Laptop announced date: 1st February 2019
Last reviewed: 11th February 2020
Today's review of the gaming Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 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 Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop and understand the type of price to performance on offer.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - Modern AAA 2020 gaming with the Core i7-9700K 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. The 8 cores that this processor has is excellent and very capable for today and future AAA gaming.
Graphics Card - This laptop graphics solution can chew through modern AAA titles and is an excellent laptop gaming choice of GPU. With 8GB of VRAM available to the GPU, this graphics solution doesn’t have to worry about a shortage, when it comes to modern AAA gaming, making it an excellent choice..
System Memory - An excellent amount of system memory, the 32GB is capable of running AAA titles during the 2020 gaming year and we would expect beyond that as well.
Screen Size - A laptop with a 17.3" screen size, like we find on this laptop, puts it into the excellent category for mobile laptops and top end 2020 gaming. Of course it always needs the hardware to backup this up.
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 end refresh rate for this laptop is 144Hz for its screen. This makes it an excellent choice for gaming. Over 60Hz would be suitable, though 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 Assassins Creed: Valhalla. 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 2070 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 497 games at their min specs and then 453 games can be run at recommended graphics requirements.
If we want to look at the gaming value offered by the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop compared tto other gaming laptops, we focus on the performance ability of the hardware and then the relative price of the laptop. Of course a laptop is often more than just its core tech components, like CPU and GPU, but for this exercise we want a standardised way of looking across laptops to see what value they have to today’s laptop gamer. So we consider $ of each laptop and its core hardware capability in running modern games.
The Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 gaming laptop is currently getting a 5.2 on our P2P rating out of 10. Higher is better and this figure will adjust as new hardware and prices shift over time Today the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop sits at 12th place compared to all the other permutations of the Alienware Area-51M range. Laptops placed nearer to 1st place in the P2P list of the model range will be better value for your money when looking at gaming laptops in this range.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-9700K 8-Core 3.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2649.99||14%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2749.99||10%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2849.99||10%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||8%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2899.99||6%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||4%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||3%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3099.99||3%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3,499.99||2%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||1%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||0%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3299.99||0%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3149.99||0%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3249.99||0%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||1%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3349.99||3%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||5%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||5%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||6%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||6%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3499.99||6%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||7%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||7%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3749.99||7%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||8%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||8%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3699.99||8%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3799.99||11%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3899.99||13%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3999.99||13%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3949.99||14%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4099.99||15%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4149.99||15%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||16%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||16%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4399.99||20%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4499.99||22%|
Our Alienware Area-51M 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 215% worse rating difference on its P2P. It's worth noting that the very best P2P model has a recorded price of $985.33 to consider and of course this is purely a value for performance basis. The 2nd best model for Price to Performance ratings today is the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. It’s price is listed as $858.54. Comparing our Alienware Area-51M laptop on its P2P shows our review model to have 191% worse Price to Performance score when compared against the 2nd best laptop range for P2P.
Now we will see if our laptop compares favourably against the top CPU performance focused mobile PC that is currently available. This top tier processor focused laptop is currently the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p. With a Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz CPU in it that performs 16% better compared to our laptop’s Core i7-9700K 8-Core 3.6GHz.
Currently 499 games recommended system requirements of the top 500 most demanding games today are worse in performance than our laptop’s Core i7-9700K 8-Core 3.6GHz. Or it is 500 games of the top 500 most demanding for minimum cpu specs.
Today’s games are getting more demanding so let's see how our gaming laptop performs against their recommended cpu system requirements. First off we have the Assassins Creed: Valhalla which currently our Core i7-9700K 8-Core 3.6GHz is 39% better next let's see how well it runs against Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. We can see it is 41% better. Ok finally lets see it against Cyberpunk 2077. Here our laptop is 39% better.
Wondering how strong this laptop is in the GPU department, then let's have a look at it compared to one of the current best GPU performing laptops available today and this should show us the relative graphics performance of our review model. Lets grab a graphics focused laptop for comparison then. We have chosen the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 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 35% better if we bench it against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile graphics hardware.
The GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile Graphics Card found in this machine can currently run 453 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 497 games when looking at beating minimum system requirements.
Today’s games are getting more demanding so let's see how our gaming laptop performs against their recommended gpu system requirements. First off we have the Assassins Creed: Valhalla which currently our GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile is 36% better next let's see how well it runs against Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. We can see it is 27% better. Ok finally lets see it against Cyberpunk 2077. Here our laptop is 36% better.
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? 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. 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 the following is the case, where the 1080p gaming laptop could run games you love at a higher 4K resolution then you could always hook up the PC laptop to a desktop monitor. One that was much bigger than the laptop screen size, like a 31inch with 144Hz refresh rate to enjoy 1440p or 4K resolution when gaming at home. Then still have your laptop for mobile gaming as well.
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.
The 1440p gaming monitor that has a great price today and should be a nice accompaniment to the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS. Its current price is $294.99 and it has a 75Hz refresh rate. We like to review tracked prices for our suggested hardware and this 1440p monitor is no different. We spotted its lowest price, recorded on 5th Aug 2020, where it cost $272.99.
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 $829.99 it also has a 144Hz refresh rate. Providing some more insight, this 4K Monitor has increased its price by $780 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 $797.05, which we recorded on 11th Aug 2020.
[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.
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.
We price track a number of good value gaming mice and the one that currently stands out is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, which is currently available for $11.99. This mouse has also dropped its price by $38 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with this laptop. 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||$15.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$49.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$58.95|
Incidentally our price track research shows us that a good gaming headset is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Its price tag today is $30.99 and is topping our price tracking charts as a best value headset. The lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 recorded at 12th Mar 2020.