Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB 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
The Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop review we are going to do today will look into how its purchase price stacks up against the performance on offer from the hardware housed inside it. We will also be taking a look at today’s more demanding games to see some Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop gaming frame rates to help you judge if the value to money ratio is a good deal or not.
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - An excellent CPU for running AAA game requirements, especially during the 2021 gaming year. It will be solid for some time to come as well. This CPU comes with 8 cores, which is excellent providing it extra resource to chew through game processing when required.
Graphics Card - With the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile graphics card this is an excellent gaming GPU for 2021 AAA gaming This GPU has 6GB VRAM, which is certainly a good amount for most modern games.
System Memory - This system memory, 16GB, is excellent for meeting 2021 AAA game requirements.
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. 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 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
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 God of War 2018 at 1080p ultra settings. Coming loaded with the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile, this laptop is capable of beating 499 games at their minimum system specs and 472 games at their recommended system specs. This is when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games.
God of War 2018 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 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
A key focus of this laptop review is to compare the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz to all other laptops in terms of how much its $1799.99 reflects the value of the gaming performance delivered by the this laptop’s hardware.
P2P rating of 8.8 today the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz. Our value to performance rating score will auto adjust as new hardware capability improves and prices drop. Looking at how this configuration of the Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop compares against other laptops within its range we can see it currently is placed at the 1st spot. Those laptops that are closer to the top 1st place of the model range are considered better gaming laptops regarding performance and laptop price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2933MHz|
15.6 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB 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||0%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$1949.99||4%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2149.99||18%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2349.99||25%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2649.99||30%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2549.99||35%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2849.99||40%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$2749.99||45%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 300Hz||$3049.99||50%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$2949.99||56%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 8GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K 60Hz||$3249.99||59%|
Our Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop should also be compared to today’s best Price to Performance model, the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. When stacked up against this, our laptop has 75% worse rating difference on its P2P. It's worth noting that the very best P2P model has a recorded price of $999 to consider and of course this is purely a value for performance basis. 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 53% worse on Price to Performance.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
One of the key components in a laptop is of course its CPU. So let's see if our Alienware M15 R4 (2021) laptop compares favourably when placed against the laptop that has one of the most powerful CPU’s around today. This comparison will at least help us know how this laptop performs against the top end CPU laptop and we can then see the amount of money we might have to pay to get that sort of laptop. 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 24% better compared to our review laptop’s Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz.
Our laptop processor, the Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz, 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 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 God of War 2018. This CPU performance comparison saw our laptop deliver 37% better performance against the game’s recommended CPU system requirements. Then we have Far Cry 6 and our laptop was 16% better in processor performance and another popular title today is God of War: Ragnarok which we saw our review laptop get 46% better compared to our laptop cpu.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB 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. A good laptop to compare against, that is GPU focused, would be the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K. 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 2080 Super 8GB graphics card slotted inside it, which can deliver 26% better performance when compared to our GPU, GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile from our review laptop.
Interestingly we can see 472 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 499 games are worse than our GPU performance, again looking at the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
Games these days have a range of graphics requirements so let's look at a few popular games of today, and check our laptop GPU against the games recommended requirement. First off, God of War 2018 and our laptop graphics gets 46% better performance rating. Next we have Far Cry 6 where our graphics card gets 2% better performance and finally another popular title at the moment is God of War: Ragnarok, which has a performance difference of : 36% better, when put against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile.
The Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB 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 16GB 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. What refresh rate does the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz panel have available? It can be picked up with the following 144Hz refresh rates.
So a quick lowering of a AAA game’s screen resolution, from a native 4K laptop panel down to either 1080p or perhaps 1440p would increase the frame rate. And thus improve the stability of your gameplay. But a laptop display panel has a fixed number of pixels. Moving away from that exact number of pixels in a game lowers the definition quality of the graphics in the game. Making the experience sub par and if you do this often, then this seriously puts into question your choice for a 4K gaming laptop. But if the laptop does have the hardware to run today's AAA titles at 4K resolution, a normal sized portable PC comes with a 15 or 17 inch panel. This might not be physically big enough to make the most of the splendors of your game. It would of course look great still, but perhaps a dedicated monitor for your desk, one that isnt 60Hz restricted would accommodate that gaming scenario.
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.
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
A well priced 1440p gaming monitor with 75Hz, is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS, which is currently priced at $311.99 and would work well with our Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop. 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
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 $618 with 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. 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]
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?
Perhaps in the future the 4K gaming laptop would make sense but for now certainly move forward on the 1080p laptop over the 4K options. This way your new laptop remains, well mobile and built for purpose. Picking up a 4K laptop for gaming should be a great choice but at the moment you would sadly be turning down the display quality by dropping resolution or game settings to get the game to deliver more FPS, and even then the 4K panel will likely be capped at 60FPS due to the hertz refresh rate it often comes with.
Today's Best Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
You could pick up a mouse to go with the Dell Alienware M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz. In our spotlight at the moment is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, which today is $12.99. We have seen this mouse lower its price during these past couple of weeks by $32.26, which is part of the reason we are considering it as a good option for 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|
|**||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 M15 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB 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.