Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 review, including today's price to performance
Laptop product code: Alienware M17 R2
Laptop announced date: 1st January 2020
Last reviewed: 10th August 2021
Gaming laptops are often expensive when compared to similar specced desktops. So today’s Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop review will be focusing on helping us demystify it’s performance capability in relation to its price. We will take a look at some of the latest demanding games to see the types of FPS returns we could expect to see for this mobile gaming price point.
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Good
Processor - A Core i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz CPU that is housed in this laptop is excellent for modern AAA gaming during 2023. With 8 of CPU cores available, this processor doesn’t have to worry too much about gaming processes bottlenecking as few games will be able to use all of these cores completely
Graphics Card - This laptop comes with a good choice of graphics card capable of running lots of 2023 AAA games. This GPU comes with 8GB, which is excellent and plenty powerful to meet the VRAM requirements of modern games.
System Memory - This laptop’s 16GB of RAM is excellent for 2023 gaming.
Screen Size - This laptop panel is an excellent 2023 size at 17.3". This will certainly help gamers see in game details and text. You can game on smaller physical screens, but once you get to this sort of screen size its a nicer experience, while still providing mobile gaming.
Refresh Rate - If you want your gaming laptop to push past 60FPS, then make sure your laptop display panel has a higher refresh rate than 60Hz. Not all laptop manufacturers clearly state the screen refresh rate. If it is not clear, assume it is 60Hz. The laptop only turn out FPS (frames per second) as high as its screens refresh rate. 60hz refresh rate gets a max of 60FPS in all games, regardless of the hardware’s power in your laptop. This laptop can be picked up with a refresh rate of 144Hz option. It is an excellent gamers choice for screen refresh rates.
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop
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. The GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q in this machine is currently capable of running 490 games at minimum system requirements of the 500 most demanding games available today. Where as it is capable of running 300 games of the top 500 most demanding recommended system requirements.
Grand Theft Auto VI FPS Low to Ultra 1080p Graphics Settings Results GraphPremium Feature
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Comparing Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 to today’s best price to performance laptop ranges
Have you been looking for the best gaming laptop for your buck? Well you have probably encountered what we have, which is that, only certain laptops are normally reviewed and even then the review is often using games that are now getting out of date. So we decided to factor in all permutations of the Alienware M17 R2 model range and compare them against the price adjustments those hardware variations incur when you change a GPU, for example. And so we have created this Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop price to performance review with a P2P rating to help standardise our comparisons.
We review performance and allocate a P2P rating out of 10 that will adjust over time as the prices for hardware adjust. This laptop is currently given a 6.8 for P2P. There look to be a number of Alienware M17 R2 versions of this laptop and currently this hardware configuration sits at 4th 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 i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
17.3 " 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 60Hz, 144Hz
Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H 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||40%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1699.99||34%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2069.99||12%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2419.99||0%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2569.99||6%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$3119.99||23%|
Looking outside of this range lets us compare the Price to Performance rating of the very best laptops we have listed. Today's top laptop model for P2P is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and the price we have for it is $999. Our Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop’s price to performance is 152% worse when comparing it with the top laptop, purely on a performance for money basis, and as we know lots of things go into our decision when choosing the right laptop for us. Another great model is the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which we have priced at $1049. Our Alienware M17 R2 laptop is 120% worse on Price to Performance.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
If you are wondering if this laptop is relatively well endowed in the CPU department then let's take a look at how it stacks up against the current best priced CPU focused laptop available today, to see its relative performance. Using the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop for the best CPU laptop performer comparison tests with our laptop. This puts the top end Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz processor from that laptop against our review laptop’s Core i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz, and this comparison shows that laptop to be 24% better in performance compared to our review laptop.
Our laptop processor, the Core i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz, can currently meet the recommended system requirements of 464 games when compared against the top 500 most demanding games right now. This number changes to 500 for the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop CPU performs against today's popular games. Our Core i9-9880H 8-Core 2.3GHz compared against recommended processor requirements for Grand Theft Auto VI delivers 16% better performance while against Star Citizen it’s 16% better and finally compared to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) it has a performance difference : 16% better.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB 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. A good laptop to compare against, that is GPU focused, would be the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K. 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 2080 Super 8GB graphics card slotted inside it, which can deliver 53% better performance when compared to our GPU, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q from our review laptop.
A snapshot today of performance for our Graphics Card, we can currently see it beating 300 of the 500 most demanding games available right now. This is considering their recommended system requirements. For a the top 500 Minimum system specs this is 490 games.
When compared to the recommended graphics requirements of the most popular games today, like Grand Theft Auto VI our laptop GPU is 15% worse in performance. Compared to Star Citizen our laptop graphics performance is 36% better.
The Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB 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 M17 R2 i9-9880H 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. Screen refresh rate on a 4K panel laptop will normally be 60Hz and this will cap out any game’s Frames Per Second at 60 even if it’s hardware could deliver more FPS. Along with that upset most AAA games would struggle to reach that 60 FPS at 4K Ultra graphics settings on most laptop hardware today. With higher the better refresh rates for your laptop monitor, this particular Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop is available in 60Hz, 144Hz variety.
Dropping a game’s resolution down from the laptop’s native 4K resolution to a more sustainable 1080p or maybe 1440p, would certainly deliver extra frames and improve stability. So there is always that option if the experience is unplayable due to low frame rates. But know that this action comes at a price. Dropping from a monitor or laptop panel’s native resolution immediately reduces in-game visual definition across all the game’s graphics. It basically makes the game look blurry. Not an ideal situation if you just bought your new 4K gaming 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.
The primary use we can think of is for streaming 4K movie and TV content, assuming you have access to these services. If this is your primary use for the laptop, rather than gaming then it certainly might be worth considering this.
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 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 M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop. 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 4K desktop monitor for a laptop is - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz
Here is a 4K monitor to compliment any laptop - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz. We watch a handful and it is currently the best priced at $618. It has a 144Hz refresh rate as well. 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 $618, so perhaps it can be found a little cheaper elsewhere at the moment 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]
4K streaming could be a viable reason to consider 4K over 1080p laptop panels.
Perhaps in the future the 4K gaming laptop would make sense but for now certainly move forward on the 1080p laptop over the 4K options. This way your new laptop remains, well mobile and built for purpose. Picking up a 4K laptop for gaming should be a great choice but at the moment you would sadly be turning down the display quality by dropping resolution or game settings to get the game to deliver more FPS, and even then the 4K panel will likely be capped at 60FPS due to the hertz refresh rate it often comes with.
Today's Best Priced Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop
Incidentally our price track research shows us that a good gaming mouse is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its price tag today is $12.99 and is topping our price tracking charts as a best value mouse. Over the past couple of weeks this mouse has dropped its price by $32.26, giving us extra confidence in matching it with today’s laptop as a good purchase. To give some extra insight into this mouse, we had it price tracked on 15th Aug 2020, where it was at its lowest price of $11.99.
|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|
Of our price tracked headsets, the gaming headset that catches our eye today, to go well with the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround. Today this headset is priced at $36.99. For reference, our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 28th Nov 2019 and it was priced at $34.99.