Alienware Aurora 7500 - Alienware Aurora 7500

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Alienware may well think that a 650W PSU is necessary due to the presence of two hard disks, in addition to the two graphics cards. Pleasingly the set-up is just as I suggested it should be in the misfiring Wired2Fire. Alienware has gone with a fantastically fast 10,000rpm Western Digital Raptor 150 for the boot drive. The only downside is that it’s only 150GB. To make up for that, the second drive is a 500GB Hitachi drive (465GB formatted). Will that do for you?


Removable storage comes in the form of an NEC 3550A dual-layer DVD Writer – as fast and well specified as they come. there’s also a DVD-ROM drive for disc-to-disc copying.


Finally, squeezed in between the two graphics cards is a Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music. The X-Fi is a great card, the best thing Creative has done in years and it really does make games sound great. However, it’s disappointing that Alienware has only supplied the basic Xtreme Music for this money and not the higher-end Fatal1ty version which has on board memory – X-Ram, which some game titles support.

The problem with the board that I referred to earlier is that there are no free available PCI slots. There is one not being used, but it’s completely obscured by the GTX card. This means that it’s not possible to upgrade with any extra add-in cards. This is something of a problem in that Alienware itself is already offering the new Aegia PhysX cards, that are set to bring a revolution in 3D gaming with more complex and realistic in game physics and effects than have ever been seen before. This would be a natural choice for a top-end system but ironically, if you go for the GTX cards with this motherboard you won’t be able to enjoy PhysX – at least until either Aegia or Creative brings out a PCI Express versions of its cards. We expect this to happen at some point but nothing as yet has been confirmed.


However, if you go for 7900 GT cards in SLI you can have PhysX and an X-Fi together as the GTs are single slot cards, giving access to the spare PCI slot.


Finally Alienware has supplied a Logitech keyboard and mouse. The keyboard is a rather dull but serviceable affair – I would have expected something a little more bling at this price, but the mouse is a good choice. It’s a 1600dpi MX-518 wired mouse that perfect for gaming, and looks great too thanks to its mottled effect surface covering.