Laptop announced date: 1st May 2020
Last reviewed: 14th July 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 R2 i9-10900K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB 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 R2 i9-10900K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 hardware compares to other laptops available today.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M R2 i9-10900K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This Core i9-10900K 10-Core 3.7GHz processor in the laptop is an excellent gaming CPU choice for 2020 gaming. Loaded up with plenty of processor cores, this CPU has 10, which is excellent for AAA gaming that wants extra cores for processing.
Graphics Card - An excellent graphics card for running AAA titles during the 2020 gaming year. This GPU comes with 8GB, which is excellent and plenty powerful to meet the VRAM requirements of modern games.
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 panel is an excellent 2020 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 - If you are focused on a gaming laptop then ideally you want a refresh rate of 120Hz or 144Hz or more. A lot of laptops come with 60Hz and this will stop your games being able to run in more than 60 Frames per second. Even if you hardware is capable of far more frames per second. If you were to get the 300Hz laptop screen option that we see this is available with then this would be an excellent refresh rate gaming laptop choice.
No two laptops are the same. But one of the primary gaming laptop components is of course the graphics card. Often a slightly weaker mobile solution, when compared to its desktop equivalent. Today we will consider this laptop's hardware, when running modern popular and sometimes demanding games, like Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion and Assassins Creed: Valhalla which will help us know if this mobile graphics card and the overall laptop hardware is considered a good price to performance point. We consider it running these titles at its native 1080p resolution, and at Ultra video settings. The GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile in this machine is currently capable of running 500 games at minimum system requirements of the 500 most demanding games available today. Where as it is capable of running 496 games of the top 500 most demanding recommended system requirements.
When we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the Alienware Area-51M R2 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 4.4 for P2P. Looking at how this configuration of the Alienware Area-51M R2 laptop compares against other laptops within its range we can see it currently is placed at the 37th 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 i9-10900K 10-Core 3.7GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 3200MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 300Hz, 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M R2 i9-10900K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-10700 GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2349.99||42%|
|i7-10700 GTX 1660 Ti 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2499.99||39%|
|i7-10700 GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$2579.99||30%|
|i7-10700 GTX 1660 Ti 64GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2799.99||29%|
|i7-10700 GTX 1660 Ti 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$2729.99||27%|
|i9-10900 GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2649.99||26%|
|i9-10900 GTX 1660 Ti 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2799.99||25%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2070 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3249.99||19%|
|i7-10700 GTX 1660 Ti 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3029.99||19%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2070 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3399.99||18%|
|i9-10900 GTX 1660 Ti 64GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3099.99||17%|
|i9-10900 GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$2879.99||17%|
|i9-10900 GTX 1660 Ti 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3029.99||15%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2070 64GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3649.99||14%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2070 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3479.99||11%|
|i7-10700 RTX 2070 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3329.99||10%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2070 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3629.99||10%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2070 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3549.99||9%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2070 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3699.99||9%|
|i7-10700 RTX 2070 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3479.99||9%|
|i9-10900 GTX 1660 Ti 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3329.99||8%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3769.99||8%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2070 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3549.99||8%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2080 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3919.99||7%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2070 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3449.99||7%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2070 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3879.99||7%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2070 64GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3949.99||5%|
|i7-10700 RTX 2070 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3779.99||4%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 512GB M.2||$4169.99||3%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2070 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3779.99||3%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2070 64GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3849.99||3%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2070 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3929.99||3%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2070 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3629.99||2%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3999.99||2%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2070 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3779.99||1%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2080 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4149.99||1%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$4069.99||0%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2080 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$4219.99||0%|
|i7-10700 RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3849.99||0%|
|i7-10700 RTX 2080 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$3999.99||0%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2070 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4179.99||1%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2080 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$4069.99||2%|
|i7-10700K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4399.99||2%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3969.99||3%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 512GB M.2||$4469.99||3%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2070 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4079.99||4%|
|i7-10700 RTX 2080 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4299.99||4%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2080 64GB RAM 512GB M.2||$4369.99||5%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2080 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4449.99||5%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4299.99||5%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4149.99||7%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2080 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4299.99||7%|
|i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4699.99||8%|
|i9-10900 RTX 2080 64GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$4599.99||11%|
Now let's look at where this laptop sits compared to all other laptops, including those outside of the Alienware Area-51M R2 range. It currently offers 257% worse rating when comparing its price to performance rating against the best laptop available today for price to performance, which is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which currently costs $986.99. Moving to the 2nd position of the P2P ranking list sits the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, where it has a price of $858.54. Our Alienware Area-51M R2 laptop currently has 231% worse Price to Performance rating against this 2nd best model.
Now we will see if our laptop compares favourably against the top CPU performance focused mobile PC that is currently available. A suitable comparison laptop that is CPU focused is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p. This represents one of the laptops for the current cheapest price with the most powerful CPUs in it today. It has the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz processor tucked inside it which can deliver 1% better performance when compared to our CPU, Core i9-10900K 10-Core 3.7GHz which is found in this review laptop.
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.
A game’s listed recommended CPU requirements are a good way to compare the performance of our laptop CPU. Lets see today's popular titles up against our laptop processor. First off let's look at Watch Dogs Legion which shows our laptop CPU has 47% better performance than it. How about Assassins Creed: Valhalla, where we see our CPU is 47% better. Then there is 47% better performance when compared against today’s most popular title, Cyberpunk 2077.
One of the most important focuses of a gaming PC is the graphics card and our review laptop is certainly no different. As such we will want to know how well our Alienware Area-51M R2 laptop performs in the graphical visuals area compared to what is available on the current laptop market. A great way to consider this is by putting it into a comparison against a well priced laptop that has the most powerful laptop GPU around at the moment, and then we can review its performance against that top graphics card laptop. Our comparison GPU focused laptop today that we have selected is a MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K, which comes loaded with the GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB card. This top end GPU is currently delivering 11% better performance when stacked against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile.
Our laptop’s GPU can currently run 496 of today’s top 500 demanding games meeting their recommended Graphics Card requirements. This figure is 500 for the top 500 minimum requirement games that can be run by the GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop GPU performs against today's popular games. Our GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile compared against recommended graphics requirements for Cyberpunk 2077 delivers 65% better performance while against Watch Dogs Legion it’s 65% better and finally compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it has a performance difference : 65% better.
A common thing to explore is, what is the best gaming laptop screen resolution at the moment, as our review laptop is a 1080p. This laptop also has a 17.3" physical screen size (that's measured from a top corner to the bottom corner on the other side of the screen) and is 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall resolution. 4K laptops would likely come with a 60 FPS cap on games, set by the laptop screen’s 60Hz refresh rate. So regardless of what the hardware is capable of in the 4K laptop they couldn't push their FPS beyond that screen refresh rate. Now AAA games today when played at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution likely don't have hardware capable of 60 FPS anyway. With higher the better refresh rates for your laptop monitor, this particular Dell Alienware Area-51M R2 i9-10900K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop is available in 300Hz, 144Hz variety.
So lowering a game’s screen resolution down to 1080p or 1440p during your gaming of modern AAA games will help get more frames per second. But in doing so, by down scaling the game resolution will then make the game look blurry on a native 4K laptop panel. So the purpose of getting a 4K laptop monitor for gaming maybe lost at this point. 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.
The primary use we can think of is for streaming 4K movie and TV content, assuming you have access to these services. If this is your primary use for the laptop, rather than gaming then it certainly might be worth considering this.
As you can probably gather from the information above, its 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.
Incidentally our research shows the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS as our best priced 1440p monitor today. This monitor has a 75Hz refresh rate and a price tag at the moment of $294.99. 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 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 $829.99 and has a 144Hz refresh rate. During these past 2 weeks, this 4K monitor’s price has gone up by $799. 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]
So why would you get a 4K capable laptop? If you enjoy movies or Netflix at 4K and have access to 4K content via those types of services then perhaps the quality of 4K resolution on a 17inch panel would be a great experience, but we still think you wouldn't miss that 4K.
For now in the laptop space, it looks best to stick with 1080p panels. This way your laptop’s physical size remains practical and portable, 17inch laptops are plenty big enough. And at the moment you will still have to lower game resolutions down from 4K, on the bigger hitting AAA titles, that would then get playable, but sub par visuals and you would still hit the 60FPS cap if your hardware could go beyond 60FPS.
The gaming mouse with today’s best price to value that would go well with the Dell Alienware Area-51M R2 i9-10900K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its current price is $11.99. This mouse has also dropped its price by $19 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with this laptop. Another point of interest was that we saw this mouse priced at $11.99, which we tracked on 15th Aug 2020.
|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|
You could pick up a headset to go with the Dell Alienware Area-51M R2 i9-10900K RTX 2080 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. In our spotlight at the moment is the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which today is $47.14. For reference, the lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 on 12th Mar 2020.