Alienware Aurora R12 vs. Dell XPS 8910
Comparison and Differences
Differences between Alienware Aurora R12 and Dell XPS 8910
If you are looking for the smaller form factor the Alienware Aurora R12 is the right one for you. It is smaller than the Dell XPS 8910 and will fit more easily under your desk.
Usually the newer the generation of the CPU, the better the performance and efficiency is. If your budget allows it, you should go with the Alienware Aurora R12 as it is running a newer generation CPU. This is not to say that Dell XPS 8910 is bad - it can still run some powerful CPUs, albeit being an older generation.
Both models have have equal amount of ram slots (4 RAM). Usually two RAM slots are more than enough for most cases. However, the count should be taken into account when planning how much and what combination of RAM you are going to need for your system.
The Alienware Aurora R12 is using the faster 3400 MT/s RAM. The Dell XPS 8910 is slower by supporting RAM speeds of up to 2133 MT/s. Additionally, if you will be needing a lot of RAM, better go for the Alienware Aurora R12 as it has the ability to run 128 GB of RAM. The Dell XPS 8910 can do a bit less at max 64 GB. Most of the times, this should be sufficient for the majority of users.
In total the Alienware Aurora R12 has 15 USB ports. The Dell XPS 8910 is inferior in this regard and packs 11 USB ports. In any case, if you miss USB ports, you can always purchase a USB hub. It's great that both of the models have USB 3.1 ports which will allow you to exchange data with your peripherals at up to 10Gb/s. But if you need maximum connectivity, go with the Alienware Aurora R12 as it has 3 USB3.1 ports (the Dell XPS 8910 has 2).
Unfortunately, only the Dell XPS 8910 has a DisplayPort. The Alienware Aurora R12 does not have one? Don't worry though, nowadays video adapters are cheap and you can get almost any combination of conversion types.
The Dell XPS 8910 comes with an HDMI port, while the Alienware Aurora R12 does not support the interface. Of course missing HDMI port is something that can be easily fixed with a good adapter (e.g. DisplayPort to HDMI).
SATA slots are located on the motherboard and it is where SSD, HDD and Optical Disk Drives are connected. Each of the two models being compared have 4 SATA slot(s). Keep in mind that having too few SATA slots might limit your options for connecting additional memory drives.
If you want the fastest transfer speeds for your SSD, an M.2 interface is crucial. Thus, if the M.2 SSD slot is a mandatory requirement for you, go with the Alienware Aurora R12. Sadly, the Dell XPS 8910 has no such slot, and you will be forced to use the SATA interface instead.
Make sure that the available M.2 slot supports the PCIe (also called NVMe) interface. This is important as there are M.2 slots which support only the inferior SATA III interface. For comparison, the SATA III interface has max speeds of 6Gb/s, while the PCIe 3.0 x4 will support speeds up to 32Gb/s!
Having a Power Supply Unit with high power rating is important, if you are going to use components which require extra power. The Dell XPS 8910 comes with a decent 460 Watt PSU, but the Alienware Aurora R12 has a more powerful one rated at 1000 Watts. Choosing either one depends on your specific requirements and use case. Also don't forget that some models might have more than one PSU option - try to always get the most powerful one, especially if you plan to upgrade to a powerful GPU.