Laptop announced date: 28th February 2021
Last reviewed: 2nd February 2021
If you are looking to buy a new gaming laptop and want to know how well the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz 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
Is the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - Modern AAA 2021 gaming with the Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz processor is no problem. As it meets game requirements of today it will likely hold its own against future release titles as well, this is an excellent CPU for a gaming laptop. With 8 of CPU cores available, this processor doesn’t have to worry too much about gaming processes bottlenecking as few games will be able to use all of these cores completely
Graphics Card - A GeForce RTX 3070 Max-Q graphics card that is housed in this laptop is excellent for modern AAA gaming during 2021. The 8GB that this graphics solution has is excellent for all modern gaming.
System Memory - This laptop’s 32GB of RAM is excellent for 2021 gaming.
Screen Size - This laptop screen (15.6") in 2021 offers up a good amount of gaming screen real estate for gamers on the move, while keeping the physical laptop footprint portable. In games the physical size of the screen can help with being able to read in game menus without squinting. We will go for a 17 inch screen size when choosing a laptop for gaming. And while the larger the screen the less portable the machine, the bigger screen balances out with better in-game viewability. And that is more important when wondering whether to go with a 1.5 Kg laptop or a 3.5Kg laptop for gaming for us.
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. We can see this laptop can support high gaming refresh rates, with 300Hz screen panel built in. This is excellent refresh rates for gaming. More than 60Hz would still be suitable for gaming.
One of the most important components to a gamer for this laptop is getting it’s graphics card right. We will be taking a look at the sort of price to performance ratio the laptop hardware has and in particular help us know if how well the graphics card can run Grand Theft Auto VI at 1080p ultra settings. Lets compare the GeForce RTX 3070 Max-Q found in this laptop to today’s top 500 most demanding games. Of those games, this laptops GPU can run 499 at their minimum system requirements and then 480 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
Stepping into it, we can standardise our assessment of this Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz laptop review by giving every laptop a relative price to performance rating. This rating, for all laptops, will adjust over time and keep the data in this review relevant to today's expectations and inline with ever increasing game demands of modern AAA laptop gaming.
We review performance and allocate a P2P rating out of 10 that will adjust over time as the prices for hardware adjust. This laptop is currently given a 7.7 for P2P. As not all laptops and their prices are of course valued equally we can see that this version of the Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop is in 4th position on the best Price to Performance value rating. Those closer to 1st place are simply better gaming laptop options regarding the gaming performance they deliver for their price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3070 Max-Q|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2933MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 300Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB 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||25%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$1949.99||19%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2149.99||6%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2349.99||0%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2649.99||4%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2549.99||9%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2849.99||12%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2749.99||16%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$3049.99||20%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2949.99||25%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$3249.99||27%|
How about we compare our Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz laptop to the laptop with the leading P2P rating out of all laptops and see how it compares. Today's best gaming laptop for Price to Performance is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 ($999.00) and our laptop is 118% worse if we directly compare the price to performance rating against that best hardware performance to value laptop. 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 $1049.00 and our laptop gets 90% worse against its price to performance rating.
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 Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz laptop for the best CPU laptop performer comparison tests with our laptop. This puts the top end Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz processor from that laptop against our review laptop’s Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz, and this comparison shows that laptop to be 32% better in performance compared to our review laptop.
A quick review of the number of games our laptop processor can run at recommended requirements is 478, taken from the top 500 most demanding games today. For min cpu specs this figure for number of games it can run is 500.
A game’s listed recommended CPU requirements are a good way to compare the performance of our laptop CPU. Lets see today's popular titles up against our laptop processor. First off let's look at Resident Evil 8 which shows our laptop CPU has 6% better performance than it. How about Battlefield 2042, where we see our CPU is 35% better. Then there is 16% better performance when compared against today’s most popular title, Grand Theft Auto VI.
Graphics power is a primary laptop hardware area for consideration and so let's check our Alienware M15 R4 (2021) by comparing it against a top GPU focused laptop thats available today. A good laptop to compare against, that is GPU focused, would be the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz. This showcases one of the laptops for the current cheapest price, while still housing one of the most powerful laptop GPUs. It comes with a GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile graphics card slotted inside it, which can deliver 27% better performance when compared to our GPU, GeForce RTX 3070 Max-Q from our review laptop.
A snapshot today of performance for our Graphics Card, we can currently see it beating 480 of the 500 most demanding games available right now. This is considering their recommended system requirements. For a the top 500 Minimum system specs this is 499 games.
When compared to the recommended graphics requirements of the most popular games today, like Grand Theft Auto VI our laptop GPU is 7% better in performance. Compared to Resident Evil 8 our laptop graphics performance is 15% better.
The Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz has a physical 15.6" screen size and a fixed number of pixels in that screen of 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall, or 1080p resolution. So is it ok to go for a 1080p laptop like this one or should I be considering a 4K screen resolution laptop instead of this? Screen refresh rate on a 4K panel laptop will normally be 60Hz and this will cap out any game’s Frames Per Second at 60 even if it’s hardware could deliver more FPS. Along with that upset most AAA games would struggle to reach that 60 FPS at 4K Ultra graphics settings on most laptop hardware today. What refresh rate does the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz panel have available? It can be picked up with the following 300Hz refresh rates.
We can always lower the game’s displayed screen resolution to something like 1080p or 1440p which is below the 4K laptop’s native pixel count. This will get a more stable game experience, increasing a game’s FPS that might be needed across a number of modern AAA games on a 4K laptop. However, getting away from the laptop’s more native 4K resolution, will take away in-game graphics definition. Not an ideal situation, playing blurry games on your new 4K 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.
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.
A well priced 1440p gaming monitor today is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS. With its 75Hz refresh rate and a current price of $291.99 it should go nicely with this Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz laptop. We have seen this desktop 1440p monitor recorded at a low price on 9th Mar 2021, where we saw it was costing $229.99.
Perhaps you could grab something like the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz 4K gaming monitor we have spotted today. It is our current best priced 4K monitor at $617.99 with a 144Hz refresh rate. Providing some more insight, this 4K Monitor has increased its price by $569 during these past two weeks. So keep your eyes out as it could be cheaper than we have recorded here today. For some extra info about this 4k monitor, during our price tracking we can see the lowest price recorded by us was $549.99, which was on 13th Nov 2020.
[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.
As you can probably gather from the information above, it's probably not worth the extra cash for a 4K laptop if gaming is your Laptop purpose. 1080p is likely plenty and has enough alternative gaming options for when you want better resolution. It feels like you might not get what you were after if you picked up a shiny new 4K laptop, then was needing to lower game resolution, while getting blurry in-game experience and achieving a max 60FPS when you could push the hardware into better frame rates.
A great priced gaming mouse today, that could accompany the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz is the, Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons that is currently priced at $12.99. This mouse has also dropped its price by $36 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with this laptop. Another point of interest was that we saw this mouse priced at $11.99, which we tracked on 15th Aug 2020.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$13.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$42.99|
|***||Logitech MX Master 2S||$49.95|
Of the headset we monitor and price track, today’s top headset is the HyperX Cloud Stinger, priced at $41.99. The lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 recorded at 12th Mar 2020.