Laptop announced date: 1st September 2019
Last reviewed: 15th July 2020
Gaming laptops are often expensive when compared to similar specced desktops. So today’s Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop review will be focusing on helping us demystify it’s performance capability in relation to its price. We will take a look at some of the latest demanding games to see the types of FPS returns we could expect to see for this mobile gaming price point.
Is the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Good
Processor - This processor, the Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz, is excellent and can meet 2020 AAA title requirements with relative ease. AAA games often need extra cores to run smoothly and minimise bottleneck. This laptop processor has 6 cores, which is excellent for modern gaming.
Graphics Card - Our laptop’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile card is considered good for modern 2020 AAA gaming. This GPU has 6GB of VRAM. This is considered a good amount of VRAm for modern games but some graphics solutions have more.
System Memory - This laptop’s 16GB RAM can deal with everything modern games can throw at it and is a good step towards this being an excellent gaming laptop choice.
Screen Size - This laptop comes with a good screen size (15.6") which is certainly capable of viewing and playing 2020 titles. Larger screens can offer better in-game views, as often game HUDs and menus can take up a fair amount of a smaller laptop screen space and leave you squinting at the detail or text. Our gaming laptop screen size of choice would be a 17 inch. But that's because we focus on gaming over portability and the bigger you go, the less portable your laptop becomes. In our minds, whether you are carrying a smaller 1.5 or larger 3.5Kg laptop with you, it's always going to be a lump and we would rather see the games better when we arrive. But that choice is not going to be for everyone.
Refresh Rate - Refresh rates can be hard to see, when the laptop reseller doesn't make it clear. Assume 60Hz if this is the case. Ideally for a gaming laptop you want 120Hz. This means the games you run can get up to 120 frames per second, assuming the hardware inside them is powerful enough to deliver that FPS. The refresh rate caps a games deliverable FPS even if the hardware can deliver more FPS than the Hz. This laptop comes with a 60Hz refresh rate. Which is just ok for gaming. There are better and if you want to enjoy higher frame rates you will look for a gaming laptop with a higher refresh rate.
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. This laptop has the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile in it. Of the 500 most demanding games around today this graphics card is capable of running 492 games at minimum system requirements and 352 games at their recommended system requirements.
When we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the Alienware M15 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 score the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 9.1 out of ten on the P2P score today. Our price to performance rating value will change for all laptops automatically, as new hardware capability is put into modern laptops and the price for hardware adjusts. This version of the Alienware M15 R2 laptop is currently positioned at 1st when ordered in the range lineup for Price to Performance value rating. The closer to 1st place the better gaming performance it deliver for its price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1449.99||0%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1499.99||2%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1799.99||21%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2249.99||44%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2299.99||47%|
|i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2849.99||71%|
How about we compare our Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop to the laptop with the leading P2P rating out of all laptops and see how it compares. Today's best gaming laptop for Price to Performance is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 ($986.99) and our laptop is 65% worse if we directly compare the price to performance rating against that best hardware performance to value laptop. Lets move down the P2P ranking list to position 2. Here we find the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, which has a price at $858.54. The Alienware M15 R2 laptop in this review is 53% worse when compared solely on price to performance against that 2nd best model.
If you are wondering if this laptop is relatively well endowed in the CPU department then let's take a look at how it stacks up against the current best priced CPU focused laptop available today, to see its relative performance. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p is today’s best performer in the laptop CPU department. It has a Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz processor in it, which currently has 43% better performance than our laptop’s Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz.
Our laptop processor, the Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz, can currently meet the recommended system requirements of 466 games when compared against the top 500 most demanding games right now. This number changes to 499 for the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
When compared to the most popular games around today, against their recommended processor requirements, our laptop CPU performs as follows - Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop CPU is 24% better and then looking at Watch Dogs Legion our laptop CPU is 24% better and finally compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it has a performance difference : 24% better.
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 M15 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. 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 GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile graphics card in our review laptop. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop GPU to be 67% better in performance compared to our laptop’s graphics processing power.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop GPU can currently meet or beat 352 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 ina similar most demanding order this changes to it being able to run 492 games.
Today’s games are getting more demanding so let's see how our gaming laptop performs against their recommended gpu system requirements. First off we have the Watch Dogs Legion which currently our GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB Mobile is 10% better next let's see how well it runs against Assassins Creed: Valhalla. We can see it is 10% better. Ok finally lets see it against Cyberpunk 2077. Here our laptop is 10% better.
With a 1080p native screen panel our Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 has a 15.6" physical screen size. This inch panel size is measured starting in one corner, say the top corner and then across the middle of the screen down to the bottom corner on the other side. And in our case it has a fixed number of pixels in that screen that are 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall, or 1080p resolution. We normally see a 60Hz screen refresh rate accompanying most 4K laptop panels. Which means a game would reach a top 60 FPS before it maxed out, even if the laptop’s hardware was powerful enough to deliver frame rates that were better than that. Today’s AAA games are usually too demanding for a 4K resolution anyway. What refresh rate does the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 panel have available? It can be picked up with the following 60Hz 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. 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.
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.
The 1440p gaming monitor that has a great price today and should be a nice accompaniment to the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS. Its current price is $294.99 and it has a 75Hz refresh rate. The suggested 1440p monitor price tracker recorded on 5th Aug 2020, where it reached the low cost price of $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 M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. Providing some more insight, this 4K Monitor has increased its price by $799 during these past two weeks. So keep your eyes out as it could be cheaper than we have recorded here today. 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]
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.
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.
The gaming mouse with today’s best price to value that would go well with the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its current price is $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. Our lowest price tracked for this mouse was marked down at $11.99, which we spotted 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|
Of our regular price tracked gaming headset the best value headset today is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. With its a current price of $47.14 it should work well with this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 which had it priced at $25.98.