Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 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
Today's review of the gaming Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB 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 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop and understand the type of price to performance on offer.
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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 - With the Core i9-9980HK 8-Core 2.4GHz processor in this laptop its excellent for 2021 gaming, capable of running today’s game processor system requirements. Loaded up with plenty of processor cores, this CPU has 8, which is excellent for AAA gaming that wants extra cores for processing.
Graphics Card - This laptop’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q is an excellent gaming graphics card for 2021 gaming. This GPU has 8GB of VRAM. This is excellent and plenty for modern AAA gaming.
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 want your gaming laptop to push past 60FPS, then make sure your laptop display panel has a higher refresh rate than 60Hz. Not all laptop manufacturers clearly state the screen refresh rate. If it is not clear, assume it is 60Hz. The laptop only turn out FPS (frames per second) as high as its screens refresh rate. 60hz refresh rate gets a max of 60FPS in all games, regardless of the hardware’s power in your laptop. 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 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop
Gamers looking at laptops will be needing to carefully consider the performance of the machine in relation to modern, often demanding, games. So getting the mobile graphics selected correctly is key to identifying the best price-to-performance laptop for you. We will take a look at the hardware and graphics card in this laptop in relation to how well it can deliver frame rates when running modern demanding or popular games like, God of War 2018 or Far Cry 6. We will consider the laptop when it runs these games in ultra graphics settings while gaming at its native 1080p screen resolution. The GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q in this machine is currently capable of running 495 games at minimum system requirements of the 500 most demanding games available today. Where as it is capable of running 425 games of the top 500 most demanding recommended system requirements.
God of War 2018 FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
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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
During your research for your next laptop, you have probably seen that the laptops reviewed are often the top permutation of the range and even then they were reviewed some time back against games that were released around the time of the review. Today we will be working to provide an up to date value assessment on this Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 hardware performance against today’s games and then consider how it compares to all other laptops and how it sits within its own Alienware M15 R2 range.
A 6 P2P score rating out of 10 has been allocated today to the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2. This value will adjust automatically as hardware and modern performance requirements from laptops improve over time. 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|
15.6 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 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||71%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1499.99||68%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1799.99||42%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2249.99||19%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2299.99||17%|
|i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2849.99||0%|
Looking outside of this range lets us compare the Price to Performance rating of the very best laptops we have listed. Today's top laptop model for P2P is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and the price we have for it is $999. Our Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop’s price to performance is 179% worse when comparing it with the top laptop, purely on a performance for money basis, and as we know lots of things go into our decision when choosing the right laptop for us. 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 144% worse on 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?
Now we will see if our laptop compares favourably against the top CPU performance focused mobile PC that is currently available. 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 17% better performance when compared to our CPU, Core i9-9980HK 8-Core 2.4GHz which is found in this review laptop.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop CPU can currently meet or beat 487 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 Far Cry 6 and our laptop CPU delivers 21% better performance compared to that game’s requirement. Next we have God of War: Ragnarok in which we see our laptop processor has 49% better performance compared to the game's CPU specs. And then there is 40% better performance when we put our laptop cpu against God of War 2018 recommended specs.
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?
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. Today’s MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K comes with one of the more powerful laptop graphics solutions available for game crunching at the moment, making it a good one to compare against our review laptops GPU. We will use its GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB to compare against our GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q card. The top end laptop’s GPU currently delivers 36% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q.
Today there are 425 games recommended system requirements that are worse than our GPU’s performance capability, this is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games right now. This figure becomes 495 games, when we look at the 500 demanding games for minimum Graphics Card system requirements.
Today’s games are getting more demanding so let's see how our gaming laptop performs against their recommended gpu system requirements. First off we have the Far Cry 6 which currently our GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q is 6% worse next let's see how well it runs against God of War: Ragnarok. We can see it is 26% better. Ok finally lets see it against God of War 2018. Here our laptop is 35% 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?
This laptop’s panel has a physical 15.6" screen that delivers 1920x1080 pixels natively. But should you consider moving from this 1080p laptop and searching for a 4K laptop instead, with the intention of getting better visuals for your games or movies? 4K laptops would likely come with a 60 FPS cap on games, set by the laptop screen’s 60Hz refresh rate. So regardless of what the hardware is capable of in the 4K laptop they couldn't push their FPS beyond that screen refresh rate. Now AAA games today when played at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution likely don't have hardware capable of 60 FPS anyway. It’s worth noting that the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 panel is available with the following panel refresh rates 60Hz.
To get back some of those missing FPS on a AAA game we lower the game’s displayed screen resolution and get some stability in the game’s performance. This is usually a last resort for gamers though and not the sort of action taken by someone who has just shelled out for a new 4K laptop. Lowering down from a native 4K resolution, perhaps to 1080p or 1440p ups the game’s FPS but veering from the native 4K resolution leaves a game looking blurry. Definition of graphics drops and surely this puts forward the need to question someone’s choice for a 4K gaming laptop. But if the laptop does have the hardware to run today's AAA titles at 4K resolution, a normal sized portable PC comes with a 15 or 17 inch panel. This might not be physically big enough to make the most of the splendors of your game. It would of course look great still, but perhaps a dedicated monitor for your desk, one that isnt 60Hz restricted would accommodate that gaming scenario.
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.
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
The 1440p gaming monitor that has a great price today and should be a nice accompaniment to the Dell Alienware M15 R2 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS. Its current price is $311.99 and it has a 75Hz refresh rate. 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
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 $618 and also has a 144Hz refresh rate. During these recent weeks we have price tracked this 4k monitor and noticed that it has increased its price by $618, so keep an eye out for deals, as this great value monitor might still be found for cheaper. 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]
The primary use we can think of is for streaming 4K movie and TV content, assuming you have access to these services. If this is your primary use for the laptop, rather than gaming then it certainly might be worth considering this.
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. 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. 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|
|**||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 i9-9980HK RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1000GB M.2 laptop is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround. Its current price is $36.99. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 where we saw it for $34.99.