Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 review, including today's price to performance
Laptop product code: Alienware M15 R3
Laptop announced date: 25th April 2020
Last reviewed: 10th August 2021
Today's review of the gaming Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB 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 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB 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 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This processor is excellent, and it meets and runs AAA titles released during 2021 with little problem. Modern AAA gaming can use multiple cores and this processor comes with 8 of them. This makes it excellent for today’s gaming.
Graphics Card - This graphics card, GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, is excellent for running 2021 AAA titles. The 8GB that this graphics solution has is excellent for all modern gaming.
System Memory - This system memory, 32GB, is excellent for meeting 2021 AAA game requirements.
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. We will go for a 17 inch screen size when choosing a laptop for gaming. And while the larger the screen the less portable the machine, the bigger screen balances out with better in-game viewability. And that is more important when wondering whether to go with a 1.5 Kg laptop or a 3.5Kg laptop for gaming for us.
Refresh Rate - Look for higher refresh rate hertz for a gaming laptop. Ideally around 120Hz or more refresh rate on a gaming laptop screen. The laptop can only deliver FPS(frames per second) up to the listed refresh rate. So if you have hardware in your laptop that can turn out awesome frame rates on all the latest AAA titles, but a 60hz refresh rate, your laptop will be stuck at a maximum of 60FPS in all games. This laptop can be picked up with a refresh rate of 300Hz option. It is an excellent gamers choice for screen refresh rates.
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop
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, Far Cry 6, New World 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. Lets compare the GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile found in this laptop to today’s top 500 most demanding games. Of those games, this laptops GPU can run 499 at their minimum system requirements and then 472 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
Far Cry 6 FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
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Other Popular Games
Comparing Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB 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 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB 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 R3 range.
The Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 is getting a 7.3 for its P2P score out of 10. This relative value will change as game performance, hardware costs and laptop expectations adjust over time. This Alienware M15 R3 configuration is placed at 13th position, when we order the range by their price to performance ratings. Those getting closer to the 1st position in this list will be better gaming laptops for their 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
Looking outside of the Alienware M15 R3 laptop range we can compare our review laptop to today’s leading Price to Performance laptop, the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which has a recorded price of $999. Our laptop has 134% worse rating when comparing on just price to performance against that best bang-for-your-buck laptop. 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 104% worse performance/ price rating figure than it.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB 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. The CPU performance laptop we picked today is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2. Its processor is the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz which delivers 23% better performance when stacked against our own review laptop’s Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz.
A quick review of the number of games our laptop processor can run at recommended requirements is 474, taken from the top 500 most demanding games today. For min cpu specs this figure for number of games it can run is 500.
A game’s listed recommended CPU requirements are a good way to compare the performance of our laptop CPU. Lets see today's popular titles up against our laptop processor. First off let's look at New World which shows our laptop CPU has 46% better performance than it. How about Battlefield 2042, where we see our CPU is 35% better. Then there is 17% better performance when compared against today’s most popular title, Far Cry 6.
How does the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop compare to the best graphics card performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
Looking for a new gaming laptop often leads us quickly to consider the sort of performance the mobile graphics card can deliver. Mobile graphics cards are often underpowered versions of their desktop equivalent, but still often very capable. To gauge the performance ability in this graphics department we compare our laptop to a GPU focused laptop that is around at the moment, to help provide us with a good graphics performance metric and comparison. Lets grab a graphics focused laptop for comparison then. We have chosen the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 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 27% better if we bench it against our laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile graphics hardware.
Currently 472 games of the top 500 most demanding games today (recommended graphics requirements) can run on the review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile. Or 499 games of the top 500 most demanding for minimum GPU specs can run on it.
How about we compare our laptop graphics performance against Battlefield 2042 recommended graphics requirement? Our laptop gets 11% worse performance. Next let's check the top game of the moment, Far Cry 6, which shows the review laptop’s gpu against that game’s system specs gets 1% better performance. We also see the 64% better performance from our laptop gpu when looking at the game New World for it’s graphics requirements.
The Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 has a 1080p screen resolution, should I get a 4K resolution gaming laptop instead?
With a 1080p native screen panel our Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 has a 15.6" physical screen size. This inch panel size is measured starting in one corner, say the top corner and then across the middle of the screen down to the bottom corner on the other side. And in our case it has a fixed number of pixels in that screen that are 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall, or 1080p resolution. A 4K laptops will likely run with 60Hz screen refresh rate, so should the laptop’s hardware be able to get good frame rates at 4K resolution and due to the refresh rate the laptop would max out at 60 frames per second as its screen would not be capable of delivering any higher. Modern games in Ultra graphics settings are also normally too demanding for a 4K resolution anyway. You can find the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 panel with 144Hz, 300Hz refresh rate variants.
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. However, a 1080p laptop could very well have some good hardware in it, capable of playing AAA games comfortably at 4K with a few graphics setting tweaks. If this is the case then hook up the gaming laptop to a 4K or 1440p desktop monitor, for some serious home based gaming sessions. A decent desktop monitor is not going to have 60Hz getting in the way of extra FPS and is going to be enjoyably larger than the 15inch or 17inch screen thats most common on laptops.
If you are looking to view 4K streaming content, while keeping yourself mobile with your laptop, then maybe a 4K resolution panel would be a better experience than the normal 1080p. In general, we think it's probably not worth the extra money for any visual gains you might not spot, without a direct comparison, especially if you are thinking to game on your laptop as well.
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 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 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop. For extra price trend information on this desktop 1440p monitor, it reached its lowest tracked price on 9th Mar 2021, where it would cost $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. 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. The cheapest we have tracked this 4k monitor was for the price of $549.99, on 13th Nov 2020.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
If you stream 4K content, films, services like Netflix then perhaps the quality of 4K resolution on a 17inch panel would be better than the 1080p alternative that the majority of laptops provide.
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 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop
You could pick up a mouse to go with the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB 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. Further to our mouse information, this mouse had a lowest price recorded by us of $11.99 dated on 15th Aug 2020.
|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|
You could pick up a headset to go with the Dell Alienware M15 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2. In our spotlight at the moment is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround, which today 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.