Alienware's Unexpected Choice for Aurora R15
The Arc A770 in Alienware Aurora R15: Pricing and Implications
The base model of the Alienware Aurora R15, equipped with Intel's Core i7-13700F and the Arc A770 16GB graphics board, is priced at $1,949 in the U.S. and $2,699 in Canada. This pricing is not on the lower end, and the inclusion of the Arc A770 marks a notable milestone for Intel, as this configuration represents one of the first instances where a major PC manufacturer has combined both an Intel CPU and GPU in a gaming system.
Comparing Graphics Options: Nvidia's Alternatives
Despite Dell's decision to feature the Arc A770, they also offer an upgrade to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 for an additional $50. The RTX 4070, despite having 4GB less memory than the Arc A770, is generally regarded as a superior choice for gaming. Additionally, the Alienware Aurora R15 configuration with Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is priced at $1,899, which might be a more appealing option for many gamers compared to the Arc A770 setup.
Pricing Strategy and Market Positioning
The pricing strategy for the Alienware Aurora R15 raises some questions. The base price of the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti is $359, while the Arc A770 16GB comes in at $289. This makes it somewhat puzzling that the RTX 4060 Ti option is less expensive than the Arc A770 variant in the Aurora R15.
The Origin of Alienware's Arc A770 Graphics Card
Another point of interest is the specific version of the Intel Arc A770 graphics card used by Dell in the Aurora R15. Large PC manufacturers typically procure boards either directly from GPU developers or through orders with contract electronics manufacturers. Given that Intel has discontinued its Arc A770 Limited Edition card, it appears Dell may have sourced the GPU from an electronics manufacturing service provider. This decision reflects a certain level of confidence in Intel's GPU offerings, which is positive news for Intel.
The Alienware Aurora R15 vs. The Newer R16
The Alienware Aurora R15 is an older model, and Dell has already released its successor, the Alienware Aurora R16. The R16 is a more streamlined and presumably more advanced model, making the choice to update the R15 with the Arc A770 an even more intriguing decision.
Conclusion: Dell's Strategy and Future Implications
Dell's decision to integrate the Intel Arc A770 into the Alienware Aurora R15 is a move that has caught the attention of gamers and industry observers alike. While the Arc A770 is a solid midrange option, it's not the most powerful choice for demanding gamers, especially when compared to the available Nvidia alternatives. This choice, along with the pricing strategy for the Aurora R15, presents an interesting scenario for the market. It reflects a confidence in Intel's GPU technology, but also raises questions about the target audience and the positioning of the Aurora R15 in Alienware's product lineup, especially in light of the newer Aurora R16. The long-term impact of this decision on Alienware's reputation and sales remains to be seen.