Dell Alienware M17 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 M17 R4 (2021)
Laptop announced date: 28th February 2021
Last reviewed: 10th August 2021
Today's review of the gaming Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop explores the performance to value relationship of its hardware components. We will be comparing some of the most demanding games to see some expected frame rates for the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop and understand the type of price to performance on offer.
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB 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. 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 - Modern AAA 2021 gaming with the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile is no problem, making this an excellent gaming laptop choice of GPU. The 6GB VRAM found in this laptop’s GPU is certainly a good quantity for modern games.
System Memory - This laptop’s 32GB RAM can deal with everything modern games can throw at it and is a good step towards this being an excellent gaming laptop choice.
Screen Size - This laptop’s 17.3" is an excellent screen size for modern gaming in 2021. While it is not essential to have a big laptop for gaming, having this size of physical screen space, to see your games and the in-game menus, will become quickly apparent.
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. Ok so after that refresh rate recap we can see that this laptop can be found with the excellent gaming refresh rate of 144Hz. However, you can always look for others, but try to find something with more than 60Hz.
GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
Getting a good price to performance gaming laptop is what we are all trying to do when looking for our next mobile machine. The key component in this is usually the graphics card. So we will of course be considering this hardware setup and how well it could run modern popular games like Far Cry 6, New World and Battlefield 2042 to help us know if this graphics card and laptop is a good price to performance point. We do this by considering the gaming frame rates achieved at its native 1080p resolution while the games would be running at Ultra video settings. Now this comes with the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile installed as the mobile graphics card, and at the moment it is capable of running 499 games at their minimum graphics system specs and then running 472 recommended specs of today’s 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 M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
As you have probably discovered during your research into buying your next gaming laptop, getting an up-to-date value assessment that enables you to compare a laptop’s hardware performance against today’s games is tricky. And especially so, when we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the Alienware M17 R4 (2021) comes with. What we have done in this Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop review is give a price to performance rating to help standardise our comparisons.
We score the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz 8.3 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. With these hardware components the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop is placed at 2nd position within the Alienware M17 R4 (2021) range, when put into the price to performance order. Those laptops closer to the number 1 position of this list are the better value propositions today.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2933MHz|
17.3 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware M17 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||$1899.99||4%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2049.99||0%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2149.99||7%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2349.99||14%|
|i7-10870H RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2649.99||16%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$2749.99||32%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz||$3049.99||33%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 4K 60Hz||$3649.99||60%|
Now let's look at where this laptop sits compared to all other laptops, including those outside of the Alienware M17 R4 (2021) range. It currently offers 92% worse rating when comparing its price to performance rating against the best laptop available today for price to performance, which is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which currently costs $999. 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 67% 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 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
If you are wondering if this laptop is relatively well endowed in the CPU department then let's take a look at how it stacks up against the current best priced CPU focused laptop available today, to see its relative performance. 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.
How about we compare our laptop processor performance against Battlefield 2042 recommended processor requirement? Our laptop gets 35% better performance. Next let's check the top game of the moment, Far Cry 6, which shows the review laptop’s cpu against that game’s system specs gets 16% better performance. We also see the 46% better performance from our laptop cpu when looking at the game New World for it’s processor requirements.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 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?
Looking for a new gaming laptop often leads us quickly to consider the sort of performance the mobile graphics card can deliver. Mobile graphics cards are often underpowered versions of their desktop equivalent, but still often very capable. To gauge the performance ability in this graphics department we compare our laptop to a GPU focused laptop that is around at the moment, to help provide us with a good graphics performance metric and comparison. Lets look at the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K laptop due to its graphics processing power. The GPU it houses is ideal for comparison benchmarking, because it currently has one of the best laptop graphics solutions, at the cheapest laptop price. Its GPU is the GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB which we compare to the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile graphics card in our review laptop. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop GPU to be 26% better in performance compared to our laptop’s graphics processing power.
The GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile Graphics Card found in this machine can currently run 472 games of the top 500 most demanding games right now. This is basically how many recommended game system requirements our laptop GPU beats in performance today, but we will update this figure as new games come out. This is 499 games when looking at beating minimum system requirements.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop GPU performs against today's popular games. Our GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile compared against recommended graphics requirements for Far Cry 6 delivers 2% better performance while against New World it’s 65% better and finally compared to Battlefield 2042 it has a performance difference : 11% worse.
The Dell Alienware M17 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?
There is a lot of talk about getting 4K capable monitors and our review laptop has a 1080p native resolution, and a physical 17.3" panel. Lets explore if it would be better for you to grab a laptop with a 4K screen rather than the 1080p offered here? Today’s 4K laptops normally have a 60Hz screen refresh rate which would mean that should the laptop’s hardware be capable of running a 4K game, it would be restricted to a cap of 60 frames per second. As game system requirements continue to push for more powerful hardware, the components in a laptop, and many desktops as well, are simply not capable of delivering playable frame rates at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution. Our review laptop, the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz has 144Hz monitor screen refresh rate of versions available.
Drop the 4K screen resolution on your AAA games to 1080p to increase the games frame rate to something more playable, and in doing so will make a game look blurry as it wouldn't be displayed in the 4K laptop’s native resolution. And so is there a point in getting a 4K screen laptop at the moment? A 1080p laptop can still have some powerful gaming hardware in it and if it is good enough to run AAA games at larger resolutions like 4K or 1440p then attach it to a desktop monitor while you are at home and stationary. If the desktop monitor is pretty good then it wont have a 60Hz refresh rate limiting its FPS count in game. And is likely to be a whole lot more enjoyable playing on a 24 inch or larger monitor than the more standard 15 or 17inch screen normally found on gaming laptops.
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.
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
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 M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop. We like to review tracked prices for our suggested hardware and this 1440p monitor is no different. We spotted its lowest price, recorded on 9th Mar 2021, where it cost $229.99.
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. During these recent weeks we have price tracked this 4k monitor and noticed that it has increased its price by $618, so keep an eye out for deals, as this great value monitor might still be found for cheaper. Our 4k monitor price tracker recorded and marked its lowest price on 13th Nov 2020, it reached the lower price of $549.99.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
The primary use we can think of is for streaming 4K movie and TV content, assuming you have access to these services. If this is your primary use for the laptop, rather than gaming then it certainly might be worth considering this.
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 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop
A mouse that is well priced at the moment and could accompany the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz 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. This mouse has also dropped its price by $32.26 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with this laptop. To give some extra insight into this mouse, we had it price tracked on 15th Aug 2020, where it was at its lowest price of $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|
A good value gaming headset available at the moment, one that should go well with the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i7-10870H RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 1080p 144Hz is, Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround with a price of $36.99. The lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $34.99 recorded at 28th Nov 2019.