When it comes to pre-built desktops, I’ve nearly bought an Alienware Aurora several times over the years, because the company’s toolless upgradable chassis and bang-for-the-buck has been pretty hard to beat. Now, the Alienware Aurora R11 and R10 Ryzen Edition have also become a way to get Nvidia’s extremely hard to find RTX 3080 and 3090 GPUs — and they’re like no RTX 3080 or 3090 you’ve seen.
The boards and cooling have been tweaked by Alienware itself to be shorter than any RTX 3000-series card we’ve heard about yet, at just 267mm (10.5 inches) in length, the better to fit into smaller cases like the Aurora R11. Believe it or note, Nvidia’s own RTX 3080 Founder’s Edition is actually one of the smallest cards on the market at 285mm (11.2 inches) long, and this is even shorter.
Plus, Alienware says its custom 10mm-heat-pipe-and-vapor-chamber solution, with dual fans, only takes up 2.5 PCIe slots. It uses a standard pair of 8-pin power connectors, instead of Nvidia’s 12-pin cable.
Of course, the new cards don’t come cheap, adding $825 to the base price of either Aurora, or an additional $1,625 for an RTX 3090. Still, you could walk away with a full RTX 3080 PC for as little as $1,800 — after adding the 1,000-watt power supply. (Dell ships a 550W PSU by default, but Nvidia recommends 750W or higher for these cards.)