Dell Alienware M17 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 M17 R4 (2021)
Laptop announced date: 28th February 2021
Last reviewed: 10th August 2021
Welcome to our Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz performance to price review. We know its hard trying to find a way of knowing which new laptop makes the most sense. When speccing out a new laptop, as soon as you adjust a component the price jumps up and the performance gain from that component leaves you uncertain if that is worth it. We will be addressing exactly that here today. We will also be looking at how well this Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop can run today’s modern demanding games
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This laptop processor can run modern AAA titles with little problem and is an excellent laptop CPU gaming choice for 2022. Loaded up with plenty of processor cores, this CPU has 8, which is excellent for AAA gaming that wants extra cores for processing.
Graphics Card - This laptop graphics card is excellent at running AAA titles released during 2022. The 6GB VRAM found in this laptop’s GPU is certainly a good quantity for modern games.
System Memory - Our review laptop here has an excellent quantity of RAM for 2022 AAA games. The 16GB of RAM will meet the game requirements of the foreseeable future as well.
Screen Size - This laptop’s 17.3" screen can deliver a good viewable amount of real estate for modern games and in terms of screen size this is a step towards the laptop being an excellent gaming laptop choice. You can of course game on smaller screen laptops, but in game menus could become tricky to see on smaller screens.
Refresh Rate - I personally wouldnt consider getting a gaming laptop with a screen panel that had a refresh rate of 60Hz. The refresh rate number is the number of times an image can be displayed to the screen by the laptop's own screen. So if I had paid more money for a good graphics card and CPU and RAM then even though the hardware might be able to get 150FPS on Ultra settings in the latest games, the laptop screen would only display 60FPS. The more FPS capable of being displayed to screen the smoother and sharper the response of the game you are playing. An ideal minimum refresh rate amount would be around 144Hz for a great gaming laptop, but you can certainly get some with even higher refresh rates than that. And so considering that, this laptop is available with up to 144Hz as its refresh rate. This high refresh rate would be an excellent choice in a gamers laptop, but anything over 60Hz would be suitable.
GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
No two laptops are the same. But one of the primary gaming laptop components is of course the graphics card. Often a slightly weaker mobile solution, when compared to its desktop equivalent. Today we will consider this laptop's hardware, when running modern popular and sometimes demanding games, like Grand Theft Auto VI, Star Citizen and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) which will help us know if this mobile graphics card and the overall laptop hardware is considered a good price to performance point. We consider it running these titles at its native 1080p resolution, and 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 3060 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 499 games at their min specs and then 464 games can be run at recommended graphics requirements.
Grand Theft Auto VI FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
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Other Popular Games
Comparing Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
Now let us compare the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop to other gaming laptops, with regards to the performance ability it delivers and when considering the price of the laptop. Obviously there are many things that go into a quality laptop build, but at this point we want a standardised system to compare across laptops just on that criteria. It will consider $1899.99 of the laptop with regards to its key hardware capability in running modern games performance delivered by this laptop’s hardware.
We score the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz 8.5 out of ten on the P2P score today. Our price to performance rating value will change for all laptops automatically, as new hardware capability is put into modern laptops and the price for hardware adjusts. This version of the Alienware M17 R4 (2021) laptop is currently positioned at 1st 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||16GB DDR4 2933MHz|
17.3 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware M17 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||$1899.99||0%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2049.99||4%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2149.99||12%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2349.99||18%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2649.99||21%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2749.99||38%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$3049.99||39%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 4K 60Hz||$3649.99||66%|
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) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop’s price to performance is 84% 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. Again only comparing against Price to Performance we can see that the second best model in today’s P2P ranking list is the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, and our laptop is 61% worse when compared against this price to performance rating. The price of the 2nd best laptop is listed as $1049.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 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 M17 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 CPU beats 465 games recommended system requirements when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games. This number changes to 500 games if we compare to the top 500 most demanding games for minimum system requirements.
How about we compare our laptop processor performance against Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) recommended processor requirement? Our laptop gets 16% better performance. Next let's check the top game of the moment, Grand Theft Auto VI, which shows the review laptop’s cpu against that game’s system specs gets 16% better performance. We also see the 2% better performance from our laptop cpu when looking at the game Star Citizen for it’s processor requirements.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 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?
A good comparison in terms of graphical power for our review model would be to compare it to one of the most powerful GPU focused laptop’s around today. This type of comparison can show us what another laptop, with a top end graphics hardware solution, can deliver and in turn provide us a relative point of laptop Graphics Card cost comparison. 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 26% better if we bench it against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile graphics hardware.
Our laptop’s GPU can currently run 464 of today’s top 500 demanding games meeting their recommended Graphics Card requirements. This figure is 499 for the top 500 minimum requirement games that can be run by the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile.
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, Grand Theft Auto VI and our laptop graphics gets 3% better performance rating. Next we have Star Citizen where our graphics card gets 65% better performance and finally another popular title at the moment is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022), which has a performance difference of : 3% better, when put against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile.
The Dell Alienware M17 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’s panel has a physical 17.3" screen that delivers 1920x1080 pixels natively. But should you consider moving from this 1080p laptop and searching for a 4K laptop instead, with the intention of getting better visuals for your games or movies? 4K laptops would likely come with a 60 FPS cap on games, set by the laptop screen’s 60Hz refresh rate. So regardless of what the hardware is capable of in the 4K laptop they couldn't push their FPS beyond that screen refresh rate. Now AAA games today when played at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution likely don't have hardware capable of 60 FPS anyway. This review laptop has 144Hz refresh rate versions available.
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.
Today’s best 1440p desktop monitor for a laptop is - ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS
Today’s best priced 1440p gaming monitor, to work nicely with our Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz, would be the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS, which is priced at $311.99 and has a refresh rate of 75Hz. 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
Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz is a good value, high performing desktop display that might work well with this laptop. It's currently priced up at $618 and also has a 144Hz refresh rate. 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. 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]
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?
Paying extra for 4K gaming in a laptop is not really a good investment of your cash at the moment. We would put our extra cash in to a 1080p with better graphics card or maybe a nice mouse or headset. Because with the 4K laptop you may be sad when having to drop your favourite modern games screen resolution to get an ok frame rate. Or perhaps lowering the graphics setting to increase 4K FPS up to a stable and playable amount, only to hit a 60FPS ceiling due to the 60Hz 4K panel limit.
Today's Best Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
Incidentally our price track research shows us that a good gaming mouse is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its price tag today is $12.99 and is topping our price tracking charts as a best value mouse. 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. Reviewing all our records the lowest tracked price we have for this mouse was recorded on 15th Aug 2020, where it was priced at $11.99.
|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|
We price track a number of good value gaming headset and the one that currently stands out is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround, which is currently available for $36.99. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 where we saw it for $34.99.