Our 'never buy a full-price Alienware' mantra has never rang more true than when looking at the $700+ discounts it offers right now

Alienware gaming PC on a blue background
(Image credit: Dell)
Alienware Aurora R14 | AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $1,759.99 $999.99 at Dell (save $760)

Alienware Aurora R14 | AMD Ryzen 5 5600X | AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-7706533-12578053?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/ge3w" data-link-merchant="dell.com"" target="_blank">$1,759.99 $999.99 at Dell (save $760)
The fact that this was near enough $1,800 at full-price is baffling, because this feels like a $1,000 gaming PC all day long. But, as an all-AMD mid-range machine, this Aurora R14 is a real solid build now. The RX 6600 XT is a superior GPU to the RTX 3060, which you will commonly find at this price, and the Ryzen 5600X is a great six-core CPU. Though maybe that 512GB SSD is the only thing you'll need to upgrade anytime soon.

However you feel about Alienware, being able to grab a $760 discount on a quality all-AMD gaming PC is nothing to sniff at. Though the Yeyian Katana X10, with its RTX 3060 Ti for $949 is still a very tempting machine, it doesn't have the Alienware looks.

But Alienware is such a weird one when it comes to gaming PCs. Historically, the brand has commanded a strong presence in the hearts and minds of PC gamers, and its premium pricing has been offset by the quality of its builds. But in recent times that quality seems to have fallen off despite the prices remaining high.

We've tested a bunch of Alienware machines over the last 12 months and none have been able to justify their pricing. That's lead them to fall from the top of our best gaming PC list, and the instigation of our leading mantra: Never pay full price for an Alienware gaming PC.

Part of that is because they haven't been performing as well as similarly priced or even cheaper premium rigs, and because they use proprietary components making upgrades difficult and sometimes expensive. But it's also because Alienware machines are so regularly discounted that you'd be foolish not to check Alienware's PC and laptop deals page if you're after a new PC.

Case in point the system highlighted here. The all-AMD machine is using last-gen parts for both its CPU and GPU, but that's no bad thing in a sub-$1,000 gaming PC, and when the last gen were so good. The Ryzen 5 5600X was one of the best chips of the Zen 3 generation, offering a huge amount of multithreaded performance for its paltry price and a good chunk of gaming pedigree, too.

Coupled with the RX 6600 XT—a card which, despite an overpriced start, became an outstanding 1080p GPU for the money in recent times—and you've got the makings of a great machine. With 16GB of DDR4-3200 memory, and Alienware's most recent, rather good-looking chassis, the only thing I'm not sold on is the 512GB SSD.

Considering the negligible cost of PCIe 4.0 SSDs right now, that's a small boot drive to have to make do with. However, considering the negligible cost of PCIe 4.0 SSDs right now, that's an inexpensive upgrade to make when you're storage runs dry. As it surely will looking at the 100GB+ games that have already launched this year alone.

Alienware Aurora R14 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800X | Nvidia RTX 3080 10GB | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB SSD | $2,449.99 $1,499.99 at Dell (save $950)

Alienware Aurora R14 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800X | Nvidia RTX 3080 10GB | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB SSD | <a href="https://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-7706533-12578053?sid=hawk-custom-tracking&url=https://deals.dell.com/en-us/productdetail/gf3r" data-link-merchant="dell.com"" target="_blank">$2,449.99 $1,499.99 at Dell (save $950)
Oh look, an RTX 3080 gaming PC priced at pretty much what you'd expect some two and a bit years after launch. Considering you'd be lucky to find an RTX 3070 at this price, we'll happily forgive the traditional Alienware issues of non-standard motherboards and PSUs making future updates a problem. This spec will continue to be a good gaming PC for a while to come.

That's not the only winner in the current Alienware PC deals pages. This $1,500 RTX 3080-based machine is still on sale with a $950 discount. That's the sort of price it needs to be in the face of the RTX 4070 launch, but it's still a great rig for the money.

Alienware Aurora R14

(Image credit: Dell | Alienware)

Though it also highlights why you really do have to beware the Alienware deals algorithm. For surely it can't be a human that decides to discount an RTX 3080 PC down to $1,500, when right next to it is a much weaker system for the same price.

Woe betide the gamer who spends that much on an RTX 3070 PC in 2023.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.