Laptop announced date: 25th April 2020
Last reviewed: 15th July 2020
Today's gaming laptop review, for the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2, will be taking a good look at how well its price compares to the hardware we find inside it. We will also have a look at the type of gaming performance it gets when running today’s more demanding games and help you judge if this is a gaming laptop that is worth your cash.
Is the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This processor is an excellent 2021 hardware component for running modern AAA games. 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 - A GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile graphics card that is housed in this laptop is excellent for modern AAA gaming during 2021. The graphics solution in the laptop also has 8GB of VRAM. This is an excellent gamers amount of VRAM and plenty for today’s big games.
System Memory - This laptop’s 32GB 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 - Today’s 2021 games are well supported by the 15.6" panel found attached to this laptop. While you could find a portable laptop with more screen real estate, this is a good gamer laptop choice. In our minds, if you have a smaller 1.5Kg or larger 3.5Kg laptop with you, it's always going to be a lump to transport. And so for a gaming laptop we would rather see the games more clearly on a larger 17inch screen, upon arriving at a destination, rather than compromise a game’s experience. But for some it will be the other way around. Fortunately there will be something for everyone in the laptop marketplace.
Refresh Rate - The higher the screen panel refresh rate, the better for gaming laptops. The refresh rate is the number of times a second the screen is capable of refreshing the game’s image. If a laptop can deliver 100 frames per second (FPS) in a game and your laptop has a 60Hz refresh rate, then you will only get a max of 60 frames per second. The higher the refresh rate and the game’s FPS the smoother the sharpness is as the screen view moves around in game. And so considering that, this laptop is available with up to 300Hz as its refresh rate. This high refresh rate would be an excellent choice in a gamers laptop, but anything over 60Hz would be suitable.
Getting the right graphics card for this mobile gaming machine will be one of our key focuses. As we know it can be tricky to break this down, but we will be looking at how this laptop hardware can run across demanding and popular modern games and therefore how well the price of the machine stacks up against other gaming laptops. A few of the modern demanding or popular games we will be looking at will be, Elden Ring, Battlefield 6 and Battlefield 2042. Seeing how these games run on the laptops native 1080p resolution at ultra will certainly give us something tangible to consider and compare from. Now this comes with the GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile installed as the mobile graphics card, and at the moment it is capable of running 499 games at their minimum graphics system specs and then running 478 recommended specs of today’s top 500 most demanding games.
A key focus of this laptop review is to compare the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB 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 currently give the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop a 7.3 out of 10 for its P2P score. Where the higher the better rating. As mentioned the figure will adjust as new hardware is released and performance expectations shift over time. This version of the Alienware M15 R3 laptop is currently positioned at 13th 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 i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2666MHz|
15.6" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz, 300Hz
Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-10750H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1499.99||28%|
|i7-10750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1699.99||25%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1749.99||23%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1849.99||23%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$1849.99||21%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1999.99||17%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2099.99||16%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$1999.99||8%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1000GB M.2||$2299.99||7%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$2149.99||4%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$2249.99||4%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$2399.99||1%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2499.99||0%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2080 Super Max-Q 32GB RAM 1000GB M.2 4K||$2499.99||2%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 4K||$2799.99||12%|
We will now check against leading Price 2 Performance laptops outside of this model range to see how the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 compares. Looking at the best gaming laptop on price to performance, our laptop has 134% 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 $999.00. Another one to consider is the 2nd placed Price to Performance laptop, the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. This one has a price listed as $1049.00 and our laptop gets 104% worse against its price to performance rating.
You might be considering a CPU heavy laptop and wondering how this Alienware M15 R3 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. The ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz is today’s best performer in the laptop CPU department. It has a Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz processor in it, which currently has 32% better performance than our laptop’s Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop CPU can currently meet or beat 483 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.
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 i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz against Elden Ring. This CPU performance comparison saw our laptop deliver 53% better performance against the game’s recommended CPU system requirements. Then we have Battlefield 6 and our laptop was 25% better in processor performance and another popular title today is Battlefield 2042 which we saw our review laptop get 25% better compared to our laptop cpu.
One of the most important focuses of a gaming PC is the graphics card and our review laptop is certainly no different. As such we will want to know how well our Alienware M15 R3 laptop performs in the graphical visuals area compared to what is available on the current laptop market. A great way to consider this is by putting it into a comparison against a well priced laptop that has the most powerful laptop GPU around at the moment, and then we can review its performance against that top graphics card laptop. A good laptop to compare against, that is GPU focused, would be the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz. 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 3080 16GB Mobile graphics card slotted inside it, which can deliver 31% better performance when compared to our GPU, GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile from our review laptop.
A quick review of the number of games our laptop Graphics Card can run at recommended requirements is 478, taken from the top 500 most demanding games today. For min GPU specs this figure for number of games it can run is 499.
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 Battlefield 6 which currently our GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile is 12% better next let's see how well it runs against Battlefield 2042. We can see it is 12% better. Ok finally lets see it against Elden Ring. Here our laptop is 64% better.
If you are looking for future proof laptops it doesnt take long before people are exploring the 4K panel laptops, but are they really the right choice or should you be focusing on a top end laptop that has the hardware to deliver 1080p gaming. The Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2’s 15.6" physical panel produces a native 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall. Today’s 4K laptops normally have a 60Hz screen refresh rate which would mean that should the laptop’s hardware be capable of running a 4K game, it would be restricted to a cap of 60 frames per second. As game system requirements continue to push for more powerful hardware, the components in a laptop, and many desktops as well, are simply not capable of delivering playable frame rates at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution. What refresh rate does the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 panel have available? It can be picked up with the following 144Hz, 300Hz 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 the following is the case, where the 1080p gaming laptop could run games you love at a higher 4K resolution then you could always hook up the PC laptop to a desktop monitor. One that was much bigger than the laptop screen size, like a 31inch with 144Hz refresh rate to enjoy 1440p or 4K resolution when gaming at home. Then still have your laptop for mobile gaming as well.
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 think don't spend your extra cash on getting a 4K laptop to game on, as it's likely to feel disappointing to buy a super shiny new 4K laptop, then have to lower the resolution while playing your games, delivering a blurry in-game experience, and only getting up to a maximum 60FPS due to the usual 60Hz 4K panel restriction.
Today’s well priced 1440p desktop monitor we have found is a ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS that has a 75Hz refresh rate and priced at $299.00. Our cheapest tracked price for the desktop 1440p monitor was $229.99, which we recorded on 9th Mar 2021.
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. We price track a number of carefully chosen laptop peripherals and during these past couple of weeks we saw that this 4k monitor has seen a slight price increase, but despite that it is still better quality to value compared to our other favourite monitors. Its recent price increased by $588, so perhaps it can be found a little cheaper elsewhere at the moment 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]
4K streaming could be a viable reason to consider 4K over 1080p laptop panels.
For now in the laptop space, it looks best to stick with 1080p panels. This way your laptop’s physical size remains practical and portable, 17inch laptops are plenty big enough. And at the moment you will still have to lower game resolutions down from 4K, on the bigger hitting AAA titles, that would then get playable, but sub par visuals and you would still hit the 60FPS cap if your hardware could go beyond 60FPS.
A great priced gaming mouse today, that could accompany the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 is the, Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons that is currently priced at $12.99. Today's best value and good quality mouse has enjoyed a price reduction of $29, and provides another reason for us to suggest it to compliment this laptop. Reviewing all our records the lowest tracked price we have for this mouse was recorded on 15th Aug 2020, where it was 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||$43.05|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$56.70|
If you are looking for a good value headset to go with your Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, then the HyperX Cloud Stinger is our favourite today, of those we are price tracking. Currently it’s priced at $47.99. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 where we saw it for $25.98.