Laptop announced date: 1st February 2019
Last reviewed: 11th February 2020
Today's review of the gaming Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop explores the performance to value relationship of its hardware components. We will be comparing some of the most demanding games to see some expected frame rates for the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop and understand the type of price to performance on offer.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - This processor is an excellent 2020 hardware component for running modern AAA games. Games are beginning to lean on more CPU cores for extra processing. Fortunately this CPU has 8 cores, making it an excellent gamers processor choice.
Graphics Card - With the GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile graphics card this is an excellent gaming GPU for 2020 AAA gaming Loaded up with a huge amount of VRAM, this GPU has 8GB, which makes it excellent for AAA gaming.
System Memory - This system memory, 32GB, is excellent for meeting 2020 AAA game requirements.
Screen Size - This panel, which is 17.3", is excellent for displaying 2020 AAA game details and having some nice space to showcase games on. We are often looking for a gaming laptop to have at least a 17 inch screen, to give the gaming laptop enough viewability for game details. The smaller the screen, the harder it can be to see some details on the game menus and hover over tips, that are so common in games nowadays.
Refresh Rate - If you want a gaming laptop then aim for a refresh rate that is more than 60Hz. If you don't clearly see the advertised laptops screen refresh rate then assume it is 60Hz. This would mean that the laptop will be capped at 60FPS when running games. The higher the refresh rate and the FPS then the smoother the game plays as it delivers more images a second to your screen and makes movement feel more responsive in game. If you were to get the 144Hz laptop screen option that we see this is available with then this would be an excellent refresh rate gaming laptop choice.
Getting a good price to performance gaming laptop is what we are all trying to do when looking for our next mobile machine. The key component in this is usually the graphics card. So we will of course be considering this hardware setup and how well it could run modern popular games like Cyberpunk 2077, Assassins Creed: Valhalla and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War to help us know if this graphics card and laptop is a good price to performance point. We do this by considering the gaming frame rates achieved at its native 1080p resolution while the games would be running at Ultra video settings. A first point of reference is seeing how many the mobile gpu, a GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile found in this laptop, can run of today's 500 most demanding games. In particular it would seem that it can currently run 490 at recommended graphics requirements and then 500 games at their min specs.
A key focus of this laptop review is to compare the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 to all other laptops in terms of how much its $ reflects the value of the gaming performance delivered by the this laptop’s hardware.
Our price and performance review leads us to allocate all laptops a P2P rating out of 10, which is relative to all laptops for comparison purposes and gets adjusted over time as the prices for hardware adjust and new more capable hardware is created. This laptop is currently given a 4.8 for P2P out of 10. Looking at how this configuration of the Alienware Area-51M laptop compares against other laptops within its range we can see it currently is placed at the 23rd spot. Those laptops that are closer to the top 1st place of the model range are considered better gaming laptops regarding performance and laptop price.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i7-9700 8-Core 3.0GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile|
|RAM||32GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2649.99||22%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2749.99||18%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2849.99||18%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||16%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2899.99||14%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||11%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||10%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3099.99||10%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3,499.99||10%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||8%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||7%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3299.99||7%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3149.99||7%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3249.99||7%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||6%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3349.99||4%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||2%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||2%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||2%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||2%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3499.99||2%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||0%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||0%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3749.99||0%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||1%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||1%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3699.99||1%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3799.99||3%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3899.99||5%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3999.99||5%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3949.99||6%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4099.99||7%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4149.99||7%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||8%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||8%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4399.99||12%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4499.99||14%|
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 $986.99. Our Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop’s price to performance is 237% 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. Second on the Price to Performance laptop ranking at the moment is the MSI GF65 Thin i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2 which we have a recorded price of $939.99. If we compare our laptop to this one then our laptop returns with 214% worse performance/ price rating figure than it.
Now we will see if our laptop compares favourably against the top CPU performance focused mobile PC that is currently available. The CPU performance laptop we picked today is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p. Its processor is the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz which delivers 27% better performance when stacked against our own review laptop’s Core i7-9700 8-Core 3.0GHz.
Our laptop CPU beats 489 games recommended system requirements when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games. This number changes to 500 games if we compare to the top 500 most demanding games for minimum system requirements.
How about we compare our laptop processor performance against Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War recommended processor requirement? Our laptop gets 52% better performance. Next let's check the top game of the moment, Cyberpunk 2077, which shows the review laptop’s cpu against that game’s system specs gets 33% better performance. We also see the 33% better performance from our laptop cpu when looking at the game Assassins Creed: Valhalla for it’s processor requirements.
You will likely be considering buying a graphics and pixel crunching laptop perhaps to meet the latest and future game requirements. We will therefore be wondering how our Alienware Area-51M review laptop competes against other GPU centric laptops in the gaming laptop market. To give us a bit of insight we will compare our laptop with a leading GPU performance laptop and see how its graphics capability performs against it. We have chosen this next laptop for its GPU power, which is the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K, and comes packing a GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB video card. That graphics card performs 16% better when compared to our review 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.
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 2080 Mobile is 59% better next let's see how well it runs against Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. We can see it is 80% better. Ok finally lets see it against Cyberpunk 2077. Here our laptop is 59% better.
The Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 has a physical 17.3" screen size and a fixed number of pixels in that screen of 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels tall, or 1080p resolution. So is it ok to go for a 1080p laptop like this one or should I be considering a 4K screen resolution laptop instead of this? Screen refresh rate on a 4K panel laptop will normally be 60Hz and this will cap out any game’s Frames Per Second at 60 even if it’s hardware could deliver more FPS. Along with that upset most AAA games would struggle to reach that 60 FPS at 4K Ultra graphics settings on most laptop hardware today. With higher the better refresh rates for your laptop monitor, this particular Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is available in 144Hz variety.
As a somewhat last resort a gamer could lower a game’s displayed screen resolution away from the 4K laptop’s native pixel count. Dropping down to 1080p or maybe 1440p would deliver more frames per second in game and help provide a more stable FPS in modern AAA games. But taking this action, moving away from the native 4K resolution, immediately reduces game graphics definition and makes it look blurry. Not an ideal situation on a new gaming 4K laptop. However, a 1080p laptop could very well have some good hardware in it, capable of playing AAA games comfortably at 4K with a few graphics setting tweaks. If this is the case then hook up the gaming laptop to a 4K or 1440p desktop monitor, for some serious home based gaming sessions. A decent desktop monitor is not going to have 60Hz getting in the way of extra FPS and is going to be enjoyably larger than the 15inch or 17inch screen thats most common on laptops.
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..
As you can probably gather from the information above, its probably not worth the extra cash for a 4K laptop if gaming is your Laptop purpose. 1080p is likely plenty and has enough alternative gaming options for when you want better resolution. It feels like you might not get what you were after if you picked up a shiny new 4K laptop, then was needing to lower game resolution, while getting blurry in-game experience and achieving a max 60FPS when you could push the hardware into better frame rates.
The 1440p gaming monitor that has a great price today and should be a nice accompaniment to the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS. Its current price is $335.36 and it has a 75Hz refresh rate. We like to price track our favourite laptop hardware and peripherals. And as a point of note the lowest tracked price for this 1440p monitor was recorded on 5th Aug 2020, which was priced at $272.99.
Today's best priced 4K gaming monitor comes with a 144Hz refresh rate. It is the Nixeus EDG XB273K 27 inch 4K FreeSync IPS 4ms 144Hz and is currently priced at $635.04. For some extra info about this 4k monitor, during our price tracking we can see the lowest price recorded by us was $635.04, which was on 21st Nov 2020.
[Note - check that monitor display connectors are compatible between a monitor and a laptop before purchase]
Maybe you are hoping to enjoy your 4K streamed movies and TV shows while on the move. And if you have access to this 4K content and it's your prime use for your new laptop then perhaps it's worth considering a 4K panel, rather than this 1080p.
Hold that 4K gaming laptop cash for perhaps a more powerful GPU or fancy mouse or headset. That's our usual advice. Otherwise it might be a bit disheartening to pay for a 4K gaming laptop, and then be forced to turn the resolution down on modern games to get them to run smoothly.
You could pick up a mouse to go with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2. In our spotlight at the moment is the PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons, which today is $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|
|*||Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons||$11.99|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$10.87|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$30.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$52.99|
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. Out of interest our lowest price tracked on this headset was on 12th Mar 2020 where we saw it for $25.98.