Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz review, including today's price to performance
Laptop product code: Alienware M17 R4 (2021)
Laptop announced date: 1st February 2021
Last reviewed: 10th August 2021
If you are looking for the best priced gaming laptop and was wondering how well the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz can run today’s latest games, then you are in the right place. We will be focusing this review on exploring how the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz performs against the most demanding games around and really getting a better understanding of this laptop’s price to performance today.
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This processor, the Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz, is excellent and can meet 2022 AAA title requirements with relative ease. The 8 cores that this processor has is excellent and very capable for today and future AAA gaming.
Graphics Card - This laptop graphics card is excellent at running AAA titles released during 2022. Modern AAA gaming can lean on GPU VRAM and this graphics solution comes with 16GB. This makes it excellent for gaming.
System Memory - The 32GB is an excellent amount of system memory for modern gaming in 2022.
Screen Size - The 17.3" panel found in this laptop we would consider an excellent size for modern 2022 AAA games, and the sort of screen size more serious gamers would be looking for.
Refresh Rate - If you want a gaming laptop then aim for a refresh rate that is more than 60Hz. If you don't clearly see the advertised laptops screen refresh rate then assume it is 60Hz. This would mean that the laptop will be capped at 60FPS when running games. The higher the refresh rate and the FPS then the smoother the game plays as it delivers more images a second to your screen and makes movement feel more responsive in game. This laptop can be picked up with a refresh rate of 144Hz option. It is an excellent gamers choice for screen refresh rates.
GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
Getting the right graphics card for this mobile gaming machine will be one of our key focuses. As we know it can be tricky to break this down, but we will be looking at how this laptop hardware can run across demanding and popular modern games and therefore how well the price of the machine stacks up against other gaming laptops. A few of the modern demanding or popular games we will be looking at will be, Grand Theft Auto VI, Star Citizen and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022). Seeing how these games run on the laptops native 1080p resolution at ultra will certainly give us something tangible to consider and compare from. Lets compare the GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile found in this laptop to today’s top 500 most demanding games. Of those games, this laptops GPU can run 500 at their minimum system requirements and then 497 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
Grand Theft Auto VI FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
Laptop Research Area
Other Popular Games
Comparing Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
We really want to see how the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz will compare across all permutations of the Alienware M17 R4 (2021) model range. This will give us a good sense of how well it sits in terms of cost to performance within its own lineup, and will better help us decide if this laptop represents good value to us today.
The Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz is getting a 7.6 for its P2P score out of 10. This relative value will change as game performance, hardware costs and laptop expectations adjust over time. This laptop’s configuration, when compared to its own Alienware M17 R4 (2021) lineup, is currently placed at 5th once we order it by the price to performance figure. Obviously scoring towards the 1st position is preferable.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2933MHz|
17.3 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$1899.99||21%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2049.99||16%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2149.99||8%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2349.99||2%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2649.99||0%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2749.99||14%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$3049.99||15%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 4K 60Hz||$3649.99||38%|
Now let's look at where this laptop sits compared to all other laptops, including those outside of the Alienware M17 R4 (2021) range. It currently offers 122% worse rating when comparing its price to performance rating against the best laptop available today for price to performance, which is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which currently costs $999. How about we also look at the 2nd ranked laptop for excellent Price/Performance ratings, which is the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and has a recorded cost of $1049. We see our Alienware M17 R4 (2021) laptop scores 94% worse against it for price to performance.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
Now we will see if our laptop compares favourably against the top CPU performance focused mobile PC that is currently available. We will choose the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop for our CPU comparison tests as that laptop currently has the best CPU in it at the cheapest laptop price. Its CPU is the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz which we will compare to our review laptop’s Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz processor. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop CPU to be 24% better in performance compared to our laptop’s processor.
Our laptop processor, the Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz, can currently meet the recommended system requirements of 465 games when compared against the top 500 most demanding games right now. This number changes to 500 for the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
Some of the most popular games today are really the primary benchmark for any laptop’s ability, so we thought we should compare our laptop CPU Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz against Grand Theft Auto VI. This CPU performance comparison saw our laptop deliver 16% better performance against the game’s recommended CPU system requirements. Then we have Star Citizen and our laptop was 2% better in processor performance and another popular title today is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) which we saw our review laptop get 16% better compared to our laptop cpu.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop compare to the best graphics card performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
Shall we see if our review laptop holds out favourably against a top GPU performance focused laptop PC that is currently available. We choose the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K laptop as one of the best GPU laptop performers today to compare graphics ability with our laptop. This puts a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card from that laptop, one of the best laptop graphics cards available at the moment, against our review laptop’s GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile. This comparison shows that laptop to be 4% worse comparably in performance as our review laptop.
Interestingly we can see 497 games recommended system requirements are lower in performance than our laptop’s GPU performance capability. This is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games around today. For minimum system requirements in this same area the number is 500 games are worse than our GPU performance, again looking at the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
When compared to the most popular games around today, against their recommended graphics requirements, our laptop graphics card performs as follows - Grand Theft Auto VI our laptop video card is 36% better and then looking at Star Citizen our laptop GPU is 116% better and finally compared to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) it has a performance difference : 36% better.
The Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz has a 1080p screen resolution, should I get a 4K resolution gaming laptop instead?
With a 1080p native screen panel our Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz has a 17.3" physical screen size. This inch panel size is measured starting in one corner, say the top corner and then across the middle of the screen down to the bottom corner on the other side. And in our case it has a fixed number of pixels in that screen that are 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall, or 1080p resolution. A 4K laptops will likely run with 60Hz screen refresh rate, so should the laptop’s hardware be able to get good frame rates at 4K resolution and due to the refresh rate the laptop would max out at 60 frames per second as its screen would not be capable of delivering any higher. Modern games in Ultra graphics settings are also normally too demanding for a 4K resolution anyway. With a bigger refresh rate helping your FPS this Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz has 144Hz screen refresh rate variants available.
As a somewhat last resort a gamer could lower a game’s displayed screen resolution away from the 4K laptop’s native pixel count. Dropping down to 1080p or maybe 1440p would deliver more frames per second in game and help provide a more stable FPS in modern AAA games. But taking this action, moving away from the native 4K resolution, immediately reduces game graphics definition and makes it look blurry. Not an ideal situation on a new gaming 4K laptop. If your 1080p laptop has the hardware to run today’s AAA games comfortably at 4K, then plug your laptop into your desktop 4K monitor, when you are at home for some serious gaming sessions. As that desktop monitor probably isn't 60Hz restricted and is physically larger than the relatively small 17inch laptop screen size. We do just that here, with a 27inch 144Hz Nvidia GSync 1440p desktop monitor and an Alienware 51M laptop sporting a desktop RTX 2080.
If you are looking to view 4K streaming content, while keeping yourself mobile with your laptop, then maybe a 4K resolution panel would be a better experience than the normal 1080p. In general, we think it's probably not worth the extra money for any visual gains you might not spot, without a direct comparison, especially if you are thinking to game on your laptop as well.
At the moment our advice would be, stick to the 1080p laptop panels for now. Your laptop remains portable and 4K laptop’s just aren't quite there yet. The 4K needs to be a no brainer but at the moment you will still have to lower resolution in game to get playable but sub par visuals that still can't raise above 60FPS.
Today’s best 1440p desktop monitor for a laptop is - ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS
An example of a well priced 1440p desktop monitor would be the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS, which has 75Hz and is currently available for $311.99. To help provide some further information into this desktop monitor price trends we saw it cost a recorded low of $229.99, which we tracked on 9th Mar 2021.
Today’s best 4K desktop monitor for a laptop is - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz
Today's best priced 4K gaming monitor comes with a 144Hz refresh rate. It is the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz and is currently priced at $618. It's interesting that even though this is a well priced 4K monitor today, our price tracking shows it has gone up in price by $618 during recent weeks. To give a bit more info about this monitor we saw it cost its lowest of $549.99, which we recorded on 13th Nov 2020.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
The primary 4K use would most likely be streaming movie and TV content at that resolution, assuming you have access to these services in 4K. At which point perhaps its enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop..
We still feel it's not the time to spend extra cash for the 4K gaming laptop due to the limitations laid out above. It would surely feel somewhat disappointing to boot up your new 4K laptop, only to then realise you have to drop down the resolution on modern titles to get them to run smoothly. And then see that anything you play is somewhat less sharp than you have seen on your older PC and capped at a maximum of 60FPS due to the usual 60Hz 4K screen tech.
Today's Best Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
A great priced gaming mouse today, that could accompany the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz is the, Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons that is currently priced at $12.99. Price watching this mouse shows that it has had a price drop by $32.26 during the past couple of weeks, which gives us more reason to select it to go with today’s laptop. Our mice price tracker had this mouse marked at its lowest price on 15th Aug 2020, where it cost $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|**||IBats X8 gray 9 Btns||$12.99|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$13.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$42.99|
|***||Razer DeathAdder Elite||$49.29|
A good value gaming headset available at the moment, one that should go well with the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz is, Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround with a price of $36.99. For reference, our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 and it was priced at $34.99.