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The Tm:YAlO3 laser performance for two crystal orientations in diode-end-pumped configurations is presented in this paper. An advanced numerical model, which included reabsorption, temperature profile in the medium, and pump and laser beam spatial distribution, was used to predict laser performance. An experimental investigation comparing a- and b-oriented Tm:YAlO3 crystals laser performance is presented and discussed in detail. The novel a-cut orientation produced superior performance over the traditionally used b-cut orientation. The modeling results were found to be in a good agreement with the measured data.