Alienware has announced the latest revision of its flagship gaming laptop range, the 15-inch Alienware M15 R5. It will ship in the US on April 20 and will cost $ 2,229.99 to start. The company is going big with its reports that it will host AMD’s fast Ryzen 5000 H-series processors (up to the octa-core Ryzen 9 5900HX) and up to Nvidia’s RTX 3070 graphics chip. Dell says this is the first Alienware laptop since 2007 with an AMD processor.
In case you haven’t noticed, AMD’s processors have had a tear over the past year, delivering great performance without sacrificing efficiency when you’re not gaming. This is just the latest company to join Asus, Lenovo and even Dell with its G5 15 SE, just to name a few. AMD talking laptops are already some of the best gaming laptops you can buy. Still, Alienware is arguably the most famous gaming brand to have become AMD to date.
The basic configuration of the M15 R5 has the octa-core Ryzen 7 5800H processor and Nvidia’s RTX 3060. You can upgrade to the Ryzen 9 5900HX octa-core processor and the RTX 3070. Both the RTX 3060 and 3070 have a total graphics power level of 115 W with 10 W extra boost available for up to 125 W maximum graphics power. Interestingly, the 3060 has a higher base and boost clock (base: 1,387 MHz, boost: 1,702 MHz) than the 3070 option (base: 1,110 MHz, boost: 1,560 MHz).
Regardless, these are some of the fastest clock speeds we’ve seen in a fairly thin 2021 gaming laptop so far. Alienware is pushing the boost clocks almost all the way to the ceiling, and it’s great that it’s transparent about these power specs as Nvidia now requires manufacturers to share them.
Speaking of dimensions, the R5 is thicker and heavier than the previous generation R4. The basic configuration weighs 5.34 pounds (up 5.93 pounds, depending on the components in it). The basic configuration of the R4 weighed in at 4.65 pounds, for comparison. The R5 is 19.25mm thick at the front (up to 22.85mm thick at the hinge), 272.5mm deep and 356mm wide. Each configuration comes with an 86Wh battery, like the one supplied in the M15 R4 and R3.
Screen-wise, the R5 can be configured with a range of high refresh rate displays. The basic FHD display has a response time of 3 ms with a refresh rate of 165 Hz and your upgrade options are either a dimmer 300-nit 1080p panel with a faster refresh rate of 360 Hz, a response time of 1 ms and only 100 percent sRGB color coverage, or a brighter 400-nit QHD display with a 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, 100 percent DCI-P3 color gamut and G-Sync, which should deliver the smoothest experience even if your frame rate drops .
If you want to output to a separate screen, the laptop’s HDMI 2.1 port means it can display up to 120 frames per second at 4K resolution if your monitor (or TV) supports it. This laptop also has a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port and a headphone jack. There is no Thunderbolt port, but that Intel technology may make its way to an Intel-based version later on.
Dell says this is the first Alienware laptop with fast 3200MHz DDR4 RAM, and it is also user-configurable with two SO-DIMM slots. This is a step in the right direction as the M15 R3 and R4 both had their RAM soldered to the board making it impossible to upgrade after you bought it. There are two M.2 slots on the inside, so you can also upgrade the storage after purchase.
The company says the laptop’s paintwork is designed for “increased stain resistance and a premium surface feel.” This model can be configured with Cherry’s Ultra-Low Profile mechanical switches. Dell has announced this keyboard collaboration for the M15 R4, and it will also be available as a $ 150 add-on for this new model.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly gaming laptop with a new Ryzen 5000 H-series processor, check out the $ 899 G15 from Dell that was also just announced.