Some Alienware PCs Are Now Banned in California, Other States

Dell will no longer sell some Alienware PCs in a number of energy-conscious states.

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Computer manufacturer Dell says it will stop shipping certain configurations of its gaming PCs to a handful of states in order to meet new energy efficiency policies. Affected states include California, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington and Oregon.

Dell’s Alienware line, specifically its Aurora R10 and R12 models, are the models with newly banned configurations. Customers attempting to purchase select configurations of both models directly from Dell are met with a warning message: “This product cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled.”

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As the video game industry makes leaps and bounds in graphics, gaming systems will continue to need higher processing power if gamers want to take full advantage of a game’s visual fidelity and performance capabilities. Of course, higher processing power means more energy usage, and PCs designed to play games consume much more energy than the layman’s laptop.

According to the 2016 California Energy Commission Staff Report, residential computers and monitors are responsible for 2.9% of total energy consumption in the state. Commercial computing and monitor usage sits even higher at a staggering 7%.

California, historically energy and environmentally conscious, has been leading the charge on state policy regarding energy efficiency. The state initially passed new policies restricting energy usage for consumer products back in 2016, however, the rollout of these policies didn’t begin to take effect until 2019. As of July 1st, 2021, Tier 2 of the CEC’s energy restrictions was implemented, prompting Dell’s current predicament.

The CEC will keep rolling out new iterations of its 2016 policies every few years, so it’s currently unclear what other gaming rigs from Dell and competing manufacturers will come under fire in the near future. However, as the nation continues to grapple with ongoing climate and energy crises, it’s likely that we’ll continue to see a rise in similar restrictions on consumer energy consumption.

For now, if you want to (legally) get your hands on a specific configuration of the Aurora R10 or R11 from Dell, you may be out of luck if you’re a resident of one of the affected states. However, we’d recommend checking out some other options, such as:

More to consider:

Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any product before you apply.

Kyle Tribble

Kyle is a DJ, dance music producer and writer located in Baltimore, MD. A seasoned independent artist, he's got years of experience navigating an ever-changing industry. He's constantly on the lookout for sweet deals on audio gear and software to keep his sound competitive and enticing. If he's not making music, Kyle's playing video games, watching dramas and arguing with strangers on the internet. 

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