Laptop announced date: 1st September 2019
Last reviewed: 15th July 2020
Today's review of the gaming Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 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 2080 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 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This laptop has an excellent processor in it for meeting modern AAA CPU requirements during 2021 gaming. The 6 cores that this processor has is excellent and very capable for today and future AAA gaming.
Graphics Card - With the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card this is an excellent gaming GPU for 2021 AAA gaming This GPU has 8GB of VRAM. This is excellent and plenty for modern AAA gaming.
System Memory - The 16GB is an excellent amount of system memory for modern gaming in 2021.
Screen Size - This laptops screen dimensions create a good balance between portable and visually suitable, when considering your next gaming laptop. With 17 inch currently being the more preferable for gaming, a lot of people will prefer the smaller form factor on offer with this 15.6" screen. 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 - 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. Ok, after considering those thoughts on refresh rates, we have 60Hz refresh rate in the review laptop here. This isn’t great but would be mostly ok for gaming. That is unless you felt like this laptop could achieve higher FPS than the refresh rate offered here. In this case, and providing your budget allowed, look for a better refresh rate screen.
While it can be tricky to work out the best price to performance hardware for a gaming laptop, we will be looking at how well this mobile graphics card can run demanding games that are available today or coming out over the coming months.We will consider how well it can perform while gaming at Ultra graphics setting on a 1080p resolution, which is the native resolution for this laptop. We will also look at a few of the more popular games like, Grand Theft Auto VI or Battlefield 6. Lets compare the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q found in this laptop to today’s top 500 most demanding games. Of those games, this laptops GPU can run 495 at their minimum system requirements and then 435 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
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 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop price to performance review with a P2P rating to help standardise our comparisons.
A 7.2 P2P score rating out of 10 has been allocated today to the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2. This value will adjust automatically as hardware and modern performance requirements from laptops improve over time. This version of the Alienware M15 R2 laptop is currently positioned at 4th 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 RTX 2080 Max-Q|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 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||44%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1499.99||42%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1799.99||19%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2249.99||0%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2299.99||2%|
|i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2849.99||19%|
Our Alienware M15 R2 laptop should also be compared to today’s best Price to Performance model, the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. When stacked up against this, our laptop has 135% worse rating difference on its P2P. It's worth noting that the very best P2P model has a recorded price of $999.00 to consider and of course this is purely a value for performance basis. Second on the Price to Performance laptop ranking at the moment is the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 which we have a recorded price of $853.00. If we compare our laptop to this one then our laptop returns with 122% worse performance/ price rating figure than it.
If you are looking for a strong CPU focused laptop then let's compare this Alienware M15 R2 laptop with the top CPU performance focused laptop available today and see how it compares. The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz is today’s best performer in the laptop CPU department. It has a Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz processor in it, which currently has 53% better performance than our laptop’s Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz.
Our laptop CPU beats 443 games recommended system requirements when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games. This number changes to 499 games if we compare to the top 500 most demanding games for minimum system requirements.
When compared to the recommended processor requirements of the most popular games today, like Grand Theft Auto VI our laptop CPU is 3% better in performance. Compared to Battlefield 6 our laptop processor is 12% better.
We may well be looking for a GPU centric laptop, and if that’s the case then let's see how this Alienware M15 R2 mobile pc competes with a top GPU performance laptop that is available today. A good laptop to compare against, that is GPU focused, would be the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz. This showcases one of the laptops for the current cheapest price, while still housing one of the most powerful laptop GPUs. It comes with a GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile graphics card slotted inside it, which can deliver 41% better performance when compared to our GPU, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q from our review laptop.
Currently 435 games of the top 500 most demanding games today (recommended graphics requirements) can run on the review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q. Or 495 games of the top 500 most demanding for minimum GPU specs can run on it.
Lets take a look and see how well our GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q compares against today’s most popular games. Against the recommended graphics specs for Grand Theft Auto VI our laptop is 4% worse, and compared to Battlefield 6 it is 4% better , where as against Resident Evil 8 it delivers 4% better performance.
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 15.6" 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. A 4K panel laptop is often restricted to 60Hz. This means that even if you did have the hardware inside your laptop to run a game at 4K, you wouldnt be able to get more than 60 FPS. Most laptop hardware, and desktop hardware for that matter, is not capable of 4K ultra graphics on modern games. We can see 60Hz panel refresh rate versions of this laptop are available. The higher the better.
Dropping a game’s screen resolution down below the native 4K resolution to 1080p or 1440p, would possibly deliver the much needed FPS for stable modern AAA gaming. Down scaling that native resolution comes at a price, though. As soon as you step away from the native resolution of any monitor/ panel it lowers the clean definition of a game as the physical number of screen pixels don't match those being sent by the game. The game starts to look blurry. If the following is the case, where the 1080p gaming laptop could run games you love at a higher 4K resolution then you could always hook up the PC laptop to a desktop monitor. One that was much bigger than the laptop screen size, like a 31inch with 144Hz refresh rate to enjoy 1440p or 4K resolution when gaming at home. Then still have your laptop for mobile gaming as well.
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.
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 $307.73 and would work well with our Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. To help provide some further information into this desktop monitor price trends we saw it cost a recorded low of $229.99, which we tracked on 9th Mar 2021.
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. It's interesting that even though this is a well priced 4K monitor today, our price tracking shows it has gone up in price by $580 during recent weeks. Reviewing tracked prices for our suggested 4k monitor, its lowest price was recorded on 13th Nov 2020, where we spotted it for $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.
As you can probably gather from the information above, it's 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.
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 $12.99. Price watching this mouse shows that it has had a price drop by $37 during the past couple of weeks, which gives us more reason to select it to go with today’s laptop. Looking over our tracked prices for this mouse, it was at its lowest price on 15th Aug 2020, which had it priced at $11.99.
|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|
You could pick up a headset to go with the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2. In our spotlight at the moment is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround, which today is $39.99. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 28th Nov 2019, which had it priced at $34.99.