an RTX-3090, so gaming prowess was never really in doubt. It was bred to produce frames nonstop. I don’t want to make this solely about the RTX-3090’s strength; after all, we already know how strong the GPU is. Instead, let’s consider it as a whole.
Even with the rapid pace at which technology advances, a device like the R12 should still provide you with many years of high-end gaming enjoyment. There would be very few if any, games even now that would actually require the power contained within the R12, but I’m not going to put a specific number on those years because who knows what will happen in the future.
The R12 is a beast that can handle almost anything you can throw at it, at the end of the day. It is solidly constructed, has long-lasting hardware, and my review unit hasn’t let me down once. I’ve surprisingly never even had a Windows BSOD. I honestly have no issues with the R12. I would have wanted 64GB of RAM, but it is simply a personal taste and not a flaw. The usual 32GB is still more than enough for media creation and even gaming.