Laptop announced date: 1st January 2020
Last reviewed: 20th July 2020
If you are looking for the best priced gaming laptop and was wondering how well the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB 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 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB 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 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Good
Processor - An excellent CPU for running AAA game requirements, especially during the 2021 gaming year. It will be solid for some time to come as well. AAA games often need extra cores to run smoothly and minimise bottleneck. This laptop processor has 6 cores, which is excellent for modern gaming.
Graphics Card - This GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card is a good option for modern 2021 gaming and can run a number of AAA games smoothly. The 8GB that this graphics solution has is excellent for all modern gaming.
System Memory - This laptop’s 16GB of RAM is excellent for 2021 gaming.
Screen Size - The 17.3" panel found in this laptop we would consider an excellent size for modern 2021 AAA games, and the sort of screen size more serious gamers would be looking for.
Refresh Rate - If you want a gaming laptop then aim for a refresh rate that is more than 60Hz. If you don't clearly see the advertised laptops screen refresh rate then assume it is 60Hz. This would mean that the laptop will be capped at 60FPS when running games. The higher the refresh rate and the FPS then the smoother the game plays as it delivers more images a second to your screen and makes movement feel more responsive in game. So refresh rates are pretty important.This laptop has an excellent screen for gaming with its 144Hz refresh rate. But look for a panel that is over 60Hz for a gaming laptop and that should be ok too.
A key choice in any gaming laptop is making sure we identify the right graphics card in the laptop and know what it is capable of in today's gaming landscape. With this laptop we are taking a closer look at how its total laptop value compares to its capability when it comes to running modern demanding games. Also lets take a look at it when running modern popular games like, Grand Theft Auto VI or Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition in ultra graphics settings on its native screen resolution of 1080p. The GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q card that's powering the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, when compared to today’s top 500 most demanding games, can run 491 at min system specs and will run 348 games when comparing to their increased recommended system requirements.
We really want to see how the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 will compare across all permutations of the Alienware M17 R2 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.
This laptop gets a 7.5 for P2P. This version of the Alienware M17 R2 laptop is currently positioned at 3rd 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 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, 144Hz
Dell Alienware M17 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1599.99||26%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1699.99||20%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2069.99||0%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2419.99||12%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2569.99||19%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$3119.99||37%|
Now let's look at where this laptop sits compared to all other laptops, including those outside of the Alienware M17 R2 range. It currently offers 126% worse rating when comparing its price to performance rating against the best laptop available today for price to performance, which is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which currently costs $999.00. Again only comparing against Price to Performance we can see that the second best model in today’s P2P ranking list is the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, and our laptop is 114% worse when compared against this price to performance rating. The price of the 2nd best laptop is listed as $853.00.
To get a good comparison when considering how well this laptop performs in terms of processing power, we will compare it to today’s most powerful CPU focused laptop. This will at least show us what other sorts of processor-centric laptops exist and give us a relative point of laptop processor cost comparison. A suitable comparison laptop that is CPU focused is the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz. This represents one of the laptops for the current cheapest price with the most powerful CPUs in it today. It has the Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz processor tucked inside it which can deliver 53% better performance when compared to our CPU, Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz which is found in this 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.
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 i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz against Grand Theft Auto VI. This CPU performance comparison saw our laptop deliver 3% better performance against the game’s recommended CPU system requirements. Then we have Resident Evil 8 and our laptop was 9% worse in processor performance and another popular title today is Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition which we saw our review laptop get 23% better compared to our laptop cpu.
One of the key hardware aspects in any laptop is certainly the graphics card. Our Alienware M17 R2 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. 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.
Currently 348 games of the top 500 most demanding games today (recommended graphics requirements) can run on the review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q. Or 491 games of the top 500 most demanding for minimum GPU specs can run on it.
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 Resident Evil 8 which currently our GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q is 8% worse next let's see how well it runs against Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition. We can see it is 36% worse. Ok finally lets see it against Grand Theft Auto VI. Here our laptop is 17% worse.
With a 1080p native screen panel our Dell Alienware M17 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 has a 17.3" 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 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 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 panel is available with the following panel refresh rates 60Hz, 144Hz.
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. The 1080p laptop could run games you love at 4K resolution, with a few tweaks to the graphics settings? In this situation you can always plug the gaming laptop you are not on the move, plug the laptop into a 144Hz or better desktop monitor that’s 28inches and comes with a 1440p or 4K resolution to enjoy modern gaming without FPS or size limits.
However, you could be after watching 4K streaming content on your laptop, while on the move. Then perhaps the 17inch laptop screen and 4K resolution is going to net a more enjoyable experience than a 1080p alternative.
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.
If you wanted a desktop monitor to go with the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop then this ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS would go well and has 75Hz and today’s price of $299.00. We like to review tracked prices for our suggested hardware and this 1440p monitor is no different. We spotted its lowest price, recorded on 9th Mar 2021, where it cost $229.99.
Today's best priced 4K gaming monitor comes with a 144Hz refresh rate. It is the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz and is currently priced at $629.99. It's interesting that even though this is a well priced 4K monitor today, our price tracking shows it has gone up in price by $580 during recent weeks. Interestingly we spotted this 4k monitor at its lowest recorded price on 13th Nov 2020, where it was priced up as $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.
Hold that 4K gaming laptop cash for perhaps a more powerful GPU or fancy mouse or headset. That's our usual advice. Otherwise it might be a bit disheartening to pay for a 4K gaming laptop, and then be forced to turn the resolution down on modern games to get them to run smoothly.
We price track a number of good value gaming mice and the one that currently stands out is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, which is currently available for $12.99. Today's best value and good quality mouse has enjoyed a price reduction of $37, and provides another reason for us to suggest it to compliment this laptop. 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|
|**||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 headset that is well priced at the moment and could accompany the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround. Of the headsets we price track, it is one of the best valued headsets today and currently priced at $39.99. The lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $34.99 recorded at 28th Nov 2019.