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 i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB 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 i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 hardware compares to other laptops available today.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This laptop has an excellent processor in it for meeting modern AAA CPU requirements during 2020 gaming. Modern AAA gaming can use multiple cores and this processor comes with 8 of them. This makes it excellent for today’s gaming.
Graphics Card - This laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile is an excellent gaming graphics card for 2020 gaming. This GPU comes with 8GB, which is excellent and plenty powerful to meet the VRAM requirements of modern games.
System Memory - The system memory (64GB) we find in this gaming laptop can meet modern AAA game requirements. This amount of RAM is an excellent 2020 gaming laptop choice, that will help meet game requirements now and into the future.
Screen Size - The 17.3" of physical panel screen, found in this laptop, is an excellent size to deal with the viewability requirements of 2020 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 - Look for higher refresh rate hertz for a gaming laptop. Ideally around 120Hz or more refresh rate on a gaming laptop screen. The laptop can only deliver FPS(frames per second) up to the listed refresh rate. So if you have hardware in your laptop that can turn out awesome frame rates on all the latest AAA titles, but a 60hz refresh rate, your laptop will be stuck at a maximum of 60FPS in all games. Ok so after that refresh rate recap we can see that this laptop can be found with the excellent gaming refresh rate of 144Hz. However, you can always look for others, but try to find something with more than 60Hz.
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 Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion and Assassins Creed: Valhalla 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 2070 Mobile found in this laptop to today’s top 500 most demanding games. Of those games, this laptops GPU can run 497 at their minimum system requirements and then 451 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
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.
We review performance and allocate a P2P rating out of 10 that will adjust over time as the prices for hardware adjust. This laptop is currently given a 4.7 for P2P. With a number of Alienware Area-51M laptops in the model lineup this particular variant places at the 26th 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 2070 Mobile|
|RAM||64GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2649.99||23%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2749.99||19%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2849.99||19%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||17%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2899.99||15%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||12%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||11%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3099.99||11%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3,499.99||10%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||9%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||8%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3299.99||8%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3149.99||8%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3249.99||8%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||7%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3349.99||5%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||3%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||3%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||2%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||2%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3499.99||2%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||1%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||1%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3749.99||1%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||0%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||0%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3699.99||0%|
|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||4%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3999.99||4%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3949.99||5%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4099.99||6%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4149.99||6%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||7%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||7%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4399.99||11%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4499.99||13%|
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 $986.99. Our laptop has 239% worse rating when comparing on just price to performance against that best bang-for-your-buck laptop. Second on the Price to Performance laptop ranking at the moment is the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 which we have a recorded price of $858.54. If we compare our laptop to this one then our laptop returns with 215% worse performance/ price rating figure than it.
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 27% better compared to our laptop’s Core i7-9700 8-Core 3.0GHz.
Today there are 492 games recommended system requirements that are worse than our CPU’s performance capability, this is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games right now. This figure becomes 500 games, when we look at the 500 demanding games for minimum processor system requirements.
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 Watch Dogs Legion which currently our Core i7-9700 8-Core 3.0GHz is 33% better next let's see how well it runs against Assassins Creed: Valhalla. We can see it is 33% better. Ok finally lets see it against Cyberpunk 2077. Here our laptop is 33% 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 look at the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 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 2070 Mobile graphics card in our review laptop. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop GPU to be 35% better in performance compared to our laptop’s graphics processing power.
Interestingly we can see 451 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 497 games are worse than our GPU performance, again looking at the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
A game’s listed recommended GPU requirements are a good way to compare the performance of our laptop graphics card. Lets see today's popular titles up against our laptop graphics. First off let's look at Watch Dogs Legion which shows our laptop video card has 36% better performance than it. How about Assassins Creed: Valhalla, where we see our GPU is 36% better. Then there is 36% better performance when compared against today’s most popular title, Cyberpunk 2077.
With 4K monitors being ever present and often talked about in the same breath as the term ‘future proof’, its always worth exploring the idea that you should be looking at 4K instead of this 1080p laptop. Our Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2’s physical 17.3" panel delivers 1920 pixels across its width and 1080 pixels tall. 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. What refresh rate does the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 panel have available? It can be picked up with the following 144Hz refresh rates.
So a quick lowering of a AAA game’s screen resolution, from a native 4K laptop panel down to either 1080p or perhaps 1440p would increase the frame rate. And thus improve the stability of your gameplay. But a laptop display panel has a fixed number of pixels. Moving away from that exact number of pixels in a game lowers the definition quality of the graphics in the game. Making the experience sub par and if you do this often, then this seriously puts into question your choice for a 4K gaming 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.
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 well priced 1440p desktop monitor we have found is a ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS that has a 75Hz refresh rate and priced at $294.99. We have seen this desktop 1440p monitor recorded at a low price on 5th Aug 2020, where we saw it was costing $272.99.
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 i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. 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 $799 during recent weeks. 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]
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.
As you can probably gather from the information above, it's probably not worth the extra cash for a 4K laptop if gaming is your Laptop purpose. 1080p is likely plenty and has enough alternative gaming options for when you want better resolution. It feels like you might not get what you were after if you picked up a shiny new 4K laptop, then was needing to lower game resolution, while getting blurry in-game experience and achieving a max 60FPS when you could push the hardware into better frame rates.
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. We have seen this mouse lower its price during these past couple of weeks by $19, which is part of the reason we are considering it as a good option for this laptop. Reviewing all our records the lowest tracked price we have for this mouse was recorded on 15th Aug 2020, where it was priced at $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|
The gaming headset with today’s best price to value that would go well with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Its current price is $47.14. For reference, the lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 on 12th Mar 2020.