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 i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB 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 i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 hardware compares to other laptops available today.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - An excellent CPU for running AAA game requirements, especially during the 2020 gaming year. It will be solid for some time to come as well. This CPU comes with 8 cores, which is excellent providing it extra resource to chew through game processing when required.
Graphics Card - The GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile is an excellent gaming GPU for 2020. 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 system memory, 32GB, is excellent for meeting 2020 AAA game requirements.
Screen Size - This panel, which is 17.3", is excellent for displaying 2020 AAA game details and having some nice space to showcase games on. We are often looking for a gaming laptop to have at least a 17 inch screen, to give the gaming laptop enough viewability for game details. The smaller the screen, the harder it can be to see some details on the game menus and hover over tips, that are so common in games nowadays.
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. If you were to get the 144Hz laptop screen option that we see this is available with then this would be an excellent refresh rate gaming laptop choice.
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. This laptop has the GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile in it. Of the 500 most demanding games around today this graphics card is capable of running 500 games at minimum system requirements and 492 games at their recommended system requirements.
Stepping into it, we can standardise our assessment of this Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop review by giving every laptop a relative price to performance rating. This rating, for all laptops, will adjust over time and keep the data in this review relevant to today's expectations and inline with ever increasing game demands of modern AAA laptop gaming.
The Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 is getting a 4.5 for its P2P score out of 10. This relative value will change as game performance, hardware costs and laptop expectations adjust over time. 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 30th 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 i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 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||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%|
Lets now see how our Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop compares to the best P2P laptop, which is currently the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. Our review laptop has 254% worse rating in price to performance and the best laptop for P2P has a listed price of $986.99. 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.
As a point of benchmark lets see how well our laptop looks when directly compared on processing performance against the top CPU focused laptop currently available. Using the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p laptop for the best CPU laptop performer comparison tests with our laptop. This puts the top end Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz processor from that laptop against our review laptop’s Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz, and this comparison shows that laptop to be 10% better in performance compared to our review laptop.
Interestingly we can see 499 games recommended system requirements are lower in performance than our laptop’s CPU 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 500 games are worse than our cpu performance, again looking at the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
Let's take a look and see how well our Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz compares against today’s most popular games. Against the recommended CPU specs for Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop is 42% better, and compared to Watch Dogs Legion it is 42% better , where as against Assassins Creed: Valhalla it delivers 42% better performance.
Now lets see how well our review laptop holds up compared against graphical performance with the top performing GPU laptop available today. A good laptop to compare against, that is GPU focused, would be the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 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.
Currently 492 games of the top 500 most demanding games today (recommended graphics requirements) can run on the review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile. Or 500 games of the top 500 most demanding for minimum GPU specs can run on it.
When compared to the most popular games around today, against their recommended graphics requirements, our laptop graphics card performs as follows - Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop video card is 59% better and then looking at Watch Dogs Legion our laptop GPU is 59% better and finally compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it has a performance difference : 59% better.
The Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB 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 panel laptop is often restricted to 60Hz. This means that even if you did have the hardware inside your laptop to run a game at 4K, you wouldnt be able to get more than 60 FPS. Most laptop hardware, and desktop hardware for that matter, is not capable of 4K ultra graphics on modern games. With a bigger refresh rate helping your FPS this Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 has 144Hz screen refresh rate variants available.
Dropping a game’s screen resolution down below the native 4K resolution to 1080p or 1440p, would possibly deliver the much needed FPS for stable modern AAA gaming. Down scaling that native resolution comes at a price, though. As soon as you step away from the native resolution of any monitor/ panel it lowers the clean definition of a game as the physical number of screen pixels don't match those being sent by the game. The game starts to look blurry. And if your laptop does have the power to run some of the modern games in 4K Ultra, you are likely to want to enjoy them on a larger than 17inch laptop panel. So at a later point perhaps buy a dedicated monitor for your desk that isnt 60Hz restricted, for those games, thus keeping your laptop for mobility.
However, you could be after watching 4K streaming content on your laptop, while on the move. Then perhaps the 17inch laptop screen and 4K resolution is going to net a more enjoyable experience than a 1080p alternative.
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.
If you wanted a desktop monitor to go with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop then this ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS would go well and has 75Hz and today’s price of $294.99. We like to review tracked prices for our suggested hardware and this 1440p monitor is no different. We spotted its lowest price, recorded on 5th Aug 2020, where it cost $272.99.
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 $829.99. It has a 144Hz refresh rate as well. We have noticed that this 4K monitor has raised its price by $799 recently. And while it is a good 4K monitor even at this current price, it could probably be found for a bit cheaper. For some extra info about this 4k monitor, during our price tracking we can see the lowest price recorded by us was $797.05, which was 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.
We still feel it's not the time to spend extra cash for the 4K gaming laptop due to the limitations laid out above. It would surely feel somewhat disappointing to boot up your new 4K laptop, only to then realise you have to drop down the resolution on modern titles to get them to run smoothly. And then see that anything you play is somewhat less sharp than you have seen on your older PC and capped at a maximum of 60FPS due to the usual 60Hz 4K screen tech.
A great priced gaming mouse today, that could accompany the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 is the, Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons that is currently priced at $11.99. Today's best value and good quality mouse has enjoyed a price reduction of $19, and provides another reason for us to suggest it to compliment 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|
|*||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|
A good value gaming headset available at the moment, one that should go well with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 is, HyperX Cloud Stinger with a price of $47.14. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 which had it priced at $25.98.