Alienware x15 R2 in review: New wine in old bottle that impresses despite few shortcomings
The Dell Alienware x15 R2 hit our test labs recently and has proved itself to be a capable performer once again just like its predecessor, the Alienware x15 R1. While Dell hasn't fiddled with the Legend 2.0 chassis much, the x15 R2 receives worthy internal upgrades to keep it in tune with the times.
Our x15 R2 came equipped with an Intel Core i9-12900H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU. The performance profile we chose allowed the Core i9-12900H to run at a 140 W unlocked PL1/PL2. Stress tests showed 130 W as the processor's maximum short burst, however.
Despite the near-ultrabook chassis, the x15 R2 managed to perform admirably well, showing no signs of throttling in our Cinebench R15 multi-core loop test. We did not observe any perceivable performance drops during gaming or general productivity use either.
The RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU in this laptop is rated at a 140 W TGP. The overall 3DMark performance is only about 9% slower than a 175 W TGP RTX 3080 Ti in the MSI Titan GT77. Once again, sustained performance in The Witcher 3 stress test is good with only minimal fps drops.
That being said, cramming such high-performance hardware in a relatively thin chassis does have its pitfalls and this becomes apparent with the x15 R2's high heat and noise emissions. We recorded maximum top surface hotspot temperatures as high as 66.2 °C during The Witcher 3 stress test.
Dell strives to limit the fan noise levels around 47 db(A) under load, but this is in the Balanced performance profile. Fan noise can reach up to 53 db(A) when you allow the x15 R2 to fully stretch its muscles in the Full Speed mode, which means you will have to reach out for your gaming headset to minimize distraction.
There are a few other shortcomings such as the absence of side USB ports, use of a 720p webcam in 2022, and the secondary function symbols on the keyboard continuing to be unlit.
The FHD 360 Hz G-Sync panel supports Dolby Vision and may be a good choice for competitive gamers with low response times and no PWM. However, the low grey-to-grey response times are only apparent at 360 Hz due to panel overdrive.
Nevertheless, the Alienware x15 R2 performs admirably overall and thus earns our Top Rated award with an impressive 88% weighted average rating.
Check out our detailed Alienware x15 R2 review for more information and performance comparisons.