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Alienware m17 R2 comes with the same Core i9 CPU as the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 15, runs it 30 percent faster

Alienware m17 R2 comes with the same Core i9 CPU as the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 15, runs it 30 percent faster (Image source: Dell)
Alienware m17 R2 comes with the same Core i9 CPU as the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 15, runs it 30 percent faster (Image source: Dell)
Size matters when it comes to processor performance. The thicker, heavier, and louder Alienware chassis doesn't go to waste as it is able to squeeze out more from the Core i9-9980HK than the smaller and lighter XPS 15 or MacBook Pro 15.
Allen Ngo, 🇩🇪

The Dell Alienware m17 R2 targets a different market segment in contrast to the Apple MacBook Pro 15 or XPS 15. Thus, pitting these systems head-to-head is definitely not the most apples-to-apples comparison. Even with this in mind, however, there's no denying that they all share some similar components that we can more fairly compare.

The three aforementioned laptops can each be configured with up to the same octa-core Core i9-9980HK CPU meaning that the average shopper might assume that the three laptops can offer similar levels of processor performance. But as we've proven multiple times in the past, CPU performance can vary by significant margins between laptop models even if they come with identical processors. In this case, the Core i9-9980HK in the Alienware is able to maintain a clock rate of 4.1 to 4.2 GHz when under 100 percent utilization compared to just 1.9 to 2.7 GHz on the XPS 15 or 3.0 GHz on the MacBook Pro 15. Performance throttling is much less severe on the Alienware machine and so its multi-threaded CineBench results are subsequently 25 to 35 percent faster than the XPS or MacBook.

The main drawback is core temperature as the Core i9 processor in the Alienware will plateau at about 99 C compared to 66 C and 90 C on the XPS and MacBook, respectively. Still, if you want the most processor performance out of your Core i9 purchase, then you may want to look beyond the XPS or MacBook series or save a few hundred dollar bills by simply configuring them with the Core i7 instead.

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Alienware m17 R2 P41E GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i9-9980HK; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1640 (1625.22-1699.96)
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650 GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile, i9-9980HK, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV1T02; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1314 (1090.6-1600.38)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 20 Radeon Pro Vega 20, i9-9980HK, Apple SSD AP1024; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1308 (1257.47-1327.02)
Cinebench R20
CPU (Single Core)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 20
Intel Core i9-9980HK
481 Points ∼90% +1%
Alienware m17 R2 P41E
Intel Core i9-9980HK
478 Points ∼90%
Average Intel Core i9-9980HK
  (445 - 505, n=9)
476 Points ∼89% 0%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
Intel Core i9-9980HK
457 Points ∼86% -4%
CPU (Multi Core)
Alienware m17 R2 P41E
Intel Core i9-9980HK
4136 Points ∼41%
Average Intel Core i9-9980HK
  (2974 - 4150, n=9)
3523 Points ∼35% -15%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
Intel Core i9-9980HK
3293 Points ∼33% -20%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 20
Intel Core i9-9980HK
3197 Points ∼32% -23%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
Intel Core i9-9980HK
201 Points ∼90% +3%
Average Intel Core i9-9980HK
  (181 - 215, n=13)
199 Points ∼89% +2%
Alienware m17 R2 P41E
Intel Core i9-9980HK
195 Points ∼87%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 20
Intel Core i9-9980HK
181 Points ∼81% -7%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Alienware m17 R2 P41E
Intel Core i9-9980HK
1754 Points ∼40%
Average Intel Core i9-9980HK
  (1305 - 1930, n=14)
1635 Points ∼37% -7%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 20
Intel Core i9-9980HK
1327 Points ∼30% -24%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
Intel Core i9-9980HK
1305 (min: 1090.6, max: 1369.3, 99th percentile: 1367.66) Points ∼30% -26%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Alienware m17 R2 comes with the same Core i9 CPU as the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 15, runs it 30 percent faster
Allen Ngo, 2020-03- 1 (Update: 2020-02-27)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.