Included Extras and Software
The box for the Alienware system is hefty and large, as you might have guessed baesd on the size of the case itself. Along the top of the box is a wide box that includes all of the other goodies Alienware includes with the Aurora 7500, besides, you know, the computer.
Here we have pictured the keyboard, mouse and moues mat that is included. Somewhat surprisingly, the Microsoft keyboard is PS2 based! This isn’t really a problem, but I just didn’t think they made these things any more… The mouse is a Razer laser mouse and the mouse pad is large and has a nice feel with a rubber border around it to prevent slipping. They have even included a mouse cable routing-gadget for keeping the cord off of your mouse pad while not restrticting your mouse movement during intense gaming scenarios.
The system manual that Alienware has included is pretty basic, but would be extremely helpful for new users not yet familiar with things like uninstalling software or changing Windows settings manually.
Alienware has included some various software options for the buyer including a copy of Nero 6 (not the newer 7 series) as well as the driver disks for your motherboard, mouse and general system components. There are two blank discs here so you can practice using your CD/DVD burner. The top hard disc case holds the “Respawn” discs, otherwise known as the restore discs that get your system back to its original configuration if you screw something up.
The respawn process uses a Ghost boot CD and a DVD with the drive image on it in order to automate the reconfiguring of your systems software. You put in the Respawn “boot” CD and you’re brought into a standard copy of Norton Ghost. The instructions on the box then tell you to remove the boot CD and replace it with the DVD that includes the hard drive image; the original factory software and settings are then copied over back onto the system.
Other goodies in the box include two DVI-to-VGA adaptors and an HDTV dongle for the 7950 GX2 card. The power cord, keys to the side door and a free Alienware Tshirt round out the options.
This is one area that is usually a sore spot for me when I use retail purchase systems; software that is “included” against my wishes! Most of us just call that ‘bloat-ware’ and usually consists of 7 different installs of AOL and/or Earthlink, four 14-day trial spyware and/or antivirus programs (that usually detect the other items!) and of course lots of registration requests. Okay, I might be exaggerating, but the Aurora 7500 was a breath of fresh air regardless.
This was the desktop that I was greeted with when turning on the system after a fresh Respawn. That’s right, only two icons on the desktop: a summary of your system info in HTML format and the Recycle Bin! Notice also in the task bar that we don’t have 15 different icons running up the from the right with all kinds of “extras.”
Looking at the HTML system summary that Alienware has on the desktop shows a file that is easily printable to keep next to the system if you want reference all the components that Alienware has included in your new computer.
Alienware had the latest WHQL driver version (at the time of receiving the system); this is a company that understands gaming and the need for the latest stability and performance enhancements.