To mention AMD has come a ways on each the CPU and GPU entrance could be an enormous understatement. Now not goodbye in the past, it used to be arduous to seek out any AMD-based pc, let by myself a high-end gaming rig from Alienware, with each Ryzen CPU and Radeon GPU–plus a brand-new show milestone. And but right here we stand with Alienware’s m17 R5 on our testbed, wearing a Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU and Radeon RX6850M XT graphics. It has display screen choices that come with a first-ever 480 Hz 1080p FreeSync Top rate panel, for clean efficiency on esports titles at insane body charges.
Additionally on board is an not obligatory low-profile Cherry mechanical keyboard that feels nice, plus new AMD Good Get admission to graphic tech. The pc makes use of a multiplexer (MUX) chip to shift between the devoted graphics whilst gaming and the built-in graphics at the APU when tackling much less pixel-demanding duties. Spoiler: This leads to very spectacular battery existence for a high-end gaming rig, even supposing you will have to are living with a couple of seconds of gadget sluggishness when the graphics transition backward and forward.
On peak of all that, the Alienware m17 R5 chassis sports activities the corporate’s horny Legend 2.0 design and not obligatory Wi-Fi 6E connectivity from Qualcomm. There are even ports on all sides of the pc, in addition to at the again (not like at the higher-end Alienware x17 R2), to raised accommodate how you employ your peripherals.
What is to not like? Normally, efficiency is extra OK than very good, with gaming effects nearer to that of an RTX 3070 Ti than a 3080 or 3080 Ti. And high-end Intel Alder Lake processors certainly do higher on productiveness duties. However for $2,649 in our assessment configuration, the Alienware m17 R5 is a beautiful, robust rig that is smartly price taking into account–particularly in the event you like lengthy battery existence for non-gaming duties. Learn on to determine if Alienware’s AMD-powered gaming monster manages to earn a place on our easiest gaming laptops record.
Design of the Alienware m17 R5
Alienware has remodeled the chassis of the R5 in comparison to the previous-gen Alienware m17 R4 in some minor exterior tactics, like casting off the MicroSD card at the proper edge. You do nonetheless get two USB-A ports there (plus one on the again), whilst the left edge now sports activities simply 2.5Gb Ethernet and a combo jack.
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The remainder of the ports are living round again, the place you’ll be able to discover a 3rd USB-A port, a unmarried USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) port that may additionally ship 15W to persistent or rate your units, and the charging port. All 3 of the pc’s USB-A ports are of the 5Gbps selection.
Whilst the port selection here’s lovely excellent, and I do like the truth that there are two USB-A ports at the facet of the pc, you might be certainly sacrificing bandwidth/pace for your ports through choosing an AMD-based pc. Maximum (if now not all) trendy Intel-based gaming laptops game sooner Thunderbolt ports, with generally a couple of USB-C port as smartly.
The Alienware m17 R5 nonetheless rocks the corporate’s futuristic and tasty Legend 2.0 design, with honeycomb-shaped cutouts above the keyboard, on its backside and round again, in conjunction with the acquainted RGB lighting fixtures at the keyboard, plus a hoop at the again and at the alien head each at the lid and above the keyboard, in the fitting nook. The latter additionally serves as an influence button. This time round, there is not any “lunar mild” (white) colour choice, however that is OK through me as a result of I might in my opinion slightly personal the “darkish facet of the moon” (black) colorway anyway. That mentioned, the darkish steel lid and the touchpad specifically simply select up finger smudges.
Apparently, at 15.64 x 11.76 x 1.05 inches and seven.3 kilos, the R5 is rather larger than the previous-gen R4 (15.74 x 11.56 x 0.87 inches) and heavier (the R4 fashion we examined used to be 6.6 kilos). However that older fashion packed a smaller 86 WHr battery whilst our R5 has a 97 WHr battery. Be aware, despite the fact that, that the bottom fashion of the R5 will send with a smaller 64 WHr battery. So if you’re after the spectacular battery existence that our assessment configuration delivered in trying out (extra on that later) remember to splurge for a fashion with a bigger battery.
In case you are after the thinnest big-screen gaming pc, Razer’s Blade 17 is solely 0.78 inches thick and weighs 6.06 kilos. Our assessment configuration of that pc used to be priced at a hefty $3,999, so you’ll be able to certainly pay further to shed some weight and thickness.
Within the Alienware m17 R5, the cooling additionally will get an improve. The corporate says there are extra fan blades, plus a customized vapor chamber for the CPU that Alienware says packs 349% extra quantity than preceding fashions. And the 2 fanatics can independently spin at other speeds, relying on 5 other user-controlled persistent states. In my sport trying out, this ended in fan noise that, whilst now not quiet through non-gaming pc requirements, wasn’t as noisy as many high-end gaming rigs I have examined prior to now.
Alienware m17 R5 Specs
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX|
|Graphics||Radeon RX6850M XT 12GB (175W Max)|
|Garage||1TB PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSD|
|Show||17.3-inch, 3840 x 2160, 120 Hz FreeSync|
|Networking||MediaTek Wi-Fi 6 MT7921 2×2, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Ports||3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Sort-A, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort-C, 2.5 Gb Ethernet, headset jack, HDMI 2.1|
|Battery||97 WHr (64 WHr usual)|
|Energy Adapter||240 W|
|Running Gadget||Home windows 11 Professional|
|Dimensions (WxDxH)||15.64 x 11.76 x 1.05 inches / 397.3 x 298.7 x 26.7 mm|
|Weight||7.3 kilos / 3.3 kg|
|Value||$2,649 as configured|
Gaming and Graphics Efficiency at the Alienware m17 R5
Our assessment unit of the Alienware m17 R5 shipped with an eight-core AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU and AMD’s recent high-end GPU, the Radeon RX6850M XT. The graphics card packs 2560 Circulate Processors and 12GB of GDDR6. On paper, this can be a potent combo, helped on through a slew of AMD “Good” options, designed to assist the CPU and GPU paintings in combination.
Be aware that, whilst the Radeon instrument supplies a lot of presets designed for explicit eventualities (gaming, esports, usual and gear saving), we verify laptops with the out-of-the-box settings, which for this pc used to be the usual preset. We did some spot-checking of the ones presets, despite the fact that, and on a few video games with integrated benchmarks, usual delivered the easiest reasonable body charge, even supposing gaming and esports had been a unmarried body consistent with 2d slower on reasonable. Energy saving, as you could be expecting, ended in considerably decrease reasonable body charges.
In line with worth, we would not be expecting our configuration of the Alienware m17 R5 to easiest laptops provided with Nvidia’s recent top-end RTX 3080 Ti. The ones laptops generally price $3,000 and up. However for context, we tossed in our verify effects for the higher-end 3080 Ti-powered Alienware x17 R2 ($4,799 with Intel’s Core i9-12900HK and 4TB of SSD garage), and MSI’s GE76 Raider with the similar top-end GPU and CPU ($3,999 as examined).
Essentially the most life like festival for the Alienware m17 R5 in our verify pool would be the Aorus 17 XE4 (Core i7-12700H/RTX 3070 Ti priced at $2,499) and the previous-gen Alienware m17 R4 that we reviewed in April of 2021. That pc, packed an Intel Core i9-10980HK and an RTX 3080 and, on the time, bought for roughly $3,600 after we reviewed it.
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At the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark on its easiest settings at 1080p solution, the brand new Alienware m17 R5 grew to become in a rating of 99 frames consistent with 2d (fps). That used to be sufficient to overcome the Aorus and its i7 / 3070 Ti through 10 fps. However the whole lot else right here did a minimum of slightly higher, with the MSI taking the lead at 112 fps.
Grand Robbery Auto V is a infamous CPU-dependent sport. And once more we noticed the m17 R5 pulling about even (technically one body at the back of) the Aorus, at 104 fps. However all different competition did much better right here, with the MSI once more on the peak with 139 fps.
On A long way Cry New Break of day (extremely settings, 1080p), the Alienware m17 R5 seemed its worst, managing simply 89 fps, 9 frames at the back of the previous-gen m17 R4, 16 frames at the back of the Aorus and 28 frames at the back of the chief right here, Alienware’s x17 R2.
Issues swing dramatically for the Alienware m17 R5 in Borderlands 3 on “badass” settings at 1080p. Right here, Alienware’s newest takes the lead, turning in 112 fps, beating the MSI Raider through 6 frames and the Aorus 17 XE4 through 31 fps.
On our Crimson Useless Redemption 2 verify (1080p, medium), the Alienware m17 R5 doesn’t lead, however it hangs with reference to the most productive, turning in 76 fps, once more tying the Aorus and lagging simply 6 frames at the back of the MSI and the previous-gen m17 R4.
On gaming notebooks, we stress-test programs through working the Metro Exodus benchmark on Extremely settings (or RTX settings on Nvidia notebooks) 15 instances, simulating about part an hour of gameplay. The sport ran at a median of 63.5 fps around the runs, beginning off at 65.1 fps, prior to losing into the 63 vary after the primary few runs and bottoming out on run 12 with a rating of 62.7 prior to convalescing rather.
The Ryzen 6900HX processor ran at a median of three.75 GHz at the strain verify, with spikes as excessive as 4.6 GHz. The CPU package deal temperature measured a median of 71.3 levels Celsius (160.3 levels Fahrenheit).
Whilst doing our gaming strain trying out, we additionally measure floor temperatures of the pc, and the Alienware m17 R5 does get heat below extended so much. The keyboard, between the G and H keys, measured 109.6 Fahrenheit (43.1 levels Celcius), whilst the touchpad remained a groovy 84.6 Fahrenheit (29.2 levels Celcius). And the ground, now not all of a sudden, were given the most up to date, measuring 124.7 levels Fahrenheit (51.5 levels Celcius) close to the center again of the pc.
You certainly may not wish to stay the m17 R5 for your lap all through long gaming periods, however that is normally true of all high-end gaming laptops, which generate rather a bit of of warmth. Once more despite the fact that, in comparison to many competing laptops, I discovered the fan noise to be reasonable when gaming, with the sound being extra of a low blowing sound than any noticeable high-pitched whirring.
Productiveness Efficiency of the Alienware m17 R5
The AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU within the Alienware m17 R5 sports activities 8 cores and 16 threads (no mixture of efficiency and potency cores right here), with a base clock of three.3 GHz and a peak spice up clock of four.9 GHz. Once more, we do not be expecting the CPU to compare the most productive from Intel, however it is going to be attention-grabbing to look how shut AMD’s easiest can get.
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On Geekbench 5, a man-made verify that objectives to trace basic efficiency, the 6900HX-packing Alienware m17 R5 delivered a single-core rating of one,522 and a multi-core rating of 9,914. That used to be sufficient to overcome the previous-gen Alienware m17 R4 (with its tenth Gen Intel CPU), however the whole lot else did higher on each exams right here. The MSI and Alienware x17 R2 unsurprisingly delivered the most productive ratings, with their Core i9-12900HK CPU.
The only Samsung PCIe 4.0 SSD in our assessment configuration of the Alienware m17 R5 used to be rapid sufficient on our 25GB document switch verify to land it in 2d position, with a pace of just about 1,767 MBps. However the Alienware x17 R2 we examined had two identical drives, and so landed within the lead with 2,268 MBps. You’ll additionally configure the m17 R5 with two SSDs in case you are after in a similar fashion fast force efficiency.
On our Handbrake verify, during which computer systems transcode a 4K video to 1080p, the Alienware m17 R5 beat the Aorus through six seconds, completing in 5 mins and 30 seconds. It used to be sooner than the previous-gen m17 R4 (6:44), however the current-gen Core i9s within the Alienware x17 R2 and MSI GE76 Raider had been noticeably sooner in this verify.
Show at the Alienware m17 R5
Whilst we will’t vouch for the brand new 480Hz show choice at the Alienware m17 R5, the 4K, 120Hz show at the fashion the corporate despatched us is rather excellent. In our trying out, it lined 107.5% of the sRGB colour area and 107.5% of the sRGB area. That places it about in keeping with the contest. However the Alienware’s reasonable brightness measured 435.8 nits, which is considerably brighter than the competing laptops in our charts.
As I performed the hole sequences of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, the display screen made the cell-shaded taste, with brilliant colours emphasizing the ridiculously meta delusion landscapes and characters, and blacks that had been darkish sufficient to assist stay the consistent barrage of skeletons and different characters from descending right into a jumbled visible mess.
Keyboard and Touchpad at the Alienware m17 R5
Alienware despatched us a configuration of the m17 R5 with not obligatory “Cherry MX extremely low-profile” mechanical switches, that the corporate says have 1.8 mm of shuttle. Presuming the keyboard prices the similar $50 further that it does at the x17 pc, it is price each bit you’ll be able to pay for it–after which some. The keys are a bit of louder than different keyboards, however they’re tactile and pleasing to press each in video games and whilst typing, in some way that almost all pc keyboards can not even way.
You’ll for sure plug one of the crucial easiest gaming keyboards in in case you have the distance in your table, but when you do not want to try this, in my opinion I might take the keyboard improve over a greater GPU or extra RAM. Those keys simply really feel such a lot higher and extra pleasing than just about all different pc keyboards.
As for the touchpad, it is a ways much less thrilling, however it will get the task achieved with none proceedings from me. It used to be correct and clean all through my trying out. And at just about 5.5 inches diagonal, it is roomy sufficient for multi-finger gestures, with out being so large that there is not considerable room on all sides to leisure your fingers. And naturally, just about all players are going to wish to attach one of the crucial easiest gaming mice anyway. I used the pc with Alienware’s Tri-Mode mouse and, as you could consider, the 2 units from the similar corporate performed smartly in combination.
Upgradability of the Alienware m17 R5
In spite of packing an outstanding number of new and up to date tech, the upgradability of the Alienware m17 R5 is set what we might be expecting from an Alienware pc, which is to mention higher than maximum. Either one of the DDR5 slots are occupied in our assessment unit, however they’re usual SODIMMs, must you need to change what is right here out and upload one thing else sooner or later. There’s a spare M.2 slot (two overall), the wi-fi module below the fan at the left is definitely replaceable, and the 97 Whr battery seems love it would not be an excessive amount of hassle to take away and change after a couple of years of standard use.
After all, you’ll wish to get into the pc first, however I completed that somewhat simply through loosening the 8 Philips head screws (a couple of of that are captive) and popping off the ground. I did not even wish to escape a spudger or a card to pry off the panel. Operating my finger alongside the fitting facet after the screws had been unfastened used to be sufficient to disengage the clips and get the ground off and get right of entry to the pc’s internals.
Whilst the Alienware m17 R5 did not occupy the end spot on a lot of our gaming and function exams, it blew away competing gaming laptops on our battery verify, which frequently browses the internet, streams video, and runs OpenGL exams whilst attached to Wi-Fi with the display screen at 150 nits of brightness. Most likely helped out through its AMD Good Get admission to Graphics tech, which we could the gadget seamlessly transfer from the power-hungry GPU to the APU’s power-sipping built-in graphics, the m17 R5 lasted 6 hours and seven mins on our verify. That is just about 3 times the battery lifetime of the previous-gen (Intel and Nvidia powered) Alienware m17 R4, and greater than two hours longer than the MSI and Gigabyte competition.
Granted, you’ll be able to get longer battery existence for basic productiveness duties from one of the crucial easiest ultrabooks. However in case you are after a gaming rig that can can help you do an even quantity of labor or binge circulate at the cross with no need to at all times have your cumbersome persistent brick plugged in, the Alienware m17 R5 excels in that division.
Webcam at the Alienware m17 R5
The webcam at the m17 R5 is, nonetheless, a 720p fashion. It is not a in particular dangerous 720p webcam, within the sense that it handles low mild somewhat smartly, and hues (like the sophisticated orange and yellows of my Freddie/Bowie Below Drive blouse) are in large part correct. However mild from my workplace window tended to blow out part of my face. And as you could bet given the low solution, element like person hairs from my beard or hair had been missing. The digicam gets you during the occasional digital assembly, however if you wish to glance excellent, you must put one of the crucial easiest webcams in your table and plug it into the m17 R5’s to hand rear USB-A port.
Audio at the Alienware m17 R5
The downward-firing audio system at the Alienware m17 R5 land someplace between OK and excellent for a gaming pc. They were given loud sufficient to simply fill my workplace with audio, or even at most quantity, I did not understand any distortion whilst taking note of my favourite verify observe, Greenback-Tick’s “Muma – The Nightmare.” However for a gaming pc that is over an inch thick, I’d have appreciated to listen to a extra outstanding low finish, to intensify the beat when taking note of tune, and for extra booming bullets and explosions in video games. If that is what you might be after, imagine plugging in one of the crucial easiest gaming headsets we have now examined.
Alienware contains Dolby Get admission to instrument, which helps you to make a choice from 4 audio presets (detailed, balanced, heat and stale), however I discovered those made extra of a distinction in motion pictures and video games than I realized whilst taking note of tune.
Device and Guaranty at the Alienware m17 R5
Except for the Dolby Get admission to audio instrument, Alienware Command Heart could also be incorporated, which helps you to regulate the keyboard and lights, release video games, and observe your gadget. Annoyingly, once I first introduced Command Heart, it brought about me to replace, after which were given caught in an replace loop, shooting up a notification actually dozens of instances telling me it used to be updating and that I must now not close the gadget down. The one factor that mounted this used to be, in fact, restarting the PC.
Different Alienware methods also are incorporated for troubleshooting and diagnostics. And there may be the standard Home windows 11 cruft, like Spotify and Disney+. However in my enjoy, none of what is right here were given in the way in which or used to be overly obnoxious.
Alienware sells the m17 R5 with an ordinary one-year guaranty on portions, hard work and top rate strengthen. Must you need longer coverage, Dell shall be glad to increase protection as much as 4 years, for $449 further. Unintended harm coverage will also be added one at a time for between $79 (12 months) and $199 (4 years) in the event you don’t seem to be averse to spending so much for additonal peace of thoughts.
Configurations of the Alienware m17 R5
As we wrote this prior to the release of this configuration of the Alienware m17 R5, pricing on all choices were not but to be had. Alienware says the beginning worth for an AMD configuration (probably a Ryzen 7 6800H and Radeon 6700M) shall be $1,910.99. Our configuration with the top-end CPU and AMD GPU (Ryzen 9 6900HX and Radeon 6850M XT) is priced at $2,649.99. That comes with 32GB of DDR5 RAM and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, in conjunction with the 4K, 120 Hz panel.
The bottom fashion ships with a 1080p, 165Hz display screen and you’ll be able to improve to both a 360 Hz display screen or, in case your eyes and reflexes can compete with the most productive, a brand new 480 Hz 1080p show. Alienware says that the quickest display screen choice will price $300 over the bottom show’s worth.
Whilst CPU choices are restricted to the 2 AMD choices, you do not wish to stick to Group Crimson in relation to your GPU. Except for the 6700M and 6850M XT, Alienware will be offering the m17 R5 with an RTX 3050 Ti, the entire method as much as the 3080 Ti. Apparently, whilst the 3060 and 3070 Ti also are choices, the non-Ti 3080 is absent–most likely because of its efficiency proximity to the 3070 Ti.
Garage choices cross from 256GB (do not purchase this in the event you ever wish to set up a couple of AAA sport at a time), proper as much as 4TB, both in one force or two 2TB SSDs. Reminiscence maxes out at an considerable 64GB, and if the Wi-Fi 6 that shipped with our assessment unit is not sufficient, you’ll be able to additionally go for a Qualcomm Wi-Fi 6E card for a bit of extra long run proofing. The program is not anything if now not extensively configurable.
Alienware’s m17 R5 is a beautiful and potent gaming rig that, whilst it can not compete with top-notch Intel and Nvidia rigs, is not a ways off in relation to body charges in our trying out. It is usually rather thicker and heavier than one of the most festival (together with the corporate’s personal x17 R2). However battery existence will get a large spice up due to the power to change between the devoted graphics and the iGPU, with normally only some seconds of gadget sluggishness as you go out or input a sport.
Normally, I skilled slightly extra instrument wonkiness (some problems updating Alienware Command Heart and coffee issues of the device popping out of sleep) than I generally see with Intel-based gaming rigs. However because the configuration is new, a minimum of a few of this might be mounted in long run updates.
If you are after a gaming pc but in addition need lengthy battery existence for non-gaming duties, the Alienware m17 R2 is definitely price taking into account–particularly in the event you like the speculation of choosing AMD over Nvidia and Intel. I might additionally counsel splurging for the mechanical keyboard, which is a lot more pleasant and pleasing to sport and sort on than maximum pc choices. And in the event you in point of fact are some of the esports elite, you could to find the 480 Hz show attractive. However the 120 Hz 4K panel within the fashion we examined used to be additionally rather colourful and brilliant.