Laptop announced date: 1st February 2019
Last reviewed: 11th February 2020
Its not easy trying to find out how well today’s laptops compare against other mobile gaming solutions. This review will take a look at the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 and compare it against today's current demanding games. We will also be working out how its release price relates to the performance of the laptop, to give us a guide on how well the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 hardware compares to other laptops available today.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - Modern AAA 2020 gaming with the Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz processor is no problem. As it meets game requirements of today it will likely hold its own against future release titles as well, this is an excellent CPU for a gaming laptop. This laptop CPU has 8 cores. This is excellent for modern AAA gaming as the games start to require more cores for simultaneous activities.
Graphics Card - This graphics card is considered an excellent 2020 choice for modern AAA games. The 8GB that this graphics solution has is excellent for all modern gaming.
System Memory - A laptop with 16GB of system memory, like this laptop, makes it an excellent amount of RAM for the AAA gaming needs of 2020 and into the future.
Screen Size - This laptop’s 17.3" is an excellent screen size for modern gaming in 2020. 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 - 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. The top refresh rate for this laptop is 144Hz which is excellent for gaming. Get a panel with over 60Hz refresh rate would certainly be suitable for gaming.
Gamers looking at laptops will be needing to carefully consider the performance of the machine in relation to modern, often demanding, games. So getting the mobile graphics selected correctly is key to identifying the best price-to-performance laptop for you. We will take a look at the hardware and graphics card in this laptop in relation to how well it can deliver frame rates when running modern demanding or popular games like, Cyberpunk 2077 or Watch Dogs Legion. We will consider the laptop when it runs these games in ultra graphics settings while gaming at its native 1080p screen resolution. 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 2080 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 500 games at their min specs and then 492 games can be run at recommended graphics requirements.
Have you been looking for the best gaming laptop for your buck? Well you have probably encountered what we have, which is that, only certain laptops are normally reviewed and even then the review is often using games that are now getting out of date. So we decided to factor in all permutations of the Alienware Area-51M model range and compare them against the price adjustments those hardware variations incur when you change a GPU, for example. And so we have created this Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop price to performance review with a P2P rating to help standardise our comparisons.
With a P2P rating of 4.5 today the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2. Our value to performance rating score will auto adjust as new hardware capability improves and prices drop. This Alienware Area-51M configuration is placed at 29th position, when we order the range by their price to performance ratings. Those getting closer to the 1st position in this list will be better gaming laptops for their price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2649.99||29%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2749.99||24%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2849.99||24%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||22%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2899.99||19%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||17%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||16%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3099.99||16%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3,499.99||15%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||13%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||13%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3299.99||13%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3149.99||13%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3249.99||13%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||12%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3349.99||9%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||8%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||8%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||7%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||7%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3499.99||7%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||5%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||5%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3749.99||5%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||4%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||4%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3699.99||4%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3799.99||2%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3899.99||0%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3999.99||0%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3949.99||1%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4099.99||2%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4149.99||2%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||3%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||3%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4399.99||6%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4499.99||8%|
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 $986.99. Our Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop’s price to performance is 254% 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. How about we also look at the 2nd ranked laptop for excellent Price/Performance ratings, which is the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and has a recorded cost of $858.54. We see our Alienware Area-51M laptop scores 228% worse against it for price to performance.
You might be considering a CPU heavy laptop and wondering how this Alienware Area-51M laptop does in the grand scheme of CPU focused laptops. Let's compare this laptop with a top CPU performance laptop available today and see how its CPU performance stacks up. We will choose the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p laptop for our CPU comparison tests as that laptop currently has the best CPU in it at the cheapest laptop price. Its CPU is the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz which we will compare to our review laptop’s Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz processor. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop CPU to be 7% better in performance compared to our laptop’s processor.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop CPU can currently meet or beat 500 game’s recommended system requirements when we put the 500 most demanding games into a list. With a list of 500 Minimum system specs put in a similar most demanding order this changes to it being able to run 500 games.
Games these days have a range of processor requirements so let's look at a few popular games of today, and check our laptop CPU against the games recommended requirement. First off, Cyberpunk 2077 and our laptop processor gets 43% better performance rating. Next we have Watch Dogs Legion where our CPU gets 43% better performance and finally another popular title at the moment is Assassins Creed: Valhalla, which has a performance difference of : 43% better, when put against our laptop’s Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz.
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. A top tier graphics focused laptop is the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K. Housing a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB GPU that performs 16% better when compared to our review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile.
The GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile Graphics Card found in this machine can currently run 492 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 500 games when looking at beating minimum system requirements.
Lets take a look and see how well our GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile compares against today’s most popular games. Against the recommended graphics specs for Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop is 59% better, and compared to Watch Dogs Legion it is 59% better , where as against Assassins Creed: Valhalla it delivers 59% better performance.
If you are looking for future proof laptops it doesnt take long before people are exploring the 4K panel laptops, but are they really the right choice or should you be focusing on a top end laptop that has the hardware to deliver 1080p gaming. The Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2’s 17.3" physical panel produces a native 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall. 4K laptops have a 60Hz screen refresh rate normally, that means a game would not be able to run at more than 60 frames per second even if the hardware could deliver more. While 60FPS would provide acceptable stability, a lot of gamers would prefer higher FPS than this. However, thats not the only issue here. Modern AAA game system requirements would need more powerful gaming hardware than is normally found in laptops, to play reliably at 4K Ultra graphics settings, even at 60FPS. Our review laptop, the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 has 144Hz monitor screen refresh rate of versions available.
It would be more likely that we would have to lower the AAA game resolution to 1080p or maybe 1440p and by doing so get back some of the FPS to a playable level. But by doing this the game moves away from its native 4K resolution and starts to look unclear. If your 1080p laptop has the hardware to run today’s AAA games comfortably at 4K, then plug your laptop into your desktop 4K monitor, when you are at home for some serious gaming sessions. As that desktop monitor probably isn't 60Hz restricted and is physically larger than the relatively small 17inch laptop screen size. We do just that here, with a 27inch 144Hz Nvidia GSync 1440p desktop monitor and an Alienware 51M laptop sporting a desktop RTX 2080.
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.
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.
A well priced 1440p gaming monitor today is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS. With its 75Hz refresh rate and a current price of $294.99 it should go nicely with this Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. To help provide some further information into this desktop monitor price trends we saw it cost a recorded low of $272.99, which we tracked on 5th Aug 2020.
A well priced 4K gaming monitor with 144Hz refresh rate is the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz. It has a price today of $829.99 and should be a nice accompaniment to the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. During these recent weeks we have price tracked this 4k monitor and noticed that it has increased its price by $799, so keep an eye out for deals, as this great value monitor might still be found for cheaper. The cheapest we have tracked this 4k monitor was for the price of $797.05, on 11th Aug 2020.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
4K streaming could be a viable reason to consider 4K over 1080p laptop panels.
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.
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 $11.99 and is topping our price tracking charts as a best value mouse. Another interesting point about this mouse is that as we price track it we can see it has dropped in price by $19 during these past two weeks. Another point of reference for this mouse, is that our lowest recorded price for this mouse was on 15th Aug 2020 where it was costing $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|*||Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons||$11.99|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$16.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$44.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$55.99|
We price track a number of good value gaming headset and the one that currently stands out is the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which is currently available for $47.14. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 which had it priced at $25.98.