Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB 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
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.
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Good
Processor - The processor we find in this laptop can meet modern AAA game requirements with ease, making it an excellent 2022 laptop gaming choice for CPU. With 8 of CPU cores available, this processor doesn’t have to worry too much about gaming processes bottlenecking as few games will be able to use all of these cores completely
Graphics Card - This graphics card, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, is good at running 2022 AAA titles and a good choice for a gamer on the move. Loaded up with a huge amount of VRAM, this GPU has 8GB, which makes it excellent for AAA gaming.
System Memory - This laptop system memory is excellent at meeting today’s 2022 system requirements demands and with its 16GB of RAM it will certainly meet the requirements of games into the near future as well.
Screen Size - By our standards our review laptop’s 15.6" panel is considered good for modern 2022 gaming. There are larger laptops but with this laptop you will get a good balance between portability and gaming viewability. The screen size provides a gamer with larger menus, whereas the resolution of the panel provides definition. Look to the 17 inch laptops for a better physical screen size, so you can enjoy the games more clearly. That is our normal ideal gaming laptop screen size.
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. The refresh rate for this laptop is just ok by modern gaming standards, with a 60Hz version panel available. You will want a higher refresh rate laptop screen if the laptop regularly gets a higher game frame per second number than the refresh rate number. So if you are getting 85FPS and your screen refresh rate is 60Hz, the laptop will always cap off at 60FPS, regardless of what the hardware can return.
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop
No two laptops are the same. But one of the primary gaming laptop components is of course the graphics card. Often a slightly weaker mobile solution, when compared to its desktop equivalent. Today we will consider this laptop's hardware, when running modern popular and sometimes demanding games, like Grand Theft Auto VI, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) and FIFA 23 which will help us know if this mobile graphics card and the overall laptop hardware is considered a good price to performance point. We consider it running these titles at its native 1080p resolution, and at Ultra video settings. This laptop has the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q in it. Of the 500 most demanding games around today this graphics card is capable of running 491 games at minimum system requirements and 301 games at their recommended system requirements.
Grand Theft Auto VI FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
Laptop Research Area
Other Popular Games
Comparing Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
When we factor in all variations of hardware and prices that the Alienware M15 R2 laptop comes with, it gets very difficult to understand what value each permutation of this laptop will offer. To help us compare laptops based on their direct gaming value and capabilities, we defined a price to performance rating and allocated it to every laptop we review. Because as you have no doubt discovered during your research, it is very difficult to compare laptops for value against all other laptops. Even within their own model range. As soon as you adjust a single component and the laptop price shifts, what has that done to the gaming value of your laptop and is it still ok value for money? So we use a P2P rating to standardise the way we can look at all laptops. Of course laptops have tonnes of other values that are breathed into them when they are designed and they are not just about price to performance. But this is certainly a good way for us to help see the bigger picture, especially for a gaming laptop.
This laptop gets a 7.1 for P2P. With these hardware components the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop is placed at 5th position within the Alienware M15 R2 range, when put into the price to performance order. Those laptops closer to the number 1 position of this list are the better value propositions today.
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%|
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 139% 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. Second on the Price to Performance laptop ranking at the moment is the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 which we have a recorded price of $1049. If we compare our laptop to this one then our laptop returns with 109% worse performance/ price rating figure than it.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
As a point of benchmark lets see how well our laptop looks when directly compared on processing performance against the top CPU focused laptop currently available. This top tier processor focused laptop is currently the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2. With a Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz CPU in it that performs 24% better compared to our laptop’s Core i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz.
Our laptop CPU beats 464 games recommended system requirements when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games. This number changes to 500 games if we compare to the top 500 most demanding games for minimum system requirements.
Some of the most popular games today are really the primary benchmark for any laptop’s ability, so we thought we should compare our laptop CPU Core i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz against Grand Theft Auto VI. This CPU performance comparison saw our laptop deliver 16% better performance against the game’s recommended CPU system requirements. Then we have Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) and our laptop was 16% better in processor performance and another popular title today is FIFA 23 which we saw our review laptop get 35% better compared to our laptop cpu.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop compare to the best graphics card performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
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 M15 R2 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. We choose the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K laptop as one of the best GPU laptop performers today to compare graphics ability with our laptop. This puts a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card from that laptop, one of the best laptop graphics cards available at the moment, against our review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q. This comparison shows that laptop to be 53% better comparably in performance as our review laptop.
A snapshot today of performance for our Graphics Card, we can currently see it beating 301 of the 500 most demanding games available right now. This is considering their recommended system requirements. For a the top 500 Minimum system specs this is 491 games.
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 15% worse performance rating. Next we have Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) where our graphics card gets 15% worse performance and finally another popular title at the moment is FIFA 23, which has a performance difference of : 12% better, when put against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q.
The Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 has a 1080p screen resolution, should I get a 4K resolution gaming laptop instead?
There is a lot of talk about getting 4K capable monitors and our review laptop has a 1080p native resolution, and a physical 15.6" panel. Lets explore if it would be better for you to grab a laptop with a 4K screen rather than the 1080p offered here? The refresh rate of a 4K laptop panel is often 60Hz. This figure sets a 60 frames per second cap that locks a game to no matter the capability of the hardware in the 4K laptop. However, today’s AAA games, when running at Ultra graphics settings and 4K resolution, usually require hardware that we don't see in laptops or desktops to even reach that 60FPS cap. The Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop’s monitor can be picked up with 60Hz refresh rate versions.
We can always lower the game’s displayed screen resolution to something like 1080p or 1440p which is below the 4K laptop’s native pixel count. This will get a more stable game experience, increasing a game’s FPS that might be needed across a number of modern AAA games on a 4K laptop. However, getting away from the laptop’s more native 4K resolution, will take away in-game graphics definition. Not an ideal situation, playing blurry games on your new 4K laptop. The laptop has got 4K capable hardware? Well when 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.
So why would you get a 4K capable laptop? If you enjoy movies or Netflix at 4K and have access to 4K content via those types of services then perhaps the quality of 4K resolution on a 17inch panel would be a great experience, but we still think you wouldn't miss that 4K.
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.
Today’s best 1440p desktop monitor for a laptop is - ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS
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 $311.99 it should go nicely with this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop. 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.
Today’s best 4K desktop monitor for a laptop is - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz
A nice performing 4K desktop monitor, should you want one to accompany this laptop, is the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz. Today it is priced at $618 and has a 144Hz refresh rate. This 4K monitor, during these past couple of weeks, has increased its price by $618. It’s still a solid purchase to accompany this laptop but it means you may find it for even cheaper at the moment, if you look around. 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]
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..
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 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop
You could pick up a mouse to go with the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2. In our spotlight at the moment is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, which today is $12.99. Price watching this mouse shows that it has had a price drop by $32.26 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|
|**||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|
The gaming headset with today’s best price to value that would go well with the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround. Its current price is $36.99. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 28th Nov 2019, which had it priced at $34.99.