Laptop announced date: 1st February 2019
Last reviewed: 11th February 2020
Today's review of the gaming Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop explores the performance to value relationship of its hardware components. We will be comparing some of the most demanding games to see some expected frame rates for the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop and understand the type of price to performance on offer.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Good
Processor - A Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz CPU that is housed in this laptop is excellent for modern AAA gaming during 2020. This CPU comes with 8 cores, which is excellent providing it extra resource to chew through game processing when required.
Graphics Card - This laptop comes with a good choice of graphics card capable of running lots of 2020 AAA games. Dont underestimate the importance of your GPU VRAM in modern gaming. This GPU has 6GB of VRAM which is a good amount, that will help deliver smooth gaming experiences. There are laptop GPU solutions with more VRAM, but there are certainly some with less as well.
System Memory - This laptop’s 16GB of RAM is excellent for 2020 gaming.
Screen Size - We were looking for 17 inch panels as the gaming standard for top tier gaming laptops. You can certainly game on smaller laptops but we have found that often the extra physical space helps provide 2020 games with the chance to read and make out in game menus and details that smaller panels can struggle to display clearly. So this 17.3" panel is an excellent gaming laptop choice for screen size.
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. After considering that, we can see that this laptop has an excellent 144Hz gaming laptop refresh rate. But otherwise for peace of mind, try and find a laptop panel that is more than 60Hz and that will still be ok.
One of the most important components to a gamer for this laptop is getting it’s graphics card right. We will be taking a look at the sort of price to performance ratio the laptop hardware has and in particular help us know if how well the graphics card can run Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p ultra settings. With the GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile inside this laptop, this graphics card solution will be capable of meeting 493 games at their minimum system requirements and 364 games at their recommended system requirements of the top 500 most demanding games around today.
A key focus of this laptop review is to compare the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 to all other laptops in terms of how much its $ reflects the value of the gaming performance delivered by the this laptop’s hardware.
The Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 gaming laptop is currently getting a 5.5 on our P2P rating out of 10. Higher is better and this figure will adjust as new hardware and prices shift over time As not all laptops and their prices are of course valued equally we can see that this version of the Alienware Area-51M laptop is in 6th position on the best Price to Performance value rating. Those closer to 1st place are simply better gaming laptop options regarding the gaming performance they deliver for their price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2649.99||10%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2749.99||6%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2849.99||6%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||4%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2899.99||2%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||0%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||1%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3099.99||1%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3,499.99||1%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||3%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||4%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3299.99||4%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3149.99||4%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3249.99||4%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||5%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3349.99||7%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||9%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||9%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||9%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||9%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3499.99||9%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||11%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||11%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3749.99||11%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||12%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||12%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3699.99||12%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3799.99||15%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3899.99||17%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3999.99||17%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3949.99||18%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4099.99||19%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4149.99||19%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||20%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||20%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4399.99||24%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4499.99||26%|
Lets now see how our Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB 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 203% 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 181% worse against it for price to performance.
You might be considering a CPU heavy laptop and wondering how this Alienware Area-51M laptop does in the grand scheme of CPU focused laptops. Let's compare this laptop with a top CPU performance laptop available today and see how its CPU performance stacks up. 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 7% better performance when compared to our CPU, Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz which is found in this review laptop.
Today there are 500 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.
When compared to the recommended processor requirements of the most popular games today, like Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop CPU is 43% better in performance. Compared to Watch Dogs Legion our laptop processor is 43% better.
You will likely be considering buying a graphics and pixel crunching laptop perhaps to meet the latest and future game requirements. We will therefore be wondering how our Alienware Area-51M review laptop competes against other GPU centric laptops in the gaming laptop market. To give us a bit of insight we will compare our laptop with a leading GPU performance laptop and see how its graphics capability performs against it. Today’s MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K comes with one of the more powerful laptop graphics solutions available for game crunching at the moment, making it a good one to compare against our review laptops GPU. We will use its GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB to compare against our GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile card. The top end laptop’s GPU currently delivers 59% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile.
The GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile Graphics Card found in this machine can currently run 364 games of the top 500 most demanding games right now. This is basically how many recommended game system requirements our laptop GPU beats in performance today, but we will update this figure as new games come out. This is 493 games when looking at beating minimum system requirements.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop GPU performs against today's popular games. Our GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile compared against recommended graphics requirements for Cyberpunk 2077 delivers 16% better performance while against Watch Dogs Legion it’s 16% better and finally compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it has a performance difference : 16% better.
There is a lot of talk about getting 4K capable monitors and our review laptop has a 1080p native resolution, and a physical 17.3" panel. Lets explore if it would be better for you to grab a laptop with a 4K screen rather than the 1080p offered here? 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. This review laptop has 144Hz refresh rate versions available.
As a somewhat last resort a gamer could lower a game’s displayed screen resolution away from the 4K laptop’s native pixel count. Dropping down to 1080p or maybe 1440p would deliver more frames per second in game and help provide a more stable FPS in modern AAA games. But taking this action, moving away from the native 4K resolution, immediately reduces game graphics definition and makes it look blurry. Not an ideal situation on a new gaming 4K laptop. A 1080p laptop can still have some powerful gaming hardware in it and if it is good enough to run AAA games at larger resolutions like 4K or 1440p then attach it to a desktop monitor while you are at home and stationary. If the desktop monitor is pretty good then it wont have a 60Hz refresh rate limiting its FPS count in game. And is likely to be a whole lot more enjoyable playing on a 24 inch or larger monitor than the more standard 15 or 17inch screen normally found on gaming laptops.
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.
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.
A well priced 1440p gaming monitor today is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS. With its 75Hz refresh rate and a current price of $294.99 it should go nicely with this Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. Our cheapest tracked price for the desktop 1440p monitor was $272.99, which we recorded on 5th Aug 2020.
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 i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 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. Interestingly we spotted this 4k monitor at its lowest recorded price on 11th Aug 2020, where it was priced up as $797.05.
[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.
Save your cash, don't grab a 4K laptop for gaming at the moment. A 1080p is certainly the best top end gaming laptop choice at the moment. There are not many 1440p monitors that we have seen. It could be a disappointing experience if you buy your new 4K laptop, and then for each modern game you pick up be faced with dropping resolution or graphics settings to achieve an ok FPS. Even then we will be seeing a max 60FPS because of the common 60Hz found on the 4K panel.
Of our regular price tracked gaming mice the best value mouse today is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. With its a current price of $11.99 it should work well with this Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. 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. 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|
Incidentally our price track research shows us that a good gaming headset is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Its price tag today is $47.14 and is topping our price tracking charts as a best value headset. For reference, the lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 on 12th Mar 2020.