Alienware 17 R5 17 Inch (8950HK, GTX 1080) Gaming Laptop Review

Alienware is considered as really late for upgrading their laptop with 8th generation processor since most of companies have started to do it since December 2017 and they just do it now for these couple of months. Previously, I have reviewed its Hexa core CPU model and overall give a truly nice impression especially considering the machine really handles the temperature really well during the heavy usage although the fan runs quite bit faster here. Interestingly, they just won’t stop there and now providing a much powerful version with Core I9 Coffee Lake alongside with GTX 1080. If you expect for a steady gaming experience for years without making an upgrade, then you might need to take a look into it.

The only issue you might have here is the price. It costs you nearly 4000 dollars and considered as quite expensive at this case. Keep in mind, ASUS also puts the same price range here, but few other companies like Aorus will give you similar specs at lower price here. Well, I just their big brand name makes it expensive here. Today, we are going to take a look into it further and see how it goes for performing some tasks and gaming. Without further ado, let’s we jump into the article.


Dell puts of lot different configuration started the one powered by Intel I5 8300H which considered as the lowest end model for this case. It’s started from under 1800 dollars and goes to 4000 dollars depending for specification you want. Right here, the manufacture for some reasons costs us for a crazy price for its configuration in storage and Memory. You probably see the price different between the 16GB and 32GB models are big and buying the component separately should cost you less of money here. They provide future proof upgrade options here, so just never be afraid for picking the lowest version of it.

One thing worth mentioning here is the warranty support. The company only gives us a 12 months warranty service while its competitor offer us even three years of free support. We buy a premium laptop with lot of money here and it’s pretty normal for users to expect a better support here. Keep in mind some bad cases might happen during our usage and having a proper protection is needed here. I am not going to review about its design and connectivity since all of them have been previously mentioned right here in my previous review.

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Display and Audio

Alienware 17 R5 17 Inch 2 Dell once again puts us in different choices here as they offer us different of screen configuration. For this review, I got the QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution which sadly coming with only 60 Hz refresh rate. The 1080p model will cover 120 Hz rate and probably better for gaming. In term of quality, you get for what you pay for here. The screen produces of pretty decent color quality and measuring it about showing me of 98 % SRGB color. The brightness then is also very high at 400 nits and putting it in 50 % setting is bright enough for indoor usage.

As for the audio, the quality so far is truly fine especially in its power. It produces high power sounds and at the same time shows of detail clarity. They provide us software for adjusting its level configuration and playing with it for a little should show better result. You can just leave it with the default setting since it sounds really fine. For gaming, I still recommend you to use of a headphone as the audio does not really cover its fan sounds really well.

Last price update: 2021-01-04 15:46:38

Alienware 17 R5 17 InchMain Specs
CPU Intel Coffee Lake Core I9-8950HK 2.9 GHz
Graphics NVIDIA GTX 1080
Display Size17.3 Inch QHD
OSWindows 10 Home
Memory 32GB DDR4 Memory
Storage256GB SSD + 1TB HDD

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Performance and Gaming

The performance is probably the biggest selling point since the hardware covers pretty much high end things. The Intel I9 8950HK for an example is now being of Intel’s most powerful mobile CPU available right now. The processor operates between 2.2 to 4.2 GHz during the usage and showing of impressive performance. Unfortunately, Dell somehow fails to provide us a proper boosted clock level here considering the processor only manages to stay around 3.3 GHz for most all of time. Reaching up to 4.2 GHz is rarely and only happened for a while. The temperature is slightly hot although still in very normal categorized. However, its competitors will give you better thermal management.

The gaming performance is fine as the GTX 1080 will cover everything here. All of games are running in ultra-setting up to 60 FPS. The new games like Far Cry 5 even gets of 88 FPS at this level. The NVIDIA G-Sync is featured here and will remove any tearing you find during your gaming. Some users might find it’s hard to difference it, but overall worth mentioning in case you want it. Just make sure to always plug its charger as even putting it in idle mode will kill the battery very fast.

Last price update: 2021-01-04 15:46:38
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Final Thought

Dell provides their best to make such proper gaming system with Core I9 mobile processor. However they make the same mistake by not providing a proper thermal management here. As the result, the performance is 15 % slower than its competitors. However, the difference is not really huge considering the specification is already so high. Any activities included in gaming in maximum setting won’t give you any issue. Of course it comes with a price you need to think about here. The choice is yours, so feel free to take any consideration about it. Make sure to check our latest article and mind leaving any comments for further assistance regarding the article.

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