Review Alienware m17 R4 Gaming Laptop Review: Can’t Get Much Faster

Gurg

Distinguished
Mar 13, 2013
515
61
19,070
1
It would be interesting to see how this would handle being paired with a 4k 60hz monitor. With hdmi 2.2 it should generate 60hz for 4k at close to 60fps. I spent approximately $2,400 (excluding monitor) on my desktop setup (9600k, 2080s, 16gb 3600 ram, couple of m.2 970s) and around $1,450 on my older 17" MSI laptop with a 970m. One of these high performance laptop could be an alternative to purchasing both separately.

While you give up incremental upgrades. these laptop specs are approaching terminal specs for 4k 60hz setups. Terminal specs for 4k 144hz monitors are at least 2-4 years off even for desktops.
 

saunupe1911

Honorable
Apr 17, 2016
125
26
10,610
0
Dear Tom's Hardware,

I really wish you guys would purchase a 4k 120hz TV. You guys got all of this gaming stuff...including consoles...but don't have a proper TV to test against. This doesn't make any sense.

There's an entire movement of 48 inch LG CX PC gamers. Numerous HDMI 2.1 monitors on the way as well. Get the company credit card and buy a dang TV smh
 
Feb 2, 2021
1
0
10
0
Sorry , how is fan noise when not gaming , i mean doing normal tasks like watching movies , word , mails, zoom/team calls and also if you used same programs lighter then gaming but not like word for example 2D Autocad or something like that , Thanks for the great rewiue and for the ansewer , really neded this rewiue to help me choose!
 

sreams

Distinguished
Jul 15, 2009
17
4
18,515
0
I've had my ASUS ROG Strix G17 laptop for about a week now. Ryzen 5900HX, GeForce RTX 3070. $1800.

Just installed Shadow of the Tomb Raider and ran the benchmark at 1920x1080 at highest settings. 99fps. So half the price and 96% of the performance of the Alienware, at least in this one benchmark. Can't say I'm at all disappointed.
 
Reactions: tuppaacc
Jan 26, 2021
2
0
10
0
I used to rely very much on toms hardware for news and particularly reviews, but i'm starting to see they may not be reliable anymore. These "reviews" appear more like promotional adds than an actual in depth analysis of given products. They seem to want to hide things in order to oversell the product.

Why are there no 1440 benchmarks whatsoever? A 3080 laptop, and specially one that can have a 4k screen such as this one, will for sure be used for at least 2k gaming, if not on its own screen then on a separate monitor. The fact you did not care to do a single 1440p benchmark tells me you are trying to obfuscate or hide the performance of the machine on higher resolutions. It is specially telling that you show the performance of several games on ultra settings in 1080p, but when you get to red dead redemption, you only benchmark the medium settings, because they're almost hitting the 60fps threshhold of acceptable gaming performance. What happened on ultra here?

Why is there little to no detail on RTX performance, with or without DLSS on, with games that support it? You mention cyberpunk, but you do not even mention what resolution was used (I suppose 1080p) or whether DLSS was enabled or not.

It really is dissapointing that this is how tech sites are deciding to approach laptop reviews these days, hiding the information consumers need to make good purchasing decisions.

Is it an issue of advertising money and integrity I wonder?
 
Last edited:
Feb 14, 2021
1
0
10
0
I've had my ASUS ROG Strix G17 laptop for about a week now. Ryzen 5900HX, GeForce RTX 3070. $1800.

Just installed Shadow of the Tomb Raider and ran the benchmark at 1920x1080 at highest settings. 99fps. So half the price and 96% of the performance of the Alienware, at least in this one benchmark. Can't say I'm at all disappointed.
Thank you for posting this, since I havent been able to find the ROG strix 17 ive beend desperately looking for an alternative, and was considering it, but nvm now, however it would be interesting to see how it performs when the m17 R4 is paired with a ryzen (considering thats whats giving asus an edge) not to mention it should lower temps significantly and give the gpu more headroom
 

sreams

Distinguished
Jul 15, 2009
17
4
18,515
0
Thank you for posting this, since I havent been able to find the ROG strix 17 ive beend desperately looking for an alternative, and was considering it, but nvm now, however it would be interesting to see how it performs when the m17 R4 is paired with a ryzen (considering thats whats giving asus an edge) not to mention it should lower temps significantly and give the gpu more headroom
Actually... I just switched out the stock 16GB of 3200MHz CAS22 memory for 32GB with the same speed/timings. For whatever reason, my Shadow of the Tomb Raider score jumped from 99fps to 117fps (immediate before/after benchmarks). I don't fully understand why this happened, but I'm not complaining. 3DMark CPU score also jumped by 1000pts.
 

LVNeptune

Reputable
Apr 4, 2017
2
1
4,515
0
There is something wrong with the demo unit that TomsHardware received. My Alienware m17 R4 w/ 3070 at Highest gets 107fps on benchmark. The 3080 model should be SIGNIFICANTLY higher.
 
Reactions: phidarian

Charles Alden

Honorable
Aug 4, 2014
3
0
10,510
0
The Alienware m17 R4 with RTX 3080 graphics and Core i9-10980HK is a beast of a machine that can outperform direct competitors by as much as 20%.

Alienware m17 R4 Gaming Laptop Review: Can’t Get Much Faster : Read more
I recently bought mine after a mind boggling amount of research. I basically wanted a laptop that could run DCS flight simulator at the native resolution for the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite VR headset and do so with over 100FPS consistently. I also needed something small that would fit inside of my ViperWing F-18/F-35 flight sim cockpit that also sits upon on a custom built full motion platform.

I couldn't have asked for anything else as the Alienware R4 has worked flawlessly, I'm getting around 140+ FPS consistently with everything on high, including DCS's new cloud covering. Temperatures have been amazing, the battery lasts longer than I would have expected from such a powerful laptop, build quality is perhaps the best I've ever seen for a gaming PC, especially from someone who is sick and tired of seeing Aluminium being passed on as some sort of premium material when in fact it's actually one of the cheapest and less durable materials you can use in a laptop. Magnesium, new, hareder, polycarbonate and carbon fiber is where it's at. Though companies like Apple still use Aluminium, selling it off as premium when in fact you can bend any Apple product with little to no effort at all, you will be unable to bend this Alienware, nor will you be able to break it by standing on it or dropping it. In fact, it's durability is up there with the legendary Panasonic's Toughbooks. In which I actually own one of, the Toughpad FZ-G1 Mk5, that I use for traveling, camping and outdoor photography. It was a prize I had won from one of my firms Christmas Parties. They use them to debug servers in the field, so they must have had a few kicking around to give as prizes, still, a cool gift that I still thoroughly use and enjoy.

The Alienware replaced my Corsair One with a 2080TI that I bought almost three years ago, in fact, I actually almost bought the new one but it was over a grand more than the Alienware for what summed up to be just 40 more FPS. I know because I tested one belonging to a buddy of mine who talked me into getting the first Corsair One. Great little machines but you can build a better, faster machine for less, check out NZXT's BLD site for example.

That being said, I will most definitely be building a custom gaming PC running a RTX 3990 and a Ryzen 9 16 CORE, that is once the prices start to come down, hopefully there will even be a 3990 TI. Thank goodness I was able to buy my workstation/server with a Threadripper 3990X, a TRX40 AORUS XTREME motherboard and my prized dual AMD Radeon VII Pro's that I manged to buy well below MSRP before this whole shortage crisis started.

Thankfully things are slowly getting back to normal, even though I still think $1000 for a decent RTX 3080 is still way to expensive, even $700 for a RTX 3070, I mean Nvidia and AMD must be hurting at this point.
 
Last edited:

phidarian

Reputable
Nov 21, 2017
15
0
4,510
0
I wound up buying this laptop:

Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10870H CPU
Win10 Home
RTX 3080 (16GB, full version, not Max Q which IIRC they don't offer)
32GB DDR4 2933Mhz
144Hz 7ms 300-nits 72% NTSC FHD monitor w/ nSync
4-zone lighting, b/c I don't need swag quite badly enough to do per-key

After a month, here's my honest feedback.

  1. It's the Alienware flagship laptop. To go any faster, it would have to access the Speed Force or wear a cape with an S on it.
  2. If it was any louder, I'd be able to hear it through my noise-cancelling gamer headphones. Seriously. Jet engine.
  3. If it was any hotter, I'd be able to use it to cook. While playing Outriders (which is a great game and came with the laptop), it gets hot enough that I eventually can't hold my finger to parts of the laptop. In all fairness, those are parts of the laptop that there's no reason for me to touch... but still, it would've been nice if they spent the space they wasted for a port for their "graphic amplifier" product on another fan or something.
  4. It's significantly lighter than anticipated, and aesthetically I'm a fan.
  5. I had no trouble breaking 100wpm on the keyboard, and I didn't spring for the $200 keyboard upgrade.
  6. The battery life is pretty bad, and I had to create my own power profile for energy saving because oddly enough it didn't come with one. To be fair, it's a 17"+ desktop replacement. I can just see Doc from Back to the Future making the energy profiles and going, "Low-power mode? Where we're going, we don't need low-power mode." Still, with a couple of tricks (and obviously not while gaming) I pulled almost 3 hours which isn't the end of the world for a desktop replacement.
Conclusions:

While Outrider isn't the most demanding game on the market, it's the most demanding game I've played so far because I basically can't put it down. I did play League; at one point, I broke 600fps and I never came close to dropping below the 144 gSync's refresh rate. On TFT, I actually broke 800fps at one point but TFT isn't exactly challenging. It doesn't lag on Outriders (other than the first 0.5-1.5 seconds of the intro video while it revs up). Literally 0 lag; I'm most of the way through the game and settings are maxed. Whether that means I'm getting 144fps or 344fps I have no idea. Supposedly the Command Center software will allow you to o/c but it's so fast and hot that I haven't bothered playing with it yet. I would need a laptop pad or something to cool it down to even bother.

Side note: Alienware has a built-in feedback mechanism that automatically opens when you start the control center. If you try and leave it mediocre feedback, it "crashes" - hmm.

Cheers.
 

phidarian

Reputable
Nov 21, 2017
15
0
4,510
0
Sorry , how is fan noise when not gaming , i mean doing normal tasks like watching movies , word , mails, zoom/team calls and also if you used same programs lighter then gaming but not like word for example 2D Autocad or something like that , Thanks for the great rewiue and for the ansewer , really neded this rewiue to help me choose!
It's generally quiet when not gaming. Currently I have ~15 chrome tabs, file explorer, snipping tool, and settings open and the fan is significantly quieter than the sound of me typing. I have no complaints about the fan when not gaming.
 

phidarian

Reputable
Nov 21, 2017
15
0
4,510
0
There is something wrong with the demo unit that TomsHardware received. My Alienware m17 R4 w/ 3070 at Highest gets 107fps on benchmark. The 3080 model should be SIGNIFICANTLY higher.
I'm too broke from buying an r4 to pay for 3D Mark benchmark - is there a (legal) free version out there?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY