Dell Alienware 17 R5 Review: Powerful Gaming

dell alienware 17 r5

The newest version of the Alienware 17 is worth your attention as it includes an Intel Core i9 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU. It has a black color scheme, making it stylish enough to wear to any event. With an Intel Core i9 CPU, the Alienware 17 R5 offers high-frame-rate gaming at 1440p.


Display17.3” QHD (2560 x 1440) TN+WVA (120Hz, G-Sync)
CPUIntel Core i9-8950HK
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X)
Memory32GB DDR4-2666MHz
SSD256GB PCIe m.2
HDD1TB 7,200-RPM
NetworkingKiller 1435 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi, Ethernet jack
Video PortsHDMI
USB Ports(2) USB 3.0, USB Type-C, Thunderbolt 3
Audio2.1 Speaker configuration with subwoofer, headphone jack, microphone jack
CameraFHD webcam, Tobii Eye Tracking
BatteryOptional 99Whr, 68Whr standard
Power Adapter330W
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Dimensions (WxDxH)16.7 x 13.1 x 1.2″
Weight9.77 pounds
OtherAlienware Command Center


  • Sleek new black color
  • Strong graphics performance
  • Alienware Command Center is revamped
  • Solid audio
  • Vivid display
  • Comfortable keyboard


  • Poorer CPU performance than competitors

Design and Built

The Alienware 17 is a beautiful-looking new laptop. It comes in a dark color that reflects and absorbs light to give it a unique look. This model of laptop retains the same basic shape as previous years with aggressive angles and a spaceship theme, but the aluminum frame is all-black giving it a serious aesthetic.

Alienware has a new Command Center that lets you customize your RGB lighting zones on the Alienware 15 R3, including both sides of the screen, many zones on the keyboard, and two large Alienware logos.

Opening the lid reveals a black case with silver lettering centered on the top. Inside, you’ll find a 17.3-inch monitor and, of course, Alienware logos around all sides.

The deck of this keyboard was covered in a comfortable, soft-touch material that feels luxurious on the wrists. I wish the laptop was positioned slightly further forward for more ports.

The Alienware has a solid build. There are steel reinforcements in the design to make this a sturdy device, and it feels like a luxury product when you’re carrying it around and playing games on it.

Alienware is a heavy PC that weighs 16.7 x 13.1 x 1.2 inches and has a 9.8-pound weight, which is 1000 times as heavy as the 8.1-pound Aorus X9 and Origin PC Eon 17-X. MSI’s GT75 Titan weighs 10.1 pounds and is 2.3 inches thick, making it 1000 times as heavy as the Alienware.

The Alienware 17 has a variety of ports, including USB-C and USB 3.0, in two separate jacks for headphones and mic. It has only one USB 3.0 port on the right side, but it does have all the most commonly used ports in addition to Ethernet, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, and a barrel jack for power.


This Alienware 17 R5 has great graphics processing performance and has enough power to run circles around other similarly outfitted competitors. This makes it perfect for gaming at 1440p resolutions like you want, without hiccups. A 3DMark score shows that the Alienware 17 has top-of-the-line hardware for gaming performance.

The Alienware 17 R5 is heavier and less stylish than the Razer Blade Pro and Asus ROG Zephyrus, but it can move. The graphics chipset is similar to the Blade Pro and Zephyrus. This is why it outperforms them when gaming.

This laptop is built with features that put it above the rest. It includes an Intel Core i9, and an overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080. This laptop leaves you nothing to desire when it comes to performance.

In reality, the Alienware 17 R5 wasn’t quite as fast but still maxed out its competitors in most cases.

In the game, Battlefield 1 for instance, the Alienware consistently hit an average of 139 FPS at ultra-high settings at 1080p and about 130 FPS at 1440p. The Razer Blade Pro came in just behind with an average of 134 FPS at ultra-high settings on 1080p and 126 FPS at the same settings on 1440p.

You can see how amazing the Alienware’s hardware is with a 1440p monitor when it barely took a hit by stepping up to the higher resolution. In the case of Battlefield 1, you’ll be above 120 FPS because of that 120Hz display panel.

This game is a demanding title that shows what modern gaming on this hardware can look like. The Alienware 17 R5 brings in some great performance while also offering an exceptional, high-refresh display.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard offers a decent keystroke depth and quick snappy keys. It never feels too mushy or too much like a laptop keyboard. It is one of the things that make the Helio 500 and Razer Blade Pro notebooks similar.

The touchpad of the device is an example of Windows Precision Touchpad support. It feels silky and smooth to the touch, and it’s small compared to some of today’s massive touchpads.

Battery Life

The Alienware 17-R3 manages to be the last laptop standing on our battery test. It lasted for 3 hours and 47 minutes of continuous web surfing at 150 nits of brightness, surpassing the 3:26 average battery life premium gaming laptop. The Titan, Aorus, and Eon17-X tapped out early with times of 2:54, 2:20, and 1:52, respectively.

Software and Warranty

Alienware has done a great job at removing the bloatware that comes with most computers. They still leave a few pieces of preinstalled software, but Windows 10 is less cluttered and lets you start everything quickly.

The Alienware 17 comes with preinstalled apps for enriching your gaming experience and maintaining system health. For example, you have Alienware Digital Delivery to ensure your software is up to date. Dell SupportAssist also lets you tune performance, optimize your network and check for viruses remotely.

With the Alienware 17, there’s also Nvidia GeForce Experience with its gamer-centric software suite, including BatteryBoost and Game Optimization. There’s also Killer Control Center, which lets you prioritize network bandwidth as well as test its speed and strength.

Wrap Up

If you’re planning to buy a gaming laptop in the $3,000 range, you need to know that you can’t do much better than the Alienware 17 R5 because it is superior to other laptops in terms of raw performance. But if you want a laptop that is less… ostentatious and gigantic, then go with something else.

MORE: Best Gaming Laptops

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