Laptop announced date: 1st September 2019
Last reviewed: 15th July 2020
Today's review of the gaming Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 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 M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop and understand the type of price to performance on offer.
Is the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Good
Processor - This laptop processor can run modern AAA titles with little problem and is an excellent laptop CPU gaming choice for 2021. Modern AAA gaming can use multiple cores and this processor comes with 6 of them. This makes it excellent for today’s gaming.
Graphics Card - This laptop graphics solution can run plenty of modern AAA game releases in 2021 and is a good gaming laptop GPU choice. This GPU comes with 8GB, which is excellent and plenty powerful to meet the VRAM requirements of modern games.
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 is a good screen size for gamers. This laptop has a 15.6" and is suitable for running new release titles during the 2021 gaming year. For the optimum gamer laptop we aim for 17 inches to deliver better in-game viewability. But of course that makes the laptop physically bigger and less portable. The choice, is yours.
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. With just 60Hz refresh rate this is ok and passable for gaming, but ideally you are looking for a screen with a higher rate.
A key choice in any gaming laptop is making sure we identify the right graphics card in the laptop and know what it is capable of in today's gaming landscape. With this laptop we are taking a closer look at how its total laptop value compares to its capability when it comes to running modern demanding games. Also lets take a look at it when running modern popular games like, Grand Theft Auto VI or Resident Evil 8 in ultra graphics settings on its native screen resolution of 1080p. The GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q card that's powering the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop, when compared to today’s top 500 most demanding games, can run 491 at min system specs and will run 348 games when comparing to their increased recommended system requirements.
Have you been looking for the best gaming laptop for your buck? Well you have probably encountered what we have, which is that, only certain laptops are normally reviewed and even then the review is often using games that are now getting out of date. So we decided to factor in all permutations of the Alienware M15 R2 model range and compare them against the price adjustments those hardware variations incur when you change a GPU, for example. And so we have created this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop price to performance review with a P2P rating to help standardise our comparisons.
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 8.2 for P2P out of 10. With a number of Alienware M15 R2 laptops in the model lineup this particular variant places at the 3rd 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 i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1449.99||21%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1499.99||19%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1799.99||0%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2249.99||19%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2299.99||21%|
|i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2849.99||42%|
Now let's look at where this laptop sits compared to all other laptops, including those outside of the Alienware M15 R2 range. It currently offers 97% 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 $999.00. Right, now let's look at one more of the top placed Price to Performance models today. Comparing our Alienware M15 R2 laptop against the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 shows us that our laptop gets 86% worse rating against it for price to performance. The other laptop does currently have a listed price of $853.00 to consider.
You might be considering a CPU heavy laptop and wondering how this Alienware M15 R2 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 Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz. This represents one of the laptops for the current cheapest price with the most powerful CPUs in it today. It has the Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz processor tucked inside it which can deliver 53% better performance when compared to our CPU, Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz which is found in this review laptop.
Today there are 443 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 499 games, when we look at the 500 demanding games for minimum processor system requirements.
How about we compare our laptop processor performance against Resident Evil 8 recommended processor requirement? Our laptop gets 9% worse performance. Next let's check the top game of the moment, Grand Theft Auto VI, which shows the review laptop’s cpu against that game’s system specs gets 3% better performance. We also see the 12% better performance from our laptop cpu when looking at the game Battlefield 6 for it’s processor requirements.
One of the key hardware aspects in any laptop is certainly the graphics card. Our Alienware M15 R2 laptop’s GPU solution can be compared against a laptop that has one of the most powerful GPU’s around today, which will give us a relative benchmark. And will help us know how this laptop performs against the top end GPU laptop available today. Lets grab a graphics focused laptop for comparison then. We have chosen the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop for its graphical performance. This big hitting GPU laptop comes with a GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile video card in it that performs 59% better if we bench it against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics hardware.
The GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q Graphics Card found in this machine can currently run 348 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 491 games when looking at beating minimum system requirements.
Games these days have a range of graphics requirements so let's look at a few popular games of today, and check our laptop GPU against the games recommended requirement. First off, Grand Theft Auto VI and our laptop graphics gets 17% worse performance rating. Next we have Battlefield 6 where our graphics card gets 8% worse performance and finally another popular title at the moment is Resident Evil 8, which has a performance difference of : 8% worse, when put against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q.
This laptop has a 15.6" physical screen size with a native resolution of 1920x1080. So should you instead be thinking of picking up a 4K monitor rather than this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2’s 1080p panel? Today’s 4K laptops normally have a 60Hz screen refresh rate which would mean that should the laptop’s hardware be capable of running a 4K game, it would be restricted to a cap of 60 frames per second. As game system requirements continue to push for more powerful hardware, the components in a laptop, and many desktops as well, are simply not capable of delivering playable frame rates at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution. It’s worth noting that the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 panel is available with the following panel refresh rates 60Hz.
To get back some of those missing FPS on a AAA game we lower the game’s displayed screen resolution and get some stability in the game’s performance. This is usually a last resort for gamers though and not the sort of action taken by someone who has just shelled out for a new 4K laptop. Lowering down from a native 4K resolution, perhaps to 1080p or 1440p ups the game’s FPS but veering from the native 4K resolution leaves a game looking blurry. Definition of graphics drops and surely this puts forward the need to question someone’s choice for a 4K gaming laptop. The 1080p laptop could run games you love at 4K resolution, with a few tweaks to the graphics settings? In this situation you can always plug the gaming laptop you are not on the move, plug the laptop into a 144Hz or better desktop monitor that’s 28inches and comes with a 1440p or 4K resolution to enjoy modern gaming without FPS or size limits.
If you stream 4K content, films, services like Netflix then perhaps the quality of 4K resolution on a 17inch panel would be better than the 1080p alternative that the majority of laptops provide.
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.
Here is today’s best priced 1440p gaming monitor that could accompany the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2, ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS that is currently priced at $307.73. We like to price track our favourite laptop hardware and peripherals. And as a point of note the lowest tracked price for this 1440p monitor was recorded on 9th Mar 2021, which was priced at $229.99.
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 $629.99 and also has a 144Hz refresh rate. Providing some more insight, this 4K Monitor has increased its price by $580 during these past two weeks. So keep your eyes out as it could be cheaper than we have recorded here today. Once we spot a monitor we like we start price tracking it. The lowest tracked price we have for this monitor was recorded on 13th Nov 2020, where it was seen at $549.99.
[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.
Perhaps in the future the 4K gaming laptop would make sense but for now certainly move forward on the 1080p laptop over the 4K options. This way your new laptop remains, well mobile and built for purpose. Picking up a 4K laptop for gaming should be a great choice but at the moment you would sadly be turning down the display quality by dropping resolution or game settings to get the game to deliver more FPS, and even then the 4K panel will likely be capped at 60FPS due to the hertz refresh rate it often comes with.
Incidentally our price track research shows us that a good gaming mouse is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its price tag today is $12.99 and is topping our price tracking charts as a best value mouse. This mouse has also dropped its price by $37 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with 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|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$15.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$49.22|
|***||Razer DeathAdder Elite||$59.99|
Of the headset we monitor and price track, today’s top headset is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround, priced at $39.99. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 28th Nov 2019, which had it priced at $34.99.