Alienware M17 R3 (2020) | TechRadar
The newly revised Alienware M17 R3 has the newest in every part – CPUs from Intel, GPUs from Nvidia, a 300Hz show – mainly, all the good things.
On the skin, it’s Alienware’s now acquainted ‘Legend’ design, which additionally occurs to be not solely Alienware’s greatest wanting collection of gaming portables, but in addition its slimmest. For 2020, a couple of particulars have modified, together with a brand new stain and smear-resistant coating for the chassis and a keyboard with elevated 1.7mm journey.
It’s on the within, nevertheless, the place Alienware has labored hardest to up the gaming ante. Alienware has put extra effort into improved warmth dissipation for 2020 than any earlier laptop computer collection. Highlights embrace re-engineered ‘cryotech’ cooling with 39 per cent extra copper, a model vapor chamber answer for the CPU and 25 per cent extra fan blades for each CPU and GPU.
Lengthy story brief, all that effort with cooling on this comparatively slim 17-inch chassis pays dividends. Fitted with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Tremendous Max-P, the Alienware M17 cranks out related numbers in probably the most demanding video games to its smaller 15-inch M15 brother, when the latter is powered by the RTX 2080 Tremendous Max-Q.
That’s as a result of the superior cooling permits for higher clockspeeds. The 2070 Tremendous within the M17 boosts to 1,380MHz the place the 2080 Tremendous Max-Q within the M15 tops out at 1,230MHz. The hole in reminiscence clocks is even larger. There the M17 rocks 1,750MHz graphics reminiscence to the M15’s 1,375MHz. Collectively, these frequency benefits make up for the truth that the 2070 Tremendous makes do with 2,560 CUDA cores the the 2080’s 3,072.
Anywho, the graphics efficiency is a superb match for the M17 as specified right here. Particularly, meaning a 1080p show with an epic 300Hz refresh fee. OK, you’re not going to hit 300fps within the newest and most graphically demanding titles, as our benchmarks exhibit. However this laptop computer will completely excel in esports video games like CS: Go.
Sadly, whereas the display screen is quick, it’s not terribly spectacular in different regards. Brightness, distinction, colours; they’re all somewhat disappointing. It’s not a nasty panel. However it’s a weak level and disappointing given the value. There’s a a lot brighter (on paper) 4K possibility. However we’d want to see a 1440p (2,560 by 1,440 pixels) possibility. That will be a greater match with the real-world efficiency from at present’s cell graphics chips.
Elsewhere, you get a quick 512GB M.2 SSD, 32GB of RAM (observe that the reminiscence is soldered and never upgradable) and Intel’s high eight-core cell CPU. All very spectacular, bar battery life which is even worse than we anticipated, however at least you’d hope for given the value. Add all of it up and the revised Alienware M17 R3 for 2020 is admittedly simply an improved show and perhaps a couple of extra hours of battery life away from greatness.
Right here is the Alienware M17 R3 (2020) configuration despatched to TechRadar for overview:
CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i9-10980HK (eight cores, 16MB cache, as much as 5.3GHz Turbo)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Tremendous
Display screen: 17-inch 1080p IPS, 300Hz
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Optical drive: N/A
Ports: 3x USB-A 3.1, USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, MiniDisplayPort, MicroSD, ethernet
Connectivity: Wifi6 AX, Bluetooth 5
Digital camera: HD Webcam
Weight: 6.55lbs (2.97kgs)
Measurement: 15.74 x 11.59 x 0.866 inches (399.Eight x 294.Three x 22 mm; W x D x H)
Worth and availability
Pricing for the revised Alienware M17 for 2020 kicks off at $1,600 / £1,849 (round AU$2,200), which is surprisingly inexpensive for Alienware’s flagship 17-inch moveable gaming machine. However that’s outfitted with a weedy AMD Radeon RX 5500M GPU with restricted gaming grunt. As configured for overview and a lot better specified for critical enjoyable, you’re taking a look at a far heftier $3,299 / £2,999 (round AU$5,750).
In your cash you get some fairly alternative elements, together with Intel’s best eight-core cell CPU, a 512GB M.2 SSD and a 300Hz 1080p show. The graphics subsystem is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Tremendous, which isn’t fairly one of the best presently out there. Nonetheless, due to the M17 giant kind issue and improved cooling, you get graphics efficiency on a couple of par with a 2080 Tremendous Max-Q. That mentioned, you may get the M17 with the 2080 Tremendous Max-P. Should you’re spending $3,000 / £3,000-plus already, it’s possible you’ll as nicely go all the best way to the 2080.
In fact, you may get related elements for much less cash in laptops from manufacturers like Gigabyte and MSI. However not with the identical high quality of construct and design. The newest M17 is a good looking machine with a premium really feel that earlier Alienware rigs have arguably lacked.
Alienware’s newest ‘Legend’ design aesthetic debuted early final yr within the monumental Space-51M 17-inch beast. It’s since filtered right down to the comparatively thinner and lighter M15 and M17 fashions.
For 2020, it’s been given a really gentle makeover. At a look, the Alienware M17 R3 for 2020 seems to be close to equivalent to the 2019 mannequin.
Nonetheless, on nearer inspection you’ll discover the soft-touch chassis end has been outmoded by a harder-wearing coating that Alienware says is extra proof against marks and stains.
The keyboard additionally advantages from an extended 1.7mm journey, although the mattress of the M17’s keyboard isn’t fairly as agency as we wish. There’s somewhat bounce from which the smaller M15 doesn’t undergo. Nonetheless, the per-key RGB lighting will preserve you busy, should you like that sort of factor.
Different detailed enhancements embrace upgraded audio system. The four-way (two woofers and two tweeters) audio system are claimed to ship a 2.5x bass and 2x treble enchancment over the M17 R2, plus 30% extra loudness over the complete audio vary.
The general bodily proportions of the M17 stay largely the identical. It ranges from 2.5 to 2.97kg relying on specification and clocks in at 22mm or 0.86 inches. So, it’s fairly slim for an out-and-out 17-inch gaming beast. However not one thing you’d wish to lug about, particularly given the heft of the ability provide.
Nonetheless, it’s actually on the within the place the massive modifications have been made to the M17. The ‘Cryotech’ cooling system is closely revised. Alienware reckons the warmth sinks and pipes now comprise 39% extra copper than earlier than, which the variety of fan blades have elevated by 25%.
What’s extra, the CPU now has a vapour chamber answer for even higher warmth dissipation. That’s welcome if not essential provided that cooling Intel’s 14nm CPUs has grow to be an rising drawback for all laptop computer makers.
Elsewhere, our M17 overview unit was specified for prime velocity gaming courtesy of a 300Hz 1080p show. There’s a 4K possibility, however that decision stays arguably too demanding for cell graphics chips. A 1440p or 2,560 by 1,440 pixel possibility can be good, however sadly stays uncommon in moveable PCs.
Ports-wise, you get three high-speed USB-A sockets, one USB-C with Thunderbolt Three assist, HDMI, ethernet and MicroSD.
All of your bases are subsequently just about lined and our solely criticism is the Mini relatively than full DisplayPort socket. Given the scale of the chassis, a full-sized port would match simply high-quality and minimise the possibilities of cable-related frustration.
This is how the Alienware M17 R3 (2020) carried out in our suite of benchmark assessments:
3DMark: Evening Raid: 49,203; Hearth Strike: 19,864; Time Spy: 8,707
Cinebench R20 Multi-core: 4,033 factors
GeekBench 5: 1,331 (single-core); 7,993 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Dwelling Take a look at): 6,650 factors
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Battery Life (techradar film take a look at): 2 hours and 37 minutes
Whole Struggle: Three Kingdoms (1080p, Extremely): 67 fps; (1080p, Low): 223 fps
Metro Exodus (1080p, Extremely): 65 fps; (1080p, Low): 175 fps
The true-world advantages of the improved cooling of the M17 are clear sufficient in our benchmark numbers. Relating to in-game efficiency, this Nvidia GeForce RTX 2020 Tremendous-powered laptop computer delivers very related body charges to its M15 cousin with a 2080 Tremendous Max-Q. That’s due to the upper GPU core and notably reminiscence clockspeeds the big and extra warmth environment friendly chassis can maintain.
Usually, the 2070 Tremendous on this implementation has loads of efficiency in even probably the most demanding video games, like Metro Exodus and Whole Struggle: Three Kingdoms. Even on the very highest picture settings, you’re getting over 60fps common at 1080p.
It makes for a superb match with the 300Hz 17-inch show, which is after all 1080p native. Most esports titles will completely fly on this laptop computer and really feel insanely responsive due to ample GPU energy and that loopy excessive refresh fee. The one pity is that the LCD panel is fairly dingy.
It’s rated at 300nits, which is pretty pedestrian, subjectively doesn’t even really feel that vibrant. The colours additionally lack vibrancy and the distinction is nothing particular, both. On this age of near-ubiquitous HDR assist, the M17’s display screen feels very old skool SDR.
Elsewhere, the M17’s efficiency is difficult to fault. The eight-core Intel chip is all of the CPU you’ll ever want for gaming and – critically – doesn’t throttle beneath heavy hundreds, whereas the M.2 SSD ensures totally modern storage efficiency, even when 512GB isn’t sufficient for a very first rate recreation library.
There’s area inside for one more M.2 drive, nevertheless, together with Thunderbolt Three connectivity to exterior drives. So you will have loads of choices for including area for a very big library whereas sustaining first rate efficiency.
Our expectations for mains-free operation had been fairly modest given the gaming remit and 17-inch kind issue.
The Alienware M17 nonetheless managed to undershoot them with simply over two and a half hours of undemanding video playback with the display screen set to half of its underwhelming peak brightness.
No one wise buys this type of system assuming nice battery life. However you’d be justifying in anticipating a bit higher than a few hours.
Purchase it if…
You search an out-and-out gaming-optimised laptop computer PC
The Alienware M17 has been designed from the bottom up for gaming. That brings sure compromises, however it additionally means you get the fitting elements in an incredible chassis.
Your gaming bag entails excessive body charges and quick responses
As configured, the Alienware M17 completely delivers due to its highly effective CPU-GPU combo hooked as much as a 300Hz show.
You worth slick design and a premium really feel
Alienware’s newest Legend design aesthetic is its greatest but. Revised for 2020, it’s somewhat extra sturdy than earlier than and nonetheless seems to be nice with polished particulars and loads of RGB lighting.
Do not buy it if…
You wish to maximise your bang for buck
The Alienware M17 is a superb laptop computer. However you may get the identical or very related elements for much less cash in different laptops. You’re paying a big premium for construct, design and branding.
You’re a stickler for picture high quality
The Alienware M17’s 300Hz display screen is undoubtedly responsive. But it surely’s additionally not terribly vibrant or punchy. In an age of eye-popping HDR panels, that’s a bit disappointing.
You care even tangentially about battery life
The M17’s is pitiful. Given many films now run to a few hours, you won’t even make it by means of a single function movie earlier than the battery conks out.