Laptop announced date: 1st February 2019
Last reviewed: 11th February 2020
If you adjust the spec you are looking at on a gaming laptop, the price hikes up and makes it harder to judge price to performance. Today's Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop review is going to give us all a good sense of these sorts of values. We will take a look at what sort of performance you can expect the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop to return across the more demanding games of today.
Is the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 good as a gaming laptop? Excellent
Processor - With the Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz processor in this laptop its excellent for 2020 gaming, capable of running today’s game processor system requirements. This laptop CPU has 8 cores. This is excellent for modern AAA gaming as the games start to require more cores for simultaneous activities.
Graphics Card - This laptop has an excellent choice of graphics card for modern AAA games during 2020. This GPU comes with 8GB, which is excellent and plenty powerful to meet the VRAM requirements of modern games.
System Memory - Today’s AAA 2020 gaming is easily covered by the 64GB RAM in this machine, making this an excellent gaming laptop choice.
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. The top refresh rate for this laptop is 144Hz which is excellent for gaming. Get a panel with over 60Hz refresh rate would certainly be suitable for gaming.
No two laptops are the same. But one of the primary gaming laptop components is of course the graphics card. Often a slightly weaker mobile solution, when compared to its desktop equivalent. Today we will consider this laptop's hardware, when running modern popular and sometimes demanding games, like Cyberpunk 2077, Assassins Creed: Valhalla and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War which will help us know if this mobile graphics card and the overall laptop hardware is considered a good price to performance point. We consider it running these titles at its native 1080p resolution, and at Ultra video settings. Coming loaded with the GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile, this laptop is capable of beating 500 games at their minimum system specs and 490 games at their recommended system specs. This is when looking at today’s top 500 most demanding games.
We really want to see how the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 will compare across all permutations of the Alienware Area-51M model range. This will give us a good sense of how well it sits in terms of cost to performance within its own lineup, and will better help us decide if this laptop represents good value to us today.
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 for P2P out of 10. Here we look at how our version of this Alienware Area-51M laptop compares against the other laptops in the range. This laptop is currently 37th in this range for hardware value. Laptops closer to the 1st position of the model range represent the better gaming performance bang for your buck.
Show Laptop Specifications
|Processor||Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz|
|Graphics Card||GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile|
|RAM||64GB DDR4 2400MHz|
17.3" 1920x1080 (1080p)
Available refresh rates: 144Hz
Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 model range price to performance comparison table
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2649.99||39%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2749.99||35%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2849.99||35%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||32%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2899.99||29%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||26%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2999.99||25%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3099.99||25%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 512GB M.2||$3,499.99||25%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||23%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3199.99||22%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3299.99||22%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3149.99||22%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3249.99||22%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$2,949.00||21%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3349.99||18%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||16%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||16%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3449.99||15%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3549.99||15%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3499.99||15%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||14%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3649.99||14%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3749.99||14%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2060 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||13%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3599.99||13%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3699.99||13%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3799.99||10%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 16GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3899.99||8%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3999.99||8%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$3949.99||7%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 32GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4099.99||6%|
|i7-9700K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4149.99||6%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2070 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||5%|
|i7-9700 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4049.99||5%|
|i9-9900 RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4399.99||2%|
|i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2||$4499.99||0%|
Our Alienware Area-51M laptop should also be compared to today’s best Price to Performance model, the ASUS TUF A15 R7 4800H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2. When stacked up against this, our laptop has 278% worse rating difference on its P2P. It's worth noting that the very best P2P model has a recorded price of $999.99 to consider and of course this is purely a value for performance basis. Another great model is the MSI GF65 Thin i7-9750H GTX 1660 Ti 16GB RAM 512GB M.2, which we have priced at $939.99. Our Alienware Area-51M laptop is 257% worse on Price to Performance.
You might be considering a CPU heavy laptop and wondering how this Alienware Area-51M laptop does in the grand scheme of CPU focused laptops. Let's compare this laptop with a top CPU performance laptop available today and see how its CPU performance stacks up. We will choose the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 R9 4900HS RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB RAM 1.0TB M.2 1440p laptop for our CPU comparison tests as that laptop currently has the best CPU in it at the cheapest laptop price. Its CPU is the Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz which we will compare to our review laptop’s Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz processor. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop CPU to be 7% better in performance compared to our laptop’s processor.
Our laptop’s CPU can currently run 500 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 i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz.
But the real test is seeing how well the laptop CPU performs against today's popular games. Our Core i9-9900K 8-Core 3.6GHz compared against recommended processor requirements for Cyberpunk 2077 delivers 43% better performance while against Assassins Creed: Valhalla it’s 43% better and finally compared to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War it has a performance difference : 59% better.
Graphics power is a primary laptop hardware area for consideration and so let's check our Alienware Area-51M by comparing it against a top GPU focused laptop thats available today. Lets look at the MSI GT76 Titan i9-10900K RTX 2080 64GB RAM 2.0TB M.2 4K laptop due to its graphics processing power. The GPU it houses is ideal for comparison benchmarking, because it currently has one of the best laptop graphics solutions, at the cheapest laptop price. Its GPU is the GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB which we compare to the GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile graphics card in our review laptop. Our performance comparison shows the top end laptop GPU to be 16% better in performance compared to our laptop’s graphics processing power.
A quick review of the number of games our laptop Graphics Card can run at recommended requirements is 490, taken from the top 500 most demanding games today. For min GPU specs this figure for number of games it can run is 500.
When compared to the recommended graphics requirements of the most popular games today, like Cyberpunk 2077 our laptop GPU is 59% better in performance. Compared to Assassins Creed: Valhalla our laptop graphics performance is 59% better.
This Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop has a 17.3" physical screen size and displays 1920 pixel by 1080 pixels tall native 1080p resolution. Is this 1080p laptop good for your needs though or should you instead be looking to buy a 4K screen mobile PC rather than this? A 4K panel usually comes with 60Hz screen refresh rate that would be also setting a max FPS on any game played on the laptop, even if it’s laptop hardware could return higher FPS. Factor into the decision process about getting a 4K laptop, that most AAA games would struggle to reach 60 FPS at 4K Ultra graphics settings on today’s regular laptop hardware. We can see 144Hz panel refresh rate versions of this laptop are available. The higher the better.
It would be more likely that we would have to lower the AAA game resolution to 1080p or maybe 1440p and by doing so get back some of the FPS to a playable level. But by doing this the game moves away from its native 4K resolution and starts to look unclear. 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 use we can think of is for streaming 4K movie and TV content, assuming you have access to these services. If this is your primary use for the laptop, rather than gaming then it certainly might be worth considering this.
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.
A well priced 1440p gaming monitor with 75Hz, is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27 inch 1440p 75Hz 5ms IPS, which is currently priced at $366.03 and would work well with our Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. The suggested 1440p monitor price tracker recorded on 5th Aug 2020, where it reached the low cost price of $272.99.
A well priced 4K gaming monitor with 144Hz refresh rate is the Nixeus EDG XB273K 27 inch 4K FreeSync IPS 4ms 144Hz. It has a price today of $899.99 and should be a nice accompaniment to the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop. The cheapest we have tracked this 4k monitor was for the price of $635.04, on 21st Nov 2020.
[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?
At the moment our advice would be, stick to the 1080p laptop panels for now. Your laptop remains portable and 4K laptop’s just aren't quite there yet. The 4K needs to be a no brainer but at the moment you will still have to lower resolution in game to get playable but sub par visuals that still can't raise above 60FPS.
Incidentally our price track research shows us that a good gaming mouse is the Kayinuo M738 Gaming Mouse 3200DPI wired 6 Buttons. Its price tag today is $11.99 and is topping our price tracking charts as a best value mouse. This mouse has also dropped its price by $36 during the past two weeks, which is a solid reason for us to select it with this laptop. To give some extra insight into this mouse, we had it price tracked on 15th Aug 2020, where it was at its lowest price of $11.99.
|Quality||Mouse||Price (USD)||Check Regional Pricing|
|**||PICTEK Gaming Mouse 7200DPI wired 7 Buttons||$13.99|
|**||Redragon M711 Cobra||$19.99|
|***||Cooler Master MM710||$39.99|
|***||Logitech G502 SE Hero||$49.50|
Of our price tracked headsets, the gaming headset that catches our eye today, to go well with the Dell Alienware Area-51M i9-9900K RTX 2080 Mobile 64GB RAM 256GB M.2 laptop, is the HyperX Cloud Stinger. Today this headset is priced at $39.99. Checking our records our lowest tracked price for this headset was on 12th Mar 2020, which had it priced at $25.98.