Today, we’re reviewing the new Alienware M17 R5 gaming laptop. Alienware has been synonymous with PC gaming since the company’s early gaming laptops in the 2000s. With decades of experience, Alienware knows how to make a head-turning gaming laptop. They are back at it again with another stunning release. This time, Alienware shows us a prime example of an AMD-based gaming beast.
But how does the new M17 R5 compare to all of the other gaming laptops on the market? With so much competition, a quality gaming laptop needs to do something to stand out from the crowd. If you’re wondering if this laptop is a fitting addition to your gaming setup, keep reading. We’ll dive into this laptop and review it from top to bottom, with specs, features, and pricing.
Alienware M17 R5: Best Deal Today
Alienware launched the M17 R5 gaming laptop in July 2022. Since then, gaming fanatics and critics alike have had a chance to benchmark it and compare it to similar models. We’ve done some sleuthing to dig up the best deals for you. If you’re searching for the best price on the M17 R5, check out these deals:
Alienware M17 R5: Overview
Alienware has always stood out with its unique designs and flashy styles. Gamers remained captivated by the Alien-themed designs of the company’s gaming laptops. As gaming laptops improve, we see more futuristic and streamlined designs. Alienware has been focusing on slim and portable gaming laptops, evidenced by the X14 and X15 gaming laptops released earlier this year.
However, the M17 R5 is different. Instead of racing to produce the slimmest laptop, Alienware has turned to its roots and delivered a hefty, bulky gaming laptop with all of the bells and whistles. This laptop isn’t for the traveler or gamer on the go. In fact, you’ll enjoy this laptop most if you use it as a desktop replacement.
That being said, the M17 R5 is thick and bulky for good reason. Packed inside, you’ll find an AMD Ryzen 9 processor and RX 6850 XT graphics card, both cooled by a massive dual-fan cooling system. A durable anodized aluminum case holds everything together, and the Cherry MX keyboard further contributes to the experience. All of these components add to the weight and thickness, but the overall usability makes it worth it.
Release date and price
Alienware launched the M17 R5 in July of 2022, with several variations available. You can opt for a lower-end spec with an AMD Ryzen 7 CPU or the maxed-out option with AMD Ryzen 9. Either way, expect to pay something in the ballpark of $2000 to $3000 for this model. If you can swing the upgraded model, the improved frame rates and gaming performance make this version worth every penny.
|Operating System||Windows 11|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX|
|Display||17.3-inch IPS LED|
|Resolution||3840 by 2160|
|Refresh Rate||120 Hz FreeSync|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon RX 6850 XT|
|Graphics Memory||12GB GDDR6|
|RAM||16GB to 64GB DDR5|
|Storage Capacity||1TB or 2TB|
|Storage Type||NVMe solid-state drive|
|Wireless Functions||WiFi 6e and Bluetooth 5.2|
|Weight||7.3 pounds (3.3kg)|
Alienware M17 R5: Review
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The M17 R5 is a departure from the trend of slimming gaming laptops to the bare minimum. While competitors like MSI, Asus ROG, and Gigabyte sacrifice performance in favor of slim form factors, Alienware intends for the M17 R5 to take back the gaming crown by cramming as much high-end hardware into this laptop as possible.
Instead of a slender and restrictive case, this laptop offers plenty of room for efficient cooling and powerful hardware. Similar to its little brother, the Alienware M15 R7, the M17 R5 retains many of the aesthetic qualities of the previous generation R4 gaming laptop.
In the “Dark Side of the Moon” color scheme, the M17 R5 dominates any desk or gaming setup. Alienware engraved a number 17 onto the lid of this laptop, making for a futuristic look. The characteristic Alien logo on the lid is rimmed with white LED lighting, broadcasting to the world that this is a legendary Alienware system.
The unique hinge design of the M17 R5 means that the display is slightly moved back towards the keyboard. This leaves more room for an array of ports along the laptop’s rear edge, shrouded in an onyx-black honeycomb vent.
Upon opening the lid, you’ll first notice the Cherry MX mechanical keyboard, glowing customizable RGB backlighting, and the characteristic Alien head situated near the side, functioning as a distinctly designed power button. Weighing in at 7.3 pounds, the M17 R5 is not attempting to be a lightweight laptop.
Instead, the focus is on performant hardware and maximum cooling efficiency. As a result, this laptop sports a hefty weight compared to similar laptops in its class, like the Razer Blade or the MSI Vector. Still, at under an inch in thickness, the R5 is a far cry better than the gaming laptops of the previous decade.
The Alienware M17 R5’s most dazzling feature is undoubtedly its display. You can choose between crisp ultra-high definition or blazing-fast refresh rate, available in either a 4K 120hz or 1080p 480hz configuration. Either way, the display on this laptop is among the best in its class, comparable to laptops like the MSI Stealth or Corsair Voyager.
Games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Apex Legends, Grand Theft Auto, and other triple-A titles play stunningly on the M17 R5. Even the most demanding titles, like Cyberpunk 2077, don’t put up any fight when running on this laptop. Graphics performance is smooth and immersive, and that is thanks to a few premium features.
Besides the high resolution and 3 millisecond response time, you also get features like AMD FreeSync, which prevents your games from stuttering or tearing. LFC, or “low frame rate compensation,” also helps smooth out any rough edges in your gameplay by automatically compensating for dropped frame rates.
GPU and CPU
This graphics quality level wouldn’t be possible without the GPU. And Alienware picked a fantastic GPU for the job—the AMD RX 6850 XT with 12GB of DDR6 VRAM. The RX 6850 XT delivers powerful gaming performance, competing with similar Nvidia GPUs, like the RTX 3070.
Based on the latest graphics architecture from AMD, this card makes the perfect pairing to go along with the AMD Ryzen 9 processor. Alienware didn’t want to leave Nvidia fanatics out in the cold, and the M17 R5 also comes in an RTX 3080-Ti configuration for even better graphics performance.
The only catch if you go this route is that the price tag jumps almost to double the base MSRP. No matter which GPU you pick, the processor remains the same.
You get an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processor, sporting 8 cores and 16 threads. With a base clock speed of 3.3GHz, this CPU has already shattered benchmarks set by the previous generation’s gaming laptops without breaking a sweat.
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX Eight Core Processor (20MB Cache, 3.3GHz-4.9GHz) 45W
- RAM: 64GB DDR5 4800MHz | Hard Drive: 2TB NVMe Solid State Drive
- Keyboard: mSeries 1 per key AlienFX RGB | Operating System: Windows 11 Home x64 | Accessories: Gamer Desk Mat and Mamba Wireless Gaming Mouse
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 TI 16GB GDDR6 | Wireless: Wifi 6 + Bluetooth 5.2 | Display: 17.3" FHD Advanced Optimus 480Hz (1920 x 1080)
- 64GB RAM + 2TB NVMe SSD Upgrades | 3-Year CUK Limited Warranty (View warranty section below for more details.)
You won’t think about memory with this laptop, mainly because there is so much to go around. With up to 64GB of RAM in the maxed-out configuration and a whopping 2TB solid-state drive, you have plenty of RAM to allocate to running your apps and multitasking, and plenty of storage space to load all your games.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can pick up the base configuration with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB drive. Either way, you still get to enjoy the high performance and bandwidth of the DDR5 memory. Additionally, the SSD offers above-average performance thanks to the high-bandwidth M.2 NVMe interface.
Alienware gives you plenty of options for upgrading your laptop after you buy it. You can install 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of RAM thanks to the two standard SODIMM slots. Storage is also upgradeable, with a total of two M.2 slots allowing you to add a second SSD.
Ports and Connectivity
The Alienware M17 R5 does not lack any essential ports. This is good news if you’re accustomed to smaller, lighter gaming laptops that sacrifice ports and connectivity to save space. You get two USB-A ports along the side of the laptop and one at the back.
In addition to that, you get a USB Type-C connector, allowing you to plug in external monitors or hard drives. On the back of the laptop, you’ll find a 2.5GB ethernet connector, allowing you to connect to high-speed wired internet.
This is an excellent alternative if you don’t want to use WiFi. But with built-in WiFi 6E connectivity, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the speedy wireless functions.
You also get BlueTooth 5.2 for connecting all of your wireless peripherals, like headsets and speakers. Coupled with the integrated 720p webcam, the M17 R5 has everything you need to video chat via Zoom or Skype.
Alienware M17 R5: Pros and Cons
- High-end performance
- Vibrant 17-inch display
- Highly expandable
- Sleek finish
- Relatively heavy
Alienware M17 R5: Is It a Buy?
Alienware crafted an overall highly pleasing laptop with the M17 R5. However, there will always be critics and those who disagree with the design choices or functionality. The M17 R5 has a lot going for it, but it might not be a great buy for everyone.
Buy it if…
You need a competitive and durable gaming laptop
Especially one from a longstanding brand like Alienware. The brand’s prestige is one thing, but the high performance is undeniable. With a legendary pairing of the AMD Ryzen CPU and GPU platform, this laptop offers the first genuinely remarkable benchmark performance for a current-gen AMD gaming laptop.
Although it might be a little heavy, this is fine if you plan to use the M17 R5 as a desktop replacement. With its beautiful 4K display and earth-shattering gaming performance, you’ll be getting comfortable in long gaming sessions with this laptop for a while.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re searching for a bargain
The Alienware M17 R5 has one flaw, and that is the price. The rest of the laptop gives nothing to complain about. The bulky weight might be a problem for some users, so you should look elsewhere if you want a lighter laptop. But considering this laptop’s performance, you can hardly fault it for its weight.
There are plenty of options for a budget gaming laptop if you have a lower budget and standards. Likewise, there are more lightweight options, like the Alienware X14, if you want something more portable.