Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB 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
If you adjust the spec you are looking at on a gaming laptop, the price hikes up and makes it harder to judge price to performance. Today's Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop review is going to give us all a good sense of these sorts of values. We will take a look at what sort of performance you can expect the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop to return across the more demanding games of today.
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Gaming Laptop Analysis
Is the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Good
Processor - This processor is excellent, and it meets and runs AAA titles released during 2021 with little problem. The processor in this laptop has 8 cores, which makes it excellent for modern gamers, minimising the risk of throttling game processes due to a lack of available cores.
Graphics Card - The graphics card we find in this laptop is a good option for modern AAA game releases in 2021. 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 16GB of RAM is excellent for 2021 gaming.
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 - 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. And so considering that, this laptop is available with up to 144Hz as its refresh rate. This high refresh rate would be an excellent choice in a gamers laptop, but anything over 60Hz would be suitable.
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card gaming performance in the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB 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, God of War 2018 and Forza Horizon 5. 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 Max-Q found in this laptop to today’s top 500 most demanding games. Of those games, this laptops GPU can run 491 at their minimum system requirements and then 321 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 M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB 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 1.0TB 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 6.3 for P2P. With a number of Alienware M17 R2 laptops in the model lineup this particular variant places at the 5th position for Price to Performance value. Laptops closer to the top place (1st) are value gaming laptop options that deliver the best performance for the laptop price.
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 1.0TB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1599.99||49%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1699.99||43%|
|i7-9750H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2069.99||19%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 512GB M.2||$2419.99||6%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2569.99||0%|
|i9-9880H RTX 2080 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$3119.99||16%|
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 1.0TB M.2 laptop’s price to performance is 168% 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. Right, now let's look at one more of the top placed Price to Performance models today. Comparing our Alienware M17 R2 laptop against the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 shows us that our laptop gets 134% worse rating against it for price to performance. The other laptop does currently have a listed price of $1049 to consider.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop compare to the best CPU performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
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. 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.
Interestingly we can see 471 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 500 games are worse than our cpu performance, again looking at the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
Recommended processor requirements for modern games increase all the time, so we thought we would compare the performance of our laptop CPU to some popular games of today. First off there is God of War 2018 and our laptop CPU delivers 36% better performance compared to that game’s requirement. Next we have Forza Horizon 5 in which we see our laptop processor has 38% better performance compared to the game's CPU specs. And then there is 16% better performance when we put our laptop cpu against Far Cry 6 recommended specs.
How does the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop compare to the best graphics card performance focused laptops and today’s most popular games?
Graphics power is a primary laptop hardware area for consideration and so let's check our Alienware M17 R2 by comparing it against a top GPU focused laptop thats available today. Today’s MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 Super 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K 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 2080 Super 8GB to compare against our GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q card. The top end laptop’s GPU currently delivers 53% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop GPU can currently meet or beat 321 game’s recommended system requirements when we put the 500 most demanding games into a list. With a list of 500 Minimum system specs put ina similar most demanding order this changes to it being able to run 491 games.
How about we compare our laptop graphics performance against Forza Horizon 5 recommended graphics requirement? Our laptop gets 8% 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 16% worse performance. We also see the 20% better performance from our laptop gpu when looking at the game God of War 2018 for it’s graphics requirements.
The Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 has a 1080p screen resolution, should I get a 4K resolution gaming laptop instead?
The Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 has a physical 17.3" screen size and a fixed number of pixels in that screen of 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall, or 1080p resolution. So is it ok to go for a 1080p laptop like this one or should I be considering a 4K screen resolution laptop instead of this? 4K laptops would likely come with a 60 FPS cap on games, set by the laptop screen’s 60Hz refresh rate. So regardless of what the hardware is capable of in the 4K laptop they couldn't push their FPS beyond that screen refresh rate. Now AAA games today when played at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution likely don't have hardware capable of 60 FPS anyway. With higher the better refresh rates for your laptop monitor, this particular Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop is available in 60Hz, 144Hz 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? And if your laptop does have the power to run some of the modern games in 4K Ultra, you are likely to want to enjoy them on a larger than 17inch laptop panel. So at a later point perhaps buy a dedicated monitor for your desk that isnt 60Hz restricted, for those games, thus keeping your laptop for mobility.
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.
As you can probably gather from the information above, its probably not worth the extra cash for a 4K laptop if gaming is your Laptop purpose. 1080p is likely plenty and has enough alternative gaming options for when you want better resolution. It feels like you might not get what you were after if you picked up a shiny new 4K laptop, then was needing to lower game resolution, while getting blurry in-game experience and achieving a max 60FPS when you could push the hardware into better frame rates.
Today’s best 1440p desktop monitor for a laptop is - ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS
The 1440p gaming monitor that has a great price today and should be a nice accompaniment to the Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS. Its current price is $311.99 and it has a 75Hz refresh rate. We have seen this desktop 1440p monitor recorded at a low price on 9th Mar 2021, where we saw it was costing $229.99.
Today’s best 4K desktop monitor for a laptop is - Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz
Perhaps you could grab something like the Asus Predator XB273K 27 inch 4K GSYNC IPS 1ms 144Hz 4K gaming monitor we have spotted today. It is our current best priced 4K monitor at $618 with a 144Hz refresh rate. This 4K monitor, during these past couple of weeks, has increased its price by $618. It’s still a solid purchase to accompany this laptop but it means you may find it for even cheaper at the moment, if you look around. 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]
So why would you get a 4K capable laptop? If you enjoy movies or Netflix at 4K and have access to 4K content via those types of services then perhaps the quality of 4K resolution on a 17inch panel would be a great experience, but we still think you wouldn't miss that 4K.
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 Mouse and Headset for Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop
Of our regular price tracked gaming mice the best value mouse today is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. With its a current price of $12.99 it should work well with this Dell Alienware M17 R2 i9-9880H RTX 2070 Max-Q 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop. This mouse has also dropped its price by $32.26 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with this laptop. 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|
|**||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|
Incidentally our price track research shows us that a good gaming headset is the Corsair HS45-7.1 Surround. Its price tag today is $36.99 and is topping our price tracking charts as a best value headset. For reference, the lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $34.99 on 28th Nov 2019.