This is what can only happen after 67 corporate Teams meetings, 208 slide deck revisions and input from at minimum 38 "stakeholders" (barf). It's a new Alienware gaming rig with an Intel Arc A770. And it's yours for the hilarious price of $1,949.
We give you the latest Alienware Aurora R15 Gaming Desktop, from Dell. Along with the Intel Arc A770, you get a fittingly last-gen Intel Core i7 13700F, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. A770 GPU aside, it's far from actually being a terrible config. But, seriously, where on Earth has the money gone?
That Arc GPU is at best $290's worth of hardware. We've seen Arc A770s go for as little at $250. Well, you get the bespoke Aurora R15 case, liquid cooling for the CPU and Alienware's Lunar Light 750W PSU. But, still. Where has the money gone?
For Intel, who always work closely with Dell to the extent that you'd be pretty confident they signed off on this thing, the appeal is presumably the simple fact that the high-profile Alienware sub-brand is now pitching a pure Intel rig with the A770 GPU as a bona fide gaming machine.
For our money, the upsides of that implied gaming credibility are at least matched, if not more so, by the downsides of being associated with such a badly positioned PC. Ultimately, it's hard to see how something so over priced is going to improve Intel Arc's rep with gamers.
It's a pity, because at the right price an Alienware with the A770 could be an intriguing buy. And if any OEM has the clout to position an Arc-powered pre-built at the right price, it's Dell's gaming sub-brand.
The most laughable aspect of all is the use of Dell's usual fake discounting schtick. As is the case across Dell websites, this Alienware is advertised with an "Estimated value" with a strike-through price of $2,149.99 and the actual $1,949.99 sticker just below. It's Dell's rather feeble way of sidestepping advertising regs and implying a discount without actually falsely claiming the rig is on sale when it's not.
Needless to say, whoever did this particular "estimation" deserves to be buried alive under a pile of old boxed copies of Windows ME. Almost as amusing is Dell's Price Match Guarantee. "Find a lower price online? We'll match it," says the bumpf. Finding pre-builts with the A770 isn't all that easy, let alone any priced as high as this silly Alienware box.
Of course, Dell and other OEMs have form with this kind of thing. This sort of nonsense tends to be driven by marketing narratives and distorted as the corporate decision making process and various "stakeholders" stick their oars in, incrementally interfere with and then outright ruin what might have started out as a sensible idea.
The aforementioned 38 stakeholders, 67 Teams meetings, and 208 slide deck revisions later and you get an Alienware gaming rig with a $250 Arc GPU being pitched at $2,000 and somehow everybody has agreed it makes sense. That's big corporates for you. Once the moment builds for this kind of nonsense, it becomes unstoppable.