Laptop, Review

Alienware m15 R5 Ryzen Edition Review – Fast, But Expensive RTX 3070 Gaming Laptop

Alienware is one of the most recognisable names in the gaming laptop scene, and the brand’s latest product, the Alienware m15 R5 Ryzen Edition, is through and through a fast, powerful gaming laptop. It is also sporting Alienware’s…well, unique design language.

However, the m15 R5 is a bulky machine too, and some folks may not be too fond of the laptop’s quirky looks. On top of that, this RTX 3070 configuration currently retails at RM9,199, so it doesn’t offer particularly great value for money either.

But that doesn’t mean the m15 R5 is not worth considering. Though it has some shortcomings, this gaming laptop has quite a number of compelling features too, including a comfortable keyboard and very long battery life.

What It Is

Display15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080), 165Hz
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 9 5900HX (8C/16T, 3.3GHz with boost up to 4.6GHz)
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6 (115W TGP + 10W dynamic boost)
RAM16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Dimensions356.2 x 272.5 x 22.85 mm
AudioBottom-firing stereo speakers
Ports3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1x HDMI 2.1
1x RJ45

Looking at its list of specifications, there’s no denying that the Alienware m15 R5 is a capable RTX 3070 gaming laptop. But as I’ve mentioned, its RM9,199 price tag is certainly quite steep for these hardware.

To put this into context, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro with an RTX 3070 graphics card – this GPU even has a higher 140W TGP – and a larger, sharper 16-inch QHD screen is priced at only RM6,590. I’d argue Lenovo’s offering looks sleeker too, though this is a subjective manner.

Anyway, while value for money is not the m15 R5’s strength, it does offer fast performance and very long battery life – more on these in the next section.

The Good Stuff

Since performance is the main focus of a gaming laptop, let’s talk about that first. Powered by an RTX 3070 GPU and a fast AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor with 16GB of RAM, the m15 R5 can run AAA games with little to no difficulty. Just take a look at the benchmarks below.

Games (max settings @ 1920 x 1080)Average FPS
Borderlands 3 (DX11)75.05
Control (DX11)73.159
Witcher 3 (HairWorks disabled)87.443

Even though this laptop’s RTX 3070 GPU only has a 115W TGP – it can get an extra 10W with dynamic boost – it is still able to run these demanding games at over 60fps with maxed out graphics settings at 1080p. These are by no means the best numbers we’ve seen from an RTX 3070 gaming laptop, but they’re still respectable.

Of course, I put the m15 R5’s Ryzen 9 5900HX processor through its paces too with Cinebench R20. As the table below shows, its performance is quite comparable to other Ryzen 5000 series chips in the market now in both single-core and multi-core tests.

ProcessorSingle-core testMulti-core test
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX (Alienware m15 R5)5634891
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX (Acer Nitro 5)5615042
AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (Lenovo Legion 5 Pro)5545116
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX (Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE)5665461
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS (Asus ROG Flow X13)5724922
AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS (Asus ROG Zephyrus G14)4814173
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H (Asus TUF Gaming A15)4814106
Intel Core i7-11370H (Asus TUF Dash F15)5812749
Intel Core i7-10875H (Acer Predator Triton 500)4833773

Further enhancing the fast performance of the m15 R5 is its bright and vibrant 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS screen with a fast 165Hz refresh rate. The high refresh rate lends to good motion clarity in fast-paced games, and the quality of the panel itself is good too with vibrant colours and wide viewing angles.

And then there’s the very long battery life of the m15 R5. On average, I can get up to eight hours of use (doing productivity tasks) on a single charge. Given the beefy hardware under the hood, this level of battery life is really quite impressive. The m15 R5 can definitely double as a productivity laptop if you don’t mind lugging it around.

Another hardware that makes the m15 R5 a particularly good productivity laptop is its keyboard. With 1.8mm of key travel – that’s quite long for a laptop – it provides a comfortable typing experience. On top of that, the keys are quite tactile too, so the keyboard does not feel mushy to type on.

In terms of system noise, I’m pleasantly surprised by how quiet the m15 R5 is. Even in heated gaming sessions, the fans don’t get obnoxiously loud. Naturally, it is also whisper quiet outside of gaming.

The Bad Stuff

While the Alienware m15 R5 offers strong performance, its thermals could be better. When I’m running demanding games, the temperatures of this gaming laptop can get quite high. The CPU, for one, hit a peak temperature of 101°C. As for the GPU, it got up to a toasty 90°C.

Aside from that, the build quality of the m15 R5 could use some work too. The chassis and lid creaks with added pressure, so the overall build quality of this laptop doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. For a product that sits at this price point, it’s only natural to expect build quality that reflects the high asking price.

And that brings us to the last point: the m15 R5 is an expensive machine. For the same amount of money (RM9,199), you can get other gaming laptops that are either faster or sleeker.

Is It Worth It?

Even though the Alienware m15 R5 does not offer the fastest performance or sleekest-looking design at this price point, its overall feature set may still be worth the money. After all, not many gaming laptops combine strong performance with long battery life and a comfortable keyboard – features that give this laptop its unique appeal.

If this set of features is exactly what you look for in a gaming laptop, then the m15 R5 is certainly worth considering. But if you want a gaming machine that offers the best value for money, you may want to look at other options – unless you can get the m15 R5 with a good amount of discount.

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