Alienware tapped AMD for the first time in more than a decade when it de m15 Ryzen Edition R5 last year, and now the Team Red company is doubling down on releasing a new fleet of PCs powered by Ryzen chips.
Dell and its high-end gaming arm have announced four new devices in the run-up to Pax East, ranging from a budget-friendly gaming laptop to a high-end desktop, all of which have one thing in common: AMD components.
A pair of high-end gaming laptops
Starting with a successor to the laptop that restored the Alienware x AMD relationship, the new Alienware m15 R7 is the brand’s “most powerful 15-inch laptop”. The premium machine can be equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800H or Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU – the very best mobile chips AMD has to offer.
Not ready to paint everything red, Alienware stays festive by turning to Nvidia for a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU (125W TGP) with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM – a graphics card that should give the m15 R7 enough power to run the latest games. at their highest settings. Other key performance specs include room for up to 64GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM and up to 4TB (2×2) PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD.
Three panel options are available, starting with a 15.6-inch 1080p display with a 165Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and Nvidia G-Sync support. Competitive gamers playing fast action titles can opt for an FHD display with a 360Hz refresh rate with a 1 millisecond response time, while a third option — and the one I’d aim for — has a 1440p resolution with a 240 refresh rate. Hz.
On the outside, you won’t notice many changes to the Alienware m15 R7. It has the same simple design as the previous model, consisting of a gray chassis with a “15” etched into the lid next to a centered Alienware head. At 0.8 inches and 5.9 pounds, this isn’t meant to be a highly portable system, although it isn’t the heaviest in its class either. The port selection is generous, with the m15 having an RJ-45 Ethernet port, three USB 3.2 Type-A inputs, two Type-C ports, a headphone jack and an HDMI 2.1 connection.
While the design is familiar, Alienware promises improved cooling thanks to upgrades to the “Cryo-tech” architecture, which now features thinner, wider blade fans for 1.3x more airflow.
Also arriving today is the m17 R5, a 17-inch version of this high-end gaming rig. There’s even more AMD in there, with Radeon RX 6700M and RX 6850M XT graphics options and a Ryzen 9 6980HX CPU. It includes all of AMD’s companion technologies, including SmartShift Max (which dynamically switches power distribution across your CPU and GPU) and SmartAccess Memory (allowing your CPU to better connect to your GPU). It’s also the first laptop with SmartAccess Graphics, an AMD feature that promises to deliver 15% more average gaming performance by letting a Radeon GPU control the screen directly instead of transferring information from a Ryzen GPU to the screen. Speaking of displays, sscreen options are similar, except this larger model trades in a 1440p panel for a 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate.
The Alienware m15 R7 and m17 R5 are available today starting at $1,499 and $1,599 respectively. AMD Advantage Edition configurations for the m17 R5 will arrive later this spring.
Budget notebook, expensive desktop
Also unveiled today is a Dell laptop and Alienware desktop, two devices that fall on opposite sides of the price spectrum.
I’ll start with the more viable option: Dell’s new G15. Starting at $899 today, the G15 can be equipped with an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU, up to an RTX 3070 Ti GPU, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to a 2TB PCIe NVME M.2 SSD.
The base display is a 1080p, 120Hz panel with a low brightness of 250 nits and an NTSC color gamut of 45%. If you have the budget, upgrading to the 1080p, 165Hz panel with up to 300 nits seems like a smart bet. The best display is a 1440p, 240Hz panel with brightness up to 400 nits.
The G15 has a simple design, but I’m interested in the Specter Green color option with “camouflage”, which could look nice in combination with the optional Orange backlit keyboard (white and full-RGB are also available).
Finally, those looking for a more permanent setup and who have a big enough budget should consider the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R14. It has the same sci-fi aesthetic as the other Aurora models, but can accommodate Ryzen 9 processors and Radeon RX 6900XT or RTX 3090 graphics. Perhaps the most interesting part is the optional Ryzen 7 5800X3D CPU with its 3D V-Cache for better frame rates when playing triple-A games. This one – a prop for this – is available now from $2,949.