Laptop announced date: 1st February 2019
Last reviewed: 11th February 2020
Its not easy trying to find out how well today’s laptops compare against other mobile gaming solutions. This review will take a look at the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 and compare it against today's current demanding games. We will also be working out how its release price relates to the performance of the laptop, to give us a guide on how well the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 hardware compares to other laptops available today.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This processor is an excellent 2020 hardware component for running modern AAA games. The 8 cores that this processor has is excellent and very capable for today and future AAA gaming.
Graphics Card - This laptop’s GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile is an excellent gaming graphics card for 2020 gaming. The graphics solution in the laptop also has 8GB of VRAM. This is an excellent gamers amount of VRAM and plenty for today’s big games.
System Memory - This laptop’s 16GB of RAM is excellent for 2020 gaming.
Screen Size - The review laptop here has a 17.3" physical screen, which we find a lot of modern gaming laptops sport nowadays. This panel size is an excellent size for 2020 gaming, that will help a gamer make out the details and menus in a game. Obviously the native resolution of the screen size will also make a difference to the on-screen definition, but the physical panel real estate offered here will be appreciated again and again for today’s gaming.
Refresh Rate - Gaming laptops might well be capable of getting high frames per second nowadays, but sometimes the laptop comes with a 60Hz refresh rate. This refresh rate is the number of times an image can be displayed by the screen. So if your graphics card and processor can get 100 FPS in most games, it will only ever be displayed by the laptop as 60FPS because of the refresh rate of 60Hz. Look for 120Hz on a good gaming laptop, or 144Hz on an excellent gaming laptop The top end refresh rate for this laptop is 144Hz for its screen. This makes it an excellent choice for gaming. Over 60Hz would be suitable, though for gaming.
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. Lets compare the GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile found in this laptop to today’s top 500 most demanding games. Of those games, this laptops GPU can run 500 at their minimum system requirements and then 490 games when looking at their recommended system specs.
Stepping into it, we can standardise our assessment of this Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 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.
We review performance and allocate a P2P rating out of 10 that will adjust over time as the prices for hardware adjust. This laptop is currently given a 4.6 for P2P. This laptop’s configuration, when compared to its own Alienware Area-51M lineup, is currently placed at 28th once we order it by the price to performance figure. Obviously scoring towards the 1st position is preferable.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 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||26%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2749.99||22%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2849.99||22%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||20%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2899.99||17%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||15%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||14%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3099.99||14%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3,499.99||13%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||12%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||11%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3299.99||11%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3149.99||11%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3249.99||11%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||10%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3349.99||7%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||6%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||6%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||5%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||5%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3499.99||5%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||3%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||3%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3749.99||3%|
|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||0%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3899.99||2%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3999.99||2%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3949.99||3%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4099.99||3%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4149.99||3%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||4%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||4%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4399.99||8%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4499.99||10%|
Lets now see how our Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop compares to the best P2P laptop, which is currently the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. Our review laptop has 248% worse rating in price to performance and the best laptop for P2P has a listed price of $986.99. The 2nd best model for Price to Performance ratings today is the MSI GF65 Thin i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. It’s price is listed as $927.94. Comparing our Alienware Area-51M laptop on its P2P shows our review model to have 229% worse Price to Performance score when compared against the 2nd best laptop range for P2P.
If you are wondering if this laptop is relatively well endowed in the CPU department then let's take a look at how it stacks up against the current best priced CPU focused laptop available today, to see its relative performance. 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 10% better performance than our laptop’s Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz.
Our laptop’s CPU can currently run 499 of today’s top 500 demanding games meeting their recommended processor requirements. This figure is 500 for the top 500 minimum requirement games that can be run by the Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop CPU performs against today's popular games. Our Core i9-9900 8-Core 3.1GHz compared against recommended processor requirements for Cyberpunk 2077 delivers 42% better performance while against Assassins Creed: Valhalla it’s 42% better and finally compared to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War it has a performance difference : 58% better.
One of the most important focuses of a gaming PC is the graphics card and our review laptop is certainly no different. As such we will want to know how well our Alienware Area-51M laptop performs in the graphical visuals area compared to what is available on the current laptop market. A great way to consider this is by putting it into a comparison against a well priced laptop that has the most powerful laptop GPU around at the moment, and then we can review its performance against that top graphics card laptop. We have the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K as one of today’s best graphics crunching laptop. It comes with a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card in it, which currently has 16% better performance compared to our laptop’s GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile.
A snapshot today of performance for our Graphics Card, we can currently see it beating 490 of the 500 most demanding games available right now. This is considering their recommended system requirements. For a the top 500 Minimum system specs this is 500 games.
Recommended graphics requirements for modern games increase all the time, so we thought we would compare the performance of our laptop graphics card to some popular games of today. First off there is Assassins Creed: Valhalla and our laptop GPU delivers 59% better performance compared to that game’s requirement. Next we have Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War in which we see our laptop graphics has 80% better performance compared to the game's video card specs. And then there is 59% better performance when we put our laptop gpu against Cyberpunk 2077 recommended specs.
This laptop has a 17.3" physical screen size with a native resolution of 1920x1080. So should you instead be thinking of picking up a 4K monitor rather than this Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2’s 1080p panel? 4K laptops have a 60Hz screen refresh rate normally, that means a game would not be able to run at more than 60 frames per second even if the hardware could deliver more. While 60FPS would provide acceptable stability, a lot of gamers would prefer higher FPS than this. However, thats not the only issue here. Modern AAA game system requirements would need more powerful gaming hardware than is normally found in laptops, to play reliably at 4K Ultra graphics settings, even at 60FPS. This particular laptop refresh rate options are 144Hz.
To get back some of those missing FPS on a AAA game we lower the game’s displayed screen resolution and get some stability in the game’s performance. This is usually a last resort for gamers though and not the sort of action taken by someone who has just shelled out for a new 4K laptop. Lowering down from a native 4K resolution, perhaps to 1080p or 1440p ups the game’s FPS but veering from the native 4K resolution leaves a game looking blurry. Definition of graphics drops and surely this puts forward the need to question someone’s choice for a 4K gaming laptop. If your laptop has hardware to deliver 4K you dont need the laptop to have a 4K display to enjoy modern gaming in this way. Just plug your laptop into a 4K desktop monitor, that will likely not have the 60Hz of most 4K laptop panels.
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 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.
Here is today’s best priced 1440p gaming monitor that could accompany the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2, ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS that is currently priced at $299.99. To help you get a bit more insight into the pricing trends of this 1440p monitor, we have price tracked this monitor and saw its lowest price recorded at $272.99, which was taken on 5th Aug 2020.
Nixeus EDG XB273K 27 inch 4K FreeSync IPS 4ms 144Hz is a good value, high performing desktop display that might work well with this laptop. It's currently priced up at $843.13 and also has a 144Hz refresh rate. Our 4k monitor price tracker recorded and marked its lowest price on 21st Nov 2020, it reached the lower price of $635.04.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
The primary 4K use would most likely be streaming movie and TV content at that resolution, assuming you have access to these services in 4K. At which point perhaps its enough of a selling point for you to consider a 4K laptop..
Perhaps in the future the 4K gaming laptop would make sense but for now certainly move forward on the 1080p laptop over the 4K options. This way your new laptop remains, well mobile and built for purpose. Picking up a 4K laptop for gaming should be a great choice but at the moment you would sadly be turning down the display quality by dropping resolution or game settings to get the game to deliver more FPS, and even then the 4K panel will likely be capped at 60FPS due to the hertz refresh rate it often comes with.
Of the mice we monitor and price track, today’s top mouse is the PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons, priced at $10.87. Another point of reference for this mouse, is that our lowest recorded price for this mouse was on 23rd Nov 2020 where it was costing $10.87.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$10.87|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$29.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$49.89|
We price track a number of good value gaming headset and the one that currently stands out is the HyperX Cloud Stinger, which is currently available for $39.99. For reference, our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 and it was priced at $25.98.