Alienware x17 R2

MSRP $2,250.00

“The Alienware x17 R2 is without doubt one of the quickest gaming laptops you should buy, however you may wish to skip the 480Hz display.”

execs

  • Glorious gaming efficiency

  • A number of thermal profiles obtainable

  • Very skinny for a 17 inch laptop computer

  • Improbable port choice

  • Strong CPU energy

cons

  • Runs loud and sizzling at full energy

  • Mechanical keyboard is not for everybody

  • Grainy webcam

480Hz on a gaming laptop computer sounds loopy, and in equity, it’s. However Alienware pushed forward anyway, and we now have the Alienware x17 R2 — the primary laptop computer ever with a 480Hz show. It is constructed with {hardware} worthy of our greatest gaming laptops roundup, and the display is configured for essentially the most aggressive gamers.

Sadly, the star function of the x17 R2 is not the very best factor about it. This is without doubt one of the finest laptops in the marketplace proper now, and no a part of that evaluation comes from the refresh charge. 480Hz is an achievement, completely, however Alienware’s glorious X-series design, extremely succesful {hardware}, and stellar software program options are what make the x17 R2 an awesome gaming laptop computer.

Alienware x17 R2 specs

Alienware x17 R2
Dimensions (LxWxH) 11.79 inches x 15.72 inches x 0.82 inches
weight Beginning weight: 6.54 kilos / Most weight: 7.05 kilos
processor Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (165W TGP)
R.A.M. 32GB (2x16GB) DDR5-4800
display 17.3-inch Full HD, 480Hz, 3ms
Storage 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
contact No
ports 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Sort C with DisplayPort and energy supply, 1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x 3.5mm, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4, 1x Ethernet, 1x microSD
Wi-fi WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
cam 720p with Home windows Hey and twin array microphones
working system home windows 11
batteries 87 watt hour battery
Value $2,250+

The second revision of the Alienware x17 is admittedly made to accommodate Intel’s Twelfth-gen processors. You may go from the 14-core Core i7-12700H as much as the 14-core Core i9-12900HK. Though I wasn’t capable of take a look at the i9 configuration, I might be shocked if it offered a lot of a profit in video games, although it ought to present a lift in non-gaming apps.

In any other case, you’ll be able to go from an RTX 3060 as much as an RTX 3080 Ti, pack in as much as 64GB of DDR5-4800 reminiscence, and set up as much as 4TB of SSD storage in RAID 0. My actual configuration, which you’ll be able to see within the spec desk above, clocked in at $3,550 on the time it was shipped. Costs at all times change, particularly when you’re outdoors of the US, so make certain to test costs with Alienware’s configuration web page.

If it ain’t broke…

Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

The Alienware x17 R1 was a smash hit, so it is no shock that the R2 model sticks with the identical general design. Much like different X-series laptops just like the Alienware x14, the x17 R2 focuses on portability with a thickness of 0.84 inches on the thickest level and a most weight of seven kilos.

Sure, this can be a 17-inch gaming laptop computer, so portability takes on a distinct definition. For a correct desktop alternative, this machine is actually rather more transportable than one thing just like the MSI GE76 Raider. You will not be throwing it in a backpack typically, although, as a result of dimension and weight, in addition to the chunky charger.

Nonetheless, I really like this design, and I am glad Alienware caught with it. Just like the Lenovo Legion 5i Professional, the entire ports are positioned across the again of the machine, and you’ve got connections like Mini DisplayPort and an Ethernet jack that you do not usually discover on laptops. Alienware retains the whole lot decently cool as effectively, sticking with the Aspect 31 thermal paste featured within the unique design and 4 cooling followers.

Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

Alienware additionally stayed with the mechanical keyboard design it created with Cherry. The MSI GT77 Titan makes use of an analogous keyboard, and I am not a fan of it. It is comfy to kind on, however there’s loud pinging and spring noise that makes lengthy typing periods tedious. A high quality membrane keyboard just like the one provided on the Razer Blade 14 continues to be the best way to go. It is value noting that Alienware gives a membrane keyboard as an possibility, however I wasn’t capable of strive it out.

Though the switches aren’t my favourite, the keyboard structure is nice. Specifically, the Web page Up and Web page Down keys are further capabilities on the arrow keys, and Alienware makes use of the additional area for full-size media keys as an alternative.

Most laptops reserve these for the perform keys on high. Alienware caught with the identical full-size keyboard design, although, resulting in a smaller trackpad and no quantity pad. Let’s be trustworthy, although: You ought to be utilizing this machine with a gaming mouse.

Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

I like that Alienware caught with the identical design, however the one ache level is the webcam. It is 720p, and even with direct daylight pouring by my home windows, it produced a darkish and grainy picture. The audio system may use some work, too. Though they’re very loud, the elevated bass resonance generally causes a slight rumbling on the chassis and a little bit of distortion at full quantity. In equity, I by no means needed to hear at full quantity, and Alienware consists of some sound profiles to customise the response.

The Alienware Command Middle really comes stocked with fairly a number of options, together with 5 thermal profiles. The Balanced and Efficiency profiles have been essentially the most comfy, whereas the Full Energy preset resulted in very loud fan noise however the very best efficiency out of all of them.

Loads of CPU energy

Alienware x17 R2 (Core i7-12700H) Razer Blade 17 (Core i7-12800H MSI GE76 Raider (Core i9-12900HK)
GeekBench (single/a number of) 1.718 / 12.437 1.808 / 11.843 1.855 / 13.428
Cinebench R23 (single/a number of) 1.742 / 17.262 1.697 / 13.218 1.872 / 16.388
PugetBench for Premiere Professional 908 969 1,120
handbrake (seconds, decrease is healthier) 66 73 72

Though the 14-core Intel Core i7-12700H ought to run under the dearer i9, that is hardly ever the case. Except you soar to Intel’s HX collection of processors, 14 cores is the utmost you will get proper now in a laptop computer, and Intel’s enthusiast-grade i7 nonetheless rips by CPU-intensive duties.

The Core i7-12700H mainly matches the 10-core M1 Professional obtainable within the 14-inch MacBook Professional, which few processors can obtain.

This can be a testomony to the thermal design of the Alienware x17 R2 greater than anything, because the Core i9-12900H within the HP Envy 16 managed a decrease multi-core rating (although a barely larger single-core rating). The scale helps lots, too, because the x17 R2 was capable of outpace the Alienware x14 with the identical processor in each single- and multi-core assessments.

For avid gamers, the CPU variations do not matter an excessive amount of.

It is not excellent, although, notably when you work in inventive apps. The Asus ZenBook Professional 16X, for instance, was capable of outpace the Alienware x17 R2 in Pugetbench for Premiere Professional by practically 14%, regardless of utilizing the identical processor and a weaker GPU. The upper clock speeds from the Core i7-12800H contained in the Razer Blade 17 offered a lift, too, though it is small.

For avid gamers, the variations do not matter an excessive amount of. Alienware’s design is extracting as a lot out of the half inside as it may well. Should you’re a creator that’s out and in of Premiere day-after-day, although, otherwise you want robust encoding capabilities, leaping for the upper clock speeds of Intel’s dearer Twelfth-gen processors can present some minor advantages.

A gaming monster

Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

The Alienware x17 R2 is a gaming monster, even when it takes a slight backseat comared to bigger laptops. You are getting the total energy of the RTX 3080, as much as 150W with an extra 25W from Dynamic Increase, however you will have to run the machine with the loud Full Energy preset to get top-tier efficiency. I examined with the Efficiency preset, because it was essentially the most comfy when it comes to noise.

Alienware x17 R2 (RTX 3080 Ti) Razer Blade 17 (RTX 3080 Ti) MSI GT77 Titanium (RTX 3080 Ti)
3DMark Fireplace Strike 26,224 26,661 29,419
3DMark Time Spy 13,131 12,634 13,361
Purple Lifeless Redemption 2 79 fps 90 fps 95 fps
Fortnite 106 fps 104 fps 138 fps
Civilization VI 176 fps 193 fps N / A
Cyberpunk 2077 77 fps 72 fps 98 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 w/ RT 34 fps 44 fps 47 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 w/ RT + DLSS 61 fps 71 fps N / A

Though it is not peak efficiency, you are still getting a laptop computer that may push above 60 fps in essentially the most demanding video games obtainable in the present day. All the outcomes above are at 1080p with the very best high quality preset, and you may see the outcomes for video games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Purple Lifeless Redemption 2 that may deliver a whole lot of desktops to their knees.

Ray tracing is feasible, too, though totally on the again of Nvidia’s Deep Studying Tremendous Sampling (DLSS). You may reap the benefits of DLSS with this GPU, which is an enormous enhance for video games which are restricted by the capabilities of laptops like Cyberpunk 2077.

There is a small trade-off in efficiency for the thinness afforded by the x17 R2. However general, it is nonetheless a extremely succesful laptop computer that may go toe-to-toe with essentially the most highly effective cellular workstations obtainable in the present day.

Is a 480Hz display value it?

Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

The massive cope with the Alienware x17 R2 is that it is the first laptop computer to return with a 480Hz display. That is what I examined, but it surely’s not the one possibility. Alienware gives 5 display choices, and the 1080p 480Hz mannequin is a $300 premium over the bottom 165Hz 1080p display. Sadly, most individuals will not discover a distinction with 480Hz and, frankly, do not want it.

I wished to see what video games may even reap the benefits of 480Hz with out being CPU restricted, and I did not discover many. Rocket League and Counter-Strike: International Offensive cracked the ceiling, however even the very gentle Rainbow Six Siege solely managed 308 fps — and that was at 1080p with the bottom high quality setting. Equally, Fortnite did not even crack 150 fps, although it is admittedly rather more demanding than the opposite three video games.

You are going from round 3ms for every refresh to 2ms when going from 360Hz to 480Hz. It is past the purpose of diminishing returns.

I do not wish to write off 480Hz as nonsense. Like going from 60Hz to 144Hz, there is a large distinction in really feel. It is like watching a string of YouTube movies at 30 fps and instantly stumbling upon one at 60 fps — the whole lot simply feels impossibly clean, however just for a second. After you are accustomed to the upper refresh, it would not really feel as needed. I used to be completely positive going again to my 144Hz monitor after testing, by no means feeling the large distinction in refresh charge even when I may spot it when the 2 screens have been side-by-side.

My challenge is that Alienware gives a 360Hz display for $200 much less, and that is lots nearer to 480Hz than it sounds. You are going from round 3ms for every refresh to 2ms when going from 360Hz to 480Hz. It is past the purpose of diminishing returns, even for essentially the most aggressive avid gamers on the planet. Evaluate that to going from 120Hz to 360Hz, the place round 8.3ms per refresh shrinks right down to round 3ms. That is a way more important distinction.

Exterior of the refresh charge, the panel is strong if unimpressive. I measured a peak brightness of 373 nits and a distinction ratio of simply over 1,000:1, firmly putting the show within the mainstream IPS class. The colour accuracy was strong out of the field, although, with a Delta E (distinction from actual coloration) of simply over 1.

That is adequate for gentle coloration work, however I solely measured 98% of the sRGB coloration area. These colours are correct, however an expanded coloration vary just like the one provided on the Acer Swift 3 OLED is healthier for extra intense coloration work.

Do you have to purchase the Alienware x17 R2?

Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

Should you’re out there for a cellular desktop alternative, and you’ve got the cash to spend for a high-end spec, the Alienware x17 R2 must be on the high of your checklist of choices. The design is hard to beat, and the {hardware} inside supplies among the finest efficiency you will get out of a laptop computer in the present day.

I would not advocate going with the 480Hz display, although. It would not do a lot over the 360Hz possibility, and your cash is significantly better put towards the opposite {hardware} within the machine.

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