Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 review, including today's price to performance
Laptop announced date: 1st February 2019
Last reviewed: 10th August 2021
If you are looking for the best priced gaming laptop and was wondering how well the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 can run today’s latest games, then you are in the right place. We will be focusing this review on exploring how the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 performs against the most demanding games around and really getting a better understanding of this laptop’s price to performance today.
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - The Core i7-9700 8-Core 3.0GHz is an excellent gaming CPU for 2021. AAA games often need extra cores to run smoothly and minimise bottleneck. This laptop processor has 8 cores, which is excellent for modern gaming.
Graphics Card - This graphics card is considered an excellent 2021 choice for modern AAA games. AAA games often want a lot of VRAM from graphics cards. This laptop GPU has 8GB of VRAM, which isexcellent for modern gaming.
System Memory - This laptop’s 16GB of RAM is excellent for 2021 gaming.
Screen Size - The 17.3" of physical panel screen, found in this laptop, is an excellent size to deal with the viewability requirements of 2021 AAA gaming on the move. The hardware will still need to run the games properly but this is the right sort of size screen for modern mobile AAA gaming.
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. 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 2080 Mobile graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 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 Back 4 Blood, Battlefield 2042 and Grand Theft Auto VI 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. Lets compare the GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile 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 483 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
Back 4 Blood FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
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Other Popular Games
Comparing Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
During our research for the next best gaming laptop purchase we decided to compare Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 will compare across all permutations of the Alienware Area-51M 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 4.9 for P2P out of 10. With a number of Alienware Area-51M laptops in the model lineup this particular variant places at the 17th position for Price to Performance value. Laptops closer to the top place (1st) are value gaming laptop options that deliver the best performance for the laptop price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-9700 8-Core 3.0GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
It's good to see how this Alienware Area-51M 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 225% worse performance difference when comparing its price to performance rating. That top laptop currently has a listed price of $999. Lets move down the P2P ranking list to position 2. Here we find the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, which has a price at $1049. The Alienware Area-51M laptop in this review is 184% worse when compared solely on price to performance against that 2nd best model.
How does the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
If you are looking for a strong CPU focused laptop then let's compare this Alienware Area-51M laptop with the top CPU performance focused laptop available today and see how it compares. 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 27% better compared to our review laptop’s Core i7-9700 8-Core 3.0GHz.
Our laptop processor, the Core i7-9700 8-Core 3.0GHz, can currently meet the recommended system requirements of 466 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.
Let's take a look and see how well our Core i7-9700 8-Core 3.0GHz compares against today’s most popular games. Against the recommended CPU specs for Back 4 Blood our laptop is 36% better, and compared to Battlefield 2042 it is 33% better , where as against Grand Theft Auto VI it delivers 14% better performance.
How does the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop compare to the best graphics card performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
One of the most important focuses of a gaming PC is the graphics card and our review laptop is certainly no different. As such we will want to know how well our Alienware Area-51M laptop performs in the graphical visuals area compared to what is available on the current laptop market. A great way to consider this is by putting it into a comparison against a well priced laptop that has the most powerful laptop GPU around at the moment, and then we can review its performance against that top graphics card laptop. 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 2080 Mobile graphics card in our review laptop. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop GPU to be 16% better in performance compared to our laptop’s graphics processing power.
Our laptop’s GPU can currently run 483 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 2080 Mobile.
When compared to the most popular games around today, against their recommended graphics requirements, our laptop graphics card performs as follows - Back 4 Blood our laptop video card is 80% better and then looking at Battlefield 2042 our laptop GPU is 13% better and finally compared to Grand Theft Auto VI it has a performance difference : 13% better.
The Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 has a 1080p screen resolution, should I get a 4K resolution gaming laptop instead?
The Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 has a physical 17.3" 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? A 4K laptops will likely run with 60Hz screen refresh rate, so should the laptop’s hardware be able to get good frame rates at 4K resolution and due to the refresh rate the laptop would max out at 60 frames per second as its screen would not be capable of delivering any higher. Modern games in Ultra graphics settings are also normally too demanding for a 4K resolution anyway. You can find the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 panel with 144Hz refresh rate variants.
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? 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.
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.
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
Here is today’s best priced 1440p gaming monitor that could accompany the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2, ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS that is currently priced at $311.99. 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
If you wanted to pick up a 4K desktop monitor to go alongside this laptop then the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz looks well priced right now. At $618 it also has a 144Hz refresh rate. It's interesting that even though this is a well priced 4K monitor today, our price tracking shows it has gone up in price by $618 during recent weeks. Interestingly we spotted this 4k monitor at its lowest recorded price on 13th Nov 2020, where it was priced up as $549.99.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
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.
Hold that 4K gaming laptop cash for perhaps a more powerful GPU or fancy mouse or headset. That's our usual advice. Otherwise it might be a bit disheartening to pay for a 4K gaming laptop, and then be forced to turn the resolution down on modern games to get them to run smoothly.
Today's Best Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop
A well priced gaming mouse at the moment, that will go nicely with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2, is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Today it is 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. Our lowest price tracked for this mouse was marked down at $11.99, which we spotted 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|
Of the headset we monitor and price track, today’s top headset is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround, priced at $36.99. For reference, the lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $34.99 on 28th Nov 2019.