There are several excellent options available if you’re looking for one of the best laptops for gaming that offers a strong CPU and a strong GPU. If you’re prepared to extend your budget, Alienware has beamed down the Dell Alienware M15 R7, one of the best gaming laptops under $1,500. You can purchase a decently equipped gaming laptop for about $1,000.
With the m15 R7, Alienware chose AMD power, which in this case is the Zen 3+-based Ryzen 7 6800H. An Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU powers a 15.6-inch, 1080p display together with 16GB of dual-channel DDR-4800 RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, and this potent mobile CPU. The m15 R7 is expensive and tested at $1,449.99, but you might be able to locate a Dell or Alienware voucher. However, the machine’s overall performance and Alienware’s attention to detail are clearly visible.
Dell Alienware M15 R7 – Gaming Laptop
|Processor:||AMD Ryzen 7 6800H|
|GPU:||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB|
|Display:||15.60 inch FHD 1920 x 1080 pixels, 165 Hz|
|Hard Drive:||512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Speakers:||Dual Stereo Speakers|
|Dimensions:||14.02 x 10.73 x 0.94 inches|
pros and cons
- Nice Built Quality with Authentic Design
- Good Battery Life
- Impressive gaming Performance
- Loaded with NVMe-SSD
- The Performance of Storage compared to competitors is a lack
- Slightly Heavier compared to other 15-inches laptops
Dell Alienware M15 R7 Review
A 15.6-inch, 1080p screen with a matte surface and a refresh rate of 165 Hz is used by the Alienware m15 R7. The display has a coverage rate of 71.1 percent for DCI-P3 and 100 percent for sRGB. Although the MSI Sword 15 and Alienware x14 outperform it in terms of sRGB performance, the DCI-P3 coverage is competitive.
The m15 R7’s panel brightness is rated at 300 nits, and in our testing, 289 nits were just shy of that number. The Sword 15 came in last at 247 nits, while the Asus TUF Gaming F15 (324 nits) and x14 (377 nits) were substantially brighter. We should point out, meanwhile, that the m15 R7 worked flawlessly in both a home office environment and outside on a partly cloudy day.
James Cameron’s “The Abyss,” one of my favorite films, was shown in its entirety on the m15 screen, and I was blown away by how well it reproduced color. There are many gloomy parts in the film because it is set deep underwater, which can be difficult for IPS displays with low contrast. The screen could not go completely black; instead, it was more of a dark grey. Nevertheless, it still looked good. The aquatic aliens’ bioluminescence also shone with mesmerizing pink and blue tones.
Similar to the m17 R5, the Alienware m15 R7 has two speakers that fire downward that are situated close to the front of the chassis. They work well with music and movies as well as video games. I didn’t hear any distortion even when I turned up the volume to maximum.
Low-end output was inadequate, with explosions in Grand Theft Auto V and other titles falling with a thud rather than making a big audible impact. When I turned on John Mayer’s live performance of “If I Ever Get Around to Living” on Letterman, it was a similar story with music; I was underwhelmed by the sound’s lack of bass and overall tinniness.
The m15 R7 comes with Dolby Access software, which allows users to change the sound settings (Detailed, Balanced, Warm, Off). But in my testing, the settings didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the content (music, videos, games). Your results may differ, but at least the software is available for anyone who wishes to try making adjustments.
You can always get one of the best gaming headsets to increase immersion if sound quality is extremely important to you.
Design & Built
Even though it has a smaller 15.6-inch frame, the Alienware m17 R5 utilizes the same Legend 2.0 design elements as the previous iterations of the firms’ laptops. Our review unit contains the “Dark Side of the Moon” hue, which is lovely and has a shimmering aspect to its finish.
A 15.6-inch display is indicated by an etched “15” on the lid, which also features an RGB alien head logo. A full-size keyboard with honeycomb cutouts is visible on the deck when the lid is opened. Near the upper right corner of the deck is another RGB alien head (it also doubles as the power button).
The entire back of the laptop is surrounded by an oblong RBG lightning element that may be color-synchronized with the other lights (the alien head on the Chassis, the power button alien head, and the keypad backlighting). All RGB color configurations are handled by the Alienware Command Center software tool.
Despite being entirely made of plastic, the m15 R7 doesn’t feel cheap. The absence of creaking in the chassis is evidence of Alienware’s careful consideration of material selection and quality. Our m15 R7 weighs 5.53 pounds, compared to 4.96 pounds for the MSI Sword 15 and 4.41 pounds for the Asus TUF Gaming F15, which is likely in part due to the strong chassis.
The 86 WHr battery in our evaluation item is perhaps another factor contributing to the higher weight (base systems weigh 5.35 pounds and feature a 56 WHr battery). You’ll see later in our tests how the larger battery helps it outlast its rivals in terms of endurance.
The m15 R7 is 14.02 by 10.73 by 0.94 inches in size (356.20 x 272.50 x 23.95mm). The laptop’s footprint places it roughly in the size range between the TUF Gaming F15 (13.94 x 9.88 x 0.78 inches) and the Sword 15 (14.13 x 10.20 x 0.98 inches).
Keypad & Touchpad
The Alienware m15 R7 keyboard lacks a number pad and features a largely conventional layout. The top function row is half as tall as the conventional keys, while the right side has special keys for volume, mute, and the microphone.
I had no issue typing 96.5 words per minute with 92.25 percent accuracy using keyhero.com because the keys were highly responsive to my touch. That was comparable to the MSI Sword 15’s 86.43 words per minute and 89.46 percent accuracy, and it wasn’t too far below my typing speed on a desktop keyboard.
It’s a wonderful touch that the RGB illumination for the keyboard may be changed using the Alienware Command Center program. The hue can be adjusted to suit your preferences. However, the keyboard on our evaluation device has a single RGB zone. Per-key RGB illumination is a $50 upgrade available through the Dell website.
The touchpad’s dimensions, 4.125 by 2.375 inches, were suitable for navigating Windows 11. I had room for my left palm to rest comfortably while gaming with 4 inches separating the left edge of the laptop and the touchpad. But when I want to play some real sniping at my desk, I prefer to use one of the best gaming keyboards and mice.
The AMD Ryzen 7 6800H CPU in our Alienware m15 R7 has a base clock of 3.2GHz and a maximum boost frequency of 4.7GHz. This 8-core computer can handle 16 threads of work at once.
The simulated benchmark Geekbench 5 is used to assess CPU performance, and the Ryzen 7 6800H just lacks the power to compete with the Intel-sponsored opposition (Core i7-12700H on the Alienware x14 and Asus TUF Gaming F15, Core i7-12650H on the MSI Sword 15). The single-core and multi-core scores for the m15 R7 were 1,526 and 9,336 respectively. The X14 (1,471) was surpassed by its single-core performance, which put it in third place, but it’s multi-score lagged behind all rivals.
The m15 R7 struggled throughout our 25GB file transfer test, finishing bottom at 529.78 MBps. The TUF Gaming F15 came in second place, clocking in at 607.46 MBps, while the x14 won out, clocking in at 1,156.07 MBps.
Using Handbrake, the Dell Alienware M15 R7 transcoded a 4K video to a 1080p resolution in 5 minutes and 36 seconds. This placed it third behind the x14 and TUF Gaming F15 (4:49). (5:04).
Gaming & Graphics
A 512GB SSD, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, an AMD Ryzen 7 6800H CPU, and a 165 Hz, 1920 x 1080 display are all included in our Alienware m15 R7 review unit. The laptop was able to fully test its limits in gaming benchmarks thanks to this configuration.
I made the decision to play a few games on my own to acquire a feel for the device before diving into our tests, including the free-to-play esports title Overwatch 2. The game ran at about 200 frames per second for me at 1080p on the Epic level, which is a terrific way to push the high-refresh screen.
The m15 R7 finished third (69 fps) in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider test (1080p Highest), just behind the MSI Sword 15. (70 fps). With 74 frames per second, the Asus TUF Gaming F15 won. The GeForce RTX 3060 GPU is present in each of the gaming laptops in this group.
The m15 R7 finished in second place (84 fps) in Far cries 6 (1080p, Very High), far behind the performance of the Asus TUF Gaming F15 in first place (99 fps). At 60 frames per second and 70 frames per second, the Alienware x14 and Sword 15 lagged behind.
Grand Theft V (1080p, Very High) tightened up the benchmark standings, and the m15 R7 won by averaging 95 frames per second. The TUF Gaming F15 and Sword 15 tied for second with 90 frames per second, while the x14 once more came in last with 70 frames per second.
Similar results were achieved with Borderlands 3 (1080p, Badass settings), where the m15 R7 recorded 72 frames per second against the Sword 15’s 69 and the TUF Gaming F15’s 65. Unsurprisingly, at 54 frames per second, the x14 once more saw the taillights of its rivals.
Finally, the TUF Gaming F15 and Dell Alienware M15 R7 took a tiny advantage over one another at 60 frames per second in the Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmark (1080p, Very High) (59 fps). The x14 finished in the bottom with 48 fps, while the Sword 15 wasn’t much behind at 57 fps.
We stress-test gaming laptops using Metro Exodus (1080p, RTX), running the benchmark 15 times in a row to obtain a sense of the performance and heat generated during extended gaming sessions. During the test, the Ryzen 7 6800H ran at an average frequency of 3,390.7 MHz and a maximum frequency of 4,666 MHz. The CPU registered an average temperature of 77 degrees Celsius across the 15 cycles (170.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
An average frequency of 1,807 MHz and an average temperature of 64 ° were recorded by the GeForce RTX 3060 GPU. Our 15 runs yielded an average frame rate of 59.15 fps.
It’s important to mention that throughout the stress test and while playing games like Grand Theft Auto V and Overwatch 2, fan noise was highly audible. Although it wasn’t a bothersome sound, the issue was immediately resolved with a set of noise-canceling headphones.
Connectivity & Upgradeability
On the right side of the chassis, there are two USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 1 ports, and on the left, there is a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet connector and an audio combo jack. Between the two exhaust ports that resemble honeycombs at the back of the m15 R7 are all the other ports. On this panel, there is one USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 2 connector, one HDMI 2.1 port, and a proprietary charging port in addition to one additional USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 1 port.
Remove eight Phillips screws to gain access to the Alienware m15 R7’s bottom panel (two of which were captive). I easily pry off the bottom panel by inserting my fingernail between one of the USB-A ports and the bottom panel.
There are two DDR4 slots inside, both of which were filled in the review unit. On the device, there are two M.2 slots, and one of them was filled with a Micron 3400 M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD (MTFDKBA512TFH). This indicates that adding extra storage in the future is a simple upgrade path. It is simple to reach the Wi-Fi module, which is located next to the first M.2 SSD slot. A number of screws must be removed in order to change the 86 Whr battery, which should be simple to do.
The 86 Whr battery of the Dell Alienware M15 R7 is comparatively substantial. For instance, the MSI Sword 15 only has a 53 Whr battery, whereas the Asus TUF Gaming F15 has a 90 Whr battery. The battery used by the Alienware x14 is 80 Whr.
The Dell Alienware M15 R7 performed admirably in our test, lasting 8 hours and 57 minutes despite having a lower battery than the TUF Gaming F15. Our battery test uses a 150-nit screen brightness while conducting Wi-Fi-connected web surfing, streaming video, and OpenGL testing. The MSI Sword 15 had the weakest endurance, as expected, but the TUF Gaming F15 gave out almost an hour and a half earlier (7:35). (3:55).
The display of the Dell Alienware m15 R7 is flawless. A 15.6-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440-pixel) resolution LCD panel produces excellent gaming experiences. It is supplemented by the laptop’s 240Hz refresh rate and 2ms response time.
The m15 R7 from Alienware attracts players with its luxury feel, great gaming performance, and quick 165 Hz display. At just under $1,500, this is a superb all-around package, especially when you consider the roughly 9 hours of battery life.
At $1,449.99, the Dell Alienware M15 R7 is a reasonably priced gaming laptop. The m15 R7 either won or wasn’t far behind in the gaming benchmarks thanks to its AMD Ryzen 6800H CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU.
The 15.6-inch, 1080p display on the Alienware laptop has a 165 Hz refresh rate and is surrounded by plenty of RGB light. The build quality is great, as we would expect from Alienware, and the tested battery life of nearly 9 hours was unparalleled (even beating out the previous champ Asus TUF Gaming F15).
The m15 R7 isn’t really difficult to dislike. Its productivity performance was subpar in some areas, especially the storage benchmark, and it weighs 5.53 pounds, which is a touch slobby. We won’t dwell on other criticisms of the m15 R7 because they may also be directed at its rivals, such as its tinny audio and subpar 720p webcam performance.
Based on its superior all-around performance and endurance, the m15 R7 from Alienware is the clear victor in our comparison. Although it is by no means inexpensive at close to $1,500, it is a much more appealing option for gamers than the MSI Sword 15 ($1,349) and the Asus TUF Gaming F15 ($1,499).