Laptop announced date: 1st January 2019
Last reviewed: 20th July 2020
Today's gaming laptop review, for the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB 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 M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Good
Processor - A Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz CPU that is housed in this laptop is excellent for modern AAA gaming during 2021. Loaded up with plenty of processor cores, this CPU has 6, which is excellent for AAA gaming that wants extra cores for processing.
Graphics Card - This graphics card, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, is good at running 2021 AAA titles and a good choice for a gamer on the move. Dont underestimate the importance of your GPU VRAM in modern gaming. Fortunately this GPU has 8GB, making it an excellent gamers choice of GPU.
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 - A laptop with a 17.3" screen size, like we find on this laptop, puts it into the excellent category for mobile laptops and top end 2021 gaming. Of course it always needs the hardware to backup this up.
Refresh Rate - I personally wouldnt consider getting a gaming laptop with a screen panel that had a refresh rate of 60Hz. The refresh rate number is the number of times an image can be displayed to the screen by the laptop's own screen. So if I had paid more money for a good graphics card and CPU and RAM then even though the hardware might be able to get 150FPS on Ultra settings in the latest games, the laptop screen would only display 60FPS. The more FPS capable of being displayed to screen the smoother and sharper the response of the game you are playing. An ideal minimum refresh rate amount would be around 144Hz for a great gaming laptop, but you can certainly get some with even higher refresh rates than that. With just 60Hz refresh rate this is ok and passable for gaming, but ideally you are looking for a screen with a higher rate.
One of the most important components to a gamer for this laptop is getting it’s graphics card right. We will be taking a look at the sort of price to performance ratio the laptop hardware has and in particular help us know if how well the graphics card can run Grand Theft Auto VI at 1080p ultra settings. We find a GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q mobile graphics card in this laptop, which is currently capable of playing 491 games, if you consider their minimum graphics system requirements as the playable level to beat. However, today the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q is also capable of running 348 games at their recommended specs, this is when compared to the top 500 most demanding games.
During our research for the next best gaming laptop purchase we decided to compare Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 will compare across all permutations of the Alienware M17 R1 model range. This will give us a good sense of how well it sits in terms of cost to performance within its own lineup, and will better help us decide if this laptop represents good value to us today.
We score the Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 7.7 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. This Alienware M17 R1 configuration is placed at 4th 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 i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2666MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz
Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1579.99||25%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1779.99||15%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1879.99||6%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2079.99||0%|
The best performing laptop for Price to Performance is currently the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop. So if we compare this Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop to that laptop we can see that it performs 118% worse on Price to Performance rating. Out of interest, the top P2P laptop currently has a recorded price of $999.00. Moving to the 2nd position of the P2P ranking list sits the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, where it has a price of $853.00. Our Alienware M17 R1 laptop currently has 106% worse Price to Performance rating against this 2nd best model.
Now we will see if our laptop compares favourably against the top CPU performance focused mobile PC that is currently available. Using the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz laptop for the best CPU laptop performer comparison tests with our laptop. This puts the top end Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz processor from that laptop against our review laptop’s Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz, and this comparison shows that laptop to be 53% better in performance compared to our review laptop.
Today there are 443 games recommended system requirements that are worse than our CPU’s performance capability, this is when we look at the top 500 most demanding games right now. This figure becomes 499 games, when we look at the 500 demanding games for minimum processor system requirements.
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 Battlefield 6 which shows our laptop CPU has 12% better performance than it. How about Resident Evil 8, where we see our CPU is 9% worse. Then there is 3% better performance when compared against today’s most popular title, Grand Theft Auto VI.
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 Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz 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 3080 16GB Mobile to compare against our GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q card. The top end laptop’s GPU currently delivers 59% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q.
The GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q Graphics Card found in this machine can currently run 348 games of the top 500 most demanding games right now. This is basically how many recommended game system requirements our laptop GPU beats in performance today, but we will update this figure as new games come out. This is 491 games when looking at beating minimum system requirements.
When compared to the most popular games around today, against their recommended graphics requirements, our laptop graphics card performs as follows - Grand Theft Auto VI our laptop video card is 17% worse and then looking at Battlefield 6 our laptop GPU is 8% worse and finally compared to Resident Evil 8 it has a performance difference : 8% worse.
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 32GB 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. With 60Hz being the usual screen refresh rate on 4K laptop panels this would cap a game to run at no more than 60 frames per second, even if the 4K laptop hardware could deliver more. And then most AAA games require more powerful hardware than a laptop houses to play stable 4K Ultra graphics setting games, even at a passable but, some would consider, a bit low, 60FPS. With higher the better refresh rates for your laptop monitor, this particular Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is available in 60Hz variety.
Drop the 4K screen resolution on your AAA games to 1080p to increase the games frame rate to something more playable, and in doing so will make a game look blurry as it wouldn't be displayed in the 4K laptop’s native resolution. And so is there a point in getting a 4K screen laptop at the moment? 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 priced 1440p gaming monitor, to work nicely with our Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2, would be the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS, which is priced at $307.73 and has a refresh rate of 75Hz. 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 9th Mar 2021, which was priced at $229.99.
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 $629.99 and also has a 144Hz refresh rate. During these past 2 weeks, this 4K monitor’s price has gone up by $580. Our 4k monitor price tracker recorded and marked its lowest price on 13th Nov 2020, it reached the lower price of $549.99.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
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.
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.
If you are looking for a good value mouse to go with your Dell Alienware M17 R1 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop, then the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons is our favourite today, of those we are price tracking. Currently it’s priced at $12.99. Another interesting point about this mouse is that as we price track it we can see it has dropped in price by $37 during these past two weeks. Another point of interest was that we saw this mouse priced at $11.99, which we tracked on 15th Aug 2020.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$15.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$49.22|
|***||Razer DeathAdder Elite||$59.99|
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 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 is, Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround with a price of $39.99. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 where we saw it for $34.99.