Laptop announced date: 1st February 2019
Last reviewed: 11th February 2020
Gaming laptops are often expensive when compared to similar specced desktops. So today’s Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop review will be focusing on helping us demystify it’s performance capability in relation to its price. We will take a look at some of the latest demanding games to see the types of FPS returns we could expect to see for this mobile gaming price point.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - Modern AAA 2020 gaming with the Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz processor is no problem. As it meets game requirements of today it will likely hold its own against future release titles as well, this is an excellent CPU for a gaming laptop. Loaded up with plenty of processor cores, this CPU has 8, which is excellent for AAA gaming that wants extra cores for processing.
Graphics Card - This graphics card is considered an excellent 2020 choice for modern AAA games. Loaded up with a huge amount of VRAM, this GPU has 8GB, which makes it excellent for AAA gaming.
System Memory - The 16GB is an excellent amount of system memory for modern gaming in 2020.
Screen Size - This laptop’s 17.3" screen can deliver a good viewable amount of real estate for modern games and in terms of screen size this is a step towards the laptop being an excellent gaming laptop choice. You can of course game on smaller screen laptops, but in game menus could become tricky to see on smaller screens.
Refresh Rate - A gaming laptop wants to have a higher refresh rate to accommodate more frames per second(FPS) in the games it runs. The refresh rate is like a hard cap on the games deliverable FPS. The better the refresh rate the more FPS the laptop can deliver in games, up to the panels refresh rate hertz, and then the sharper the in game play is when the player moves about. And so considering that, this laptop is available with up to 144Hz as its refresh rate. This high refresh rate would be an excellent choice in a gamers laptop, but anything over 60Hz would be suitable.
With this gaming laptop we will be exploring how well it can run modern, demanding and popular games that are out now or will be coming out over the coming months. Currently we will want to understand its gaming performance compared to its overall laptop cost and we can do this by looking at how it could run popular games like, Cyberpunk 2077 or Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. We will be seeing how it deals with these games in ultra graphics settings on its laptop screen resolution of 1080p. The GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile in this machine is currently capable of running 496 games at minimum system requirements of the 500 most demanding games available today. Where as it is capable of running 448 games of the top 500 most demanding recommended system requirements.
Stepping into it, we can standardise our assessment of this Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop review by giving every laptop a relative price to performance rating. This rating, for all laptops, will adjust over time and keep the data in this review relevant to today's expectations and inline with ever increasing game demands of modern AAA laptop gaming.
This laptop gets a 4.9 for P2P. There look to be a number of Alienware Area-51M versions of this laptop and currently this hardware configuration sits at 19th in the Price to Performance order. Obviously scoring towards the 1st position represents the better value laptop from a purely gaming performance and price tag perspective.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2649.99||20%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2749.99||17%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2849.99||17%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||14%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2899.99||12%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||9%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||9%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3099.99||9%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3,499.99||8%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||6%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||6%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3299.99||6%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3149.99||6%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3249.99||6%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||5%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3349.99||2%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||1%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||1%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||0%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||0%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3499.99||0%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||2%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||2%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3749.99||2%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||2%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||2%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3699.99||2%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3799.99||5%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3899.99||7%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3999.99||7%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3949.99||8%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4099.99||9%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4149.99||9%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||9%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||9%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4399.99||13%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4499.99||15%|
Looking outside of this range lets us compare the Price to Performance rating of the very best laptops we have listed. Today's top laptop model for P2P is the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 and the price we have for it is $985.49. Our Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop’s price to performance is 232% worse when comparing it with the top laptop, purely on a performance for money basis, and as we know lots of things go into our decision when choosing the right laptop for us. Lets move down the P2P ranking list to position 2. Here we find the Acer Nitro 5 2020 R5 4600H GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 laptop, which has a price at $855.02. The Alienware Area-51M laptop in this review is 209% worse when compared solely on price to performance against that 2nd best model.
If you are looking for a strong CPU focused laptop then let's compare this Alienware Area-51M laptop with the top CPU performance focused laptop available today and see how it compares. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p is today’s best performer in the laptop CPU department. It has a Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz processor in it, which currently has 7% better performance than our laptop’s Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz.
A quick review of the number of games our laptop processor can run at recommended requirements is 500, taken from the top 500 most demanding games today. For min cpu specs this figure for number of games it can run is 500.
Let's take a look and see how well our Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz compares against today’s most popular games. Against the recommended CPU specs for Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop is 43% better, and compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla it is 43% better , where as against Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War it delivers 59% better performance.
A good comparison in terms of graphical power for our review model would be to compare it to one of the most powerful GPU focused laptop’s around today. This type of comparison can show us what another laptop, with a top end graphics hardware solution, can deliver and in turn provide us a relative point of laptop Graphics Card cost comparison. The GPU focused laptop we picked for our comparison is the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K. Its got one of the best graphics cards found in laptops at the moment, which is the GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB. It delivers 35% better performance when benched against our own review laptop’s GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile.
Our laptop Graphics Card, the GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile, can currently meet the recommended system requirements of 448 games when compared against the top 500 most demanding games right now. This number changes to 496 for the top 500 most demanding minimum system requirements.
Today’s games are getting more demanding so let's see how our gaming laptop performs against their recommended gpu system requirements. First off we have the Assassins Creed: Valhalla which currently our GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile is 36% better next let's see how well it runs against Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. We can see it is 53% better. Ok finally lets see it against Cyberpunk 2077. Here our laptop is 36% better.
There is a lot of talk about getting 4K capable monitors and our review laptop has a 1080p native resolution, and a physical 17.3" panel. Lets explore if it would be better for you to grab a laptop with a 4K screen rather than the 1080p offered here? 4K laptops would likely come with a 60 FPS cap on games, set by the laptop screen’s 60Hz refresh rate. So regardless of what the hardware is capable of in the 4K laptop they couldn't push their FPS beyond that screen refresh rate. Now AAA games today when played at Ultra graphics settings and a 4K resolution likely don't have hardware capable of 60 FPS anyway. This particular laptop refresh rate options are 144Hz.
So lowering a game’s screen resolution down to 1080p or 1440p during your gaming of modern AAA games will help get more frames per second. But in doing so, by down scaling the game resolution will then make the game look blurry on a native 4K laptop panel. So the purpose of getting a 4K laptop monitor for gaming maybe lost at this point. A 1080p laptop can still have some powerful gaming hardware in it and if it is good enough to run AAA games at larger resolutions like 4K or 1440p then attach it to a desktop monitor while you are at home and stationary. If the desktop monitor is pretty good then it wont have a 60Hz refresh rate limiting its FPS count in game. And is likely to be a whole lot more enjoyable playing on a 24 inch or larger monitor than the more standard 15 or 17inch screen normally found on gaming laptops.
However, you could be after watching 4K streaming content on your laptop, while on the move. Then perhaps the 17inch laptop screen and 4K resolution is going to net a more enjoyable experience than a 1080p alternative.
We think don't spend your extra cash on getting a 4K laptop to game on, as it's likely to feel disappointing to buy a super shiny new 4K laptop, then have to lower the resolution while playing your games, delivering a blurry in-game experience, and only getting up to a maximum 60FPS due to the usual 60Hz 4K panel restriction.
Today’s best priced 1440p gaming monitor, to work nicely with our Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2, would be the LG 32GK650F-B 32 inch 1440p FreeSync 1ms 144Hz, which is priced at $376.00 and has a refresh rate of 144Hz. To help provide some further information into this desktop monitor price trends we saw it cost a recorded low of $296.99, which we tracked on 23rd Nov 2020.
Today’s most competitive 4K gaming monitor by price is Nixeus EDG XB273K 27 inch 4K FreeSync IPS 4ms 144Hz and could work well with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. It is priced at $899.99. Reviewing tracked prices for our suggested 4k monitor, its lowest price was recorded on 21st Nov 2020, where we spotted it for $635.04.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
Possibly a suitable purpose for a 4K laptop would be if you were keen to watch 4K streaming services like Netflix. At which point perhaps it's enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop?
We still feel it's not the time to spend extra cash for the 4K gaming laptop due to the limitations laid out above. It would surely feel somewhat disappointing to boot up your new 4K laptop, only to then realise you have to drop down the resolution on modern titles to get them to run smoothly. And then see that anything you play is somewhat less sharp than you have seen on your older PC and capped at a maximum of 60FPS due to the usual 60Hz 4K screen tech.
The gaming mouse with today’s best price to value that would go well with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its current price is $11.99. Another interesting point about this mouse is that as we price track it we can see it has dropped in price by $36 during these past two weeks. Reviewing all our records the lowest tracked price we have for this mouse was recorded on 15th Aug 2020, where it was priced at $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|*||Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons||$11.99|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$13.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$39.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$49.49|
The gaming headset with today’s best price to value that would go well with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Its current price is $39.99. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020, which had it priced at $25.98.