Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz review, including today's price to performance
Laptop product code: Alienware M15 R4 (2021)
Laptop announced date: 28th February 2021
Last reviewed: 10th August 2021
Today's gaming laptop review, for the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz, will be taking a good look at how well its price compares to the hardware we find inside it. We will also have a look at the type of gaming performance it gets when running today’s more demanding games and help you judge if this is a gaming laptop that is worth your cash.
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This processor is an excellent 2021 hardware component for running modern AAA games. Games are beginning to lean on more CPU cores for extra processing. Fortunately this CPU has 8 cores, making it an excellent gamers processor choice.
Graphics Card - With the GeForce RTX 3070 Max-Q graphics card this is an excellent gaming GPU for 2021 AAA gaming The graphics solution in the laptop also has 8GB of VRAM. This is an excellent gamers amount of VRAM and plenty for today’s big games.
System Memory - The 16GB RAM found in this machine is considered an excellent 2021 amount for modern AAA titles and a solid gaming machine.
Screen Size - This laptop’s 15.6" screen is certainly a good size for 2021 gaming on the move. You could go larger, of course, but then the larger you go the less portable a laptop becomes. For gaming laptops that are still portable, we would go for 17 inch gaming laptops.
Refresh Rate - If you want your gaming laptop to push past 60FPS, then make sure your laptop display panel has a higher refresh rate than 60Hz. Not all laptop manufacturers clearly state the screen refresh rate. If it is not clear, assume it is 60Hz. The laptop only turn out FPS (frames per second) as high as its screens refresh rate. 60hz refresh rate gets a max of 60FPS in all games, regardless of the hardware’s power in your laptop. With that in mind, we see that this laptop comes with an excellent 300Hz refresh rate for gaming. Of course, anything over 60Hz is good for gaming focused laptops.
GeForce RTX 3070 Max-Q graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz laptop
As gamers, one of the biggest choices we make for a new portable machine is to select a laptop with the right mobile graphics card. With this laptop we are specifically considering how the price-to-performance of the graphics card looks and if it has the capability to run modern popular games like today’s most popular titles, Far Cry 6 and New World in ultra graphics settings on its native 1080p resolution. With the GeForce RTX 3070 Max-Q inside this laptop, this graphics card solution will be capable of meeting 499 games at their minimum system requirements and 476 games at their recommended system requirements of the top 500 most demanding games around today.
Far Cry 6 FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
Laptop Research Area
Other Popular Games
Comparing Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
When we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop comes with, it gets very difficult to understand what value each permutation of this laptop will offer. To help us compare laptops based on their direct gaming value and capabilities, we defined a price to performance rating and allocated it to every laptop we review. Because as you have no doubt discovered during your research, it is very difficult to compare laptops for value against all other laptops. Even within their own model range. As soon as you adjust a single component and the laptop price shifts, what has that done to the gaming value of your laptop and is it still ok value for money? So we use a P2P rating to standardise the way we can look at all laptops. Of course laptops have tonnes of other values that are breathed into them when they are designed and they are not just about price to performance. But this is certainly a good way for us to help see the bigger picture, especially for a gaming laptop.
P2P rating of 8 today the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz. Our value to performance rating score will auto adjust as new hardware capability improves and prices drop. There look to be a number of Alienware M15 R4 (2021) versions of this laptop and currently this hardware configuration sits at 3rd in the Price to Performance order. Obviously scoring towards the 1st position represents the better value laptop from a purely gaming performance and price tag perspective.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3070 Max-Q|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2933MHz|
15.6 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 300Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$1799.99||18%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$1949.99||13%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2149.99||0%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2349.99||6%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2649.99||10%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2549.99||15%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2849.99||19%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2749.99||23%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$3049.99||27%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2949.99||32%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$3249.99||35%|
Now how does this laptop match to the top laptop for P2P today? The top laptop for P2P is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and has a price of $999. This Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz laptop is currently 106% worse rating when comparing price to performance. Another great model is the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which we have priced at $1049. Our Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop is 80% worse on Price to Performance.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
As a point of benchmark lets see how well our laptop looks when directly compared on processing performance against the top CPU focused laptop currently available. Using the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop for the best CPU laptop performer comparison tests with our laptop. This puts the top end Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz processor from that laptop against our review laptop’s Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz, and this comparison shows that laptop to be 24% better in performance compared to our review laptop.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop CPU can currently meet or beat 472 game’s recommended system requirements when we put the 500 most demanding games into a list. With a list of 500 Minimum system specs put in a similar most demanding order this changes to it being able to run 500 games.
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, Far Cry 6 and our laptop processor gets 16% better performance rating. Next we have New World where our CPU gets 46% better performance and finally another popular title at the moment is Battlefield 2042, which has a performance difference of : 35% better, when put against our laptop’s Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz laptop compare to the best graphics card performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
Now lets see how well our review laptop holds up compared against graphical performance with the top performing GPU laptop available today. 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 3070 Max-Q. This comparison shows that laptop to be 23% better comparably in performance as our review laptop.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop GPU can currently meet or beat 476 game’s recommended system requirements when we put the 500 most demanding games into a list. With a list of 500 Minimum system specs put ina similar most demanding order this changes to it being able to run 499 games.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop GPU performs against today's popular games. Our GeForce RTX 3070 Max-Q compared against recommended graphics requirements for Far Cry 6 delivers 5% better performance while against New World it’s 70% better and finally compared to Battlefield 2042 it has a performance difference : 8% worse.
The Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz has a 1080p screen resolution, should I get a 4K resolution gaming laptop instead?
There is a lot of talk about getting 4K capable monitors and our review laptop has a 1080p native resolution, and a physical 15.6" panel. Lets explore if it would be better for you to grab a laptop with a 4K screen rather than the 1080p offered here? 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. We can see 300Hz panel refresh rate versions of this laptop are available. The higher the better.
To get back some of those missing FPS on a AAA game we lower the game’s displayed screen resolution and get some stability in the game’s performance. This is usually a last resort for gamers though and not the sort of action taken by someone who has just shelled out for a new 4K laptop. Lowering down from a native 4K resolution, perhaps to 1080p or 1440p ups the game’s FPS but veering from the native 4K resolution leaves a game looking blurry. Definition of graphics drops and surely this puts forward the need to question someone’s choice for a 4K gaming laptop. If your laptop has hardware to deliver 4K you dont need the laptop to have a 4K display to enjoy modern gaming in this way. Just plug your laptop into a 4K desktop monitor, that will likely not have the 60Hz of most 4K laptop panels.
So why would you get a 4K capable laptop? If you enjoy movies or Netflix at 4K and have access to 4K content via those types of services then perhaps the quality of 4K resolution on a 17inch panel would be a great experience, but we still think you wouldn't miss that 4K.
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
Here is today’s best priced 1440p gaming monitor that could accompany the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz, ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS that is currently priced at $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
Here is a 4K monitor to compliment any laptop - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz. We watch a handful and it is currently the best priced at $618. It has a 144Hz refresh rate as well. This 4K monitor, during these past couple of weeks, has increased its price by $618. It’s still a solid purchase to accompany this laptop but it means you may find it for even cheaper at the moment, if you look around. Once we spot a monitor we like we start price tracking it. The lowest tracked price we have for this monitor was recorded on 13th Nov 2020, where it was seen at $549.99.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
If you stream 4K content, films, services like Netflix then perhaps the quality of 4K resolution on a 17inch panel would be better than the 1080p alternative that the majority of laptops provide.
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 M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz laptop
A mouse that is well priced at the moment and could accompany the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz 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|
Of our regular price tracked gaming headset the best value headset today is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround. With its a current price of $36.99 it should work well with this Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz laptop. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 where we saw it for $34.99.