Physical Evaluation

We’ll start out the review of the Alienware with a look at the exterior of the Alienware Aurora chasis. 

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The outside of the Aurora 7500 gen-1 case is black and shiny!  You can probably see me in the picture if you look really hard into some of the curves along the top of the case.  You might also see my neighbor’s pool!  The glossy finish on the case makes it impressive to look at, but a magnet for dust and finger prints.  Plan on keeping a Swifer nearby if you want to spit shine your case at all times. 

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Looking at the rear of the case you can see that its really just your typical computer: power supply and case exhaust fans are seen at the top with the standard case connections and slots for expansion cards.  One thing you will see that stands out is a pair of cables coming out the back of the case, just below the power supply, running down into two USB ports on the rear panel of the motherboard.  Once inside the case, these cables are discreetly fed to the front panel USB connections at the bottom of the case; they are a bit of an eye-sore on the back however. 

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Opening up the top door on the Alienware case, which uses a push/release mechanism for closing, shows us the single DVD-RW drive and memory card reader that supports Compact Flash and most other major formats.  There is no included floppy drive here though, which might be an issue for BIOS updates and or making BIOS disks for other PCs. 

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Both side panels on the case have illumination near the incoming air vent, in our case green.  These lights are powered by the power supply but can be disabled if you wish.  They add a bit of personallity to the system when the lights in the room are dim.

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The side panel door handle is hidden by a push/release panel similar to the front door.  The handle pushes in slightly to release from the inside, and allows the user to swing the door out slightly and then pull it away from the chasis.  The lock here keeps people from opening the door easily; if you have people itching to grab the goodies inside it makes sense to leave it locked!

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Removing to door to look inside the case shows us a nice and tidy installation as well as some sound-silencing foam padding Alienware has pre-installed.  The side panel fan is powered by the PSU and thus requires a cable that runs along the top of the rear exhast fan; you’ll need to disconnect it before moving the side panel out of the way.

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