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Desktops

Alienware Aurora ALX: quad SLI monster

What's better than a PC with two graphics cards? A PC with four graphics cards, the fastest CPU ever and an audacious water-cooling system

If Alienware made cars, it would make twin-engined nitrous-powered dragsters that can accelerate from 0-60mph in 0.2 seconds and cover a quarter-mile run in less than five seconds at a terminal velocity of 300mph. In reverse.

Fortunately for us PC lovers, Alienware doesn't make cars -- it makes some of the fastest computers in the world. The latest of which is the quite frankly ridiculous Aurora ALX with quad SLI.

Following in the footsteps of the Dell XPS Renegade, this bad boy uses four Nvidia graphics cards in a Serial Link Interface (SLI) configuration -- hence the words 'quad' and 'ridiculous'. Each of the four graphics cards in this beast is a GeForce 7900 (though not the all-singing, all-dancing 7900 GTX model) so it'll spank the bottom off any gaming PC on this side of the galaxy.

Alienware has done away with standard cooling fans for the Aurora ALX and instead opted for the Active Liquid Cooling System to help prevent the entire PC from bursting into flames. There's also a mammoth 850W power supply to keep the PC ticking over (and upset the environ-mentalists) and, naturally, it also uses the fastest gaming CPU known to man -- the AMD Athlon FX-60.

What price uber-nerdiness? $8,974 (£5,140) -- and that's without a monitor. If you want to actually see your stupendously fast games, Alienware recommends the 24-inch Samsung SyncMaster 244T, which can handle hi-res gaming with a native resolution of 1,920x1,200 pixels. But why wimp out and stop there? Especially when you can have the 32-inch Samsung SyncMaster 320P, which brings the total price of the Aurora ALX to a mere $10,316 (£5,909)?

Okay, so most of us will probably think it's more sensible to put a deposit down on a house, or to buy a second-hand Audi TT with some XP rims, but if you really want the Holy Grail of gaming PCs, the ALX will take some beating. -RR