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Christmas Gift Guide

A while ago, we brought you an exclusive look at the Alienware Area-51 ALX -- a PC so sphincter-twistingly scary it should come with an Asbo. Today, we bring you a look at its baby brother, the Aurora.

Think of it as Posh to the Area-51's Becks, the Pinky to its Brain, the subtle Sharky to Area-51's all-action George. The... look, it's just a bit more sensible, alright?

Alienware claims the Aurora is the smallest mid-size desktop it's ever created. Whereas the massive, almost unliftable Area-51 measures 277 by 656 by 557mm and weighs nearly 6 stone, the Aurora weighs about half as much and measures a svelte 250 by 645 by 426mm.

That's not to say it's not packing some serious hardware. Our test unit arrived with an Intel Core i7 920 CPU running at 2.66GHz, and twin GeForce GTS 240 graphics cards. It also has 6GB of DDR3 memory, but can accomodate up to 24GB of the stuff, thanks to a motherboard that sports six DIMM slots. In other words, don't let its relatively diminutive stature fool you -- it's brutally quick.

Prices start at £1,099 direct from Dell if you fancy buying one. Should you wish to learn more before doing so, we'll be giving this bad boy a full and thorough write-up in the very near future. In the meantime, we've taken the liberty of capturing various images of the Aurora in a photo gallery you can enjoy by clicking 'Continue'.

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The Aurora isn't as aggressive-looking as the Area-51, but its design does hint at some serious gaming performance.
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The back end sports six USB, one FireWire and one eSATA port, Ethernet, optical and coaxial S/PDIF audio jacks, and twin DVI outputs.
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Two more USB ports live at the top, next to a second FireWire port.
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