Alienware 4 Zone Vs Per Key

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

The Alienware m15 R4 packs plenty of RTX xxx-series performance in an attractive design with an amazing screen.


  • +

    Sleek design

  • +

    Strong performance

  • +

    Snappy Keyboard

  • +

    Vibrant optional OLED Screen


  • Warm temperatures

  • Relatively brusk battery life

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Nvidia’southward RTX 30-series “Ampere” graphics cards accept been burning upwardly the desktop market place since they launched last fall, and now they’ve come to laptops. Alienware’s m15 R4 is among the first laptops to offering RTX 3070 and 3080 GPUs and has paired them with 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake H CPUs for speedy performance.

But the Alienware m15 R4 ($2,149 to start, $2,499 as configured) is more than just a speedy arrangement with the latest components. Ready to compete with the best gaming laptops, it sports a spaceship-like chassis that’s relatively sparse and calorie-free, a fantastic tactile keyboard and an optional 4K OLED brandish that offers epic prototype quality.

Alienware m15 R4 Specifications

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CPU Intel Core i7-10870H
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
Retentiveness 16GB DDR 2933 MHz
Storage 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD
Display xv-inch, 3840 x 2160 OLED
Networking Killer Wi-Fi six (2×2), Bluetooth v.1, Killer Ethernet E3000 (2.v Gbps)
Ports 3x USB Type-A Gen 3.two, microSD, Thunderbolt three, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1
Photographic camera 1280 x 720
Bombardment 86 WHr
Power Adapter 240W
Operating Arrangement Windows 10 Habitation
Dimensions(WxDxH) 14.19 x 10.86 x 0.78 inches (360.43 ten 275.84 x xix.81mm)
Weight 5.25 pounds (two.38kg)
Cost (as configured) $2,499

Pattern of the Alienware m15 R4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Available in lunar lite (white) or night side of the moon (blackness), the Alienware m15 R4 has the same sci-fi-inspired chassis design — Alienware calls it “Fable” pattern — as its immediate predecessor, the Alienware m15 R3. A sloped front lip and a large rear exhaust with a honeycomb grille and RGB light ring make the m15 look like an alien spaceship. The number 15 adorns the back of the lid in a sci-fi font that looks like it comes straight from a warehouse at Area 51. The space theme continues on the inside, where a honeycombed grilled appears above the keyboard, which matches the color of the deck.

Similar other Alienware laptops, the m15 R4 is loaded with RGB. The keyboard comes with either iv-zone or per-fundamental lighting, depending on your configuration, and there are also lights effectually the rear exhaust and on alien heads on the back of the lid and power push button. Yous can customize all the lights and create your own themes that launch along with your favorite games using the preloaded Alienware Command Center app.

(Image credit: Tom’southward Hardware)

Every bit befits a laptop of its cost and stature, the Alienware m15 R4 is made from premium materials with a magnesium alloy shell and clear coat paint. On the inside, Alienware’due south own Cryo-Tech cooling applied science uses a CPU vapor bedchamber, 12-phase graphics voltage regulation and 6-phase CPU voltage regulation to improve performance.

At xiv.19 x 10.86 x 0.78 inches (360 x 276 10 20mm) and 4.7- 5.five pounds ,(depending on your configuration; ours was 5.25 pounds), the Alienware m15 R4 is pretty meaty for a 15-inch mobile gaming right with all the trimmings. Information technology’s only a fiddling larger than terminal years’ Razer Bract 15 Advanced Model (14 10 9.3 x inches, 4.vii pounds), which had a concluding-gen RTX 2080 graphics card, and slimmer than the MSI GE66 Raider (14.1 x 10.5 ten 0.8 inches, 5.three pounds). The 17-inch Gigabyte Aorus 17G YC with its RTX 3080 measures xv.nine x 10.8 10 one.0 inches while weighing 5.95 pounds.

The m15 R4 finds room for plenty of ports. On the right side, y’all’ll find two USB Blazon-A Gen 3.ii ports, while on the left alive a third USB Type-A port, a 2.5 Gbps Killer Ethernet port and a 3.5mm audio jack. On the dorsum side, in that location’s HDMI two.1, a Mini DisplayPort, a Thunderbolt 3 port and Alienware’south proprietary graphics amplifier port.

Gaming Performance on the Alienware m15 R4

Ane of the start laptops with an RTX thirty-series inside, the Alienware m15 R4 is powerful enough to do real 4K gaming with the effects turned upwardly. Our review configuration came with the optional 4K OLED display that’s limited to 60 Hz, but information technology’s so damn abrupt that to some, the spectacle may make up for the refresh rates.

With the RTX 3070 in our unit and its Core i7-10870H Comet Lake H CPU, nosotros were able to play
Cyberpunk 2077
at RTX Ultra in 4K, the highest possible settings, and the visuals were impressive (more on that in the display section below). However, we were limited to around 42 frames per 2d (fps) during activeness scenes, which is more than playable simply a tad below the 60 fps that would max out the display’s capabilities. Turning downwardly the settings to RTX Medium improved the frame rate past a few fps, equally did setting DLSS to prioritize performance

(Paradigm credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Alienware m15 R4 returned an impressive 108 fps in
G Theft Auto 5
at 1080p resolution with very loftier settings. That rate was surprisingly a lilliputian higher than the Gigabyte Aorus 17G YC laptop (100 fps) with its RTX 3080 GPU and the same Core i7-10870H CPU. The Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model (RTX 2070) and MSI GE66 Raider (RTX 2080) were virtually 10% slower.

When nosotros tested with the very-demanding
Red Dead Redemption two
at 1080p and medium settings, the story was much the same. The m15 R4 managed a strong 68 fps, while the on-paper more than powerful Aorus 17G YC was slightly behind (64 fps), followed by the 2 laptops with older cards.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
at 1080p, highest settings, the m15 R4 returned an impressive 77 fps, but this time the Aorus 17G YC pulled alee (86 fps) and the Razer and MSI laptops were just a few fps behind.

The numbers for
Far Cry New Dawn, running at 1080p and ultra settings, weren’t the strongest. The m15 R4 managed a buttery polish 91 fps, which is about on par with the 17G YC’due south 92 fps but a fiddling backside the GE66 Raider’s 99 fps. Though the Raider has an older GPU, information technology has a faster CPU in the Cadre i9-10980HK.

It’s worth noting that, as you lot might expect, playing these same 4 games at 4K dramatically reduced the frame rates to a small-scale 34 fps for
Thousand Theft Automobile V, 33 fps for
Shadow of the Tomb Raider,
56 fps for
Far Cry New Dawn
and a barely playable 27 fps for
Red Dead Redemption two. To run at higher resolutions, you may want to reject other settings.

To come across how the Alienware m15 R4 and its cooling system perform when you’re playing a demanding game over fourth dimension, we ran the
Metro Exodus
benchmark at the RTX preset 15 times, simulating nearly 30 minutes of gaming. The system averaged 60.2 fps, only performance declined steadily from 63.ix fps at run 1 to 58.9 on the final run. During that fourth dimension, the GPU clock speed averaged ane.4 GHz, and the CPU clock speed averaged 3.5 GHz. It had average GPU temperature and CPU temperatures of 77 and 88 degrees Celsius, respectively (170.six degrees Fahrenheit and 190.four degrees Fahrenheit).

Productivity Performance of Alienware m15 R4

(Prototype credit: Tom’due south Hardware)

With an Intel Cadre i7-10870H CPU, along with 16GB of RAM, a speedy 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD and RTX 3070 graphics, our configuration of the Alienware m15 R4 was more than capable of productivity work and heavy multitasking. Even with 35 tabs open and a 4K video playing, the laptop didn’t miss a beat out. In fact, we were able to ready the webGL Aquarium test to show 4,000 fish during this multitasking workload and still got threescore fps.

The Alienware m15 R4 scored a solid multi-cadre score of 7,642 on Geekbench 5 , a constructed benchmark that measures overall functioning. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G with the same Core i7-10870H scored a bit higher at vii,895.T he Core i9-10980HK-enabled MSI GE66 Raider understandably fared much better with 8,379, and the Razer Blade 15 Avant-garde Model with its Cadre i7-10875H was slightly behind the rest at 7,319. When it came to single-core performance, the numbers were much closer with the Alienware dipping behind all iii of its competitors by a few points.

The 1TB PCIe Chiliad.2 SSD in our review unit delivered a speedy 1,055 MBps on our file transfer exam, which copies iv.97 GBps of mixed media files from and to the storage drive. That rate is quicker than all of the Alienware m15 R4’s directly competitors except the GE66 Raider, which hitting an impressive one,696 MBps.

It took just 7 minutes and seven seconds for the m15 R4 to transcode a 4K video to 1080p using Handbrake. That fourth dimension is faster than the Aorus 17G (eight:33) and Blade 15 Avant-garde Model (8:04) just a few seconds behind the GE66 Raider (6:59).

Display on Alienware m15 R4

Alienware m15 R4

(Prototype credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Alienware sells the m15 R4 with two different screen options: a 1080p, 300 Hz screen and a 4K OLED display with vibrant color simply a 60 Hz refresh rate. Our review unit came with the OLED screen, and it was just centre-popping to behold. When I watched a 4K nature video, colors, similar the red in a parrot’s feathers and the green in a frog’southward skin, seemed incredibly vibrant — as colorful equally I’ve seen on any laptop screen.

Images were too bright and precipitous for gaming. When I played
Cyberpunk 2077, the facial lines on character, such equally Jackie, were well-defined, and colors, like the reds and pinks of neon lights, were quite vibrant, though they didn’t pop equally much every bit they did in the video. When I fired up
Shadow of the Tomb Raider, h2o rippling in a lake had a very realistic sheen to it, and the green in trees really stood out.

(Image credit: Tom’southward Hardware)

According to our colorimeter, the screen reproduces an impressive 149.5% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, which is almost double that of its competitors without OLED screens, which all covered 79 or 80% of the gamut. OLED screens measure as brighter if but a portion of the pixels are white, so, with a smaller white foursquare, our screen averaged an impressive 461 nits and, with the entire screen white, it was a notwithstanding-strong 361 nits. Its IPS-based competitors were all stuck at around 300 nits.

Keyboard and TouchPad on Alienware m15 R4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Alienware m15 R4’southward tenkeyless keyboard is actually snappy and great for typing or gaming. Thank you to its generous 1.7mm of travel, I never bottomed out while hitting a strong 99 words per minute (wpm) on the ten Fast Fingers typing test with a 2.5% error charge per unit. Both were improvements over my typical 95 wpm and 3-5% mistake rate.

The keyboard features customizable RGB backlighting and comes in 2 configuration options: one with 4-zone lighting and another with per-key RGB. Either mode, you can customize the colors and enable effects using the included Alienware Command Middle software.

The 2.iv x 4.1-inch glass touchpad has just the right amount of friction, providing smooth navigation. Using Windows Precision touchpad drivers, it quickly and accurately responded to all our gestures, from pinch-to-zoom to three-finger swipe.

Audio on Alienware m15 R4

The front-mounted speakers produce music that’s mostly accurate and relatively loud, if not overly smooth. When I played Air conditioning/DC’southward guitar and drum-heavy “Back in Blackness” at total book, I could hear a articulate separation of sound with some instruments coming from one side or the other. However, there was simply a slight hint of tinniness on the drums.

A Taste of Dearest’south bass-centric “Go Down, Boogie Oogie Oogie” sounded perfectly clean, thanks to its lack of harsh percussion. The tiptop book was loud enough to fill a small room, just I wouldn’t recommend using the Alienware m15 R4 to DJ a party, unless you attach external speakers.

The speakers are definitely good enough for gaming. When I played
Cyberpunk 2077, the thumping music in a gild scene felt actually immersive, and gunshots were loud and clear.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Alienware Command Center software has an audio settings department, which allows you to control the equalizer and contains profiles for a diverseness of situations, from music to gaming and movie-viewing. I found that the default contour, labeled “Alienware” sounded nearly identical to the Music profile and is probably your best bet overall.

Upgradeability of the Alienware m15 R4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Y’all can upgrade the storage on the Alienware m15 R4, and the good news is that there are two Yard.ii 2280 slots. To open up the laptop, all I needed to practice was to loosen the eight Philip’s head screws on the bottom, two of which come out, and so use a spudger to pry the cover off.

Underneath, in that location are two K.2 slots nether copper heatsinks. If your configuration simply comes with ane SSD, this ways that you have an expansion slot that’s readily available. You lot just need to remove the heatsink roofing the slot, popular information technology in and you’re expert to get. Unfortunately, the RAM is soldered on and tin can’t be removed.

Battery Life on Alienware m15 R4

Alienware m15 R4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

We don’t expect long battery life from a gaming laptop this powerful, merely you will go a few hours of endurance on the Alienware m15 R4. The laptop lasted 4 hours and i minute on our battery test, which involves continuous surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. The Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model (5:02) and MSI GE66 Raider (iv:57) both lasted nearly an hour longer but have older-generation graphics cards. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G, however, has a more than powerful RTX 3080 and lasted 40 minutes longer than the R4.

Rut on Alienware m15 R4

As with many thin gaming laptops, the peel temperature on the Alienware m15 R4 can get uncomfortably warm. Nosotros don’t recommend property this on your lap with shorts on while you’re gaming.

After running the
Metro Exodus
criterion for 15 minutes, the keyboard measured a toasty 53.9 degrees Celsius (129 degrees Fahrenheit), and the bottom eye hit degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit). The dorsum bottom was the warmest spot, reaching a full 57.8 degrees Celsius (136 degrees Fahrenheit), while the touchpad was relatively cool at 36.7 degrees Celsius (98 degrees Fahrenheit). The fan was running loud and nigh constantly during this test.

Webcam on Alienware m15 R4

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Alienware m15 R4’s 720p resolution webcam captures pictures that were color-accurate but noisy. When I shot a selfie, the red on my hat, shirt and in a set of bins behind me really popped, as did some yellow and blueish objects. Withal, there was a lot of speckling from sunlight coming in through a window.

Like other Alienware laptops, the m15 R4 comes with Tobii eye tracking sensors. The Tobii software comes preloaded, and I found that setting it upward was a cakewalk. It asked me to calibrate it for my optics. The software so showed a bubble, which moved accurately around the screen to follow my glances.

Software and Warranty on Alienware m15 R4

The Alienware m15 R4’due south main slice of starting time-political party software is the Alienware Control Center, which lets you  command the RGB lighting, set up the ability policy, overclock the CPU and GPU (if your CPU allows it) and change the sound profile.

There’s as well the Killer Control Center app ,which lets you lot command the Killer Wi-Fi card that can be set up to prioritize gaming internet traffic over other background tasks, such as Windows updates, that might slow downward your play. I really similar the Wi-Fi analyzer screen on this tool considering it showed the relative forcefulness of all the networks in the area, fifty-fifty several of my neighbors’ routers.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Like every other Windows laptop, the R4 comes with  a little bloatware: two free-to-play games, a trial of Microsoft Office, a link to download Photoshop Express and Hulu.

Dell backs the Alienware m15 R4 with a standard i-year warranty, which yous tin extend if you pay extra.

Configurations of Alienware m15 R4

Similar many other Alienware laptops, Dell sells the m15 R4 with a diverseness of configuration options. You can get it with a Core i7-10870H or Core i9-10980HK CPU, an RTX 3070 or 3080 GPU, up to 32GB of RAM and up to 4TB of SSD storage in RAID 0. The brandish comes in either 1080p, 300 Hz or 4K, OLED sixty Hz varieties, and the chassis is either Lunar Lite (white) or Night Side of the Moon (blackness).

The system starts at $2,149 and comes standard with the Core i7 CPU, RTX 3070 graphics, the 1080p screen, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

Our review configuration of the Alienware m15 R4 is $ii,499. For that price, you get the laptop with an Intel Core i7-10870H CPU, RTX 3070 GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB Thousand.2 SSD and the 4K, OLED display panel.

Prices for other configurations were not available at press time.

Bottom Line

(Paradigm credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Alienware m15 R4 offers plenty of operation in a sci-fi-styled chassis that’s relatively sparse and light for its class. The snappy, deep keyboard feels absolutely fantastic for typing or gaming ,and the optional 4K, OLED console is ane of the almost vibrant we’ve seen.

At that place are some trade-offs here: the laptop skin temperature tin can get pretty warm, the battery life is mediocre and the 4K display tops out at 60 Hz. On the other mitt, getting a AAA game running at 4K and more 60 fps at loftier settings can exist a challenge, even with RTX 30-series graphics cards. If polish frame rates are more important than sharp resolution and eye-popping color, the 1080p, 300 Hz panel might exist more your speed.

Whatsoever your display preference, the Alienware m15 R4 is an impressive gaming laptop that’s worth its premium price.

Avram Piltch is Tom’s Hardware’south editor-in-chief. When he’due south not playing with the latest gadgets at piece of work or putting on VR helmets at trade shows, y’all’ll find him rooting his telephone, taking apart his PC or coding plugins. With his technical cognition and passion for testing, Avram adult many existent-earth benchmarks, including our laptop battery examination.