Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK 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 to buy a new gaming laptop and want to know how well the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz compares to other laptops on offer then you have come to the right place. Today we are going to explore the type of performance return we can expect from this mobile gaming solution by comparing it to today’s demanding games
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz processor in the laptop is an excellent gaming CPU choice for 2021 gaming. AAA games often need extra cores to run smoothly and minimise bottleneck. This laptop processor has 8 cores, which is excellent for modern gaming.
Graphics Card - The GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile is an excellent gaming GPU for 2021. Modern AAA gaming can lean on GPU VRAM and this graphics solution comes with 16GB. This makes it excellent for gaming.
System Memory - This laptop system memory is excellent at meeting today’s 2021 system requirements demands and with its 32GB of RAM it will certainly meet the requirements of games into the near future as well.
Screen Size - This laptop’s 17.3" panel size is excellent for 2021 gaming. It helps you see in game detail and feel like you have room to move your mouse about. This amount of physical space is certainly not essential but it will make this a viable laptop for gaming on the move.
Refresh Rate - A gaming laptop wants to have a higher refresh rate to accommodate more frames per second(FPS) in the games it runs. The refresh rate is like a hard cap on the games deliverable FPS. The better the refresh rate the more FPS the laptop can deliver in games, up to the panels refresh rate hertz, and then the sharper the in game play is when the player moves about. So refresh rates are pretty important.This laptop has an excellent screen for gaming with its 144Hz refresh rate. But look for a panel that is over 60Hz for a gaming laptop and that should be ok too.
GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
Getting a good price to performance gaming laptop is what we are all trying to do when looking for our next mobile machine. The key component in this is usually the graphics card. So we will of course be considering this hardware setup and how well it could run modern popular games like God of War 2018, Far Cry 6 and God of War: Ragnarok to help us know if this graphics card and laptop is a good price to performance point. We do this by considering the gaming frame rates achieved at its native 1080p resolution while the games would be running at Ultra video settings. A good way of considering performance of this mobile graphics card is by seeing how many of today's 500 most demanding games can be run at recommended graphics settings by the GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile found in this laptop. We can also then look at the weaker minimum requirement to see how many this laptop card can run of them, and it is 500 games at their min specs and then 498 games can be run at recommended graphics requirements.
God of War 2018 FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
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Other Popular Games
Comparing Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
As you have probably discovered during your research into buying your next gaming laptop, getting an up-to-date value assessment that enables you to compare a laptop’s hardware performance against today’s games is tricky. And especially so, when we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the Alienware M17 R4 (2021) comes with. What we have done in this Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop review is give a price to performance rating to help standardise our comparisons.
With a P2P rating of 6.7 today the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz. Our value to performance rating score will auto adjust as new hardware capability improves and prices drop. This Alienware M17 R4 (2021) configuration is placed at 7th position, when we order the range by their price to performance ratings. Those getting closer to the 1st position in this list will be better gaming laptops for their price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2933MHz|
17.3 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK 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||39%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2049.99||33%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2149.99||24%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2349.99||17%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2649.99||15%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2749.99||1%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$3049.99||0%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 4K 60Hz||$3649.99||20%|
Looking outside of this range lets us compare the Price to Performance rating of the very best laptops we have listed. Today's top laptop model for P2P is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and the price we have for it is $999. Our Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop’s price to performance is 155% worse when comparing it with the top laptop, purely on a performance for money basis, and as we know lots of things go into our decision when choosing the right laptop for us. Another one to consider is the 2nd placed Price to Performance laptop, the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. This one has a price listed as $1049 and our laptop gets 123% worse against its price to performance rating.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK 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 the processing power is one of the primary areas that we will pay for in any PC and so let's see how our Alienware M17 R4 (2021) laptop is when compared against CPU performance with a top CPU focused laptop thats available today. So the laptop we have chosen for its CPU performance is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2, which comes with a Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz processor. That processor performs 23% better compared to our review laptop’s Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz.
Today there are 474 games recommended system requirements that are worse than our CPU’s performance capability, this is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games right now. This figure becomes 500 games, when we look at the 500 demanding games for minimum processor system requirements.
Games these days have a range of processor requirements so let's look at a few popular games of today, and check our laptop CPU against the games recommended requirement. First off, God of War 2018 and our laptop processor gets 37% better performance rating. Next we have Far Cry 6 where our CPU gets 17% better performance and finally another popular title at the moment is God of War: Ragnarok, which has a performance difference of : 46% better, when put against our laptop’s Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK 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. Lets grab a graphics focused laptop for comparison then. We have chosen the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K laptop for its graphical performance. This big hitting GPU laptop comes with a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card in it that performs 4% worse if we bench it against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile graphics hardware.
Currently 498 games of the top 500 most demanding games today (recommended graphics requirements) can run on the review laptop’s GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile. Or 500 games of the top 500 most demanding for minimum GPU specs can run on it.
When compared to the most popular games around today, against their recommended graphics requirements, our laptop graphics card performs as follows - God of War 2018 our laptop video card is 91% better and then looking at Far Cry 6 our laptop GPU is 33% better and finally compared to God of War: Ragnarok it has a performance difference : 78% better.
The Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK 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) i9-10980HK 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 panel laptop is often restricted to 60Hz. This means that even if you did have the hardware inside your laptop to run a game at 4K, you wouldnt be able to get more than 60 FPS. Most laptop hardware, and desktop hardware for that matter, is not capable of 4K ultra graphics on modern games. We can see 144Hz panel refresh rate versions of this laptop are available. The higher the better.
Drop the 4K screen resolution on your AAA games to 1080p to increase the games frame rate to something more playable, and in doing so will make a game look blurry as it wouldn't be displayed in the 4K laptop’s native resolution. And so is there a point in getting a 4K screen laptop at the moment? If the new 4K laptop has the performance to play modern games at 4K resolution, then perhaps the laptop’s 15 or 17 inch screen isnt enough to fully enjoy the high pixel count? So if you have or can get a desktop monitor that delivers more than the 60Hz frame rate limiter, for that gaming experience then you can keep your laptop mobile and still enjoy high end gaming.
Possibly a suitable purpose for a 4K laptop would be if you were keen to watch 4K streaming services like Netflix. At which point perhaps it's enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop?
We think don't spend your extra cash on getting a 4K laptop to game on, as it's likely to feel disappointing to buy a super shiny new 4K laptop, then have to lower the resolution while playing your games, delivering a blurry in-game experience, and only getting up to a maximum 60FPS due to the usual 60Hz 4K panel restriction.
Today’s best 1440p desktop monitor for a laptop is - ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS
Today’s well priced 1440p desktop monitor we have found is a ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS that has a 75Hz refresh rate and priced at $311.99. To help you get a bit more insight into the pricing trends of this 1440p monitor, we have price tracked this monitor and saw its lowest price recorded at $229.99, which was taken on 9th Mar 2021.
Today’s best 4K desktop monitor for a laptop is - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz
Why not grab a monitor like the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz 4K screen. It is currently coming in with the best price tag in the 4K range of monitors that we are watching, at $618 and has a 144Hz refresh rate. Providing some more insight, this 4K Monitor has increased its price by $618 during these past two weeks. So keep your eyes out as it could be cheaper than we have recorded here today. Helping us to round out our information for this 4k monitor we can see it reached a low price on 13th Nov 2020, we noted the low price at $549.99.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
However, you could be after watching 4K streaming content on your laptop, while on the move. Then perhaps the 17inch laptop screen and 4K resolution is going to net a more enjoyable experience than a 1080p alternative.
Hold that 4K gaming laptop cash for perhaps a more powerful GPU or fancy mouse or headset. That's our usual advice. Otherwise it might be a bit disheartening to pay for a 4K gaming laptop, and then be forced to turn the resolution down on modern games to get them to run smoothly.
Today's Best Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
A mouse that is well priced at the moment and could accompany the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Of the mice we price track, it is one of the best valued mice today and 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. Further to our mouse information, this mouse had a lowest price recorded by us of $11.99 dated on 15th Aug 2020.
|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|
You could pick up a headset to go with the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz. In our spotlight at the moment is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround, which today is $36.99. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 where we saw it for $34.99.