I got to see the new Alienware m17 R4. It has new graphics cards, faster memory, and different storage choices. Plus it is bigger than the old one with a screen of 17 inches vs. 15 inches.
The laptops are almost identical, with a honeycomb pattern on the outside and an Alienware logo that acts as a power button. This doesn’t faze me.
The m17 R4’s body is made of recycled materials. The m17 Pro has better performance and a lack of a 4K OLED display compared to the m17 R4.
Alienware m17 R4 Tech Specs
- Model: Alienware m17 R4 Gaming (G5KXRVO)
- Display: 17.3-inch FHD LCD 160Hz (1920 x 1080)
- Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7– 2.4GHz (16M cache, 5.3GHz Max Turbo)
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU with 16GB GDDR6
- Memory: 32GB DDR4 2933MHz
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD + 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD
- Webcam: 1080p
- Connectivity: WiFi 6 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1
- Dimensions: 15.74 x 11.59 x 0.87-inches (WxDxH)
- Weight: 6.55-pounds
- Stellar performance with Core i9 and GeForce RTX 3080 in our test configuration
- Unique, satisfying Cherry MX mechanical keyboard
- Scads of configuration options, including 360Hz display
- Plenty of ports
- Pricey as configured, in line with the field-leading speed
- Poor battery life
- Hefty power brick
I tested one of the most expensive systems from Dell/Alienware. If you like this design, you don’t need to buy all of the most expensive parts. The m17 R4 begins at $1,900 with an i7-10870H CPU and 6GB VRAM. I have my build that is on the higher end of the spectrum.
The basic design of the m17 R4 is not much different from the m17 R3, but there is a major difference. The CherryMX “ultra-low-profile” mechanical keys on the m17 R4 are different from those on the m17 R3 because you can program them to do different things via per-key RGB or single-zone lighting.
You have the choice to control the color of each key’s illumination, or just for all keys at once.
The keys are made with Cherry and have stainless steel switches. They make a clacking sound when you press them. The clicking sound is not loud enough to bother someone like your roommate or partner.
The RGB Alienware logo and the number “17” are visible when you open the laptop. On the back, you can find a charging port, a Graphics Amplifier Port (GAP), a Thunderbolt 3 connection, Mini DisplayPort 1.4 with 4K/120Hz support, and an HDMI 2.1b with 4K/120Hz support.
The GAP is a port that takes up space that might be good for people who want to upgrade their computers. It will tie them in with one company, but they can use the performance of their computer in the future.
It would be better if they added another Thunderbolt connection or two so they can choose what eGPU enclosure they want later on.
Ports are important on the m17 R4. There are many ports on the left side of the bottom part. This includes a Gigabit Ethernet jack, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, and a headphone/microphone jack.
On the left edge, two USB-A ports are 3.2 Gen 1 and a microSD card reader. On the right edge, there are two more USB-A ports and a microSD card reader.
The R4 has a good back. I only have one thing that I don’t like about it. The Ethernet port is the only thing that is not near the other ports.
It’s on the back of the computer, but it’s ok because you can use a wireless connection for your Ethernet cable if you need to connect a desktop computer to your router or modem.
But this computer has nicer ports on its front side. They are called USB Type-C ports and they are nice because they make life easier when connecting all of your devices wirelessly!
The honeycomb pattern on the keyboard is larger. The cutouts are close to each other and they are for a reason, like opening and closing keys.
The keyboard and number pad are full-sized. There is a trackpad in the middle of the keyboard. It feels cramped to me, but it’s large enough for a gaming laptop. Most likely you’ll be using a gaming mouse most of the time anyway.
The m17 R4 is a big computer. It isn’t as big as the Area-51m, but it isn’t something you’ll want to bring with you everywhere. For those who are curious, it weighs 6.55 pounds and measures 15.74 x 11.59 x 0.87 inches (including the feet).
The m17 R4’s most eye-catching feature is the 17.3-inch display when it’s fully opened. It is big and beautiful, even at 1080p resolution. A 1080p camera centered above the screen looks sharp and clear, which other laptop manufacturers should try to do but seldom achieve.
Performance and Gaming
The m17 R4 has a powerful hardware configuration. It has a 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU, an RTX 3080 graphics card with 16GB GDDR6 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD RAID0 drive, as well as 512GB of additional SSD storage.
The m17 R4 comes in three options: single storage, RAID0, or RAID0 Plus. Single SSD You can choose from 256GB to 2TB for a single storage drive. Storage capacity ranges from 512GB to 4TB when using two PCIe M.2 SSDs (for example, two 256GB PCIe SSDs).
The Razer Blade 15 has four M.2 NVMe SSDs, each with a 256GB capacity. The RAID0 offers better read and write speeds, but it takes time to format the drives. It’s a good choice for any laptop, much less a gaming laptop because you want to get the most out of your configuration.
This is the last machine. Some people are worried about it but don’t worry. It will work well with Project Scorpio. There’s also a powerful Ryzen 7 3700X CPU and RTX 2080 GPU in this PC so it has great graphics performance.
It might not be as good in some other areas, but it does well with graphics processing. With just the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition, its performance for Total War: Three Kingdoms was 82 frames per second at benchmarking tests.
I liked using the m17 R4 for work and pleasure. The keyboard was very nice to type on, and the 360Hz screen was quite responsive. When I dropped into Warzone for the first time, it felt good to move my mouse to take a shot.
The performance of the laptop was ok. But it had a good display. When I play Warzone, I have 137 frames per second with all options maxed out. In Forza Horizon 4, I get an average of 166 frames per second.
The color in the display is not very bright. I like this because it creates a more calm feeling. Open displays can be too bright, which makes them feel less comfortable to me.
The speakers are loud enough to make the fans in the m17 R4 not so loud. A headset is a good idea because when you play it, then it can be quite loud.
With so much strength, my battery expectations were low. And, after putting the m17 R4 through IGN’s normal testing, my expectations were confirmed. Battery life isn’t amazing;
it lasts 1 hour and 55 minutes on PCMark 10’s battery test. That’s about all you’ll be able to do with this powerful little beast of a laptop.
The Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition with the same hardware lasted 5 hours and 52 minutes, whereas the Origin EVO15-S could go nearly as long as the m17 at 1 hour 56 minutes.
On vacations, if you are going to bring your m17 R4, make sure to bring the power charger. If it is the optional 330W charger, make sure that you have enough storage in your backpack and that your back can handle all of the weight.
The sound on the Alienware m17 R4 laptop is good. It can fill a medium-sized room and it’s nice to dance to. The music was mostly correct, but some high-pitched sounds were harsh.
The bass-heavy “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire sounded great; each instrument was clear with each different instrument coming from a different side of the laptop.
In Cyberpunk 2077, gunshots and the sound of my NPC buddy Jackie screaming at me to stay down sounded crisp and clear. However, I had to turn up the volume so much because there was lots of noise in high-performance settings. Even on the “quiet” thermal setting, fan noise was still audible.
The Alienware Command Center software has a sound section. The sounds are all different. You can choose from Music, movies, Shooter, and Role Play.
I liked the “Alienware” profile best- it’s like Music but better. But turning off audio enhancement makes sound flat and not good to hear at all!
The Alienware m17 R4 has three M.2 SSD slots. The first slot is 2230mm long, while the other two are 2280mm long. This means that the RAM cannot be replaced because it is soldered to the motherboard.
Alienware m17 R4: Bottom Panel: There are 8 screws on the bottom of this computer. Some come out and some you can just loosen. To take off the bottom panel, use a tool that is like a knife.
You may need to unscrew some screws first to get the panel off. Once it is off, you will see 3 SSDs (thumb drives) on one side of the motherboard and some copper heatsinks (things that make your computer work without overheating).
The Alienware m17 R4’s touchpoints stay cool when you are not gaming. When you are gaming, the touchpoints may get warmer but they are still bearable.
The keyboard was warm at 35.5 degrees Celsius (95.9 degrees Fahrenheit). When we streamed a YouTube video for 15 minutes, the underside of the laptop was only 36.6 degrees Celsius (97.9 degrees Fahrenheit).
After we ran Metro Exodus for 15 minutes, the keyboard was at 35.5 degrees Celsius (112 degrees Fahrenheit) and the touchpad was at 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). The bottom temperature was 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).
In Cyberpunk 2077, it was 40 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit) around the WASD keys. But when I touched them they did not feel hot. There is a loud fan noise when you are playing with “performance” settings.
The Alienware m17 R4 camera isn’t good. It takes a bad photo even in a well-lit area. The colors are muted and the picture is not clear.
If you have to use this camera, it’s okay because you can still see your face and what is going on around you. But if possible, buy a different webcam that is better than the one that this laptop has built-in.
The Alienware Area-51 does not have any apps or programs preinstalled on it. One of my favorite aspects is that Norton and McAfee are absent from the evaluation device I was provided.
Instead, you will discover special applications that are made for Alienware. These include Alienware Command Center (ACS) which is used to customize your lighting and overclock your system; and Alienware Update (AUX) which checks for any updates, including BIOS, drivers, and firmware.
I do not like Command Center on Alienware gaming laptops. The light background with the gray and turquoise text is hard for me to read. However, if I change my laptop to dark mode, most of my problems with the interface will be solved.
The laptop comes with a program called Alienware Mobile Connect. This is for checking messages, taking calls, and exchanging files using your smartphone. It is just like Microsoft’s Your Phone app which is also useful on the laptop.
When you buy an Alienware m17 R4 from Dell’s website, you may make it how you want. This means that you can buy a Core i7 or Core i9 CPU, an RTX 3070 or 3080 GPU, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to 4TB of storage.
You can also choose the color scheme–either white or black. And instead of just four colors on the keyboard, there is per-key RGB lighting.
There are three different choices of the keyboard. The default series keyboard is responsive and has four-zone RGB illumination, but if you want that same keyboard with per-key lighting then it will cost $29 more.
You can also get a premium mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile switches and per-key illumination for $176 more than the default choice.
You can choose between different screens. There are 144 Hz and 360 Hz 1080p displays, as well as a 4K, 60 Hz panel that promises to cover 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut.
If you care more about picture quality than frame rates, we recommend the latter because it has good colors but not many frames per second.
The Alienware m17 R4 computer has a lot of features. The price is $3,586.79 and it includes the Core i9-10980HK processor with RTX 3080 graphics, a 360 Hz display, 32GB of RAM, and two storage drives: one 1TB M.2 PCIe SSDS in RAID 0 and a 512GB M.2 SSD by itself for a total Of 2.
This laptop is so big, it weighs a lot. It is very big and people can notice it. The battery in this laptop doesn’t last for long. It makes the fan noise also when you use it. But most laptops have bad webcams in them, so they are not good either.
This Gigabyte Aorus 17G is a computer that has similar specs to the Alienware m17 R4. It has 1TB of storage, but only lasts an hour and a half longer than the m17.
This means it may not be so good for playing games. But it does have a better battery life which is 2x as long as the m17.
Aliens are cool. You may want to buy an Alienware m15 R4. It is the same as the other one, but smaller and more portable with a 15-inch screen. The other one is for 17-inch screens with colors that are vivid too.
Alienware m17 R4
Intel Core i7-10870H, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 8GB GDDR6, Windows 10 Home - Lunar Light (Latest Model)
Product Brand: Dell
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: $3,279.00
Product In-Stock: InStock