Alienware Continues to Discriminate Against AMD Ryzen CPUs in its Aurora PCs

Although the desktop CPU market largely seems to favor AMD’s Ryzen 5000 and 3000 processors, the OEM segment is a completely different matter altogether. Many popular vendors have been accused of pairing Intel parts with superior hardware, limiting the options of those looking for an AMD build. The most noteworthy example pertains to the latter’s Renoir lineup, wherein the highest-end GPU you could find was the GeForce RTX 2060. Meanwhile, on Intel’s end, you could go as high as the RTX 2080 and later on, up to the RTX 2080 Super.

When asked, most OEMs would say that this was simply done to make AMD systems more attractive from a price perspective, but honestly, that’s a bit hard to believe. If a user is willing to shell out $1,499 on a Ryzen 9 4900HS-RTX 2060 combo, he/she shouldn’t have any problems spending $200 more to upgrade to an RTX 2080. Either way, that’s in the past now as the newer Ryzen 5000 (Cezanne) mobile processors can be paired with just about any RTX 30-series mobile GPU.

This practice of favoring Intel-powered systems, however, hasn’t stopped. A rather glaring example is how Dell positions its Alienware Aurora line of desktop gaming PCs on its official store. First of all, the Ryzen Edition PCs use the R10 naming scheme while the Intel variants bear the R12 scheme, giving a false perception that the latter is superior. Furthermore, the Ryzen variants are all by default paired with single-channel DDR4-3200 memory while their Intel counterparts come with dual-channel configurations. The only exception is the Ryzen 5 variant that appears at the top of the page and features dual-channel DDR4-3200 MT/s memory.

Ironically, since the Ryzen 5 5600X features a single chiplet, the impact of memory is notably less pronounced than the dual-chiplet Ryzen 9 5900/5900X. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to chalk this as a human error, but considering that every high-end Intel build features dual-channel memory by default, that’s hard to believe.

Another interesting bit to note here is that nearly all Intel systems come with a multiple drive option (1 SSD and 1 HDD) while most AMD alternatives are limited to a single SSD by default. As you can guess, this gives the illusion that the Intel options come with more storage, while in reality this can be easily configured from the buying options.

Last but not that least, evenly placed Intel systems cost at least $100 more than their AMD Ryzen counterparts. This is despite the fact that the Zen 3 parts are faster in most cases and also come with an unlocked multiplier for proper overclocking support. The market prices of the AMD Ryzen 5000 SKUs are a fair bit higher than their Intel Rocket Lake-S competitors at the moment which means that Intel systems net a higher profit margin. Not surprising, but I’m curious whether it’s the OEMs who are getting more money by selling Intel systems or the chipmaker itself.

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have been writing about computer hardware for over seven years with more than 5000 published articles. Started off during engineering college and haven't stopped since. Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Divinity, Torment, Baldur's Gate and so much more... Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.
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