Alienware seventeen R5 (2018) Evaluation: Powerful Gaming, CPU Struggles

Alienware seventeen R5 (2018) Evaluation: Powerful Gaming, CPU Struggles

Just when you assumed the Alienware seventeen had pulled out all of the stops, the latest variation, the R5 ($one,549 to start out, $3,974 as analyzed), pushes every thing a move further more. Absolutely sure, its new black coloration scheme is handsome, but inside of, a mixture of an Intel Core i9 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU make for impressive gaming efficiency. Pair that with wonderful speakers, a stunning G-Sync display screen, and a revamped Alienware Command Centre with overclocking solutions and you have a winner. 


The Alienware seventeen is mammoth. It’s an obsidian goliath in a new coat of paint that is handsome and a little refreshing. Although this product retains the identical basic form as variations from previous several years with intense angles and a spaceship concept, the laptop’s aluminum body is all-black, giving it a severe aesthetic that usually means business. There’s also extra RGB lighting zones than at any time in advance of, with thirteen areas that can be programmed in the Alienware Command Centre, such as both of those sides of the display, several zones on the keyboard, and two Alienware logos.

The lid is all-black and is the place you will get the most of the spaceship motif. Alienware’s symbol is there in silver, and yes, it lights up. Lifting the lid reveals the seventeen.3-inch display screen surrounded by a thick bezel. The deck bordering the keyboard is covered in a gentle-touch product that feels magnificent to lay your wrists on, nevertheless I would like the keyboard were a little further more ahead. Like several Alienware versions in advance of it, the chassis has a portion that juts out the back with for added cooling and couple extra ports.

The total detail feels crafted like a tank. Although Alienware doesn’t make any drop-exam promises, the aluminum is paired with steel reinforcements, and this detail feels like a luxurious system when you are gaming and when you are just carrying it from place to place.

That, of program, success in a major Pc. The Alienware is 9.eight kilos and has a x x one.two-inch footprint. That is heavier than the Aorus X9 and eight.6-pound Origin Pc Eon seventeen-X. MSI’s GT75 Titan, on the other hand, is even heavier at kilos and is a chunky two.3 inches thick.

Each individual port you could moderately hope is on the Alienware seventeen. On the still left facet are USB Variety-C and USB 3. Variety-A ports and different headphone and microphone jacks. The correct facet characteristics only a one USB 3. port. Every little thing else is on the rear, such as an Ethernet jack, mini DisplayPort, HDMI output, Thunderbolt 3, a port for Alienware’s proprietary graphics amp and a barrel electric power jack.


Show seventeen.3” QHD (2560 x 1440) TN+WVA (120Hz, G-Sync)
CPU Intel Core i9-8950HK
Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X)
Memory 32GB DDR4-2666MHz
SSD 256GB PCIe m.two
HDD 1TB seven,two hundred-rPM
Networking Killer 1435 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi, Ethernet jack
Video Ports HDMI
USB Ports (two) USB 3., USB Variety-C, Thunderbolt 3
Audio Speaker configuration with subwoofer, headphone jack, microphone jack
Camera FHD webcam, Tobii Eye Tracking
Battery Optional 99Whr, 68Whr typical
Energy Adapter 330W
Operating Technique Home windows 10 Residence
Proportions (WxDxH) x x one.two”
Excess weight 9.seventy seven kilos
Other Alienware Command Centre
Price tag (as configured) $3,974.99

Gaming, Graphics and VR

The Alienware’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU with 8GB of VRAM would make the our large-close config of the Alienware seventeen computer practically nothing small of a powerhouse. When I played Middle-earth: Shadow of War on ultra settings at 1080p, the match ran at among seventy six and ninety two frames for every 2nd. At 2560 x 1440, it dropped to a vary of fifty four-sixty nine fps.

On the Increase of the Tomb Raider benchmark (1080p, pretty large), the Alienware ran the match at 68 frames for every 2nd, beating the Titan (67 fps) and high quality gaming ordinary (56 fps), but down below the Eon (sixty nine fps) and Aorus (seventy three fps).

When it arrived to the Hitman benchmark (1080p, ultra), the match ran at 99 fps on the Alienware, just in advance of the both of those the Aorus and the Origin (96 fps) and the Titan (95 fps). The ordinary is a lessen 84 fps.

It played Grand Theft Car V (1080p, pretty large) smoothly, operating at eighty five fps. Although that is better than the Eon (55 fps) and the ordinary (seventy seven fps), both of those the Aorus (86 fps) and Titan (110 fps) scored even better.

To exam sustained gaming efficiency, we ran the Metro: Last Mild benchmark 10 periods, which is approximately 50 % an hour of large-anxiety computing. On the to start with run, the ordinary body price was eighty three.four fps, but as predicted, that dropped more than the upcoming 9 operates, generally among seventy seven and seventy eight fps.  The ordinary body price was 79.3 fps, just one tenth of a body above the remaining run (79.29 fps). The ordinary CPU temperature as described by HWInfo was 88.9 degrees Celsius, and the GPU averaged 74.eight degrees Celsius.

The Alienware seventeen will make small perform of any VR headset, like an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive. On the SteamVR Performance exam, it attained the optimum achievable score of 11. So did the Aorus and Eon, but the Titan achieved 10.9 and the ordinary was 10.two.


Armed to the teeth with an Intel Core i9-8950HK, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB PCIe M.two SSD, a 1TB, seven,two hundred-RPM HDD, our review configuration of the the Alienware seventeen can tackle productivity tasks with ease. The 30 Chrome tabs I had open up, such as a Twitch stream and a 1080p episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” on YouTube were a joke to this machine, which stored operating without having any lag at all.

On the Geekbench four general efficiency exam, the Alienware attained a score of 20,890, slipping down below the Aorus X9 (twenty five,915, Core i9-8950HK), but in just vary of the Titan (22,754, Core i9-8950HK) and Eon (21,273, Intel Core i7-8700K) and continue to beating the high quality gaming classification ordinary (seventeen,150).

Why is it scoring lessen than competing laptops with the identical processor?  It’s really hard to know for certain, but by working with both of those Alienware Command Centre and CPU-Z and HWInfo to track efficiency, we observed that, particularly when overclocked, the inner temperature would spike, and that the processor generally didn’t get to the 5GHz Alienware Command Centre promised (even nevertheless it passed the app’s tests). It’s achievable that better cooling would guide to better efficiency scores.

It took the Alienware 9 seconds to transfer four.97GB of data files, a price of 565.5 MBps. That ties the Eon but is in advance of the high quality gaming laptop ordinary (505.3 MBps) and the Aorus X9 (424MBps). The Titan was even more quickly at a blazing 727 MBps.

On our Excel macro exam, it took the Alienware 42 seconds to pair 65,000 names and addresses, two seconds in advance of the ordinary (:forty four) but slipping small of the Aorus (:31) and Titan (:34).

When it arrived to online video enhancing, it took the Alienware 9 minutes and 10 seconds to transcode a 4K online video to 1080p on our Handbrake exam. That is speedier than ordinary (10:04) but and lags driving the Aorus (eight:15) and Titan (seven:forty one).


The seventeen.3-inch, 2560 x 1440 display screen on our review config is vibrant and stunning. It’s significantly extra luminous than the level of competition with great viewing angles and heaps of element. When I watched a 1080p trailer for Ant-Person and the Wasp, the titular hero’s suit was the excellent shade of burgundy, and I could quickly make out the webbed patterns on his and the Wasp’s costumes.

The tiny yellow accents on the Wasp’s suit popped extra than it does on several other screens. And when I played Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the lush greenery close to an orc fort seemed reasonable, and I could see the angular crags in boulders. And many thanks to G-Sync, which synchronizes the display screen with the graphics card, there was no display tearing.

Alienware’s panel covers 110 p.c of the sRGB coloration gamut, which is extra vivid than the Eon (104 p.c), but not as vibrant as the high quality gaming ordinary (131 p.c), the Aorus (122 p.c) or the Titan (a whopping 175 p.c).

But no just one else will come shut to the Alienware’s brightness. It calculated an ordinary of 352 nits on our mild meter, significantly better than the ordinary (283 nits) as effectively as the Aorus (243 nits), Eon (252 nits) and Titan (257 nits).

Keyboard and Touchpad 

Although most laptops, gaming or if not, have long gone with a chiclet keyboard, Alienware carries on to keep out with a extra standard type. And it feels wonderful. With a deep millimeters of vacation and keys that require 79 grams of drive to actuate. On the typing exam, I hit 102 phrases for every moment, which is in my standard vary, with my ordinary two p.c mistake price.

The keyboard characteristics 9 programmable macro keys and a number pad. You can customize the macro keys and its keyboard backlighting in the Alienware Command Centre.

The four x two.3-inch touchpad is a small small for my taste, and characteristics two mouse buttons. Continue to, it’s responsive, and supports gestures like swiping up with a few fingers to open up process view and tapping with four fingers to see the action center.


The speakers on the Alienware are impressive. Not only are they loud (they quickly crammed a mid-sizing meeting place with sound), but when I listened to the Red Sizzling Chili Peppers’ “Tell Me Infant,” the vocals, guitars, drums and even the bass were obvious and effectively distributed. In Alienware Command Centre, you can improve among some presets for different match modes, but in most scenarios I found the default Songs manner was a fine choice.

It appears wonderful when gaming, far too. All through a session of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the sound was obvious as working day, and not only could I hear close by enemies’ discussions as I sneaked close to, but I could hear my footsteps splashing in the mud.


Although the CPU and GPU are in there without end, the Alienware 17’s RAM and storage are upgradable. On the bottom, you can use a Phillips #one screwdriver to clear away 5 screws and loosen just one foundation screw so you can pry the bottom off. The RAM is straight away obtainable, with two SODIMM slots obtainable as before long as you just take off the bottom plate. Ours, on the other hand, arrived with the optimum 32GB.

To replace the SSD, you may well need to have to clear away and replace a metal protect, in advance of getting rid of and right after replacing the push (ours didn’t have just one, but the instruction manual mentions it for certain configurations). To free the push, you will need to have to clear away just one tiny screw, which you will need to have to place back to safe a new push in position.

Our product also had an added bay to incorporate another PCIe SSD. To swap out the HDD, you will need to have to clear away the really hard push cable from the board, clear away screws that keep the really hard push in the assembly, and clear away extra screws that keep the really hard push in a bracket. With a new HDD, you will need to have to place all of people back and reattach the cable.

Battery Lifestyle

Gaming laptops really do not are inclined to final prolonged on a charge, and this just one didn’t either, nevertheless it lasted a little lengthier than others. Our configuration had a 99 watt-hour battery, an update from the 68 Wh battery in foundation versions.

On our exam, which browses the web, watches films and operates as a result of graphics benchmarks constantly at 150 nits, the Alienware seventeen lasted 3 several hours and forty seven minutes. That is better than the high quality gaming ordinary (3:33), as effectively as the Titan (two:fifty four), Aorus X9 (two:20) and Eon (one:fifty two).


Right before it starts off gaming, the Alienware seventeen can keep its great. Soon after streaming 15 minutes of High definition online video, it calculated seventy six degrees Fahrenheit on the touchpad, 88 degrees among the G and H keys and 88 degrees on the underside.

Although participating in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the laptop heated up as, the keyboard hit ninety seven degrees and the bottom achieved a toasty 120 degrees.

Webcam and Tobii Eye Tracking

The Alienware’s 1080p webcam presents strong image high quality that is great enough for entry stage streaming or a online video simply call. In a tough situation the place I had windows driving me, I took a image of myself and noticed plenty of facts, like hairs in my beard, and my mild blue shirt was coloration accurate. And none of that mild from the windows was blown out.

The other major camera is Tobii’s infrared eye tracker. You can calibrate it for your eyes with the Tobii app, and then established it up to perform in games and in Home windows 10. For instance, you can use it to make the display dim when you are not in front of it, nevertheless I couldn’t navigate certain factors of Home windows 10 due to the fact the app stated the laptop had incompatible drivers. You can also use Tobii with Home windows Hi there to log in with facial recognition.

Your gaming experience will count on what you enjoy, but Tobii states it that more than one hundred games guidance its eye tracking.

Alienware Command Centre

The Alienware Command Centre, a hub for all of your gaming demands, has been wholly revamped for the new generation of gaming PCs. It’s extra complete-showcased than at any time and it has aesthetics to match.

It has a match library so you can quickly launch any match, whether it’s part of Steam, Origin, uPlay or another support. You can also customize thermal, audio and electric power solutions on a for every match basis.

Command Centre is also dwelling to AlienFX, the place you can customize your system’s RGB lighting and macros on the keyboard. Also, Fusion is a new portion for just one-click on overclocking and changes to thermals and electric power, as effectively as an automobile-tests process to make certain your overclocking settings are steady and secure for your process.

And Command Centre itself is customizable. You can improve the coloration of the software program, as effectively as change on mild manner or darkish manner and ick from a couple different themes to suit your aesthetic.

Software program and Warranty

Further than the Alienware Command Centre, there’s not a ton of other software program. Alienware Mobile Connect is possibly the most useful, which lets you sync your cellphone to gets text messages and notifications.

Of program, there’s continue to all of the bloat that will come with any set up of Home windows 10, such as Candy Crush Soda Saga, Candy Crush Saga (yes, two variations of Candy Crush), March of Empires: War of Lords, Dolby Entry and Disney Magic Kingdoms, amongst others.

Dell sells the Alienware seventeen R5 with a one-12 months guarantee.

How Much Does an Alienware seventeen R5 Expense?

We reviewed the most highly-priced variation of the Alienware seventeen R5 you can probably get: a $3,974.99 monster with an Intel Core i9-8950HK, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB PCIe M.two SSD, a 1TB, seven,two hundred-RPM HDD, an overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 with 8GB of VRAM, a 2560 x 1440 G-Sync display screen with Tobii eye tracking and a 99Wh battery. Ours arrived in black, but you can also get it in silver.

If shelling out approximately four grand on a gaming laptop is far too wealthy for your blood, know that the foundation product starts off at $one,549.99. That packs an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hybrid push with an 8GB SSD cache, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 OC with 6GB of VRAM, a 1080p display screen without having G-Sync or Tobii eye tracking and a 68Wh battery.

In among people two configurations are versions with eight and 16GB or RAM, Core i7 processors, and both of those 1080p and 2560×1440 displays, and an choice with a GTX 1070. All of the versions are customizable, so you can update it to your liking when you order, which will have an impact on the cost.

Base Line

The Alienware seventeen R5 is a substantial, stunning machine that is wonderful at participating in games with a pretty display screen, impressive audio and, of program, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080.

If you want a little better CPU efficiency, go for the $3,899 Aorus X9. You are going to have to drop down to a 1080p display screen. It operates at 144Hz and supports G-Sync. But the display screen is dimmer than I’d like, particularly right after I have laid my eyes on the Alienware’s panel.

But, apart from accomplishing a small even worse on some CPU benchmarks, the Alienware seventeen R5 is best-notch when it will come to literally every thing else, producing it the seventeen-inch gaming laptop to defeat.

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