Alienware 15 R3 Notebook Review
The aliens are back. We did not have the chance to review the first edition of the Alienware 15 R3 (Skylake + Pascal), but we can finally have a look at the promising gaming notebook with the Kaby Lake update. How does the 15-inch system hold up against the competition?
For the original German review, see here.
Alienware's parent company Dell offers a configurator for the Alienware 15 R3, but you cannot combine every hardware component. The German shop currently lists four base models based on Kaby Lake priced between 1649 and 2459 Euros (~$1748 and ~$2607), but you can easily increase the prices with upgrades.
There are some basic components for every model. The processor is a powerful Intel quad-core, either with (i7-7700HQ) or without Hyper-Threading (i5-7300HQ). The amount of DDR4-RAM is from 8 up to 32 GB (2400 or 2666 MHz), whereas the storage solution consists of a conventional HDD or a combination of SSD and hard drive. Dell uses a Full HD panel, which is, depending on the refresh rate (60 or 120 Hz), based on the IPS or TN technology. Both models support G-Sync.
Dell also includes a high-end GPU from Nvidia's Pascal generation. While the GeForce GTX 1060 is equipped with 6 GB GDDR5-VRAM, the GeForce GTX 1070 comes with 8 GB GDDR5. The current high-end model GeForce GTX 1080 is reserved for the 17-inch sibling Alienware 17 R4, which can also be equipped with an AMD GPU (R9 470).
But back to the 15-inch model. Wireless communications are handled by the Killer chips 1435 or 1535, and the latter is a free upgrade (as of February 2017). The same applies for the switch from the German to the English keyboard layout. You will have to pay more for an upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro. The other options are limited to the warranty and the software (Office, security).
Our test model represents the high-end configuration for 2459 Euros (~$2607).