Laptop announced date: 1st January 2019
Last reviewed: 20th July 2020
If you are looking for the best priced gaming laptop and was wondering how well the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 can run today’s latest games, then you are in the right place. We will be focusing this review on exploring how the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 performs against the most demanding games around and really getting a better understanding of this laptop’s price to performance today.
Is the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz processor in the laptop is an excellent gaming CPU choice for 2020 gaming. The 6 cores that this processor has is excellent and very capable for today and future AAA gaming.
Graphics Card - Modern AAA 2020 gaming with the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q is no problem, making this an excellent gaming laptop choice of GPU. 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 - Today’s AAA 2020 gaming is easily covered by the 16GB RAM in this machine, making this an excellent gaming laptop choice.
Screen Size - The review laptop here has a 17.3" physical screen, which we find a lot of modern gaming laptops sport nowadays. This panel size is an excellent size for 2020 gaming, that will help a gamer make out the details and menus in a game. Obviously the native resolution of the screen size will also make a difference to the on-screen definition, but the physical panel real estate offered here will be appreciated again and again for today’s gaming.
Refresh Rate - Gaming laptops might well be capable of getting high frames per second nowadays, but sometimes the laptop comes with a 60Hz refresh rate. This refresh rate is the number of times an image can be displayed by the screen. So if your graphics card and processor can get 100 FPS in most games, it will only ever be displayed by the laptop as 60FPS because of the refresh rate of 60Hz. Look for 120Hz on a good gaming laptop, or 144Hz on an excellent gaming laptop The top panel refresh rate for this laptop is 60Hz which is ok but not really your first choice, if you want a good gaming laptop. Look for panels that we mark as good or excellent if you think this laptop hardware can get higher than 60FPS on most modern games.
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, Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion and Assassins Creed: Valhalla. Seeing how these games run on the laptops native 1080p resolution at ultra will certainly give us something tangible to consider and compare from. Coming loaded with the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, this laptop is capable of beating 493 games at their minimum system specs and 384 games at their recommended system specs. This is when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games.
A key focus of this laptop review is to compare the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB 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 score the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 8 out of ten on the P2P score today. Our price to performance rating value will change for all laptops automatically, as new hardware capability is put into modern laptops and the price for hardware adjusts. There look to be a number of Alienware M17 R1 versions of this laptop and currently this hardware configuration sits at 3rd in the Price to Performance order. Obviously scoring towards the 1st position represents the better value laptop from a purely gaming performance and price tag perspective.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1579.99||18%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1779.99||9%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1879.99||0%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2079.99||6%|
Looking outside of the Alienware M17 R1 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 $986.99. Our laptop has 108% worse rating when comparing on just price to performance against that best bang-for-your-buck laptop. Another great model is the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which we have priced at $858.54. Our Alienware M17 R1 laptop is 93% worse on Price to Performance.
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 1440p. Its processor is the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz which delivers 43% better performance when stacked against our own review laptop’s Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz.
Interestingly we can see 466 games recommended system requirements are lower in performance than our laptop’s CPU 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 499 games are worse than our cpu performance, again looking at the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
Games these days have a range of processor requirements so let's look at a few popular games of today, and check our laptop CPU against the games recommended requirement. First off, Cyberpunk 2077 and our laptop processor gets 24% better performance rating. Next we have Watch Dogs Legion where our CPU gets 24% better performance and finally another popular title at the moment is Assassins Creed: Valhalla, which has a performance difference of : 24% better, when put against our laptop’s Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz.
One of the key hardware aspects in any laptop is certainly the graphics card. Our Alienware M17 R1 laptop’s GPU solution can be compared against a laptop that has one of the most powerful GPU’s around today, which will give us a relative benchmark. And will help us know how this laptop performs against the top end GPU laptop available today. The GPU focused laptop we picked for our comparison is the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K. Its got one of the best graphics cards found in laptops at the moment, which is the GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB. It delivers 53% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q.
Our laptop GPU beats 384 games recommended system requirements when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games. This number changes to 493 games if we compare to the top 500 most demanding games for minimum system requirements.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop GPU performs against today's popular games. Our GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q compared against recommended graphics requirements for Cyberpunk 2077 delivers 20% better performance while against Watch Dogs Legion it’s 20% better and finally compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it has a performance difference : 20% better.
We thought we would explore this question about best screen resolutions for your laptop, as it comes up a lot. This Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop has a 17.3" screen and is 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall and in other words has a 1080p resolution. A 4K panel usually comes with 60Hz screen refresh rate that would be also setting a max FPS on any game played on the laptop, even if it’s laptop hardware could return higher FPS. Factor into the decision process about getting a 4K laptop, that most AAA games would struggle to reach 60 FPS at 4K Ultra graphics settings on today’s regular laptop hardware. It’s worth noting that the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 panel is available with the following panel refresh rates 60Hz.
As a somewhat last resort a gamer could lower a game’s displayed screen resolution away from the 4K laptop’s native pixel count. Dropping down to 1080p or maybe 1440p would deliver more frames per second in game and help provide a more stable FPS in modern AAA games. But taking this action, moving away from the native 4K resolution, immediately reduces game graphics definition and makes it look blurry. Not an ideal situation on a new gaming 4K laptop. A 1080p laptop can still have some powerful gaming hardware in it and if it is good enough to run AAA games at larger resolutions like 4K or 1440p then attach it to a desktop monitor while you are at home and stationary. If the desktop monitor is pretty good then it wont have a 60Hz refresh rate limiting its FPS count in game. And is likely to be a whole lot more enjoyable playing on a 24 inch or larger monitor than the more standard 15 or 17inch screen normally found on gaming laptops.
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.
Incidentally our research shows the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS as our best priced 1440p monitor today. This monitor has a 75Hz refresh rate and a price tag at the moment of $294.99. 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 5th Aug 2020, which was priced at $272.99.
The 4K Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz display is our current suggestion if you wanted to grab a desktop monitor. With a $829.99 price at the moment it also has a 144Hz refresh rate. We have noticed that this 4K monitor has raised its price by $799 recently. And while it is a good 4K monitor even at this current price, it could probably be found for a bit cheaper. For some extra info about this 4k monitor, during our price tracking we can see the lowest price recorded by us was $797.05, which was on 11th Aug 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..
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.
The gaming mouse with today’s best price to value that would go well with the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its current price is $11.99. Over the past couple of weeks this mouse has dropped its price by $19, giving us extra confidence in matching it with today’s laptop as a good purchase. Another point of reference for this mouse, is that our lowest recorded price for this mouse was on 15th Aug 2020 where it was costing $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|*||Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons||$11.99|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$16.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$44.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$55.99|
A good value gaming headset available at the moment, one that should go well with the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 is, HyperX Cloud Stinger with a price of $47.14. For reference, the lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 on 12th Mar 2020.