Laughing in the face of your normal price/performance balance, Alienware's Aurora 7500 is all high-end speed, top-drawer internal components and attention to detail. This is a beast of a PC.

The 7500 is a brilliant performer, but while attempting to dazzle you with sheer grunt, Alienware has missed out some basic features that really should be included in a PC for this sort of money.

The baseline system starts off expensive and, if you pop along to the Alienware website, you can configure it up to the £5,000 mark. This setup comes in at £2,384. But we think you'll need to pay out more to make it worthwhile.

For example, this price doesn't include speakers or a monitor, and it'll cost up to £200 to upgrade that one-year warranty to four years. We were also disappointed by the 512MB of memory.

You'll either love or hate the HR Giger-inspired steel case - we think it looks great - but there's no arguing with its superb ability to deal with heat and noise. This PC runs cool and quiet. There's plenty of upgrade room inside, too.

A gamer's dream, the Aurora has two 256MB nVidia 7800 GTX graphics cards in SLI (scalable link interface) mode, and Creative's excellent Audigy 2 ZS. We managed 115fps (frames per second) on our Doom 3 test and the system didn't dip below 100 when pushed to 1,280x1,024. AMD's dual-core Athlon 64 X2 4400+ helped it to a WorldBench 5 score of 108.

Aurora 7500: Specs

  • 2.2GHz dual-core AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
  • 512MB DDR RAM
  • 400GB Sata hard drive
  • 16x16x/16x/4x/4x/6x/8x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-R DL/-RW/+RW) 48x48x24 (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) combo DVD-RW drive
  • 2x 256MB nVidia 7800GTX PCI-E SLI graphics
  • Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS 7.1
  • Windows XP Pro
  • 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • 2.2GHz dual-core AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
  • 512MB DDR RAM
  • 400GB Sata hard drive
  • 16x16x/16x/4x/4x/6x/8x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-R DL/-RW/+RW) 48x48x24 (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) combo DVD-RW drive
  • 2x 256MB nVidia 7800GTX PCI-E SLI graphics
  • Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS 7.1
  • Windows XP Pro
  • 1-year return-to-base warranty

OUR VERDICT

With its generous software bundle, great mouse - ooh, and a free T-shirt - this is a superb system. Shame you'll have to remortgage the house to buy it, then spend even more on some essential features.

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