Laptop announced date: 1st May 2020
Last reviewed: 20th July 2020
Today's review of the gaming Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop explores the performance to value relationship of its hardware components. We will be comparing some of the most demanding games to see some expected frame rates for the Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop and understand the type of price to performance on offer.
Is the Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This processor is excellent, and it meets and runs AAA titles released during 2021 with little problem. This CPU comes with 8 cores, which is excellent providing it extra resource to chew through game processing when required.
Graphics Card - This graphics card, GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile, is excellent for running 2021 AAA titles. The 8GB that this graphics solution has is excellent for all modern gaming.
System Memory - The 32GB of RAM found in this laptop is an excellent quantity to deal with the requirements of 2021 AAA gaming.
Screen Size - This laptop’s 17.3" screen can deliver a good viewable amount of real estate for modern games and in terms of screen size this is a step towards the laptop being an excellent gaming laptop choice. You can of course game on smaller screen laptops, but in game menus could become tricky to see on smaller screens.
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 refresh rate for this laptop is 300Hz which is excellent for gaming. Get a panel with over 60Hz refresh rate would certainly be suitable for gaming.
Getting a good price to performance gaming laptop is what we are all trying to do when looking for our next mobile machine. The key component in this is usually the graphics card. So we will of course be considering this hardware setup and how well it could run modern popular games like Far Cry 6, Battlefield 6 and Battlefield 2042 to help us know if this graphics card and laptop is a good price to performance point. We do this by considering the gaming frame rates achieved at its native 1080p resolution while the games would be running at Ultra video settings. A good way of considering performance of this mobile graphics card is by seeing how many of today's 500 most demanding games can be run at recommended graphics settings by the GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile found in this laptop. We can also then look at the weaker minimum requirement to see how many this laptop card can run of them, and it is 500 games at their min specs and then 493 games can be run at recommended graphics requirements.
During your research for your next laptop, you have probably seen that the laptops reviewed are often the top permutation of the range and even then they were reviewed some time back against games that were released around the time of the review. Today we will be working to provide an up to date value assessment on this Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 hardware performance against today’s games and then consider how it compares to all other laptops and how it sits within its own Alienware M17 R3 range.
This laptop gets a 5.5 for P2P. Here we look at how our version of this Alienware M17 R3 laptop compares against the other laptops in the range. This laptop is currently 14th in this range for hardware value. Laptops closer to the 1st position of the model range represent the better gaming performance bang for your buck.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2666MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 300Hz
Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-10750H RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1829.99||56%|
|i7-10750H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1599.99||53%|
|i7-10750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1799.99||49%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1949.99||49%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2079.99||49%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$1849.99||48%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 4K||$1929.99||42%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2099.99||41%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 4K||$2079.99||37%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 4K||$2179.99||36%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2070 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 4K||$2329.99||32%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$2929.99||11%|
|i7-10750H RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 4K||$3079.99||6%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2||$3329.99||0%|
|i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 4K||$3479.99||4%|
Now how does this laptop match to the top laptop for P2P today? The top laptop for P2P is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and has a price of $999.00. This Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop is currently 197% worse rating when comparing price to performance. Again only comparing against Price to Performance we can see that the second best model in today’s P2P ranking list is the MSI Bravo 15 R7 4800H RX 5500M 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, and our laptop is 159% worse when compared against this price to performance rating. The price of the 2nd best laptop is listed as $1049.00.
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. We have chosen our comparison CPU focused laptop today as the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 (2021) R9 5900HX RTX 3080 8GB Max-Q 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 1080p 165Hz, which comes armed with the Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz laptop CPU. This top tier CPU is currently delivering 32% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz.
A snapshot today of performance for our processor, we can currently see it beating 483 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 500 games.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop CPU performs against today's popular games. Our Core i9-10980HK 8-Core 2.40GHz compared against recommended processor requirements for Far Cry 6 delivers 24% better performance while against Battlefield 6 it’s 24% better and finally compared to Battlefield 2042 it has a performance difference : 25% better.
Wondering how strong this laptop is in the GPU department, then let's have a look at it compared to one of the current best GPU performing laptops available today and this should show us the relative graphics performance of our review model. Lets look at the Dell Alienware M17 R4 (2021) i9-10980HK RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2 1080p 144Hz laptop due to its graphics processing power. The GPU it houses is ideal for comparison benchmarking, because it currently has one of the best laptop graphics solutions, at the cheapest laptop price. Its GPU is the GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile which we compare to the GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile graphics card in our review laptop. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop GPU to be 16% better in performance compared to our laptop’s graphics processing power.
Today’s performance comparison for all games shows our laptop GPU can currently meet or beat 493 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 500 games.
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 GPU GeForce RTX 2080 Super Mobile against Far Cry 6. This video card performance comparison saw our laptop deliver 4% better performance against the game’s recommended GPU system requirements. Then we have Battlefield 6 and our laptop was 27% better in graphics performance and another popular title today is Battlefield 2042 which we saw our review laptop get 27% better compared to our laptop gpu.
This laptop has a 17.3" physical screen size with a native resolution of 1920x1080. So should you instead be thinking of picking up a 4K monitor rather than this Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2’s 1080p panel? We normally see a 60Hz screen refresh rate accompanying most 4K laptop panels. Which means a game would reach a top 60 FPS before it maxed out, even if the laptop’s hardware was powerful enough to deliver frame rates that were better than that. Today’s AAA games are usually too demanding for a 4K resolution anyway. A higher refresh rate is better and this Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 variant is available with 300Hz versions.
Dropping a game’s screen resolution down below the native 4K resolution to 1080p or 1440p, would possibly deliver the much needed FPS for stable modern AAA gaming. Down scaling that native resolution comes at a price, though. As soon as you step away from the native resolution of any monitor/ panel it lowers the clean definition of a game as the physical number of screen pixels don't match those being sent by the game. The game starts to look blurry. The laptop has got 4K capable hardware? Well when 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.
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..
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.
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 $299.00 it should go nicely with this Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 laptop. 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 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. We have noticed that this 4K monitor has raised its price by $588 recently. And while it is a good 4K monitor even at this current price, it could probably be found for a bit cheaper. Helping us to round out our information for this 4k monitor we can see it reached a low price on 13th Nov 2020, we noted the low price at $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.
Save your cash, don't grab a 4K laptop for gaming at the moment. A 1080p is certainly the best top end gaming laptop choice at the moment. There are not many 1440p monitors that we have seen. It could be a disappointing experience if you buy your new 4K laptop, and then for each modern game you pick up be faced with dropping resolution or graphics settings to achieve an ok FPS. Even then we will be seeing a max 60FPS because of the common 60Hz found on the 4K panel.
Of the mice we monitor and price track, today’s top mouse is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons, priced at $12.99. Today's best value and good quality mouse has enjoyed a price reduction of $29, and provides another reason for us to suggest it to compliment this laptop. Further to our mouse information, this mouse had a lowest price recorded by us of $11.99 dated on 15th Aug 2020.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$13.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$43.05|
|***||Razer DeathAdder Elite||$56.99|
A good value gaming headset available at the moment, one that should go well with the Dell Alienware M17 R3 i9-10980HK RTX 2080 Super Mobile 32GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 is, HyperX Cloud Stinger with a price of $47.99. For reference, the lowest price recorded by us so far for the headset is $25.98 on 12th Mar 2020.