Alienware m17 R3 runs the Core i9-10980HK faster than anyone else, but be prepared for super hot 95 C temperatures
The Alienware m17 R3 represents a huge upgrade from the older m17 R2. It may not look that way from the outside, but Dell has redesigned the internals with vapor chamber cooling in order to support faster 10th gen Core i9 and GeForce RTX Super options whereas last year's model was limited to just 9th gen and Max-Q parts.
The difference will be immediately noticeable to enthusiasts. During our time with a fully configured Core i9-10980HK Alienware m17 R3, we're able to observe steady CPU clock rates of 4.3 GHz when running Prime95 to stress the processor. Intel rates its i9-10980HK CPU for a maximum Turbo Boost clock rate of 4.4 GHz when all 8 cores are active and so the ability to maintain 4.3 GHz is a notable achievement relative to other gaming laptops with the exact same CPU. In fact, our comparison graph below shows that the Dell is able to run the CPU faster than any other Core i9-10980HK laptop in our database at the moment by at least 9 percent against the next fastest system.
The main drawbacks for such high clock rates are not surprising. Core temperatures and fan noise are some of the warmest and loudest we've recorded on any 17.3-inch gaming laptop at 98 C and 59.1 dB(A), respectively, when under 100 percent CPU utilization. In comparison, a Core i7 laptop like the Razer Blade Pro stabilizes at just 66 C and 53 dB(A) when under similar conditions. If you want the best that the mobile 10th gen Core i9 has to offer on a laptop, then you'll have to deal with the temperatures and noise that entail.