Alienware m17 R5 with AMD hardware reviewed: Suboptimal drivers unnecessarily slow down strong AMD gamer
We were quite excited about the all-AMD model from Alienware, which Dell sent us for a review. After all, we usually review gaming laptops with the standard Intel Core i7-12700H, sometimes also a model with i9-12900H and almost always in combination with an Nvidia RTX graphics card.
As a reviewer, it can be an exciting occasion when something different comes along instead of the usual one-size-fits-all. A gamer with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX and an AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT, for example. The latter falls roughly between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 in the performance class, but our gaming benchmarks reveal that it can even surpass an RTX 3080 Ti in selected games.
"Can" is the key word here, because the AMD combo is far too rarely able to unfold its full potential. In various games, the AMD team performs significantly below average. Sometimes the SmartAccess graphics switching in the m17 R5 doesn't work properly and the game is handled by the integrated graphics only. Immature drivers seem to be another problem.
All in all, it is a pity that such a potentially strong system is drastically slowed down by the many inconsistencies. AMD, along with Dell and Alienware, still has some optimization work and quality control to do. Because I, as a reviewer and editor, would at least like to see more variety in gaming hardware in the future that functions without major bugs.