Feeds

The Alienware Aurora ALX has arrived on Earth

The desktop that weighs more than a fridge

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Review In a month when laptops outsold desktops for the first time, it's a brave move to launch a desktop that weighs more than your fridge.

The Alienware Aurora ALX is a no-compromises gaming PC which turns up in a box the size of a Marshall 4x12 with a box of accessories the size of a Marshall amp. Just in case I'm not being clear enough here – this thing is huge.

Img_1328Standing alongside my humble G5 the ALX also chucks out an astounding amount of noise: The cooling solution within it is served by the two expected fans on the back of the case plus a further two, even bigger ones, blowing through the vents at the top.

If you're playing Doom3 with a suitable pair of speakers attached to the Creative sound card you probably won't notice it, but this is certainly the noisiest computer I've ever heard and you definitely wouldn't use it, for example, in an audio recording environment.

Theoretically, you could always quieten the unit by disabling one or more fans - there are controllers for the various fans sited, significantly, next to the temperature monitor, which rather discouraged me from messing with them!

The casing is also a pretty subjective thing. One visitor described it as the ugliest computer she'd ever seen, whereas I personally really liked the whole Sky Captain future-retro aesthetic.

Certainly, with the machine powered up and glowing blue from within and the temperature monitor LEDs  shimmering away this is a computer that makes a statement, and the statement is:"I love computer gaming, I've got a good deal of money to spend on it, and I haven't got the time to mess about building my own PC."
Img_1324You certainly could build a comparable gaming workstation and save yourself some cash, but I want to stress that this thing is the Ferrari of computer games. From the minute you put the key in the lock (really!) to start it up every aspect of the ALX radiates power and quality.

The front panel, behind the trademark Alienware door, features a DVD rewriter, a multi card reader, and even a floppy drive. There are four front-sited USBs and a further four on the back for specialised controllers, and so on.

The previously mentioned temperature monitor is visible all the time and averages around 42°C in normal use (although tests were run on probably the hottest day of the year!). Bearing in mind the twin 256MB Geforce 7900s that seemed a pretty moderate working temp.

I downloaded a selection of recent shooters (DOOM3, Half-Life 2, and Prey) and gameplay was, as you might reasonably expect, smooth and immersive with faultless graphics.

There was 2GB of system RAM on the test unit and Windows XP Pro (SP2) ran beautifully on the Athlon 64 FX-60 Dual-core. Tasks in basic apps like Office ran too quickly to even measure properly.

Img_1327The included Logitech keyboard and Razer Diamondback mouse enhanced the overall feeling of quality and attention to detail.

For some reason you also get a briefcase and a really large polo shirt, which would probably fit the only man capable of dragging this monster along to a LAN party. As long as you have the space, the budget, and the need for this kind of PC overkill, the Alienware ALX is pretty much a dream purchase.

The rest of us will just have to limp along with our Frankenstein hand-builds until we finally get some sponsorship for our call of duty clan. ®

Other stories

Sony Micro Vault Tiny Arrives in Europe
Vodafone/Sony Ericsson V630i review
Who will Apple choose? Blu-ray or HD-DVD?
New Vodafone Simply noddy phone reviewed
Ricky Gervais' World Cup vid

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.