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Alienware m15 R4 gaming laptop in review: Lots of power, short battery life

140-watt TGP. Dell equips the Alienware m15 with Nvidia's new RTX 3000 GPUs in the R4 version. In our test configuration, the GeForce RTX 3070 shows what it can do at maximum TGP. The performance that can otherwise be found in this laptop will be revealed in our review.
Mike Wobker, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 ...
Alienware m15 R4

Since the Alienware m15 R4 only differs from its predecessor, the m15 R3, in terms of hardware, we will only discuss the new features in the following review. Therefore, you can read about the common features in the review of the Alienware m15 R3.

In our test configuration, the m15 R4 faces our chosen competition with an Intel Core i9-10980HK and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile. However, other laptops from our database can be added for comparison under each section.

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Alienware m15 R4 (m15 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i9-10980HK 8 x 2.4 - 5.3 GHz, Comet Lake-H
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU - 8192 MB, Core: 1620 MHz, Memory: 1750 MHz, 140 W TDP, NVIDIA 457.65
Memory
32768 MB 
, dual-channel
Display
15.60 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, LG Philips LGD066E, IPS, glossy: no, 300 Hz
Mainboard
Intel HM470
Storage
Micron 2300 1TB MTFDHBA1T0TDV, 1024 GB 
, 880 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Comet Lake PCH-H - cAVS
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combined audio jack, Card Reader: microSD
Networking
Intel/Killer E3100X 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10MBit/s), Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650w (ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 20 x 360 x 276 ( = 0.79 x 14.17 x 10.87 in)
Battery
86 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 0.9MP, 16:9 (1280x720)
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Alienware Command Center, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.3 kg ( = 81.13 oz / 5.07 pounds), Power Supply: 810 g ( = 28.57 oz / 1.79 pounds)
Price
2,500 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Possible contenders in comparison

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
85 %
04/2021
Alienware m15 R4
i9-10980HK, GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
2.3 kg20 mm15.60"1920x1080
85 %
07/2020
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
i7-10750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile
2.3 kg19.9 mm15.60"1920x1080
85 %
03/2021
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
i7-10750H, GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
2.9 kg26 mm17.30"1920x1080
84 %
07/2020
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
i9-10980HK, GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile
2.4 kg24.9 mm15.60"1920x1080

Case - Gaming laptop with strong design

Detailed descriptions of the case and the available ports can be found in the review of the Alienware m15 R3.

Size comparison

397 mm / 15.6 inch 284 mm / 11.2 inch 26 mm / 1.024 inch 2.9 kg6.39 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 275 mm / 10.8 inch 24.9 mm / 0.98 inch 2.4 kg5.21 lbs360.3 mm / 14.2 inch 276 mm / 10.9 inch 19.9 mm / 0.783 inch 2.3 kg5 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 276 mm / 10.9 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2.3 kg5.07 lbs
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Connectivity - Thunderbolt and fast WLAN in the m15 R4

Left side: Noble Lock, Gigabit LAN, 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen. 1, combined audio jack
Left side: Noble Lock, Gigabit LAN, 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen. 1, combined audio jack
Right side: microSD card reader, 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen. 1
Right side: microSD card reader, 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen. 1
Back side: HDMI 2.0b, Mini DisplayPort 1.3, 1x Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C charging functionality, Alienware Graphics Amplifier port, power supply
Back side: HDMI 2.0b, Mini DisplayPort 1.3, 1x Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C charging functionality, Alienware Graphics Amplifier port, power supply

SD card reader

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Alienware m15 R4
  (AV PRO microSD 128 GB V60)
190 MB/s ∼100%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
189.3 MB/s ∼100% 0%
Average of class Gaming
  (18 - 222, n=94, last 2 years)
113 MB/s ∼59% -41%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Alienware m15 R4
  (AV PRO microSD 128 GB V60)
237 MB/s ∼100%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
225 MB/s ∼95% -5%
Average of class Gaming
  (20.5 - 257, n=94, last 2 years)
127 MB/s ∼54% -46%

Communication

In combination with our Netgear Nighthawk AX12 reference router, the m15 R4 reaches 1,720 Mb/s for receiving data and 1,540 Mb/s for sending data. As a result, the Killer WLAN module used here achieves even better speeds than was already the case in the Alienware m15 R3. Besides Wi-Fi 6, the m15 R4 also supports Bluetooth 5.1.

Networking
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650w
1540 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1310 MBit/s ∼85% -15%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650w
1202 (1013min - 1346max) MBit/s ∼78% -22%
Average Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650w
  (597 - 1550, n=7)
1156 MBit/s ∼75% -25%
Average of class Gaming
  (294 - 1645, n=163, last 2 years)
1062 MBit/s ∼69% -31%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1057 (522min - 1214max) MBit/s ∼69% -31%
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650w
1720 MBit/s ∼100%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650w
1375 (1240min - 1425max) MBit/s ∼80% -20%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1270 MBit/s ∼74% -26%
Average Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650w
  (633 - 1720, n=7)
1267 MBit/s ∼74% -26%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1238 (1020min - 1354max) MBit/s ∼72% -28%
Average of class Gaming
  (140 - 1743, n=163, last 2 years)
1128 MBit/s ∼66% -34%

Webcam

The 0.9 MP webcam used here delivers the same mediocre image quality that is currently common in most modern laptops.

ColorChecker
12.2 ∆E
16.5 ∆E
19.3 ∆E
11.3 ∆E
17.8 ∆E
17.9 ∆E
9.3 ∆E
21.6 ∆E
11.5 ∆E
7.6 ∆E
15.8 ∆E
8.9 ∆E
16.4 ∆E
16 ∆E
13.9 ∆E
7.7 ∆E
13.5 ∆E
20.5 ∆E
2.3 ∆E
12.2 ∆E
16.9 ∆E
10.6 ∆E
5.2 ∆E
8.6 ∆E
ColorChecker Alienware m15 R4: 13.06 ∆E min: 2.33 - max: 21.58 ∆E

Accessories

The m15 R4 comes with the laptop itself and a 240-watt power adapter. However, Dell offers numerous other accessories with the Alienware branding on its own website.

Maintenance

The bottom of the m15 R4 can be opened relatively easily. A total of three M.2 slots for SSDs become accessible here. However, the WLAN module and RAM can't be replaced.

Alienware m15 R4 - Maintenance options
Alienware m15 R4 - Maintenance options

Warranty

Dell grants buyers of the Alienware m15 R4 a warranty period of 12 months. This can be extended up to four years for a fee.

Input devices - Different backlighting options

A detailed description of the input devices can be found in the review of the Alienware m15 R3. Besides the four-zone backlighting presented there, the m15 R4 is also available with single-key backlighting.

Alienware m15 R4 - Input devices
Alienware m15 R4 - Input devices
Alienware m15 R4 - Backlight
Alienware m15 R4 - Backlight

Display - Alienware m15 R4 with 300 Hz panel

Screen bleeding
Screen bleeding

The display of the Alienware 15 R4 consists of a 15.6-inch IPS panel and offers a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels as well as a refresh rate of 300 Hz. Dell specifies a maximum brightness of 300 cd/m², which we also achieved in our measurements. However, the brightness is now lower compared to the m15 R3. In addition, the brightness distribution of 86% is the lowest in our test field.

Dell refrains from using PWM for brightness control, which is convenient for users with sensitive eyes. In addition to the display variant installed here, the m15 R4 is also offered with a 15.6-inch OLED screen with UHD resolution and 60 Hz as well as a Full HD IPS panel with a refresh rate of 144 Hz.

308
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
333
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
287
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LG Philips LGD066E
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 333 cd/m² Average: 303.1 cd/m² Minimum: 16 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 333 cd/m²
Contrast: 1148:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.8 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.6, calibrated: 1.13
ΔE Greyscale 1.9 | 0.64-98 Ø5.8
93% sRGB (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
71% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
70.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
99% sRGB (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
69.38% Display P3 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
Gamma: 2.265
Alienware m15 R4
LG Philips LGD066E, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.60
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
AU Optronics B156HAN, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.60
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Chi Mei CMN176E, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.30
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
AU Optronics B156HAN12.0, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.60
Display
-1%
-5%
1%
Display P3 Coverage
69.38
68.63
-1%
64.74
-7%
69.95
1%
sRGB Coverage
99
98.94
0%
96.41
-3%
99.62
1%
AdobeRGB 1998 Coverage
70.5
69.82
-1%
66.86
-5%
71.41
1%
Response Times
19%
-4%
-44%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
7.4 (2, 5.2)
4 (1.6, 2.4)
46%
7.4 (3.8, 3.6)
-0%
14.4 (6.8, 7.6)
-95%
Response Time Black / White *
10 (4.4, 5.6)
10.8 (5.2, 5.6)
-8%
10.8 (5.6, 5.2)
-8%
9.2 (4.8, 4.4)
8%
PWM Frequency
24510 (39)
Screen
-18%
-3%
4%
Brightness middle
333
326.7
-2%
328
-2%
307.2
-8%
Brightness
303
316
4%
314
4%
301
-1%
Brightness Distribution
86
87
1%
87
1%
91
6%
Black Level *
0.29
0.33
-14%
0.29
-0%
0.21
28%
Contrast
1148
990
-14%
1131
-1%
1463
27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.8
2.4
-33%
1.93
-7%
1.85
-3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.49
6.06
-35%
4.94
-10%
3.92
13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.13
1.51
-34%
0.68
40%
1.26
-12%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.9
3.2
-68%
2.8
-47%
2
-5%
Gamma
2.265 97%
2.13 103%
2.18 101%
2.15 102%
CCT
6840 95%
7129 91%
7023 93%
6479 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
71
63.7
-10%
67
-6%
65
-8%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
93
99.2
7%
89
-4%
99.7
7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
0% / -10%
-4% / -3%
-13% / -3%

* ... smaller is better

Our measurements show that the Alienware m15 R4 has a good contrast ratio of 1,148:1 and an equally good black level of 0.29 cd/m². In combination with a color-space coverage of 93% (sRGB) and 71% (AdobeRGB), colors look vivid and well separated from each other.

The CalMAN analysis also shows that the display already comes with a low Delta E 2000 deviation of 1.9 out of the box. However, this value can still be improved to 0.8 through calibration. The corresponding ICC file can be downloaded in the window located at the top, to the right of the display's brightness distribution graph. 

CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Grayscales
CalMAN: Color saturation
CalMAN: Color saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscales (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Color saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)

The Alienware m15 R4 can be used easily outdoors as long as places in the shade are preferred. The brightness isn't sufficient to display image content legibly in direct sunlight.

Alienware m15 R4 vs. sRGB (93%)
Alienware m15 R4 vs. sRGB (93%)
Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
Alienware m15 R4 vs. AdobeRGB (71%)
Alienware m15 R4 vs. AdobeRGB (71%)
Alienware m15 R4 in outdoor use
Alienware m15 R4 in outdoor use
Alienware m15 R4 in outdoor use
Alienware m15 R4 in outdoor use

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
10 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 5.6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 13 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
7.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 5.2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 8 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (38.1 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 14793 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

The IPS panel of the Alienware laptop is very viewing-angle stable. Image content can be read from almost any angle without it becoming distorted or being displayed with the wrong colors.

Viewing-angle stability
Viewing-angle stability

Performance - Strong CPU and powerful graphics unit

Dell targets gamers with a generous budget with the Alienware m15 R4. The available equipment also reflects this; besides the configuration installed here, it's also available with Intel's Core i7-10870H as well as with Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3060 and GeForce RTX 3080. In addition, there are various RAM and storage options.

Alienware m15 R4 - CPUz
Alienware m15 R4 - CPUz
Alienware m15 R4 - CPUz
Alienware m15 R4 - CPUz
Alienware m15 R4 - GPUz
Alienware m15 R4 - HWiNFO
Alienware m15 R4 - HWiNFO
 

Processor

Dell installs an Intel Core i9-10980HK in our test configuration. This octa-core processor belongs to the Comet Lake generation and operates at clock rates between 2.4 and 5.3 GHz. With a TDP of 45 watts, the CPU is suitable for large laptops, and it requires a good cooling system in order to be able to provide its performance consistently over a longer period of time.

Our Cinebench R15 endurance test shows that performance drops by approximately 7% throughout the test period. In the individual disciplines, single-core performance in particular is slightly lower than in the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15, for example, but multi-core performance is almost on par and also increases significantly compared to the Alienware m15 R3.

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Alienware m15 R4 Intel Core i9-10980HK: Ø1567 (1501.78-1606.36)
Alienware m15 R3 P87F Intel Core i7-10750H: Ø1338 (1320.39-1347.39)
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG Intel Core i7-10750H: Ø1192 (1113.24-1257.82)
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS Intel Core i9-10980HK: Ø1622 (1604.75-1733.1)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
211 Points ∼100% +4%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (198 - 219, n=15)
207 Points ∼98% +2%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
202 Points ∼96%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
201 Points ∼95% 0%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
198 Points ∼94% -2%
Average of class Gaming
  (108 - 254, n=199, last 2 years)
196 Points ∼93% -3%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (1606 - 1862, n=15)
1739 Points ∼100% +8%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
1733 (1604.75min - 1733.1max) Points ∼100% +8%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
1606 (1501.78min - 1606.36max) Points ∼92%
Average of class Gaming
  (536 - 2804, n=211, last 2 years)
1498 Points ∼86% -7%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
1347 (1320.39min - 1347.39max) Points ∼77% -16%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
1258 (1113.24min - 1257.82max) Points ∼72% -22%
Blender 2.79 - BMW27 CPU
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
358 Seconds * ∼100% -28%
Average of class Gaming
  (179 - 633, n=153, last 2 years)
330 Seconds * ∼92% -18%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
326 Seconds * ∼91% -17%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
279 Seconds * ∼78% -0%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
279 Seconds * ∼78%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (239 - 299, n=13)
277 Seconds * ∼77% +1%
7-Zip 18.03
7z b 4 -mmt1
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
5525 MIPS ∼100% +2%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
5437 MIPS ∼98%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (5081 - 5542, n=13)
5386 MIPS ∼97% -1%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
5236 MIPS ∼95% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (2945 - 6174, n=154, last 2 years)
5188 MIPS ∼94% -5%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
4504 MIPS ∼82% -17%
7z b 4
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
48838 MIPS ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
47806 MIPS ∼98% -2%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (43786 - 49275, n=13)
47126 MIPS ∼96% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (15146 - 75612, n=154, last 2 years)
43260 MIPS ∼89% -11%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
36161 MIPS ∼74% -26%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
35346 MIPS ∼72% -28%
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
490 Points ∼100% +3%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (465 - 507, n=13)
488 Points ∼100% +2%
Average of class Gaming
  (312 - 634, n=188, last 2 years)
484 Points ∼99% +1%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
479 Points ∼98% 0%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
477 Points ∼97%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
460 Points ∼94% -4%
CPU (Multi Core)
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (3526 - 4487, n=13)
3933 Points ∼100% 0%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
3915 Points ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
3871 Points ∼98% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (1397 - 6321, n=189, last 2 years)
3504 Points ∼89% -10%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
3299 Points ∼84% -16%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
2998 Points ∼76% -23%
Geekbench 5.3
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
1368 Points ∼100% +4%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (1283 - 1401, n=12)
1339 Points ∼98% +2%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
1316 Points ∼96%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
1304 Points ∼95% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (703 - 1777, n=149, last 2 years)
1295 Points ∼95% -2%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
1269 Points ∼93% -4%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
8586 Points ∼100% +10%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (7634 - 8666, n=12)
8175 Points ∼95% +5%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
7789 Points ∼91%
Average of class Gaming
  (2783 - 11393, n=149, last 2 years)
7143 Points ∼83% -8%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
6392 Points ∼74% -18%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
6380 Points ∼74% -18%
HWBOT x265 Benchmark v2.2 - 4k Preset
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
13.1 fps ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
13 fps ∼99% -1%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (12 - 14.6, n=13)
13 fps ∼99% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (4.4 - 19.8, n=153, last 2 years)
11.9 fps ∼91% -9%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
11.1 fps ∼85% -15%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
10.4 fps ∼79% -21%
LibreOffice - 20 Documents To PDF
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
60.1 s * ∼100% -22%
Average of class Gaming
  (23.9 - 98.2, n=141, last 2 years)
54 s * ∼90% -10%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (44 - 89, n=13)
53.7 s * ∼89% -9%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
50.9 s * ∼85% -3%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
49.3 s * ∼82%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
48.4 s * ∼81% +2%
R Benchmark 2.5 - Overall mean
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H
0.708 sec * ∼100% -22%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H
0.592 sec * ∼84% -2%
Average of class Gaming
  (0.4907 - 1.088, n=145, last 2 years)
0.587 sec * ∼83% -2%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK
0.578 sec * ∼82%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK
  (0.561 - 0.596, n=13)
0.576 sec * ∼81% -0%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK
0.565 sec * ∼80% +2%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1606 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
150 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
202 Points
Help

System performance

In the PCMark 10 test for evaluating system performance, the Alienware m15 R4 can take first place in our test field. In everyday use, this result is reflected in the system that always runs smoothly and launches programs quickly. Accessing files is possible without delays as well. We didn't encounter any micro stuttering or the like during the test period.

Our CPU Benchmarks article shows how other laptops performed in our tests.

PCMark 10 - Score
Alienware m15 R4
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i9-10980HK, Micron 2300 1TB MTFDHBA1T0TDV
6640 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i9-10980HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
 
6640 Points ∼100% 0%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H, 2x Micron 2200S 512 GB (RAID 0)
6255 Points ∼94% -6%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, i9-10980HK, 2x Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8 (RAID 0)
6236 Points ∼94% -6%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i7-10750H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
6017 Points ∼91% -9%
Average of class Gaming
  (3952 - 7884, n=181, last 2 years)
5936 Points ∼89% -11%
PCMark 10 Score
6640 points
Help

DPC latencies

In the test with LatencyMon, the Alienware m15 R4 shows increased interruption times. Consequently, it's not suitable for real-time applications or similar tasks.

DPC Latencies / LatencyMon - interrupt to process latency (max), Web, Youtube, Prime95
Alienware m15 R4
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i9-10980HK, Micron 2300 1TB MTFDHBA1T0TDV
4199.3 μs * ∼100%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, i9-10980HK, 2x Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8 (RAID 0)
1474.8 μs * ∼35% +65%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, i7-10750H, 2x Micron 2200S 512 GB (RAID 0)
1206.3 μs * ∼29% +71%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i7-10750H, Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
1082 μs * ∼26% +74%

* ... smaller is better

Storage

Dell installs two 1 TB SSDs from Micron in our test model of the Alienware m15 R4. They achieve good read and write rates that are slightly above the competition's level.

Our HDD/SSD Benchmarks article shows the performance that can be expected from other storage devices in comparison.

Alienware m15 R4
Micron 2300 1TB MTFDHBA1T0TDV
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
2x Micron 2200S 512 GB (RAID 0)
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AB
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
2x Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8 (RAID 0)
Average Micron 2300 1TB MTFDHBA1T0TDV
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-12%
-27%
-5%
-2%
Write 4K
93.68
67.32
-28%
143.7
53%
128.4
37%
102 (93.7 - 111, n=4)
9%
Read 4K
48.1
41.47
-14%
45.1
-6%
53.68
12%
51.8 (48.1 - 56.6, n=4)
8%
Write Seq
2785
2239
-20%
978.2
-65%
1875
-33%
2364 (2001 - 2785, n=4)
-15%
Read Seq
2598
2112
-19%
1163
-55%
2315
-11%
2106 (1600 - 2598, n=4)
-19%
Write 4K Q32T1
481.9
488.9
1%
519.1
8%
427.2
-11%
506 (410 - 644, n=4)
5%
Read 4K Q32T1
520.9
556.7
7%
302.7
-42%
440.7
-15%
511 (395 - 665, n=4)
-2%
Write Seq Q32T1
3362
2654
-21%
980.7
-71%
2793
-17%
3203 (3147 - 3362, n=4)
-5%
Read Seq Q32T1
3200
3137
-2%
1983
-38%
3101
-3%
3219 (3200 - 3242, n=4)
1%
AS SSD
-37%
-42%
-7%
-1%
Seq Read
2658.01
2058.19
-23%
1658.71
-38%
1981.74
-25%
2451 (1910 - 2688, n=4)
-8%
Seq Write
2768.84
2315.59
-16%
921.32
-67%
1444.37
-48%
2110 (1312 - 2795, n=4)
-24%
4K Read
46.07
39.72
-14%
51.03
11%
50.29
9%
49.3 (45.4 - 55.2, n=4)
7%
4K Write
87.16
62.93
-28%
120.1
38%
120.14
38%
99.9 (83 - 126, n=4)
15%
4K-64 Read
1372.43
1334.41
-3%
463.54
-66%
1015.73
-26%
1272 (935 - 1485, n=4)
-7%
4K-64 Write
1247.32
1270.68
2%
908.68
-27%
1350.51
8%
1864 (1247 - 2314, n=4)
49%
Access Time Read *
0.052
0.062
-19%
0.179
-244%
0.044
15%
0.0498 (0.034 - 0.057, n=4)
4%
Access Time Write *
0.098
0.388
-296%
0.032
67%
0.109
-11%
0.181 (0.098 - 0.282, n=4)
-85%
Score Read
1684
1580
-6%
680
-60%
1264
-25%
1566 (1235 - 1727, n=4)
-7%
Score Write
1611
1565
-3%
1121
-30%
1615
0%
2175 (1611 - 2528, n=4)
35%
Score Total
4166
3968
-5%
2130
-49%
3510
-16%
4532 (4166 - 4863, n=4)
9%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-25% / -27%
-35% / -36%
-6% / -6%
-2% / -2%

* ... smaller is better

Micron 2300 1TB MTFDHBA1T0TDV
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3200 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 3362 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 520.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 481.9 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 2598 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 2785 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 48.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 93.68 MB/s

Continuous load read: DiskSpd Read Loop, Queue Depth 8

015030045060075090010501200135015001650180019502100225024002550270028501961.111962.361966.341969.481970.951971.991972.621977.851980.361984.131986.641987.481996.061996.692729.652794.952904.412904.622905.042905.662906.082906.292906.292907.132907.342907.972908.592908.82909.222911.942912.152912.362912.782915.082916.762919.062919.482920.112920.112920.522920.732920.732920.942922.832923.462923.872926.392929.522934.762939.57Tooltip
: Ø2647 (1961.11-2939.57)

Graphics card

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile used here is currently one of the most powerful graphics cards for laptops. However, the actual performance depends on the configured TGP, which Dell sets to the maximum at 140 watts. This is also the case with the MSI GP76 Leopard, which is reflected in these two laptops alternating between first and second place in our test field. Compared to the Alienware m15 R3, users can expect a performance increase of up to 43%.

How other graphics cards perform in comparison can be found in our GPU Benchmarks article.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, Intel Core i7-10750H
38275 Points ∼100% +3%
Alienware m15 R4
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, Intel Core i9-10980HK
37287 Points ∼97%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
  (20039 - 38275, n=22)
33085 Points ∼86% -11%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, Intel Core i9-10980HK
30568 Points ∼80% -18%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
26160 Points ∼68% -30%
Average of class Gaming
  (1925 - 43077, n=192, last 2 years)
25603 Points ∼67% -31%
3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Alienware m15 R4
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, Intel Core i9-10980HK
178400 Points ∼100%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
133502 Points ∼75% -25%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, Intel Core i9-10980HK
130740 Points ∼73% -27%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
  (62748 - 179716, n=15)
117849 Points ∼66% -34%
Average of class Gaming
  (23059 - 192950, n=170, last 2 years)
104580 Points ∼59% -41%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, Intel Core i7-10750H
29128 Points ∼100% +4%
Alienware m15 R4
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, Intel Core i9-10980HK
27977 Points ∼96%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
  (16628 - 29128, n=22)
24592 Points ∼84% -12%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, Intel Core i9-10980HK
22183 Points ∼76% -21%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
20712 Points ∼71% -26%
Average of class Gaming
  (1360 - 34993, n=201, last 2 years)
19446 Points ∼67% -30%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Alienware m15 R4
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, Intel Core i9-10980HK
11019 Points ∼100%
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, Intel Core i7-10750H
10850 Points ∼98% -2%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
  (6059 - 11019, n=22)
9429 Points ∼86% -14%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile, Intel Core i9-10980HK
8389 Points ∼76% -24%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, Intel Core i7-10750H
7910 Points ∼72% -28%
Average of class Gaming
  (429 - 13210, n=200, last 2 years)
7453 Points ∼68% -32%
3DMark 11 Performance
27955 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
50367 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
22429 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
10872 points
Help

Gaming performance

The Alienware m15 R4 with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile GPU can virtually run all the latest titles at high frame rates without any problems. Technologies like ray tracing can also be used, although this can lead to frame rates below 60 fps depending on the title.

The performance that can be expected from the graphics unit installed here in other titles can be found in our GPU Benchmarks article.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
109 (83min) fps ∼100% +8%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
101 (76min) fps ∼93%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
  (73.5 - 109, n=23)
92.3 fps ∼85% -9%
Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 G532LWS
Intel Core i9-10980HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Mobile
85.7 (80min - 91max) fps ∼79% -15%
Alienware m15 R3 P87F
Intel Core i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile
81 (77min - 86max) fps ∼74% -20%
Average of class Gaming
  (24.3 - 123, n=194, last 2 years)
75 fps ∼69% -26%
Cyberpunk 2077 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
70.5 fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
  (50 - 70.5, n=9)
62.5 fps ∼89% -11%
Average of class Gaming
  (9.5 - 84.3, n=25, last 2 years)
55.9 fps ∼79% -21%
Far Cry 5 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T
MSI GP76 Leopard 10UG
Intel Core i7-10750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
114 fps ∼100% +7%
Alienware m15 R4
Intel Core i9-10980HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
107 fps ∼94%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
  (92 - 114, n=15)
103 fps ∼90% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (12 - 146, n=71, last 2 years)
95.5 fps ∼84% -11%

Our The Witcher 3 endurance test shows that the gaming performance of the Alienware m15 R4 decreases slightly over longer gaming periods. Consequently, you can definitely experience limitations in very demanding titles after long gaming sessions.

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Alienware m15 R4 GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, i9-10980HK, Micron 2300 1TB MTFDHBA1T0TDV: Ø99.4 (86-107)
low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 101 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 154 142 139 130 fps
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 67 62 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 124 111 91.4 fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 107 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (2020) 70.5 fps

Emissions - Quieter fans in the Alienware laptop

Noise emissions

Noise
Noise

The fans of the Alienware m15 R4 can get quite loud with up to 49 dB(A). However, they are still quieter than those of the predecessor, which reached a fan noise level of up to 59.7 dB(A). Furthermore, the fan noise is a uniform hiss and can be tolerated well as a result.

Occasionally, we could hear a slight whirring noise, which is probably caused by the built-in mass storage device. This occurred both with and without the power adapter connected.

Noise Level

Idle
25 / 26 / 37 dB(A)
Load
48 / 49 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Earthworks M23R, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 24 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2042.445.54438.642.92538.845.140.434.538.93147.151.147.144.347.64033.134.235.430.332.65035.836.943.721.337.76336.336.530.624.6338030.53226.422.327.610028.226.325.115.723.612530.630.627.414.927.416031.330.526.214.533.62003131.322.816.628.225033.733.124.516.328.231534.634.419.812.527.240033.534.213.911.1265003434.41311.826.363033.833.61511.825.280034.33411.411.324.1100034.83511.61125.712503838.212.311.627.6160038.238.611.711.427.3200037.938.412.111.426.1250036.937.311.911.826.3315036.837.212.71225.4400038.939.813.112.521.2500036.337.613.412.719.263003131.913.212.615.9800026.527.413.212.614.41000022.223.11312.213.71250019.220.112.611.912.9160001515.912.211.412.8SPL48.148.726.424.236.9N6.26.40.80.52.6median 33.8median 34median 13.1median 12