Notebookcheck

The Area-51m mini-me: Dell Alienware m15 R2 Laptop Review

Allen Ngo 👁, 09/06/2019

Those CPU temperatures — yikes! If you've ever wanted the 17.3-inch Alienware Area-51m desktop replacement but wished it was smaller, then the 15.6-inch Alienware m15 R2 should fit the bill. The new model is a complete design overhaul of last year's Alienware m15 R1 that unfortunately feels more like a lateral step sideways instead of a big leap forward.

Unveiled at Computex 2019 alongside the Alienware m17 R2, the Dell Alienware m15 R2 directly succeeds the barely one-year old Alienware m15 R1 with a complete chassis redesign derived from the Alienware Area-51m. The m15 series supplants the older Alienware 15 series by introducing narrow bezels, a thinner design, and optional OLED panels that have become all the rage on newer gaming laptops.

Aside from the full-on face lift, the Alienware m15 R2 carries nearly all the same core configuration options as last year's m15 R1 including the Intel 9th gen CPUs (i9-9300H, i7-9750H, i9-9980HK) and Nvidia Turing GPUs (GTX 1660 Ti, RTX 2060, RTX 2070 Max-Q, RTX 2080 Max-Q) for a wide price range of $1500 to $3000+ USD. Nonetheless, there are several important hardware differences between them that we will detail in this review of an upper mid-range Core i7/RTX 2080 Max-Q SKU. 

The Alienware system competes directly with other ultra-thin 15.6-inch gaming laptops including the MSI GS65, Razer Blade 15, Asus Zephyrus S GX531, Lenovo Legion Y740-15ICH, Aorus 15, and the HP Omen X 15.

More Dell reviews:

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team! Indian citizens welcome!

Currently wanted: 
News and Editorial Editor - Details here

Alienware m15 R2 P87F (m15 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q - 8192 MB, Core: 990 MHz, Memory: 1500 MHz, GDDR6, 436.15, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 19-19-19-43, Soldered, 1333.3 MHz, Dual-Channel
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, Sharp LQ156M1, IPS, SHP14C6, Dell P/N: YVPGF, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM370
Storage
2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0), 1014 GB 
Soundcard
NVIDIA TU104 - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo
Networking
Killer E3000 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18.3 x 360.5 x 276 ( = 0.72 x 14.19 x 10.87 in)
Battery
76 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Alienware Command Center, , 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.16 kg ( = 76.19 oz / 4.76 pounds), Power Supply: 964 g ( = 34 oz / 2.13 pounds)
Price
3200 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Whereas last year's Alienware m15 R1 is a miniaturized version of the original Alienware 15 R4, the new Alienware m15 R2 is a miniaturized version of the Alienware Area-51m. Dubbed "Legend", the visual design drops the sharp corners and straight edges of the Alienware 15/17 series for a rounder and smoother look. The large honeycomb grilles along the rear, bottom, and keyboard deck are perhaps the most noticeable characteristic of the new design as Dell claims this particular pattern optimizes airflow and rigidity better than the usual parallel grille design of most other laptops.

As far as durability goes, don't expect the new Alienware m15 R2 to be as sound as the hefty last generation Alienware 15 R4. The m15 R2 exhibits more twisting and creaking than its older sibling which is the price to pay for being significantly thinner and lighter. The chassis feels stronger than the MSI GS65, comparable to both the Asus Zephyrus S GX531 and Alienware m15 R1, and weaker than both the Razer Blade 15 and Gigabyte Aero 15

Although the Alienware 15 R2 looks completely different from the 15 R1, they are nearly identical when it comes to dimensions and weight. The 15 R2 is ever-so-slightly thinner at 19.5 mm or 20.5 mm if configured with Tobii eye-tracking. Because of its extended rear, however, the m15 series continues to be noticeably longer in length and with a larger footprint than most other competing 15.6-inch gaming laptops.

The slightly rubberized matte white-gray surface hides fingerprints better than the dark gray color option
The slightly rubberized matte white-gray surface hides fingerprints better than the dark gray color option
The Tobii eye-tracking camera protrudes from the bezel not unlike the rear cameras on most iPhones
The Tobii eye-tracking camera protrudes from the bezel not unlike the rear cameras on most iPhones
"Legend" chassis design is distinguished by its honeycomb grilles and rounded rear
"Legend" chassis design is distinguished by its honeycomb grilles and rounded rear
Single-bar hinge is uniformly firm at all angles with no teetering when typing
Single-bar hinge is uniformly firm at all angles with no teetering when typing
Maximum lid angle is only ~140 degrees
Maximum lid angle is only ~140 degrees
Same chassis materials and look as the Area-51m. However, the thinner profile and lighter weight make the m15 R2 comparatively more flexible
Same chassis materials and look as the Area-51m. However, the thinner profile and lighter weight make the m15 R2 comparatively more flexible
362 mm / 14.3 inch 265 mm / 10.4 inch 25 mm / 0.984 inch 2.3 kg4.97 lbs363 mm / 14.3 inch 275 mm / 10.8 inch 21 mm / 0.827 inch 2.2 kg4.76 lbs360.5 mm / 14.2 inch 276 mm / 10.9 inch 18.3 mm / 0.72 inch 2.2 kg4.76 lbs358 mm / 14.1 inch 248 mm / 9.76 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 2 kg4.35 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 268 mm / 10.6 inch 15.75 mm / 0.62 inch 2.1 kg4.63 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 2.2 kg4.87 lbs

Connectivity

Both port options and positioning are identical to last year's Alienware m15 R1. One small upgrade is that the RJ-45 port can now support 2.5 Gbps speeds instead of "only" 1 Gbps, but everything else remains the same including the lack of an SD card reader.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: 2x USB 3.1 Type-A
Right: 2x USB 3.1 Type-A
Rear: HDMI 2.0b, mini-DisplayPort 1.3, Thunderbolt 3, Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port, AC adapter
Rear: HDMI 2.0b, mini-DisplayPort 1.3, Thunderbolt 3, Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port, AC adapter
Left: Noble Lock, Gigabit RJ-45, USB 3.1 Type-A, 3.5 mm combo audio
Left: Noble Lock, Gigabit RJ-45, USB 3.1 Type-A, 3.5 mm combo audio

Communication

Initial SKUs like our test unit have Intel 8265 and Killer AX1650 options to be Wi-Fi 6 ready. Dell says all SKUs in the near future will be upgraded to Killer AX1650 with Killer-specific features as standard. Though the Intel 8265 is nowhere near as fast as what the Killer module is capable of (867 Mbps vs. 2.4 Gbps), we didn't experience any notable connectivity issues with our unit. You'll still need a brand new router if you wish to fully exploit the benefits of Wi-Fi 6.

Soldered WLAN module unlike on the original Alienware m15 R1
Soldered WLAN module unlike on the original Alienware m15 R1
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2080 Max-Q
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
688 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
661 MBit/s ∼96% +1%
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
659 MBit/s ∼96% 0%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
656 MBit/s ∼95%
Alienware m15 P79F
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
652 MBit/s ∼95% -1%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2080 Max-Q
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
718 MBit/s ∼100% +42%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
644 MBit/s ∼90% +27%
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
620 MBit/s ∼86% +22%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
507 MBit/s ∼71%
Alienware m15 P79F
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
387 MBit/s ∼54% -24%

Maintenance

Servicing is easy and it requires only a Philips screwdriver. Unfortunately, you won't have much to actually service once inside. Core components like RAM and WLAN are soldered and there is no 2.5-inch SATA III bay to be found.

Only the M.2 storage bays are upgradeable
Only the M.2 storage bays are upgradeable

Software

Expect the same Alienware Command Center software and features as found on the Area-51m including GPU overclocking, Alien FX, and Fusion system monitor. The problem here is that the m15 R2 chassis was not designed with the same overclocking potential as its larger Area-51m sibling and so this particular feature is not as useful here.

We recommend becoming familiar with Command Center because the performance, RGB lighting, and fan noise of the laptop are intimately tied to Dell's software instead of the default Windows power settings menu. While there's a slight learning curve, we appreciate that its system monitor feature provides real-time data like voltage, DRAM timings, temperature graphs, and fan RPMs.

The Power menu has two High Performance modes by default for some reason with no explanation as to why or if there are even any differences between them
The Power menu has two High Performance modes by default for some reason with no explanation as to why or if there are even any differences between them

Accessories and Warranty

There are no included extras in the box other than the usual Quick Start guide and warranty card. The proprietary Alienware External Graphics Amplifier remains compatible.

Along with HP and Lenovo, Dell offers a wider range of warranty options than other OEMs. The standard one-year limited protection applies with extensions of up to 5 years total.

Input Devices

Keyboard

We complained about the shallow 1.4 mm key travel on last year's m15 R1 and so it's great to see that the m15 R2 keyboard has deepened its keys to 1.7 mm. Feedback feels crisper and more tactile to be closer to a gaming laptop instead of a super-thin Ultrabook.

As for the layout, Dell has completely removed the integrated NumPad from the m15 R1 meaning that you'll have to get the larger 17.3-inch m17 R2 if you still want this specific feature. The m15 R2 gains per-key RGB lighting that was missing on last year's model in return. Annoyingly, there are still no preset hotkeys for adjusting the brightness of the keyboard backlight; any adjustments must be done via the Command Center window for a more cumbersome experience.

Touchpad

The clickpad is smaller (~10.5 x 6 cm) than on both the XPS 15 (10.5 x 8.5 cm) and original Alienware m15 R1 (10.5 x 6.5 cm). Cursor control is otherwise reliable with no jitter. There is slight sticking when moving at slow speeds, but it's not enough to impact usability. The very high refresh rate of the display gives a sense of faster responsiveness than usual.

Meanwhile, the integrated clickpad keys feel firmer than the last generation model with a louder click when pressed. We find it to be better than the integrated keys of the XPS 15 even though we still prefer dedicated mouse buttons like on the Dell Latitude 7390 for better accuracy.

Per-key RGB lighting instead of the quad-zone lighting of the Alienware m15 R1. All symbols become lit
Per-key RGB lighting instead of the quad-zone lighting of the Alienware m15 R1. All symbols become lit
The white trackpad conceals grease a lot better than the all-black Alienware m15 R1
The white trackpad conceals grease a lot better than the all-black Alienware m15 R1
Key feedback is firmer than on the XPS 15 with slightly softer clatter as well
Key feedback is firmer than on the XPS 15 with slightly softer clatter as well
Arrow keys are of decent size
Arrow keys are of decent size

Display

Both the Alienware m15 R2 and Razer Blade 15 share similar high quality 240 Hz Sharp LQ156M1 IPS panels. Therefore, characteristics like the respectable contrast ratio, fast response times, and wide color gamut are similar between them. It's tough to go back to 60 Hz displays once you get used to 144/240 Hz panels because of the ultra-smooth responsiveness that 60 Hz panels could never offer. Users who want 4K UHD OLED instead will find the exact same Samsung 156WR04 panel and visual experience as on the Alienware m15 R1.

The matte panel exhibits only minimal graininess to be nearly as crisp as a glossy panel. Uneven backlight bleeding is also minimal on our particular unit. Users with the base 60 Hz display SKU of the Alienware will likely have different results than we've recorded on our 240 Hz SKU.

No edge-to-edge glass or touchscreen options. The 4K OLED panel will be glossy
No edge-to-edge glass or touchscreen options. The 4K OLED panel will be glossy
Narrow bezels for reduced weight and better portability
Narrow bezels for reduced weight and better portability
Only slight uneven backlight bleeding along the edges
Only slight uneven backlight bleeding along the edges
RGB subpixel array
RGB subpixel array
290.5
cd/m²
307.5
cd/m²
294
cd/m²
295.2
cd/m²
324.2
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
307.2
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
306.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Sharp LQ156M1
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 324.2 cd/m² Average: 303.9 cd/m² Minimum: 17.02 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 324.2 cd/m²
Contrast: 853:1 (Black: 0.38 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.01 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 1.64
ΔE Greyscale 7.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
95.5% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 60.8% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.35
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
Sharp LQ156M1, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2080 Max-Q
Sharp LQ156M1JW03 (SHP14C5), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
AU Optronics B156HAN08.2, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
Sharp LQ156M1JW03 (SHP14C5), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Lenovo Legion Y740-15ICHg
LP156WFG-SPB2, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
AU Optronics B156HAN, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
1%
24%
-7%
-33%
-23%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
16.4 (7.6, 6.8)
12.8 (6.8, 6)
22%
7 (3.6, 3.4)
57%
13.6 (8, 5.6)
17%
18.8 (11.6, 7.2)
-15%
18 (9.2, 8.8)
-10%
Response Time Black / White *
8.8 (4.4, 4.4)
10.4 (6, 4.4)
-18%
9.6 (4.4, 5.2)
-9%
12 (7.6, 4.4)
-36%
13.2 (8, 5.2)
-50%
12 (6.8, 5.2)
-36%
PWM Frequency
23810 (24)
23810 (10)
0%
23260 (19)
-2%
Screen
24%
13%
25%
6%
5%
Brightness middle
324.2
293
-10%
323.6
0%
282.3
-13%
320.4
-1%
353.6
9%
Brightness
304
270
-11%
315
4%
269
-12%
298
-2%
346
14%
Brightness Distribution
90
87
-3%
91
1%
90
0%
85
-6%
86
-4%
Black Level *
0.38
0.29
24%
0.29
24%
0.32
16%
0.42
-11%
0.3
21%
Contrast
853
1010
18%
1116
31%
882
3%
763
-11%
1179
38%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.01
1.69
66%
3.31
34%
1.17
77%
3.21
36%
4.55
9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.7
3.37
73%
5.74
55%
3.29
74%
5.54
56%
7.91
38%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.64
1.24
24%
2.73
-66%
1.06
35%
2.36
-44%
3.37
-105%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.9
2.3
71%
2.9
63%
1.3
84%
3.6
54%
4.1
48%
Gamma
2.35 94%
2.3 96%
2.29 96%
2.2 100%
2.27 97%
2.27 97%
CCT
8455 77%
6758 96%
6765 96%
6643 98%
6503 100%
7434 87%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60.8
63
4%
59.7
-2%
63.8
5%
59
-3%
57.9
-5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
95.5
98.5
3%
91.8
-4%
97.5
2%
92
-4%
88.9
-7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
13% / 19%
19% / 14%
9% / 18%
-14% / -0%
-9% / 1%

* ... smaller is better

Color space covers sRGB almost in its entirety to represent a high quality panel. For these 144/240 Hz IPS panels, however, this is relatively common. Users looking for even wider colors would have to consider the 4K UHD OLED SKU or the XPS 15 with the 4K UHD Sharp IGZO option.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

Further measurements with an X-Rite colorimeter reveal an inaccurate display out of the box. Color temperature is far too cool and so both grayscale and color saturation DeltaE values are high at 7.90 and 5.35, respectively. Our calibration attempt directly addresses these issues for a significantly more accurate display with final grayscale and color saturation DeltaE values of just 2 and 1.54, respectively. We recommend users to download and apply our ICC profile above or calibrate the display firsthand in order to get the most out of the IPS screen.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

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
8.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.4 ms rise
↘ 4.4 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 7 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
16.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.6 ms rise
↘ 6.8 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 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.8 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 detected 23810 Hz ≤ 24 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 23810 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 24 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 23810 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9394 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Since display brightness is average for a 15.6-inch gaming laptop, outdoor visibility is not any better or worse than most other competing systems. Users may want to consider the OLED Alienware m15 SKU which offers a brighter display to be less straining on the eyes when outside. Viewing angles are wide on our IPS panel with only small changes to contrast and brightness if viewing from extreme angles.

Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

LatencyMon
LatencyMon

In an effort to obtain lower starting prices, Alienware laptops have always offered a very wide range of CPU, GPU, storage, and RAM options. The lowest configuration in particular comes with just 8 GB of soldered DDR4-2666 RAM. Since RAM is non-upgradeable, we suggest avoiding this configuration as it can hinder the multi-tasking capabilities of the Alienware. Current SKUs max out at 16 GB of RAM with the promise of 32 GB options in the future.

LatencyMon shows DPC latency issues even when the wireless is disabled.

 

Processor

Raw multi-thread performance in CineBench R15 is 12 percent slower than the average Core i7-9750H in our database taken from 39 other laptops. When running the same test in a loop, we can see notice the poor maximum Turbo Boost potential for ultimately slower performance than expected. Both the Asus Strix Hero III G731GV and even the original Alienware m15 R1 with the older Core i7-8750H CPU is able to consistently outperform the i7-9750H in our Alienware m15 R2. The culprit is the very high CPU temperature of the m15 R2 preventing it from sustaining higher clock rates as we will explore in our Stress Test section below.

Nonetheless, raw performance is still 25 to 30 percent faster than the quad-core Core i5-8300H or i5-9300H. Upgrading to the unlocked Core i9-9980HK SKU can potentially bring 50 percent faster performance or more over the i7-9750H in theory, but we have our doubts due to the already high running temperatures of our lesser Core i7-9750H SKU.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-9750H for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R15
CineBench R15
CineBench R20
CineBench R20
01020304050607080901001101201301401501601701801902002102202302402502602702802903003103203303403503603703803904004104204304404504604704804905005105205305405505605705805906006106206306406506606706806907007107207307407507607707807908008108208308408508608708808909009109209309409509609709809901000101010201030104010501060107010801090110011101120113011401150116011701180119012001210122012301240Tooltip
Alienware m15 R2 P87F GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0); CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1026 (960.41-1036.48)
Alienware m15 P79F GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1123 (1106.07-1188.78)
Alienware m17 P37E GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8950HK, SK Hynix PC401 512GB M.2 (HFS512GD9TNG); CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1206 (1178.9-1238.2)
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø1096 (1054.52-1187.97)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
Intel Core i9-9900K
207 Points ∼95% +16%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
Intel Core i9-9980HK
202 Points ∼93% +13%
Alienware m17 P37E
Intel Core i9-8950HK
191 Points ∼88% +7%
MSI GE75 9SG
Intel Core i9-9880H
189 Points ∼87% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (171 - 194, n=40)
184 Points ∼84% +3%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
Intel Core i7-9750H
179 Points ∼82%
MSI GF63 8RC-040XPL
Intel Core i5-8300H
171 Points ∼78% -4%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
Intel Core i5-9300H
171 Points ∼78% -4%
Alienware m15 P79F
Intel Core i7-8750H
168 Points ∼77% -6%
Asus VivoBook S15 S532F
Intel Core i7-8565U
168 Points ∼77% -6%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
156 Points ∼72% -13%
Asus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
144 Points ∼66% -20%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
Intel Core i9-9900K
1979 Points ∼45% +89%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
Intel Core i9-9980HK
1821 Points ∼42% +74%
MSI GE75 9SG
Intel Core i9-9880H
1721 Points ∼39% +65%
Alienware m17 P37E
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1238 Points ∼28% +18%
Alienware m15 P79F
Intel Core i7-8750H
1192 Points ∼27% +14%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (979 - 1306, n=42)
1179 Points ∼27% +13%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
Intel Core i7-9750H
1046 Points ∼24%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
Intel Core i5-9300H
850 Points ∼19% -19%
MSI GF63 8RC-040XPL
Intel Core i5-8300H
805 Points ∼18% -23%
Asus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
805 Points ∼18% -23%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼17% -30%
Asus VivoBook S15 S532F
Intel Core i7-8565U
507 Points ∼12% -52%
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
119.69 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1046 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
179 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark results for the m15 R2 are comparable to other gaming laptops with GeForce RTX graphics if not slightly lower as scores are consistently a few percentage points behind. Even the last generation Alienware m15 R1 is able to outscore the m15 R2 by up to 5 percent to show how minimal the performance delta can be between the two generations.

We experienced no hardware or software issues during our time with the test unit. Note that the screen will automatically dim after about 30 seconds of inactivity regardless of what the Windows settings will tell you. Instead, you'll have to launch the Tobii eye-tracking software in order to toggle the automatic dimming feature.

PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K, 2x SK Hynix PC400 512GB (RAID 0)
10929 Points ∼91% +64%
Lenovo Legion Y740-15ICHg
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
8163 Points ∼68% +22%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (6675 - 7353, n=6)
7151 Points ∼60% +7%
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7090 Points ∼59% +6%
Alienware m15 P79F
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
6998 Points ∼58% +5%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
6690 Points ∼56% 0%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0)
6675 Points ∼56%
Productivity
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K, 2x SK Hynix PC400 512GB (RAID 0)
8416 Points ∼87% +17%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (7180 - 8200, n=6)
7667 Points ∼79% +7%
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7657 Points ∼79% +7%
Alienware m15 P79F
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
7445 Points ∼77% +4%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
7434 Points ∼77% +4%
Lenovo Legion Y740-15ICHg
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
7351 Points ∼76% +2%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0)
7180 Points ∼74%
Essentials
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K, 2x SK Hynix PC400 512GB (RAID 0)
10150 Points ∼92% +15%
Lenovo Legion Y740-15ICHg
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
9486 Points ∼86% +8%
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
9380 Points ∼85% +7%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (8791 - 9788, n=6)
9340 Points ∼85% +6%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
9042 Points ∼82% +3%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0)
8791 Points ∼80%
Alienware m15 P79F
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
8599 Points ∼78% -2%
Score
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K, 2x SK Hynix PC400 512GB (RAID 0)
7006 Points ∼90% +30%
Lenovo Legion Y740-15ICHg
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5941 Points ∼77% +11%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (5374 - 5928, n=6)
5734 Points ∼74% +7%
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5725 Points ∼74% +7%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5492 Points ∼71% +2%
Alienware m15 P79F
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
5485 Points ∼71% +2%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0)
5374 Points ∼69%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K, 2x SK Hynix PC400 512GB (RAID 0)
6140 Points ∼94% +8%
Lenovo Legion Y740-15ICHg
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5852 Points ∼90% +3%
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5751 Points ∼88% +1%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (5672 - 5906, n=6)
5750 Points ∼88% +1%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0)
5706 Points ∼88%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5289 Points ∼81% -7%
Alienware m15 P79F
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
4465 Points ∼69% -22%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K, 2x SK Hynix PC400 512GB (RAID 0)
5607 Points ∼92% +33%
Lenovo Legion Y740-15ICHg
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5115 Points ∼84% +22%
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4454 Points ∼73% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (4207 - 4461, n=6)
4385 Points ∼72% +4%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H, 2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0)
4207 Points ∼69%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
3979 Points ∼65% -5%
Alienware m15 P79F
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3570 Points ∼59% -15%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4207 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5706 points
Help

Storage Devices

Two M.2 2280 NVMe slots are available for a combined total capacity of up to 4 TB. The older, larger, and heavier Alienware 15 R4 model includes two M.2 slots and a third 2.5-inch SATA III bay for even more storage options. Our specific test unit has been configured with two 512 GB Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G NVMe SSDs in RAID 0 to be an upgrade from the Toshiba XG5 on the Alienware m15 R1.

Average sequential write rate is about 2x faster than on the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 equipped with just a single 512 GB Toshiba XG6 SSD. Sequential read rate, however, remains almost the same. A single 512 GB Samsung SSD PM981 is able to perform similarly to our dual Toshiba XG6 setup.

See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

CDM 5.5
CDM 5.5
AS SSD
AS SSD
We can appreciate the copper M.2 plates as NVMe SSDs are known to run very warm
We can appreciate the copper M.2 plates as NVMe SSDs are known to run very warm
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0)
Alienware m15 P79F
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2080 Max-Q
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
AS SSD
-12%
12%
-26%
20%
-49%
Copy Game MB/s
1426.35
1013.1
-29%
976.6
-32%
811.76
-43%
1554.28
9%
1055.12
-26%
Copy Program MB/s
576.02
452.77
-21%
496.53
-14%
702.66
22%
712.72
24%
379.42
-34%
Copy ISO MB/s
2073.16
946.42
-54%
2082.66
0%
1236.22
-40%
3024.87
46%
1767.39
-15%
Score Total
3633
3168
-13%
4221
16%
1654
-54%
4230
16%
1300
-64%
Score Write
1481
1147
-23%
2102
42%
910
-39%
1991
34%
345
-77%
Score Read
1407
1366
-3%
1394
-1%
492
-65%
1490
6%
667
-53%
Access Time Write *
0.108
0.04
63%
0.034
69%
0.047
56%
0.036
67%
0.143
-32%
Access Time Read *
0.065
0.058
11%
0.05
23%
0.073
-12%
0.054
17%
0.122
-88%
4K-64 Write
1135.27
937.85
-17%
1807.21
59%
721.96
-36%
1729.71
52%
199.5
-82%
4K-64 Read
1177.33
1140.11
-3%
1159.06
-2%
322.05
-73%
1240.56
5%
415.58
-65%
4K Write
108.86
102.62
-6%
108.34
0%
95.65
-12%
103.79
-5%
28.92
-73%
4K Read
37.2
31.76
-15%
52.08
40%
45.74
23%
49.33
33%
22.29
-40%
Seq Write
2371.22
1065.99
-55%
1864.07
-21%
920.07
-61%
1579.5
-33%
1162.98
-51%
Seq Read
1924.95
1937.43
1%
1832.18
-5%
1238.57
-36%
2004.98
4%
2288.68
19%

* ... smaller is better

2x Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G (RAID 0)
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3172 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2801 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 589.8 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 532.3 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 2456 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 2467 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 45.41 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 108.8 MB/s

GPU Performance

Unlike the under-performing CPU, the GPU is performing where we expect it to be. 3DMark results are slightly higher than the average RTX 2080 Max-Q in our database taken from 14 other gaming laptops by about 7 percent. Graphics performance is roughly 20 to 25 percent slower than the larger Alienware Area-51m with the full-power RTX 2080 and about 30 percent faster than the RTX 2070 Max-Q. When compared to the last generation Pascal series, Turing GPUs are at their best when running newer DX12 titles where they are most efficient.

It's important to note that any performance differences between Balanced Fan and Maximum Fan modes are minimal. A Time Spy run on Balanced Fan mode returns essentially the same CPU and GPU scores as Maximum Fan mode as shown by the screenshots below. As a result, Maximum Fan mode is most useful for cooler core temperatures rather than faster performance.

Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
Port Royal
Port Royal
Time Spy (Balanced Fan mode)
Time Spy (Balanced Fan mode)
Time Spy (Maximum Fan mode)
Time Spy (Maximum Fan mode)
3DMark
2560x1440 Port Royal Graphics
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K
5852 Points ∼87% +17%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
5006 Points ∼74%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (3698 - 5148, n=14)
4402 Points ∼65% -12%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9980HK
4265 Points ∼63% -15%
Medion Erazer X15805
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8950HK
3735 Points ∼55% -25%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
3394 Points ∼50% -32%
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), 2700X
11099 Points ∼78% +33%
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K
10720 Points ∼75% +29%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
8342 Points ∼59%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (6464 - 8844, n=14)
7804 Points ∼55% -6%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9980HK
7754 Points ∼54% -7%
Medion Erazer X15805
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8950HK
6499 Points ∼46% -22%
Alienware 15 R3 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7820HK
6101 Points ∼43% -27%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
5913 Points ∼41% -29%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
4708 Points ∼33% -44%
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
2805 Points ∼20% -66%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K
24425 Points ∼85% +71%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9980HK
22247 Points ∼77% +56%
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), 2700X
20829 Points ∼72% +46%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
17057 Points ∼59% +20%
Medion Erazer X15805
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8950HK
16418 Points ∼57% +15%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (13847 - 17703, n=14)
16091 Points ∼56% +13%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
15447 Points ∼54% +8%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
14268 Points ∼50%
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
11723 Points ∼41% -18%
Alienware 15 R3 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7820HK
11186 Points ∼39% -22%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), 2700X
27228 Points ∼67% +25%
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K
27080 Points ∼67% +24%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
21758 Points ∼54%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9980HK
20434 Points ∼50% -6%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (18048 - 23032, n=14)
20417 Points ∼50% -6%
Alienware 15 R3 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7820HK
18505 Points ∼46% -15%
Medion Erazer X15805
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8950HK
16923 Points ∼42% -22%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
15696 Points ∼39% -28%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
14724 Points ∼36% -32%
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
9537 Points ∼23% -56%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K
18428 Points ∼47% +89%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9980HK
16511 Points ∼42% +69%
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), 2700X
15851 Points ∼40% +62%
Medion Erazer X15805
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8950HK
10997 Points ∼28% +13%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
10438 Points ∼26% +7%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
10331 Points ∼26% +6%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (9095 - 11780, n=13)
10323 Points ∼26% +6%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
9770 Points ∼25%
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
8328 Points ∼21% -15%
Alienware 15 R3 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7820HK
7994 Points ∼20% -18%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K
17290 Points ∼76% +69%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9980HK
16253 Points ∼72% +59%
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), 2700X
13883 Points ∼61% +36%
Medion Erazer X15805
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8950HK
12715 Points ∼56% +24%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
12260 Points ∼54% +20%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
12069 Points ∼53% +18%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (10230 - 12785, n=15)
11747 Points ∼52% +15%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
10230 Points ∼45%
Alienware 15 R3 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7820HK
9607 Points ∼42% -6%
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
9459 Points ∼42% -8%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop), 2700X
39651 Points ∼78% +40%
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9900K
38485 Points ∼75% +36%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 9750H
28369 Points ∼56%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (23386 - 30910, n=15)
27454 Points ∼54% -3%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9980HK
26582 Points ∼52% -6%
Alienware 15 R3 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7820HK
24425 Points ∼48% -14%
Medion Erazer X15805
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8950HK
21660 Points ∼42% -24%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H
20765 Points ∼41% -27%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
19187 Points ∼38% -32%
MSI GT72S-6QEG16SR421BW
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
12193 Points ∼24% -57%
3DMark 11 Performance
19885 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
33900 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
17504 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
7785 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The RTX 2080 Max-Q is unquestionably a fast GPU capable of playing the latest games. Unfortunately on the Alienware m15 R2, the GPU is held back a bit by the limited CPU Turbo Boost potential of the chassis. Our 3DMark Physics scores above are about 5 to 10 percent slower than the average Core i7-9750H in our database. When gaming, this small CPU performance deficit can potentially impact frame rates by about 5 to 10 percent. This is most noticeable when running games on lower settings in order to reach higher frame rates where the CPU becomes more stressed. Shadow of the Tomb Raider on Low settings, for example, is 13 percent slower than the Origin PC EVO16-S equipped with the same CPU and GPU. This is somewhat disappointing considering that high frame rate targets are the best way to exploit the high refresh rate of 144 Hz and 240 Hz panels.

If your intention is 60 FPS gaming, however, then the slightly slower CPU performance of the Alienware should have almost no impact since the process will be more GPU bound.

See our dedicated page on the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Highest Preset AA:T
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
123 fps ∼100% +41%
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop)
111 fps ∼90% +28%
MSI GE75 9SG
Intel Core i9-9880H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
109 fps ∼89% +25%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
Intel Core i9-9980HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
97 fps ∼79% +11%
Origin PC EVO16-S i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
94 fps ∼76% +8%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
87 fps ∼71%
Alienware m15 P79F
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
84 fps ∼68% -3%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (71 - 94, n=6)
81.5 fps ∼66% -6%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
70 fps ∼57% -20%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
61 fps ∼50% -30%
Asus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
49 fps ∼40% -44%
1280x720 Lowest Preset
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
171 fps ∼100% +50%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
Intel Core i9-9980HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
160 fps ∼94% +40%
MSI GE75 9SG
Intel Core i9-9880H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
146 fps ∼85% +28%
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop)
144 fps ∼84% +26%
Origin PC EVO16-S i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
131 fps ∼77% +15%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
130 fps ∼76% +14%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (114 - 133, n=3)
126 fps ∼74% +11%
Alienware m15 P79F
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
119 fps ∼70% +4%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
115 fps ∼67% +1%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
114 fps ∼67%
Asus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
62 fps ∼36% -46%
Asus VivoBook S15 S532F
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
24 fps ∼14% -79%
The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Asus ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Desktop)
103.4 (min: 81, max: 119) fps ∼100% +27%
Alienware Area-51m i9-9900K RTX 2080
Intel Core i9-9900K, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
101.1 fps ∼98% +24%
MSI GE75 9SG
Intel Core i9-9880H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop)
95.3 fps ∼92% +17%
Alienware m15 R2 P87F
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
81.3 fps ∼79%
Eurocom Nightsky RX15
Intel Core i9-9980HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop)
80.6 fps ∼78% -1%
Asus Zephyrus S GX531GX
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
80.3 fps ∼78% -1%
Razer Blade 15 RTX 2080 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
78.3 fps ∼76% -4%
Origin PC EVO16-S i7-9750H RTX 2080 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
77.6 fps ∼75% -5%
Average NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
  (65.7 - 87.4, n=16)
77.1 fps ∼75% -5%
Alienware m17 P37E
Intel Core i9-8950HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
75.7 fps ∼73% -7%
Alienware m15 P79F
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
64.4 fps ∼62% -21%
Alienware 15 R3 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-7820HK, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
64.2 fps ∼62% -21%
Medion Erazer X15805
Intel Core i9-8950HK, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
63.6 fps ∼62% -22%
Lenovo Legion Y740-15ICHg
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
57 fps ∼55% -30%
Asus Strix Hero III G731GV
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
56 fps ∼54% -31%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
55.3 fps ∼53% -32%
Lenovo Legion Y540-17IRH
Intel Core i5-9300H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
55.1 fps ∼53% -32%
Alienware m15 GTX 1070 Max-Q
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
54.2 fps ∼52% -33%
Asus ROG GA502DU
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
48.8 fps ∼47% -40%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
37 fps ∼36% -54%
MSI GF63 8RC-040XPL
Intel Core i5-8300H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
20.6 fps ∼20% -75%
Asus VivoBook S15 S532F
Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250
10.7 fps ∼10% -87%

When idling on Witcher 3 for over an hour, we're able to record two instances of sudden frame dips to single-digit frame rates as shown by our graph below. We reran the test to make sure they weren't flukes, but the frame dips would occur again during the second test. We're unsure of the cause, but unforeseen background activity is a likely culprit.

0102030405060708090