Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 review, including today's price to performance
Laptop product code: Alienware M15 R2
Laptop announced date: 1st September 2019
Last reviewed: 10th August 2021
There are so many variables influencing gaming laptop prices. The hardware they have in them can be adjusted and as soon as we change it it becomes hard to know how one laptop compares to another. This laptop review will take a look at how well the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 can run today’s latest games and what sort of frame rates this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 might achieve. Then we will look at its release price and summarise how good its price in regards to its gaming performance. From there you can compare this laptop and get a good idea of whether this is a good value choice for your gaming needs today and into the future.
Compare Any Laptop
Gaming Laptop Analysis
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 processor is excellent, and it meets and runs AAA titles released during 2021 with little problem. 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 - This laptop graphics solution can chew through modern AAA titles and is an excellent laptop gaming choice of GPU. 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 laptop screen size is capable of meeting 2021 gaming, making it a step closer to being a good laptop for gamers. Larger laptop screens normally equal less squinting at on screen text, providing the resolution is set inline with the screens native pixel count. We normally look to the 17 inch panels for focused gaming laptops, but this 15.6" screen is the most common and popular in the market, due to portability versus viewability. 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 - Look for higher refresh rate hertz for a gaming laptop. Ideally around 120Hz or more refresh rate on a gaming laptop screen. The laptop can only deliver FPS(frames per second) up to the listed refresh rate. So if you have hardware in your laptop that can turn out awesome frame rates on all the latest AAA titles, but a 60hz refresh rate, your laptop will be stuck at a maximum of 60FPS in all games. So with those thoughts in mind and how the refresh rate impacts gaming, the review laptop has an ok refresh rate available to it. The 60Hz is certainly not great though, and if your hardware can deliver better FPS than the refresh rate, then perhaps shop around for a better refresh rate panel.
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop
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 Far Cry 6 at 1080p ultra settings. Now this comes with the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q installed as the mobile graphics card, and at the moment it is capable of running 495 games at their minimum graphics system specs and then running 425 recommended specs of today’s top 500 most demanding games.
Far Cry 6 FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
Laptop Research Area
Other Popular Games
Comparing Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
Stepping into it, we can standardise our assessment of this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop review by giving every laptop a relative price to performance rating. This rating, for all laptops, will adjust over time and keep the data in this review relevant to today's expectations and inline with ever increasing game demands of modern AAA laptop gaming.
This laptop gets a 7.2 for P2P. This laptop’s configuration, when compared to its own Alienware M15 R2 lineup, is currently placed at 4th once we order it by the price to performance figure. Obviously scoring towards the 1st position is preferable.
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%|
Now how does this laptop match to the top laptop for P2P today? The top laptop for P2P is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and has a price of $999. This Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is currently 135% worse rating when comparing price to performance. Another great model is the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which we have priced at $1049. Our Alienware M15 R2 laptop is 105% worse on Price to Performance.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
One of the key components in a laptop is of course its CPU. So let's see if our Alienware M15 R2 laptop compares favourably when placed against the laptop that has one of the most powerful CPU’s around today. This comparison will at least help us know how this laptop performs against the top end CPU laptop and we can then see the amount of money we might have to pay to get that sort of laptop. 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. 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 43% better performance when compared to our CPU, Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz which is found in this review laptop.
Our laptop processor, the Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz, can currently meet the recommended system requirements of 429 games when compared against the top 500 most demanding games right now. This number changes to 497 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 - Far Cry 6 our laptop CPU is 3% better and then looking at God of War 2018 our laptop CPU is 26% better and finally compared to Forza Horizon 5 it has a performance difference : 28% better.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop compare to the best graphics card performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
A good comparison in terms of graphical power for our review model would be to compare it to one of the most powerful GPU focused laptop’s around today. This type of comparison can show us what another laptop, with a top end graphics hardware solution, can deliver and in turn provide us a relative point of laptop Graphics Card cost comparison. A good laptop to compare against, that is GPU focused, would be the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K. 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 2080 Super 8GB graphics card slotted inside it, which can deliver 36% better performance when compared to our GPU, GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q from our review laptop.
Interestingly we can see 425 games recommended system requirements are lower in performance than our laptop’s GPU performance capability. This is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games around today. For minimum system requirements in this same area the number is 495 games are worse than our GPU performance, again looking at the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
When compared to the most popular games around today, against their recommended graphics requirements, our laptop graphics card performs as follows - Far Cry 6 our laptop video card is 6% worse and then looking at God of War 2018 our laptop GPU is 35% better and finally compared to Forza Horizon 5 it has a performance difference : 4% better.
The Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 has a 1080p screen resolution, should I get a 4K resolution gaming laptop instead?
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 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2’s physical 15.6" panel delivers 1920 pixels across its width and 1080 pixels tall. 4K laptops have a 60Hz screen refresh rate normally, that means a game would not be able to run at more than 60 frames per second even if the hardware could deliver more. While 60FPS would provide acceptable stability, a lot of gamers would prefer higher FPS than this. However, thats not the only issue here. Modern AAA game system requirements would need more powerful gaming hardware than is normally found in laptops, to play reliably at 4K Ultra graphics settings, even at 60FPS. A higher refresh rate is better and this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 variant is available with 60Hz versions.
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.
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.
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.
Today’s best 1440p desktop monitor for a laptop is - ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS
If you wanted a desktop monitor to go with the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop then this ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS would go well and has 75Hz and today’s price of $311.99. The suggested 1440p monitor price tracker recorded on 9th Mar 2021, where it reached the low cost price of $229.99.
Today’s best 4K desktop monitor for a laptop is - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz
The 4K Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz display is our current suggestion if you wanted to grab a desktop monitor. With a $618 price at the moment it also has a 144Hz refresh rate. During these past 2 weeks, this 4K monitor’s price has gone up by $618. For some extra info about this 4k monitor, during our price tracking we can see the lowest price recorded by us was $549.99, which was on 13th Nov 2020.
[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.
Hold that 4K gaming laptop cash for perhaps a more powerful GPU or fancy mouse or headset. That's our usual advice. Otherwise it might be a bit disheartening to pay for a 4K gaming laptop, and then be forced to turn the resolution down on modern games to get them to run smoothly.
Today's Best Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop
Of the mice we monitor and price track, today’s top mouse is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, priced at $12.99. We have seen this mouse lower its price during these past couple of weeks by $32.26, which is part of the reason we are considering it as a good option for this 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|
|**||IBats X8 gray 9 Btns||$12.99|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$13.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$42.99|
|***||Razer DeathAdder Elite||$49.29|
A headset that is well priced at the moment and could accompany the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround. Of the headsets we price track, it is one of the best valued headsets today and currently priced at $36.99. For reference, the lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $34.99 on 28th Nov 2019.