Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 review, including today's price to performance
Laptop announced date: 1st February 2019
Last reviewed: 10th August 2021
If you adjust the spec you are looking at on a gaming laptop, the price hikes up and makes it harder to judge price to performance. Today's Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop review is going to give us all a good sense of these sorts of values. We will take a look at what sort of performance you can expect the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop to return across the more demanding games of today.
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - Modern AAA 2022 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. 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 - With the GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile graphics card this is an excellent gaming GPU for 2022 AAA gaming The 8GB that this graphics solution has is excellent for all modern gaming.
System Memory - This system memory, 32GB, is excellent for meeting 2022 AAA game requirements.
Screen Size - This laptop panel is an excellent 2022 size at 17.3". This will certainly help gamers see in game details and text. You can game on smaller physical screens, but once you get to this sort of screen size its a nicer experience, while still providing mobile 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. With that in mind, we see that this laptop comes with an excellent 144Hz refresh rate for gaming. Of course, anything over 60Hz is good for gaming focused laptops.
GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop
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, Grand Theft Auto VI or Star Citizen. We will consider the laptop when it runs these games in ultra graphics settings while gaming at its native 1080p screen resolution. 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 477 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
Grand Theft Auto VI FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
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Other Popular Games
Comparing Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
When we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the Alienware Area-51M laptop comes with, it gets very difficult to understand what value each permutation of this laptop will offer. To help us compare laptops based on their direct gaming value and capabilities, we defined a price to performance rating and allocated it to every laptop we review. Because as you have no doubt discovered during your research, it is very difficult to compare laptops for value against all other laptops. Even within their own model range. As soon as you adjust a single component and the laptop price shifts, what has that done to the gaming value of your laptop and is it still ok value for money? So we use a P2P rating to standardise the way we can look at all laptops. Of course laptops have tonnes of other values that are breathed into them when they are designed and they are not just about price to performance. But this is certainly a good way for us to help see the bigger picture, especially for a gaming laptop.
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 4.8 for P2P out of 10. Looking at how this configuration of the Alienware Area-51M laptop compares against other laptops within its range we can see it currently is placed at the 24th spot. Those laptops that are closer to the top 1st place of the model range are considered better gaming laptops regarding performance and laptop price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-9700K 8-Core 3.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Looking outside of the Alienware Area-51M laptop range we can compare our review laptop to today’s leading Price to Performance laptop, the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which has a recorded price of $999. Our laptop has 233% worse rating when comparing on just price to performance against that best bang-for-your-buck laptop. The next best model is MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which costs $1049. Our Alienware Area-51M review laptop is 190% worse when comparing Price/Performance against the next top P2P laptop. Again this is purely a value for performance comparison, and many things go into helping us choose the right laptop for us. This is a good indicator but it's certainly then worth looking through the range for other configurations of a laptop you are interested in to find the right price point for you.
How does the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
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. Selecting todays ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop, we will use its mighty Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz to compare against our Core i7-9700K 8-Core 3.6GHz processor from our review laptop. We can see that the top end CPU currently delivers 16% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s Core i7-9700K 8-Core 3.6GHz.
The Core i7-9700K 8-Core 3.6GHz processor found in this machine can currently run 484 games of the top 500 most demanding games right now. This is basically how many recommended game system requirements our laptop cpu 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.
Recommended processor requirements for modern games increase all the time, so we thought we would compare the performance of our laptop CPU to some popular games of today. First off there is Star Citizen and our laptop CPU delivers 9% better performance compared to that game’s requirement. Next we have Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) in which we see our laptop processor has 22% better performance compared to the game's CPU specs. And then there is 22% better performance when we put our laptop cpu against Grand Theft Auto VI recommended specs.
How does the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop compare to the best graphics card performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
Shall we see if our review laptop holds out favourably against a top GPU performance focused laptop PC that is currently available. A good laptop to compare against, that is GPU focused, would be the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K. This showcases one of the laptops for the current cheapest price, while still housing one of the most powerful laptop GPUs. It comes with a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB graphics card slotted inside it, which can deliver 16% better performance when compared to our GPU, GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile from our review laptop.
Interestingly we can see 477 games recommended system requirements are lower in performance than our laptop’s GPU performance capability. This is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games around today. For minimum system requirements in this same area the number is 499 games are worse than our GPU performance, again looking at the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
Some of the most popular games today are really the primary benchmark for any laptop’s ability, so we thought we should compare our laptop GPU GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile against Grand Theft Auto VI. This video card performance comparison saw our laptop deliver 13% better performance against the game’s recommended GPU system requirements. Then we have Star Citizen and our laptop was 80% better in graphics performance and another popular title today is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) which we saw our review laptop get 13% better compared to our laptop gpu.
The Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 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? 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 particular laptop refresh rate options are 144Hz.
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 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.
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
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 $311.99 it should go nicely with this Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. We have seen this desktop 1440p monitor recorded at a low price on 9th Mar 2021, where we saw it was costing $229.99.
Today’s best 4K desktop monitor for a laptop is - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz
A nice performing 4K desktop monitor, should you want one to accompany this laptop, is the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz. Today it is priced at $618 and has a 144Hz refresh rate. We price track a number of carefully chosen laptop peripherals and during these past couple of weeks we saw that this 4k monitor has seen a slight price increase, but despite that it is still better quality to value compared to our other favourite monitors. Its recent price increased by $618, so perhaps it can be found a little cheaper elsewhere at the moment 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?
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 Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop
If you are looking for a good value mouse to go with your Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop, then the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons is our favourite today, of those we are price tracking. Currently it’s priced at $12.99. Today's best value and good quality mouse has enjoyed a price reduction of $32.26, and provides another reason for us to suggest it to compliment 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|
|**||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|
You could pick up a headset to go with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2. In our spotlight at the moment is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround, which today is $36.99. For reference, our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 and it was priced at $34.99.