Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz 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 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz, 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 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This laptop has an excellent processor in it for meeting modern AAA CPU requirements during 2021 gaming. Modern AAA gaming can use multiple cores and this processor comes with 8 of them. This makes it excellent for today’s gaming.
Graphics Card - An excellent graphics card for running AAA titles during the 2021 gaming year. AAA games will use a fair amount of VRAM that is on the laptop graphics cards. This laptop GPU has 6GB of VRAM, which isnt the most amount of VRAM but it is still good enough for modern gaming.
System Memory - Today’s AAA 2021 gaming is easily covered by the 32GB RAM in this machine, making this an excellent gaming laptop choice.
Screen Size - The screen on this laptop is certainly a good option for game releases in 2021, but there is room for better, should your budget allow. But sometimes larger than this 15.6" is too big and this is definitely a good, portable option for some gamers. A gaming laptop screen size, in our eyes, would be 17 inches. We would certainly consider the more portable 15inch, but value gaming viewability and user experience over the slightly improved portability with the smaller screen sizes. A bigger laptop means heavier and harder to move around but more screen space to view games with.
Refresh Rate - Refresh rates can be hard to see, when the laptop reseller doesn't make it clear. Assume 60Hz if this is the case. Ideally for a gaming laptop you want 120Hz. This means the games you run can get up to 120 frames per second, assuming the hardware inside them is powerful enough to deliver that FPS. The refresh rate caps a games deliverable FPS even if the hardware can deliver more FPS than the Hz. We can see this laptop can support high gaming refresh rates, with 144Hz screen panel built in. This is excellent refresh rates for gaming. More than 60Hz would still be suitable for gaming.
GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
A key choice in any gaming laptop is making sure we identify the right graphics card in the laptop and know what it is capable of in today's gaming landscape. With this laptop we are taking a closer look at how its total laptop value compares to its capability when it comes to running modern demanding games. Also lets take a look at it when running modern popular games like, Far Cry 6 or Battlefield 2042 in ultra graphics settings on its native screen resolution of 1080p. We find a GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile mobile graphics card in this laptop, which is currently capable of playing 499 games, if you consider their minimum graphics system requirements as the playable level to beat. However, today the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile is also capable of running 472 games at their recommended specs, this is when compared to the top 500 most demanding games.
Far Cry 6 FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
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Comparing Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
We really want to see how the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz will compare across all permutations of the Alienware M15 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.
Our price and performance review leads us to allocate all laptops a P2P rating out of 10, which is relative to all laptops for comparison purposes and gets adjusted over time as the prices for hardware adjust and new more capable hardware is created. This laptop is currently given a 8.6 for P2P out of 10. This version of the Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop is currently positioned at 2nd when ordered in the range lineup for Price to Performance value rating. The closer to 1st place the better gaming performance it deliver for its price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2933MHz|
15.6 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$1799.99||4%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$1949.99||0%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2149.99||13%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2349.99||19%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2649.99||25%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2549.99||30%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2849.99||34%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2749.99||39%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$3049.99||43%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2949.99||49%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$3249.99||52%|
It's good to see how this Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop compares to models outside of its own model range as well. If we look at the very best P2P laptop, the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, our laptop has 82% worse performance difference when comparing its price to performance rating. That top laptop currently has a listed price of $999. The 2nd best model for Price to Performance ratings today is the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. It’s price is listed as $1049. Comparing our Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop on its P2P shows our review model to have 59% worse Price to Performance score when compared against the 2nd best laptop range for P2P.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
As one of the key focuses of any computer is the CPU we will want to know how well our Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop performs in this area. A good way of gauging this is to put it in a comparison with the best priced CPU focused laptop available today, and then check out its relative performance against that top CPU laptop. This top tier processor focused laptop is currently the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2. With a Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz CPU in it that performs 24% better compared to our laptop’s Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz.
A quick review of the number of games our laptop processor can run at recommended requirements is 472, taken from the top 500 most demanding games today. For min cpu specs this figure for number of games it can run is 500.
Let's take a look and see how well our Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz compares against today’s most popular games. Against the recommended CPU specs for Far Cry 6 our laptop is 16% better, and compared to New World it is 46% better , where as against Battlefield 2042 it delivers 35% better performance.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop compare to the best graphics card performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
Wondering how strong this laptop is in the GPU department, then let's have a look at it compared to one of the current best GPU performing laptops available today and this should show us the relative graphics performance of our review model. Our comparison GPU focused laptop today that we have selected is a MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K, which comes loaded with the GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB card. This top end GPU is currently delivering 26% better performance when stacked against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile.
Our laptop Graphics Card, the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile, can currently meet the recommended system requirements of 472 games when compared against the top 500 most demanding games right now. This number changes to 499 for the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
Recommended graphics requirements for modern games increase all the time, so we thought we would compare the performance of our laptop graphics card to some popular games of today. First off there is New World and our laptop GPU delivers 65% better performance compared to that game’s requirement. Next we have Battlefield 2042 in which we see our laptop graphics has 11% worse performance compared to the game's video card specs. And then there is 2% better performance when we put our laptop gpu against Far Cry 6 recommended specs.
The Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz has a 1080p screen resolution, should I get a 4K resolution gaming laptop instead?
This laptop has a 15.6" physical screen size with a native resolution of 1920x1080. So should you instead be thinking of picking up a 4K monitor rather than this Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz’s 1080p panel? With 60Hz being the usual screen refresh rate on 4K laptop panels this would cap a game to run at no more than 60 frames per second, even if the 4K laptop hardware could deliver more. And then most AAA games require more powerful hardware than a laptop houses to play stable 4K Ultra graphics setting games, even at a passable but, some would consider, a bit low, 60FPS. We can see 144Hz panel refresh rate versions of this laptop are available. The higher the better.
So lowering a game’s screen resolution down to 1080p or 1440p during your gaming of modern AAA games will help get more frames per second. But in doing so, by down scaling the game resolution will then make the game look blurry on a native 4K laptop panel. So the purpose of getting a 4K laptop monitor for gaming maybe lost at this point. If the following is the case, where the 1080p gaming laptop could run games you love at a higher 4K resolution then you could always hook up the PC laptop to a desktop monitor. One that was much bigger than the laptop screen size, like a 31inch with 144Hz refresh rate to enjoy 1440p or 4K resolution when gaming at home. Then still have your laptop for mobile gaming as well.
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.
As you can probably gather from the information above, its 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.
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. We have seen this desktop 1440p monitor recorded at a low price on 9th Mar 2021, where we saw it was costing $229.99.
Today’s best 4K desktop monitor for a laptop is - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz
The 4K Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz display is our current suggestion if you wanted to grab a desktop monitor. With a $618 price at the moment it also has a 144Hz refresh rate. During these past 2 weeks, this 4K monitor’s price has gone up by $618. Reviewing tracked prices for our suggested 4k monitor, its lowest price was recorded on 13th Nov 2020, where we spotted it for $549.99.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
Maybe you are hoping to enjoy your 4K streamed movies and TV shows while on the move. And if you have access to this 4K content and it's your prime use for your new laptop then perhaps it's worth considering a 4K panel, rather than this 1080p.
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 Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
If you are looking for a good value mouse to go with your Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop, then the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons is our favourite today, of those we are price tracking. Currently it’s 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. 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|
|**||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|
If you are looking for a good value headset to go with your Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop, then the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround is our favourite today, of those we are price tracking. Currently it’s priced at $36.99. The lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $34.99 recorded at 28th Nov 2019.