Dell Alienware x15 R1 vs x15 R2: Which to Buy in 2022?

Estimated read time 12 min read

“X” series is Alienware’s new chassis for gaming machines. The Dell subsidiary has to make a few concessions because of the attractive design. The RTX 3070 graphics card and a Core i9 CPU make this a potent gaming rig.

The 15.6-inch Alienware m15 laptop is the newest member of the Alienware family of gaming laptops. We’re testing an OLED model here, which is powered by Intel processors and Nvidia GPUs and has a screen that’s both classic and OLED.

Dell Alienware x15 R1Dell Alienware x15 R2
✅ Impressive finesse.
✅ The retrofuturistic design.
✅ A shock config and solid performance.
✅ The lines of the case and its weight.
✅ The formidable keyboard.
✅ The OLED screen still has its effect.
❌ A somewhat sparse connection.
❌ Yes, it is very, very expensive!
❌ Few possible evolutions.
❌ The size of the AC adapter.
❌ The processor that throttles hard.

Dell Alienware x15 R1 vs x15 R2: Specs

Dell Alienware x15 R1Dell Alienware x15 R2
CPUIntel Core i9-11900HIntel Core i7-9750H
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 3070 LaptopNvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q

Design and Build

Dell Alienware x15 R1

The new Holy Grail for gaming computer manufacturers is a PC with both power and finesse. The market is flooded with new players, such as Razer and Alienware. Dell’s gaming computer line, the X series, features a chassis that stands out in this regard.

The “R” series machines’ massive carcasses have been replaced by smaller, lighter models. To see how far you’ve come, just look at the new box next to the old one. Although it is not cheap, the X15 retains its futuristic lines, plastic finishes, and a screen that is slightly raised above the rest of the computer’s body. However, he has lost a significant amount of weight and is now only 2 centimeters thick. When you hold the machine in your hands, it looks almost magical. There are still far from perfect ultrabooks, but we can already see ourselves daydreaming about laptops that will be portable and powerful enough to play the most demanding games with all of their options fully enabled.

That hasn’t happened yet, as the X15 is much thinner, but it isn’t much lighter. The creature’s weight is recorded at 2.31 kilos. Alienware obliges with a shock configuration and cooling, despite the machine’s weight loss treatment. A Core i9 11900H, paired with an RTX 3070 (8 GB of RAM), 32 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of SSD storage in our loan model. In a nutshell, a stunning newborn.

Dell Alienware x15 R2

The Alienware 15.6-inch laptop follows in the footsteps of the 17.3-inch Alienware. We’re getting the Alienware m15 R2 in a strange configuration, but it sold well on the Dell website. A 4K panel and an Nvidia RTX Max-Q type graphics card make it a bit unusual, but it’s not as powerful as a “classic” RTX card. This isn’t always the best “combo,” but it can be fun. The RTX 2080 is the only laptop GPU that doesn’t suffer too much in UHD, so a good Full HD screen is all that’s needed.

First, let’s talk about this Alienware’s color: we won’t discuss its finish, the typing comfort, or its layout of the connectors. The m15 R2 is based on the same model as the m17 R2, which was just received and tested a short time ago. We therefore encourage you to read our comparison of the brand’s spearhead with the head of an alien to get a full picture of the owner.

The keyboards of the m15 R2 and m17 R2 aren’t exactly the same, but it’s worth noting. There is no numeric keypad or programmable shortcut keys on the 15.6-inch model. Neither of these features were included in Dell’s first m15 model, which was unveiled at the end of last year. In addition, the touchpad is smaller; however, these are the only noticeable differences.

Display Comparison

Dell Alienware x15 R1

This is the 1080p version of the computer we had in our hands at the time of this writing. And while the previous Alienware PC’s panel had left us unconvinced, this model’s panel has changed our minds. Even in the office or while surfing the web, it’s a great helper because it’s so fluid. If you’re looking for the best “gaming” PC on the market, this one isn’t going to blow you away with its brightness. Color fidelity is excellent, with a Delta E 2000 of 1.53, and viewing angles are also excellent.

On the other hand, there is one flaw in this display: a lackluster contrast ratio. As measured by our probe at 861:1 and confirmed by our grip, the blacks are lacking depth.

Dell Alienware x15 R2

The Tobii camera built into the screen hinge makes this 15.6-inch model stand out from the competition. If you’d like to refresh your memory, this is an eye tracking device that is compatible with a select few video games It can also track your eye movements while you play online, and it even has the capability to control some functions solely with the power of your retinas.

Actually, this is a gadget that only a small percentage of gamers will actually use. Fortunately, Alienware has screen models that do not require this piece of equipment.

As we mentioned at the outset, Dell is banking on a unique display to win us over. 4K resolution will be required to show your games and which, fortunately, digests roller coasters in Full HD and 1440p. It can save a life, as we’ll see in a moment.

In addition to the large number of pixels on the screen, an OLED panel is used to display these pixels. Because of the low refresh rate that this technology is known to allow, you won’t see it very often in gaming consoles. You’ll have to settle for this m15 of 60 Hz maximum as proof of what’s going on.

We have to be content with quality because of the lack of speed, and we are served there. The graph below shows that the brightness measured is the best it has been for a few months (the m15 is in light green). With a peak of 450 cd/m 2 in the upper left corner, it averages out to 435 cd/m 2.

OLED complies, despite the fact that its contrast ratio can never be measured because it is considered infinite. As a result, the dark areas appear… extremely dark, while the colors pop. However, this is unfair. It wasn’t quite what we had hoped. Because of the large delta E, the m15 R2 is now slightly higher than the 3.38 average calculated from the most recent PCs used by the editorial team.

It is clear to the naked eye that oranges and reds predominate, so much so that they appear distorted at times. Our observations are confirmed by the probe, which shows extremely high values. There is also some green in the mix. You don’t even have to be an expert in colorimetry to see it if you’re in a game with a lot of trees or other greenery. Despite this, the OLED panel still has a small impact, leading us to be more forgiving of it.

For those who prefer playing network games in multiplayer, where things move quickly and the display’s responsiveness is critical, the m15 R2 with a classic Full HD panel refreshed at 144 Hz is the way to go. The reactivation will be flawless, but the rendering will be less impressive.

Fans of high-quality video game shows will be delighted by the 4K OLED panel, which features a wide range of settings in which we can spend hours ( Red Dead Redemption 2 solo, The Witcher 3 , Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order , etc. .). It’s especially frustrating because playing in native 4K on the machine isn’t as smooth as it could be.

Performance Difference

Dell Alienware x15 R1

This configuration, which includes a powerful Core i9 processor, a GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, and 32 GB of RAM, is clearly the most powerful. They’re there, as expected. To see what this computer was capable of, we loaded up its SSD with the newest games. Due to the massive size of today’s AAA games, it fills up very quickly. However, we have the ability to open the machine and add a second one if needed.

Despite being able to play some of the most demanding games without any issues, the 3070 embedded in the machine will not allow you to activate all of the graphics options on any of them, including pushing the hardware to the bottom through the software. given to you by Alienware

For example, Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red’s new 1.5 update doesn’t consistently hit 60 FPS with all options at full speed (1080p, RTX Ultra, DLSS activated). However, we were able to observe an average of 54 FPS in our test game. RTX Low or even RTX Medium (an average frame rate of 59 FPS) will provide a more pleasurable gaming experience (64 FPS on average).

The X15 performs much better in a less taxing game like Forza Horizon 5, where the prettiest mode (dubbed Extreme) runs smoothly at an average frame rate of 88 frames per second. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which looks stunning on the screen of the machine, runs at an average of 90 FPS with all options enabled.

However, these impressive gaming results must be viewed in light of the machine’s cost and the advanced technologies it features. It gets a little stuck there. In even the most basic of games, like Fortnite, we couldn’t get more than 150 FPS. A sudden realization dawns on us: going all-out with an expensive panel capable of displaying 360 images per second is overkill. There are certain games, such as Rocket League, that will run at an incredible 360 fps on our system. However, it’s rather brief.

Dell Alienware x15 R2

At this price point, this Alienware has opted for a completely standard gaming configuration. The Core i7-9750H processor leads a quartet that plays the score. DDR4 memory (soldered) is used to store the music on the motherboard, which has 512GB of SSD storage (expandable).

Our average frame rate on Rise of the Tomb Raider in DX12 is 95 fps, while on The Division we get between 79 and 98 frames per second depending on the level of detail (High/Ultra). It’s all there: playability, beauty.

But when we pass these tests in 4K, the drop is massive. The Division drops from 79 to 37 frames per second, while Tomb Raider drops from 95 to 37 frames per second! It’s certainly playable, but the image variations will be severe if the scenes or animations become overly detailed or complex, increasing the risk of the game becoming nothing more than a series of pretty slides.

The Core i7-9750H processor, like the one in the 17.3-inch model, has throttling problems. As a precaution against heatstroke, it lowers its operating speed after 6 to 7 minutes of stress. Besides that, it’s erratic.

However, the cores return to their base speed of 2.6 GHz, but only for a short time. During the worst of the storm, the CPU reduces the airfoil frequency to as low as 2 or even 1.9 GHz in under a minute. Then, after another three minutes, he manages to return to 3 GHz… without putting them under any strain. And so forth. In spite of this, Dell didn’t skimp on the copper to dissipate all of this little world.

Heating and Noise

Dell Alienware x15 R1

What’s the value of Alienware’s new cooling system, which uses four fans and a proprietary material called “Element 31” to cool the processor? Considering the case’s thickness, this performs admirably.

Although the PC is a little noisier and a little hotter than other machines we’ve tested recently, this is not a problem or a concern. Successful first model, indicating that the transition to Intel’s 12th generation chips will be smooth.

Dell Alienware x15 R2

Because the Alienware m15 R2 is a scaled-down version of the m17 R2, it comes equipped with the same two fans and metal pipe heat dissipation system.

However, it’s a lot less noticeable than on the large model. At the peak of the storm, the noise pollution was measured at 37.4 dB. (compared to 45 dB for the m17 R2 and its RTX 2080 Max-Q). When they’re at rest, both brothers’ levels fall between 28 and 29 decibels.

In addition, we performed our standard procedure of taking readings of the machine’s temperature in various locations. In full stress, the mercury reaches 50.8°C, and on the palm rests, it reaches 33°C. Since the R1 version of the m15 was released at the beginning of this year, these two values are very similar to those found on that model.

The Verdict

Dell Alienware x15 R1

Alienware has made a statement by introducing the X series, a gaming computer with one of the most aesthetically pleasing cases available. There is no doubt that the machine is well-drawn, well-finished, fine, racy without overdoing it. Most games today can be played at a framerate that is more than acceptable, even with all of the graphics options turned on, thanks to this system’s well-balanced configuration.

It’s worth noting, however, that this new case comes with a few drawbacks. First, there’s the issue of connectivity, which has undoubtedly been revised downwards (a little too much). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is the device’s exorbitant cost. PCs with comparable performance can be found for less money, but they are less attractively built and finished.

Dell Alienware x15 R2

Even though we were seduced, it didn’t break us. Its case is stunning, and the ease with which it can be used for both leisure and work is impressive. Also, don’t forget about the raw computing power that can be found under the keyboard. In spite of the rapid rise in temperature, its size remains substantial. In contrast, Dell’s 4K-ready laptop PC configuration is an excellent example of what you should never do. An OLED 4K display may be a better choice if your computer is also used for video or photo editing and you want the highest possible resolution and sharpness. consider.

However, unless you have the money to afford an Area 51 and its Core i9/RTX 2080 processor pair, playing in UHD on a mobile machine is irrelevant.

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