We have now reached a point where the competition in the laptop market is truly fierce. Instead of Intel and Nvidia dominating the gaming scene, AMD is making a significant impact, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are starting to take notice. Enter the Alienware m17 R5, a laptop that boasts an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processor and a Radeon RX 6850 XT GPU, making it a force to be reckoned with. Thanks to the AMD Advantage Suite, this system is optimized to deliver the best possible performance. Additionally, the laptop comes with Cherry MX keys, a beautiful 4K display, excellent speakers, and a sleek design.
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX|
|GPU||AMD Radeon RX 6850 XT 12GB/AMD Radeon Graphics|
|Storage||1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Ports||3 x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port, 1 x Type-C Port, Headset, HDMI 2.1, Ethernet, Power-adapter|
|Keyboard||CherryMX low-profile mechanical|
|Size||15.64 x 11.76 x 1.05 inches|
Our test configuration featured the powerful 3.3GHz AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processor with 32GB of RAM, 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, AMD Radeon RX 6850 XT GPU with 12GB of VRAM, and a 3,840 x 2,160 display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time.
The laptop also adheres to Dell’s Legend 2.0 design language, featuring a grayish-black finish, multiple RGB elements around the alien logos, and an onyx-black vent at the back. Although it looks great, it is not the most portable 17-inch laptop, measuring 15.6 x 11.8 x 0.9 inches and weighing 7.3 pounds. If portability is important to you, consider looking for thinner and lighter alternatives such as the MSI Vector GP76, Razer Blade 17, or Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16.
The laptop has ports on the back and sides, including three USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, HDMI 2.1, an expandable Gigabit Ethernet port, and a headset jack. It also has a DC-in port for the 240W charger, which is bulky and heavy, and unfortunately, the laptop cannot be charged using USB-C. Although we would have liked to see more USB-C ports, this is where one pays the price for opting for AMD over Intel, as Intel laptops typically have more and faster USB-C ports.
The 17.3-inch 4K display on this laptop is truly remarkable. When playing visually stunning games like Cyberpunk 2077, the display showcases the neon skyline of Night City so vividly that it seems as though the city is shining as bright as the stars above. With the help of FreeSync Premium, the screen avoids tearing, and low frame rate compensation (LFC) keeps things running smoothly. Though the measurable color reproduction only measured 76.2 percent on the DCI-P3 color gamut, the colors still looked great, and the 436 nit brightness was impressive. Additionally, the laptop is Dolby Vision enabled, which is ideal for those who enjoy watching movies on a laptop.
What makes this laptop stand out is its all-AMD design, which the company refers to as AMD Advantage. The system runs an AI program in the background that ensures maximum performance during games and productivity (called SmartShift Max by AMD), while also optimizing battery usage when the system is idle (SmartShift Eco). This feature can be monitored in real time using the AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition. Moreover, the laptop is equipped with AMDSmartAccess Memory, which allows the Ryzen CPU to access the 12GB of GPU memory via a fast PCI Express 4.0 link, effectively eliminating bottlenecks.
The performance of this laptop is impressive when it comes to gaming, as it can handle over 80 frames per second at 1080p Ultra settings in popular games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Metro: Exodus, and Far Cry New Dawn. However, if you increase the resolution to 4K, the frame rates drop to around 40 fps. This means that unless you require high-resolution for work or video consumption, it’s more cost-effective to opt for the 1080p option.
During our battery test, the laptop lasted for six hours and seven minutes while continuously browsing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits. The speakers also provide excellent sound quality, with Dolby Atmos support, and the Performance audio settings help players identify footsteps. However, the 720p/30fps webcam could be improved.
The Alienware laptop, priced at around $2,300 for our review configuration, and $2,000 for the 1080p version, is a great value for a desktop replacement. It’s a premium product that utilizes its all-AMD configuration efficiently. Although the Nvidia 40-series may be tempting, AMD proves that it’s still a viable option, especially with the high prices of those machines.