Laptop announced date: 1st March 2019
Last reviewed: 15th July 2020
The Dell Alienware M15 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop review we are going to do today will look into how its purchase price stacks up against the performance on offer from the hardware housed inside it. We will also be taking a look at today’s more demanding games to see some Dell Alienware M15 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop gaming frame rates to help you judge if the value to money ratio is a good deal or not.
Is the Dell Alienware M15 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Good
Processor - This laptop has an excellent processor in it for meeting modern AAA CPU requirements during 2020 gaming. Games are beginning to lean on more CPU cores for extra processing. Fortunately this CPU has 6 cores, making it an excellent gamers processor choice.
Graphics Card - The graphics solution we find in this gaming laptop can run most modern AAA titles and is an excellent 2020 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 - This laptop system memory meets most modern AAA game requirements in 2020 and is a good amount for a gaming laptop.
Screen Size - This laptop screen (15.6") in 2020 offers up a good amount of gaming screen real estate for gamers on the move, while keeping the physical laptop footprint portable. In games the physical size of the screen can help with being able to read in game menus without squinting. While a smaller laptop provides better portability than perhaps a 15 or 17 inch gaming laptop, it will also compromise your viewability when in game.
Refresh Rate - The higher the screen panel refresh rate, the better for gaming laptops. The refresh rate is the number of times a second the screen is capable of refreshing the game’s image. If a laptop can deliver 100 frames per second (FPS) in a game and your laptop has a 60Hz refresh rate, then you will only get a max of 60 frames per second. The higher the refresh rate and the game’s FPS the smoother the sharpness is as the screen view moves around in game. With that in mind, we see that this laptop comes with an excellent 240Hz refresh rate for gaming. Of course, anything over 60Hz is good for gaming focused laptops.
Getting the right graphics card for this mobile gaming machine will be one of our key focuses. As we know it can be tricky to break this down, but we will be looking at how this laptop hardware can run across demanding and popular modern games and therefore how well the price of the machine stacks up against other gaming laptops. A few of the modern demanding or popular games we will be looking at will be, Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion and Assassins Creed: Valhalla. Seeing how these games run on the laptops native 1080p resolution at ultra will certainly give us something tangible to consider and compare from. We find a GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q mobile graphics card in this laptop, which is currently capable of playing 493 games, if you consider their minimum graphics system requirements as the playable level to beat. However, today the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q is also capable of running 384 games at their recommended specs, this is when compared to the top 500 most demanding games.
If we want to look at the gaming value offered by the Dell Alienware M15 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB 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.
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 5.7 for P2P out of 10. This Alienware M15 R1 configuration is placed at 5th position, when we order the range by their price to performance ratings. Those getting closer to the 1st position in this list will be better gaming laptops for their price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 2666MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 240Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1899.99||46%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1,849.00||44%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 4K||$2099.99||27%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 4K||$2299.99||20%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2099.99||0%|
We will now check against leading Price 2 Performance laptops outside of this model range to see how the Dell Alienware M15 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 compares. Looking at the best gaming laptop on price to performance, our laptop has 194% worse rating between its price to performance rating and today's best valued laptop, which is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 that is currently priced at $986.99. 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 M15 R1 laptop on its P2P shows our review model to have 173% worse Price to Performance score when compared against the 2nd best laptop range for P2P.
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. 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 43% better compared to our laptop’s Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz.
Currently 466 games recommended system requirements of the top 500 most demanding games today are worse in performance than our laptop’s Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz. Or it is 499 games of the top 500 most demanding for minimum cpu specs.
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 CPU Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz against Cyberpunk 2077. This CPU performance comparison saw our laptop deliver 24% better performance against the game’s recommended CPU system requirements. Then we have Watch Dogs Legion and our laptop was 24% better in processor performance and another popular title today is Assassins Creed: Valhalla which we saw our review laptop get 24% better compared to our laptop cpu.
We may well be looking for a GPU centric laptop, and if that’s the case then let's see how this Alienware M15 R1 mobile pc competes with a top GPU performance laptop that is available today. A top tier graphics focused laptop is the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K. Housing a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB GPU that performs 53% better when compared to our review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q.
Today there are 384 games recommended system requirements that are worse than our GPU’s performance capability, this is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games right now. This figure becomes 493 games, when we look at the 500 demanding games for minimum Graphics Card 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 20% better performance than it. How about Assassins Creed: Valhalla, where we see our GPU is 20% better. Then there is 20% 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 M15 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB RAM 256GB M.2’s physical 15.6" panel delivers 1920 pixels across its width and 1080 pixels tall. 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. Our review laptop, the Dell Alienware M15 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 has 240Hz monitor screen refresh rate of versions available.
Dropping a game’s resolution down from the laptop’s native 4K resolution to a more sustainable 1080p or maybe 1440p, would certainly deliver extra frames and improve stability. So there is always that option if the experience is unplayable due to low frame rates. But know that this action comes at a price. Dropping from a monitor or laptop panel’s native resolution immediately reduces in-game visual definition across all the game’s graphics. It basically makes the game look blurry. Not an ideal situation if you just bought your new 4K gaming laptop. However, a 1080p laptop could very well have some good hardware in it, capable of playing AAA games comfortably at 4K with a few graphics setting tweaks. If this is the case then hook up the gaming laptop to a 4K or 1440p desktop monitor, for some serious home based gaming sessions. A decent desktop monitor is not going to have 60Hz getting in the way of extra FPS and is going to be enjoyably larger than the 15inch or 17inch screen thats most common on laptops.
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?
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.
A well priced 1440p gaming monitor with 75Hz, is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS, which is currently priced at $294.99 and would work well with our Dell Alienware M15 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 8GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. The suggested 1440p monitor price tracker recorded on 5th Aug 2020, where it reached the low cost price of $272.99.
Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz is a good value, high performing desktop display that might work well with this laptop. It's currently priced up at $829.99 and also has a 144Hz refresh rate. This 4K monitor, during these past couple of weeks, has increased its price by $799. It’s still a solid purchase to accompany this laptop but it means you may find it for even cheaper at the moment, if you look around. Once we spot a monitor we like we start price tracking it. The lowest tracked price we have for this monitor was recorded on 11th Aug 2020, where it was seen at $797.05.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
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.
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.
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. Price watching this mouse shows that it has had a price drop by $19 during the past couple of weeks, which gives us more reason to select it to go with today’s 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||$16.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$44.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$55.99|
We price track a number of good value gaming headset and the one that currently stands out is the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which is currently available for $47.14. For reference, our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 and it was priced at $25.98.