Alienware m17 R3 Review

The Alienware m17 R3 is a uniquely styled gaming laptop with an extreme high-refresh screen for hardcore players. It’s a pricey but top-quality package with the capacity for colossal power and plenty of configuration options.

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– Hi, I’m Matthew Buzzi from PCMag Here with the Alienware m17 R3, The 17 inch sibling to
the Alienware m15 R3 That I also recently reviewed. It’s much the same laptop. It keeps the sort of same
very modern future kind Of sci-fi aesthetic. That
includes this ringed LED In the back. Some text that wouldn’t look
out of place in ”Mass Effect” Or another sci-fi property,
and this honeycomb sort Of ventilation here, also
matches the Alienware Aurora Desktop that I have here. Sort of a consistent
design language across All the products and I
think it’s an improvement On the sort of older, very gamer-y, Red and black aggressive Design language that we saw for years. This definitely still lets
you know it’s a gaming laptop But I think it’s kind of a cleaner design. It’s a little more intentional And I think it looks pretty good. Now obviously, the biggest
difference from the m15 In the m17 is the screen size. This is a 17 inch screen. It’s a standard 1080P resolution, So full HD is a good, fine fit for gaming. It’s not 1440P or 4K. There’s a 4K option but this
is a full HD with 300 Hertz Refresh rate which is blistering fast, A really good fit for
competitive multiplayer games, Your favorite shooter, your
favorite battle royale, your Favorite MOBA, will run really,
really fast on this screen. And our configuration
actually does have the power To push those frame rates.

The starting price on
this laptop is $1,650 But our model is configured
all the way up to $3,400, So, much higher than the base price. Very expensive laptop,
do not get me wrong. We have a Core i9 CPU for
that as well as the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super. Not even the max q version of that GPU, The full power mobile version of that GPU. Despite the fact that
this laptop is so thin, Which is pretty impressive,
and the performance we saw Definitely matched what you would expect. 120, 140 frames per second
on some of our AAA benchmark Tests, and speaking of those
competitive multiplayer games, The ”Rainbow Six Siege”
built-in benchmark 240 frames Per second even on the
highest quality settings And on the lowest settings
over 300 frames per second. So this screen could actually get used. The 300 Hertz refresh rate can be utilized In this computer because these
components are so powerful. Obviously, if you’re going
to get a $3,400 computer You’d expect high end
performance but it does deliver, And it delivers better than
anything that we’ve tested Really in this in this sort of size range, And I mean there’s really
no shortcomings on either The processor side or the
gaming performance side. So, if you have that much money
to spec it out all the way You get what you pay for. Alienware did a good job on the thermals. It gets loudish but no louder
than really any other gaming Laptop and wall gaming. The heat is moderate. It’s fairly hot but again
that’s kind of what you expect. Backing all that up is
32 gigs of RAM and a ton Of storage in this.

There’s three SSDs, two of them in RAID 0, So they show up as one,
but it’s over a terabyte Of SSD storage. So really, again,
getting what you pay for. This is super expensive,
no questions asked. Even the starting price, $1,650, That’s not cheap by any means, Obviously, that’s higher
even starting price for a lot Of gaming laptops but this is clearly The enthusiast machine. The 15 inch version
scales a little bit better As far as starting a little
lower but it does also Go up as high. If you’re going to go in
for a 17 inch gaming laptop That kind of signals that
you’re pretty serious about it. You’re not really going
to use it for the road. This is like a stay-at-home
desktop replacement, Gaming laptop that is
kind of a gaming desktop. It is portable, it’s
six and a half pounds. I wouldn’t want to take
this with me frequently, Certainly not a daily commute machine. The battery life is also
really not very good, Less than just a bit over
two hours on a rundown test, So might last for a quick
trip, might last on your couch And delivering only
even for a couple hours But it really is meant to be
a gaming machine that stays On your desk. You can take it with
you, unlike a desktop, That’s the advantage. That’s kind of what you pay
for, but it really is not a very Portable laptop, and I
think that sort of ties Into the starting price
because they know this is For enthusiasts, this is
for performance-first people Who really are pretty hardcore about

Their gaming experience. This chassis is fairly big so
it can pull quite a few ports. We have an ethernet jack, which
is always nice for a gaming Laptop, get that reliable,
consistent connection For your online games. USB port, headphone jack, two
more USB ports on that side As well as a micro SD card slot, And on the back it gets
kind of interesting. There’s the Alienware proprietary port For their external graphics amplifier, If you happen to have that.
It’s kind of impossible To beef this laptop up much
more than the 2080 Super. I mean, if you have one
of the new 30 Series cards Then go nuts but there’s
not really much of a point In boosting an already very,
very good graphics card Even further. The HDMI connection on the
back, a mini display port, And USB-C with Thunderbolt support. So really, a full
complimentary set of ports. I can’t really complain
about any of the connections. You have plenty of each,
maybe you want more USB-C But that’s kind of
nitpicking at that point. So, a good selection of ports. The keys, there’s per-key backlighting. I have them all blue here
but you can customize And change them all. There’s also some software
performance options In the Alienware command center
alongside the key lighting Options to kind of tweak
the boost of the CPU and GPU But the automatic setting
kind of does it well. I think if you max out
those things all the way, The fan speed gets even
louder and that’s not really Something anybody wants. And the performance gains
are fairly minimal anyway

So it’s not really worth the extra bother And the extra sound for me. So that’s really it for
the Alienware m17 R3. It’s a really configurable laptop. Yes, ours is really highly specked out, Yours doesn’t have to be. It’s Dell. It’s a Dell company so there’s
plenty of configurations On the site when you’re ordering. There’s a lot of different
things to pick through From the processor to the GPU
to the storage that can really Bring the price down or
somewhere in the middle Between the starting price and our model, So don’t be too scared off
by the price if you like The look of the laptop and
you want to pack some more Modest components into this,
but still very effective. For that much money as a
starting price, this is always Going to be a pretty good
gaming laptop regardless of what You put in it. Other than that, the only complaint really Is the short battery life. Not a deal breaker in this category. It’d be nice if it was longer. Plenty of gaming laptops do
have good batteries these days So that’d be something
we’d like to see improve But otherwise you get this
really standout design. I like it. I hope other people like it
as well, ’cause Alienware has Definitely made it their
look for their current, Few probably next years of laptops. Chart topping performance as
far as our model is concerned And it’s really not
much to complain about. This and the Razer Blade
Pro 17, two of the best sort Of still portable 17 inch gaming laptops.

I would say this is a bit
less of an appeal compared To the Alienware m15 R3
just because at 17 inches There are some gaming laptops doing really Interesting things with their
design or just even with Their performance. They’re a bit thicker but
again if you’re not moving this A lot to begin with, you
maybe just want something That’s really going to
go for broke on your desk And have a crazy sliding
keyboard or some of the other Solutions we’ve seen. So it gets a little bit less
of a unique draw compared To the 15 inch which is a
really good, thin, portable Gaming laptop, Where on 15 inches they don’t do As many experimental designs. So, if you want to go
pure performance and still Want to be able to move
your 17 inch gaming laptop, This is one of the top
options on the market. Read my full review on I gave it a four out of five stars. Thank you for watching.

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