Child playing game on laptop

Dell Alienware 17 R5 Laptop Complete Review

When everyone believed Dell Alienware 17 had everything, the R5 came along and took a step beyond. Its new black color scheme is attractive, but an Intel Core i9 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU deliver excellent gaming performance. Alienware is nearly similar to a “gaming PC,” and the company produces many of the most influential and costly laptops.

However, the configuration possibilities for this system scales down effectively, with several reasonably priced middle options. If a less costly Alienware is all you can buy, you can still get this iconic machine’s well built chassis, ample storage, and attractive extras by finding a perfect spot among price and power. As per expert reviews, the Alienware 17 R5 wins honor for its sheer power and luxury features of the high end laptop model and the excellent value offered by the lower end models. Scroll below to read the complete review of Dell Alienware 17 R5, one of the best gaming laptops in the market that easily outperforms the Microsoft Surface Book 2 and the Apple MacBook Pro.

common image of open front facing laptop
Photo source: Amazon.com

Design

The Alienware 17 R5 is an AMD-packed monster. It’s a gorgeous and slightly refreshing black giant with a new coat of paint. The laptop’s all-black aluminum frame creates a severe look that signifies business. It retains the same fundamental design as previous years’ models with sharp angles and a spacecraft theme. Additionally, there are 13 customizable places in the Alienware Command Center. With both screen’s sides, multiple regions on the keypad, and two Alienware logos, there are more RGB lighting regions.

The Alienware 17 R5 is precisely like the old model, measuring 1.18 x 16.7 x 13.1 inches and weighing 9.77 pounds. Due to both weight and size, this gaming laptop is the best replacement for a desktop. However, compared to other 17inch laptops, it’s heavier. Origin EON17: 8.6 pounds, HP Omen 17:8.23 pounds, and Razer Blade Pro: 7.72 pounds. Similar or even heavier laptops are: the Acer Predator 17 (9.4 pounds), and EON17 SLX (12 pounds) . Arguing over the weight of these laptops is foolish because none of them are designed to be moved around frequently.

A large 17.3 inch display comes with size, in addition to thermal headroom for today’s modern powerful PC components. Ultra HD 1920 by 1080 at 60Hz and 4K at 60Hz are available with and without G Sync. Although the screen lacks a little gloss due to the anti glare coating, it reduces bothersome reflections. Nonetheless, the image is clear, with deep blacks and bright colors. Meanwhile, opening the Alienware’s top reveals a keyboard between the power switch and the touchpad. Furthermore, its massive 17.3inch display panel lies above the Tobii eye tracker‘s plastic strip.

side view of open laptop
Photo source: Amazon.com

Eye Tracking And Power Parts

You will appreciate the Tobii eye tracker regardless of the two higher resolution displays. Tobii eye tracker is a face recognition system that lets you control the camera by looking at it. If you like, you may get Tobii with a 1080p screen. You can use Tobii in Windows if the camera doesn’t recognize you. It will dim the display to save power, and you can log in using facial recognition.

The attractiveness of this technology is that it tracks eye movements and selects objects based on the gaze. This intriguing feature enhances the gaming experience by making it more fluid and entertaining. Furthermore, the Tobii eye tracker isn’t just useful for gaming. Users can also utilize it regularly within Windows laptops. The Tobii eye tracker may be used to wake the screen from sleep mode, save electricity, and log in to Windows.

The Alienware 17 R5 has a command center and configuration tool to modify the keyboard backlight, as common in Alienware laptops. Additionally, it can be used to create shortcuts and enhance power saving settings. So far, it’s clear that the Alienware 17 R5 is well designed and packed with exciting features. As a result, it should come as no surprise that it also has some fantastic ports.

disassembled laptop image
Photo source: Amazon.com

The Alienware 17 R5 has two USB Type-A 3.0 ports. One on the right and the other on the left. A USB C port, headphone jack, microphone, and a Noble lock slot are also included in the laptop. The Alienware laptops have a hinge forward design. As a result, most of the laptop’s connectors are located on the back. A mini display port, HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3, and Ethernet are among them. Unlike other rivals, the Dell laptop has one Thunderbolt 3 connector, and four on the MacBook Pro. It also has additional connections.

Meanwhile, the keyboard is among the few things you can’t modify. It’s not mechanical, but with quick and bouncy enough keys, it’s a joy to type on. A row of macro keys, a separate number pad as befitting any 17inch laptop, and configurable backlighting are also included. The trackpad is also fast, and the unusual illumination adds to the whole experience. Even gaming with a headset, the system’s audio can go loud and have more bass than usual.

Processor Performance

There are three processor variants available for the Alienware 17 R5. The laptop is available with an Intel Core i9, Intel Core i8, or Intel Core i7 processor. It’s worth noting that the Alienware 17 R5 is a fantastic multitasking machine. It’s visible in the test, which runs through graphic benchmarks while simultaneously opening many browser tabs.

In light of these considerations, the system’s performance was unaffected by these heavy duty operations. Researchers didn’t detect any stuttering while these many processes were running at the same time. Resultantly, the Alienware 17 R5 is well suited to productive tasks. For example, the Alienware takes 9 and 10 seconds to transcode a 4k movie to 1080p during an editing task.

However, based on previous test results, the Alienware 17 R5 lags behind the ASUS ROG, which completed the identical work in 8 minutes and 15 seconds. The MSI GT75 Titan outperformed the Alienware 17 R5 in the tests. The MSI GT75 Titan finished the same editing assignment in 7 minutes and 41 seconds.

Also, in the CPU stress test performance, mainly the Cinebach 15 test, The Dell Alienware 17 R5 received 2924 points. The result tied with the Acer Predator Helios 500 (having Intel Core i9 8950 HK), which scored 2924 points. The Alienware 17 R5 outperformed the Lenovo Legion Slim 7 with Intel Core i7, achieving 1850 points.

birds eye view of alienware laptop
Photo source: Amazon.com

RAM Performance

Dell included 32 GB of 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM with the Alienware 17 R5. The laptop has two memory slots; each of them can hold up to 32 GB of RAM. This assessment is based upon a single 32 GB RAM module with an empty second slot. Dell Alienware 17 R5 is a multithreading powerhouse. Creators verified this by launching 30 browser tabs, one of which was a YouTube video. Opening 30 Browser tabs at once didn’t influence the laptop’s performance, as it continued to run without lag.

Alienware 17 R5 received 3443 points on the PC Mark 10 test. It is a bad performance compared to HP Omen, which received 5939 points. Similarly, Alienware 17 R5 fell short of the Acer Predator Helios, which scored 5589 points. Additionally, experts give Alienware RAM performance based on this section’s extensive review of the laptop’s memory function. Although having excellent multitasking capabilities, it lags behind competitors in terms of performance.

Storage Options And Performance

The Alienware 17 R5 comes with a 512GB SSD from Dell. It also includes a 1TB storage device HDD in the 2.5inch size factor. The 7200rpm rotational speed of the 1TB HDD is impressive. As a result of the SSD drive, video games load faster on the laptop. Additionally, the laptop provides superior shock and vibration protection and increased speed.

Finally, SSDs don’t produce noise compared to standard HDDs since they lack moving elements. Therefore, it enhances your entire Alienware 17 R5 experience. Experts have set a CrystalDiskMask test benchmark to test the laptops’ storage performance. The Alienware 17 R5 received a 565.5 score in the CrystalDiskMask test. Aorus X9 gets 424 points, whereas Eon 17X receives 565.5 points. Alienware 17 R5 transfers4.97GB of data at a pace of 565.5 MBps in just 9 seconds. The Alienware 17 R5’s storage performance is exceptional.

rear view image of alienware laptop open
Photo source: Amazon.com

Graphics Card Performance

The Alienware 17 R5 laptop has an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 ti max q graphics card with 6 GB of DDR5 RAM. The laptop could also come with an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 or Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 GPU. The frequency of this GPU ranges from 1782 MHz to 1793 MHz.

While gamers on a budget may choose the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 model, the Alienware with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or 1080 offers more excellent resolution. Gamers who desire a higher resolution than 1980 x 1080 should look at the Nvidia GTX 1070 or 1080 versions.

The laptop produced outstanding results on the Alienware 17 R5’s gaming capabilities. For example, the Alienware 17 R5 ran Rise of the Tomb Raider at 68 frames per second at 1080p resolution. Based upon this, it outperformed the MSI GT75 Titan, which ran Rise of the Tomb Raider at 67 frames per second.

Furthermore, Hitman ran at 99 frames per second in 1080p on the Alienware 17 R5. In comparison, the Alienware 17 R5 outperformed the Aorus X9 and the Origin PC Eon17, which both ran the same game at 96 frames per second. So, finally, experts give the Alienware 17 R5 eight points for graphics performance. But, again, it is because it is a gaming laptop that ranks among the best gaming laptops.

partly opened rotated image of laptop
Photo source: Amazon.com

Battery Life

There are two battery options for the Alienware 17 R5. The laptop is available with a 66 Wh or 99 Wh battery. The Alienware 17 R5 performed 3 hours and 47 minutes in a test.

This battery lasts longer than the MSI GT75 Titan, which lasted 2 hours and 54 minutes. It also outperformed the Origin EON17 SLX, which took 1 hour and 52 minutes to complete. As a result, the Alienware 17 R5 receives an eight since its total battery performance outperforms its competitors.

Above mentioned features are among the best laptops for gaming. But many people wonder how to pick the best gaming laptop and what to consider before making a purchase. Don’t worry. It’s all covered below.

Things To Consider In A Gaming Laptop

When purchasing a new gaming laptop, it might be challenging to know where to begin. The display, modular design, battery capacity, and, of course, the hardware that powers it are all things to consider. Because updating a gaming laptop with new technology isn’t always possible, it’s crucial to plan how you’ll utilize it. An excellent initial step is to prioritize the characteristics that are most essential to you.

Display

The correct display makes a big difference in your gaming experience, but there’s more to think about than screen size. For example, more pixels show on the screen when the resolution increases, which might result in a crisper image. A newer laptop may have a 1440p or 4K screen instead of the typical 1080p, but the technology required to run video games at these resolutions will almost certainly increase the price.

Some gaming laptops use an OLED display. An OLED screen uses pixels that create their light instead of depending on a backlight. Resultantly, they attain deeper black levels and more extraordinary contrasts than most laptop panels, typically LED lit liquid crystal displays. The most frequent laptop screen and display options are 13 inch laptops, 15 inch laptops, and 17 inch laptops. Bigger screens in small form factor factors can be made possible by thinner bezels and the boundaries around the screen.

CPU

The CPU, or central processing unit, is your laptop’s “brain.” It transmits signals to other parts of the system and processes the commands supplied by all of your computer’s software. The CPU can influence the frame rates, programs’ response times, and your laptop’s battery life.

The most generally stated CPU characteristics are core count and clock speed. Although there are numerous factors to consider, such as overclocking potential. Experts recommend at least an Intel Core i7 processor for constant video game efficiency while streaming or recording gaming. Higher clock rates and core counts are especially vital if you’re involved in live streaming games. Capturing software frequently demands a lot of computing power to compress video.

GPU

When you play games on a laptop, the GPU produces pixels that make up the visuals on your screen. It’s necessary for smooth frame rates and high resolution gaming, along with the CPU. For example, gameplay at a 4K screen pushes four times the pixel value as standard 1080p.

Make sure the gaming laptop’s GPU and CPU can render the proper screen resolution and additional display at consistent frame rates. To know how well the CPU and GPU will perform, compare them to the requirement specification of the games you want to play. For example, if you have a 144Hz screen, you’ll need a GPU that can constantly achieve 144 frames per second (or greater) to get the most out of it.

Storage

A solid state drive (SSD) beats conventional mechanical drives (HDD) in most areas that affect gameplay. Without any moving parts, SSDs employ a kind of flash memory (NAND) to electronically read blocks of data. HDDs, on either hand, operate moving drive heads to access mechanical platters churned by a motor.

High random read or write rates are a real benefit of SSDs over HDDs. They can swiftly access data stored in multiple locations on the disc. They can also reduce system startup times by loading programs and files quicker than a comparable HDD. SSDs have a longer life than standard HDDs. They don’t have moving parts or processes evenly distributed across memory blocks. External hard drives or SSDs can also provide cost-effective additional storage when onboard storage is restricted.

RAM

RAM or Random Access Memory is a type of memory that stores data momentarily for retrieval by the CPU. It doesn’t store data permanently, and it resets when it loses power, unlike an SSD or HDD. But it does make commonly used data available faster than a storage drive. For internet browsing, lightweight job programs, and older games, 2 to 4GB RAM is sufficient. For most business applications and mid range games, 8GB RAM should be plenty. A minimal system requirement for many recent PC games is 8GB or more RAM.

A laptop with 16GB RAM can run more resource intensive games at higher settings, along with several background apps. 32GB RAM is great for resource-intensive multitasking, such as gaming, content creation, and memory-intensive operations like video editing or rendering.

Final Thoughts

With a stunning display, strong speakers, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, the Alienware 17 R5 is an enormous, beautiful laptop that’s great at playing games. Choose the $3,899 Aorus X9 if you want relatively improved CPU performance. Unfortunately, you’ll have to settle for a 1080p screen. It has a refresh rate of 144Hz and supports G Sync. However, the display is less bright than the Alienware panel.