Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 review, including today's price to performance

Laptop announced date: 1st September 2019

Last reviewed: 15th July 2020

P2P score 6
Futureproof High/Ultra 3 Years 4 Months Low/Medium 8 Years 2 Months
Gaming Laptop? Excellent

Our Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop review today is going to help us understand how well the hardware components in this machine can run today’s modern games. Taking a look at some of the most demanding popular titles we will see some expected frame rates for the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop and understand the type of price to performance on offer.

Dell Alienware M15 R2

CPU
GPU
RAM
P2P

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Gaming Laptop Analysis

Is the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent

Processor - An excellent CPU for running AAA game requirements, especially during the 2021 gaming year. It will be solid for some time to come as well. The 8 cores that this processor has is excellent and very capable for today and future AAA gaming.

Graphics Card - This laptop has an excellent choice of graphics card for modern AAA games during 2021. This GPU comes with 8GB, which is excellent and plenty powerful to meet the VRAM requirements of modern games.

System Memory - Our review laptop here has an excellent quantity of RAM for 2021 AAA games. The 16GB of RAM will meet the game requirements of the foreseeable future as well.

Screen Size - By our standards our review laptop’s 15.6" panel is considered good for modern 2021 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. 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. This laptop comes with a 60Hz refresh rate. Which is just ok for gaming. There are better and if you want to enjoy higher frame rates you will look for a gaming laptop with a higher refresh rate.

GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 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, Battlefield 6 and Resident Evil 8 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. We find a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q mobile graphics card in this laptop, which is currently capable of playing 495 games, if you consider their minimum graphics system requirements as the playable level to beat. However, today the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q is also capable of running 435 games at their recommended specs, this is when compared to the top 500 most demanding games.

Grand Theft Auto VI FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results Graph

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Other Popular Games

Comparing Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges

A key focus of this laptop review is to compare the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 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.

With a P2P rating of 6 today the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2. Our value to performance rating score will auto adjust as new hardware capability improves and prices drop. Here we look at how our version of this Alienware M15 R2 laptop compares against the other laptops in the range. This laptop is currently 6th in this range for hardware value. Laptops closer to the 1st position of the model range represent the better gaming performance bang for your buck.

Show Laptop Specifications

Processor Core i9-9980HK 8-Core 2.4GHz
Graphics Card GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
RAM 16GB DDR4 2666MHz
Screen 15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Storage 1000GB M.2
Ports
  • 2x USB 3.1
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • Ethernet 2500

Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table

Laptop Name Price P2P Difference
i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 $1449.99 9.1 71%
i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 $1499.99 9 68%
i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 $1799.99 8.2 42%
i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 $2249.99 7.2 19%
i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 $2299.99 7.1 17%
i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 $2849.99 6 0%

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 179% 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. How about we also look at the 2nd ranked laptop for excellent Price/Performance ratings, which is the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and has a recorded cost of $853.00. We see our Alienware M15 R2 laptop scores 164% worse against it for price to performance.

How does the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?

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. We have chosen our comparison CPU focused laptop today as the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz, which comes armed with the Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz laptop CPU. This top tier CPU is currently delivering 25% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s Core i9-9980HK 8-Core 2.4GHz.

Currently 491 games recommended system requirements of the top 500 most demanding games today are worse in performance than our laptop’s Core i9-9980HK 8-Core 2.4GHz. Or it is 500 games of the top 500 most demanding for minimum cpu specs.

When compared to the recommended processor requirements of the most popular games today, like Grand Theft Auto VI our laptop CPU is 21% better in performance. Compared to Battlefield 6 our laptop processor is 28% better.

How does the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 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. Our comparison GPU focused laptop today that we have selected is a Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz, which comes loaded with the GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile card. This top end GPU is currently delivering 41% better performance when stacked against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q.

Interestingly we can see 435 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 recommended graphics requirements of the most popular games today, like Grand Theft Auto VI our laptop GPU is 4% worse in performance. Compared to Battlefield 6 our laptop graphics performance is 4% better.

The Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 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? 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. What refresh rate does the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 panel have available? It can be picked up with the following 60Hz refresh rates.

It would be more likely that we would have to lower the AAA game resolution to 1080p or maybe 1440p and by doing so get back some of the FPS to a playable level. But by doing this the game moves away from its native 4K resolution and starts to look unclear. If your laptop has hardware to deliver 4K you dont need the laptop to have a 4K display to enjoy modern gaming in this way. Just plug your laptop into a 4K desktop monitor, that will likely not have the 60Hz of most 4K laptop panels.

Possibly a suitable purpose for a 4K laptop would be if you were keen to watch 4K streaming services like Netflix. At which point perhaps it's enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop?

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

An example of a well priced 1440p desktop monitor would be the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS, which has 75Hz and is currently available for $299.00. Our cheapest tracked price for the desktop 1440p monitor was $229.99, which we recorded on 9th Mar 2021.

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 $629.99 and 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 $629.99 during recent weeks. To give a bit more info about this monitor we saw it cost its lowest of $549.99, which we recorded on 13th Nov 2020.

[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]

Possibly a suitable purpose for a 4K laptop would be if you were keen to watch 4K streaming services like Netflix. At which point perhaps it's 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.

Today's Best Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop

A great priced gaming mouse today, that could accompany the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 is the, Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons that is currently priced at $12.99. Just for quick reference this mouse has increased its price by $12.99 over the past two weeks. 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 $13.99
** Redragon M711 Cobra $19.99
*** Cooler Master MM710 $42.99
*** Logitech MX Master 2S $57.95

Of our regular price tracked gaming headset the best value headset today is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. With its a current price of $39.99 it should work well with this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop. As a point of interest this headset has increased its price by $39.99 over the past two weeks. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 where we saw it for $25.98.

Quality Headset Price (USD) Check Regional Pricing
** HyperX Cloud Stinger $39.99
** Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround $49.99
*** Logitech G635 7.1 $82.25
*** SteelSeries Arctis 5 Surround 7.1 $99.99
Can the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 run any game?

How well can the i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 run these popular games?

Resident Evil 8

Can this laptop run Resident Evil 8?
The laptop can run Resident Evil 8 minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 73
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Grand Theft Auto V

Can this laptop run Grand Theft Auto V?
The laptop can run Grand Theft Auto V minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 111
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Call of Duty Warzone

Can this laptop run Call of Duty Warzone?
The laptop can run Call of Duty Warzone minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 88
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Red Dead Redemption 2

Can this laptop run Red Dead Redemption 2?
The laptop can run Red Dead Redemption 2 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 88
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Cyberpunk 2077

Can this laptop run Cyberpunk 2077?
The laptop can run Cyberpunk 2077 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 73
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Assassins Creed: Valhalla

Can this laptop run Assassins Creed: Valhalla?
The laptop can run Assassins Creed: Valhalla minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 73
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Grand Theft Auto VI

Can this laptop run Grand Theft Auto VI?
The laptop can run Grand Theft Auto VI minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 67
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Valorant

Can this laptop run Valorant?
The laptop can run Valorant minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Battlefield 6

Can this laptop run Battlefield 6?
The laptop can run Battlefield 6 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 78
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Resident Evil 7

Can this laptop run Resident Evil 7?
The laptop can run Resident Evil 7 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 162
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Fortnite

Can this laptop run Fortnite?
The laptop can run Fortnite minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
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Minimum
Recommended

Minecraft

Can this laptop run Minecraft?
The laptop can run Minecraft minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

FIFA 21

Can this laptop run FIFA 21?
The laptop can run FIFA 21 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Can this laptop run Counter-Strike: Global Offensive?
The laptop can run Counter-Strike: Global Offensive minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Apex Legends

Can this laptop run Apex Legends?
The laptop can run Apex Legends minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 107
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds

Can this laptop run PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds?
The laptop can run PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 110
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition

Can this laptop run Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition?
The laptop can not run Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 71
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Far Cry 6

Can this laptop run Far Cry 6?
The laptop can run Far Cry 6 minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 60
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Grand Theft Auto IV

Can this laptop run Grand Theft Auto IV?
The laptop can run Grand Theft Auto IV minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Can this laptop run Call of Duty: Modern Warfare?
The laptop can run Call of Duty: Modern Warfare minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 88
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

The Witcher III

Can this laptop run The Witcher III?
The laptop can run The Witcher III minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 120
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Forza Horizon 4

Can this laptop run Forza Horizon 4?
The laptop can run Forza Horizon 4 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 126
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Can this laptop run Microsoft Flight Simulator?
The laptop can run Microsoft Flight Simulator minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 28
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Enlisted

Can this laptop run Enlisted?
The laptop can run Enlisted minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 95
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Battlefield 4

Can this laptop run Battlefield 4?
The laptop can run Battlefield 4 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

DOTA 2

Can this laptop run DOTA 2?
The laptop can run DOTA 2 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Fallout 4

Can this laptop run Fallout 4?
The laptop can run Fallout 4 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 123
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Star Citizen

Can this laptop run Star Citizen?
The laptop can run Star Citizen minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 101
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Genshin Impact

Can this laptop run Genshin Impact?
The laptop can run Genshin Impact minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 95
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Far Cry 5

Can this laptop run Far Cry 5?
The laptop can run Far Cry 5 minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 135
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

eFootball PES 2021

Can this laptop run eFootball PES 2021?
The laptop can run eFootball PES 2021 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 179
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Battlefield 1

Can this laptop run Battlefield 1?
The laptop can run Battlefield 1 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 198
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Battlefield V

Can this laptop run Battlefield V?
The laptop can run Battlefield V minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 137
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Metro: Exodus

Can this laptop run Metro: Exodus?
The laptop can run Metro: Exodus minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 63
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Rust

Can this laptop run Rust?
The laptop can run Rust minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 96
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Battlefield 3

Can this laptop run Battlefield 3?
The laptop can run Battlefield 3 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Can this laptop run Resident Evil 2 Remake?
The laptop can run Resident Evil 2 Remake minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 104
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

The Elder Scrolls V

Can this laptop run The Elder Scrolls V?
The laptop can run The Elder Scrolls V minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 200
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Assassins Creed: Odyssey

Can this laptop run Assassins Creed: Odyssey?
The laptop can run Assassins Creed: Odyssey minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 80
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Assassins Creed: Valhalla - Wrath of the Druids

Can this laptop run Assassins Creed: Valhalla - Wrath of the Druids?
The laptop can run Assassins Creed: Valhalla - Wrath of the Druids minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 68
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

How well do we think the i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 can run these upcoming popular games?

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

Could this laptop run Mass Effect: Legendary Edition?
We think the laptop can run Mass Effect: Legendary Edition minimum system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 73
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Days Gone

Could this laptop run Days Gone?
We think the laptop can run Days Gone minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 95
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

Biomutant

Could this laptop run Biomutant?
We think the laptop can run Biomutant minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 75
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended

F1 2021

Could this laptop run F1 2021?
We think the laptop can run F1 2021 minimum and recommended system requirements
FPS (1080p)
L: ?
M: ?
H: 75
U: ?
Test Report
Minimum
Recommended