GB Feature: Alienware Aurora Extreme Review

We recently had the chance to play games on yet another Alienware PC, and this time it was the Aurora Extreme. Here’s a snippet from our full review:

The Alienware binder that came packaged with the Aurora claimed that the machine was capable of about 350 FPS in Quake 3, which was actually close to 50 FPS slower than the Area 51. However, after I downloaded specific AMD-optimized DLL files for Quake 3, the Athlon 64 FX-51 outshined Intel’s Extreme Edition processor in every benchmark I ran. I also found that the Athlon processor clocked higher than the Extreme Edition chip in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and, using tools such as the downloadable Unreal Tournament 2003 benchmark utility, I found that it outperformed the Extreme Edition processor in UT2K3 by about 6%. However, the Area 51 did outperform the Aurora in several other applications (such as DivX encoding) and games like Halo that are specifically optimized for Intel processors. When you consider that both computers are capable of playing the current crop of games to their fullest extent without even the slightest delay, though, such negligible differences really don’t matter. I’ve basically come to the conclusion that although the Athlon was statistically faster in most of the games that I personally play, each game’s performance really just depends on which processor the developer optimized their game toward.

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