Laptop announced date: 1st September 2019
Last reviewed: 15th July 2020
If you adjust the spec you are looking at on a gaming laptop, the price hikes up and makes it harder to judge price to performance. Today's Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop review is going to give us all a good sense of these sorts of values. We will take a look at what sort of performance you can expect the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop to return across the more demanding games of today.
Is the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - Modern AAA 2020 gaming with the Core i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz processor is no problem. As it meets game requirements of today it will likely hold its own against future release titles as well, this is an excellent CPU for a gaming laptop. The processor in this laptop has 8 cores, which makes it excellent for modern gamers, minimising the risk of throttling game processes due to a lack of available cores.
Graphics Card - This laptop graphics solution can chew through modern AAA titles and is an excellent laptop gaming choice of GPU. With 8GB of VRAM available to the GPU, this graphics solution doesn’t have to worry about a shortage, when it comes to modern AAA gaming, making it an excellent choice..
System Memory - Today’s AAA 2020 gaming is easily covered by the 16GB RAM in this machine, making this an excellent gaming laptop choice.
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. A gaming laptop screen size, in our eyes, would be 17 inches. We would certainly consider the more portable 15inch, but value gaming viewability and user experience over the slightly improved portability with the smaller screen sizes. A bigger laptop means heavier and harder to move around but more screen space to view games with.
Refresh Rate - If you want a gaming laptop then aim for a refresh rate that is more than 60Hz. If you don't clearly see the advertised laptops screen refresh rate then assume it is 60Hz. This would mean that the laptop will be capped at 60FPS when running games. The higher the refresh rate and the FPS then the smoother the game plays as it delivers more images a second to your screen and makes movement feel more responsive in game. The top panel refresh rate for this laptop is 60Hz which is ok but not really your first choice, if you want a good gaming laptop. Look for panels that we mark as good or excellent if you think this laptop hardware can get higher than 60FPS on most modern games.
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 2070 Max-Q inside this laptop, this graphics card solution will be capable of meeting 493 games at their minimum system requirements and 384 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 M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB 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.
We score the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 7.1 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 5th 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 i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1449.99||47%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1499.99||44%|
|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||2%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2299.99||0%|
|i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2849.99||17%|
We will now check against leading Price 2 Performance laptops outside of this model range to see how the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 compares. Looking at the best gaming laptop on price to performance, our laptop has 142% worse rating between its price to performance rating and today's best valued laptop, which is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 that is currently priced at $986.99. 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 124% worse when compared solely on price to performance against that 2nd best model.
Now the processing power is one of the primary areas that we will pay for in any PC and so let's see how our Alienware M15 R2 laptop is when compared against CPU performance with a top CPU focused laptop thats available today. We will choose the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p laptop for our CPU comparison tests as that laptop currently has the best CPU in it at the cheapest laptop price. Its CPU is the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz which we will compare to our review laptop’s Core i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz processor. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop CPU to be 24% better in performance compared to our laptop’s processor.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop CPU can currently meet or beat 494 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 in a similar most demanding order this changes to it being able to run 500 games.
Recommended processor requirements for modern games increase all the time, so we thought we would compare the performance of our laptop CPU to some popular games of today. First off there is Watch Dogs Legion and our laptop CPU delivers 34% better performance compared to that game’s requirement. Next we have Assassins Creed: Valhalla in which we see our laptop processor has 34% better performance compared to the game's CPU specs. And then there is 34% better performance when we put our laptop cpu against Cyberpunk 2077 recommended specs.
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 MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K laptop for its graphical performance. This big hitting GPU laptop comes with a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card in it that performs 53% better if we bench it against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics hardware.
Our laptop GPU beats 384 games recommended system requirements when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games. This number changes to 493 games if we compare to the top 500 most demanding games for minimum system requirements.
When compared to the recommended graphics requirements of the most popular games today, like Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop GPU is 20% better in performance. Compared to Watch Dogs Legion our laptop graphics performance is 20% better.
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 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2’s physical 15.6" panel delivers 1920 pixels across its width and 1080 pixels tall. With 60Hz being the usual screen refresh rate on 4K laptop panels this would cap a game to run at no more than 60 frames per second, even if the 4K laptop hardware could deliver more. And then most AAA games require more powerful hardware than a laptop houses to play stable 4K Ultra graphics setting games, even at a passable but, some would consider, a bit low, 60FPS. With a bigger refresh rate helping your FPS this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 has 60Hz screen refresh rate variants available.
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. If your 1080p laptop has the hardware to run today’s AAA games comfortably at 4K, then plug your laptop into your desktop 4K monitor, when you are at home for some serious gaming sessions. As that desktop monitor probably isn't 60Hz restricted and is physically larger than the relatively small 17inch laptop screen size. We do just that here, with a 27inch 144Hz Nvidia GSync 1440p desktop monitor and an Alienware 51M laptop sporting a desktop RTX 2080.
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.
As you can probably gather from the information above, its 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.
If you wanted a desktop monitor to go with the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB 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 $294.99. To help provide some further information into this desktop monitor price trends we saw it cost a recorded low of $272.99, which we tracked on 5th Aug 2020.
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 $829.99 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 $799. 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]
The primary 4K use would most likely be streaming movie and TV content at that resolution, assuming you have access to these services in 4K. At which point perhaps its enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop..
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.
A well priced gaming mouse at the moment, that will go nicely with the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2, is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Today it is priced at $11.99. Our suggested mouse has actually lowered its price during these past two weeks, dropping by $19. This was part of the reason we selected it as a good mouse for the price and a great accompanying peripheral for this 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|
|*||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 price tracked headsets, the gaming headset that catches our eye today, to go well with the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop, is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Today this headset is priced at $47.14. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020, which had it priced at $25.98.