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Alienware Picked a Good Time to Get Back on Board With AMD

It’s been greater than a decade considering Alienware remaining put an AMD CPU in any of its laptops, however all that is altering with the m15 R5. Not solely does the m15 R5 assist a vary of AMD’s today’s Ryzen processors, it additionally sports activities a revamped design, a bunch of new show options, higher cooling, and even a mechanical keyboard if you care to pay extra. And whilst there’s a small section of me that needs Alienware had entirely embraced AMD silicon for each its CPU and GPU, the m15 R5 promises high-quality overall performance in a sleek, up to date package.

An Unapologetically Alienware Design

For the m15 R5, Alienware stored the identical fundamental graph as its predecessors, however made a few tweaks that end result in a special diagram language. For higher or worse, this won’t get fallacious for any other laptop computer manufacturer on the market.

Along the sides, Alienware rearranged its connectivity, transferring the whole lot however Ethernet, audio, and two USB-A ports to the back. Alienware says this was once achieved to assist streamline the system, and overall, I suppose the employer generally succeeded. That said, I want Alienware hadn’t axed the built-in microSD card slot on hand on preceding models, and I suppose swapping the placement of the rear USB-C port with the side-mounted Ethernet jack would make extra feel based totally on how regularly these ports are generally used.

On the inside, Alienware has redesigned the m15 R5’s cooling with a giant vapor chamber and extra effective fans, so even even though the m15 R5 can get a bit steamy beneath full load (but honestly, what gaming laptop computer doesn’t), in greater regular use, fan noise is much less distracting than on many of its rival.

Weighing in at round 5.5 kilos and measuring 14.02 x 10.73 x 0.9 inches at its thickest, the m15 R5 isn’t an particularly small or massive laptop computer for its measurement (it’s simply a contact thicker than Asus’ ROG Strix G 15 Advantage). Thanks to its darker shade scheme, if you can undergo disabling your RGB lights for a time, you would possibly even name it stealthy.

Fast, Faster, and Fastest Displays

Sporting a matte coating throughout its 15.6-inch non-touch display, the m15 R5’s display is virtually designed for gaming. Our $1,650 overview unit got here with the system’s base 165Hz 1920 x 1080 full HD screen, which presents proper brightness that tops out at 354 nits and a extraordinarily large even though no longer overly saturated shade gamut.

To me, that base 165Hz display screen is a strong desire for regularly occurring gaming due to the fact it’s a true in shape for the overall performance from our assessment unit’s Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU. But for these searching to hit clearly excessive body charges in extra aggressive video games like CS:GO, Alienware additionally gives a higher-res 2560 x 1440 show with a 240Hz refresh fee and G-Sync support, or an even quicker 360Hz show with G-Sync, which suits the high-quality panels on different gaming notebooks when it comes to the quickest refresh quotes you can get on a laptop.

A Good Time to Embrace AMD

Even although Alienware doesn’t consist of choices for an AMD-based GPU, which includes help for an AMD CPU for the first time in greater than a decade is a fresh change—and a well-timed one at that. AMD’s modern-day batch of Ryzen 5000-series cell CPUs have clearly commenced difficult Intel’s chip for gaming superiority, and we can see a lot of these advantages already, specially when it comes to widely wide-spread productivity.

In Blender, the m15 R5 posted quicker CPU and GPU render instances than each the MSI GP66 Leopard and the Razer Blade 15 Advanced, notwithstanding each having even extra highly-priced Intel/Nvidia setups. The m15 R5 took simply three minutes and 27 seconds to entire the CPU render take a look at and 5:58 for the GPU test, in contrast to 3:55 and 6:39 for the GP66, and 5:59 and 8:14 for the Razer Blade 15, respectively. And regardless of the reality that the GP66 boasts an as-configured rate tag $250 greater than the m15 R5, the Alienware nonetheless managed to eke out a barely quicker time in our video conversion test, taking 7:17 to encode a 4K film to 1080p versus 7:19 for the GP66.

When it comes to gaming, the mixture of a Ryzen 5800H CPU and Nvidia 3060 GPU held its own, with the m15 R5 pumping out an common of ninety five fps in Far Cry 5 at full HD and extremely settings, in contrast to one hundred twenty and 109 fps for the GP66 and the Razer Blade 15. That’s particularly proper thinking about each structures value a lot extra than our m15 and each consist of RTX 3070 photos cards. It’s a comparable story in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the place the m15 R5 posted an common fps of ninety three fps at 1080p and best settings, versus 112 for the Blade 15 and 118 for the GP66.

The one small wrinkle is that when in contrast to Asus’ ROG Strix G15 Advantage, which aspects each an AMD CPU and GPU for a comparable price, the G15 robotically edged out the m15 R5 in each test, which certainly does exhibit off the perks of AMD’s new AMD Advantage platform. In Far Cry 5, the G15 Advantage posted an common fps of ninety eight (versus ninety five for the m15 R5), an common fps of 109 in Shadow of the Tomb Raider (versus ninety three for the m15), and a genuinely sturdy common fps of eighty in Metro Exodus on Ultra (versus simply 50 fps for the m15).

Now technically, the m15 R5 was once introduced nearly two months earlier than AMD even took the wraps off its new 6000-series cellular GPUs, so it’s tough to harp on Alienware too a lot sticking with an Nvidia GPU. But still, this truly underlines the want for all the most important gaming laptop computer makers to embody elements from all the massive chip makers. Seeing AMD CPUs once more is virtually an encouraging start, however I’m in reality hoping Alienware will increase that assist to GPUs quickly too.

Decent Battery Life for a Gaming Laptop

One best shock with the m15 R5 is that it affords exceptionally respectable battery life, even for a gaming notebook. On our video rundown test, the m15 R5 lasted a first rate 7 hours and 27 minutes, which is much less than what I received from the G15 Advantage (8:22), however higher than each the Razer Blade 15 (7:10) and the GP66 (4:35).

A Tough Choice

If you’re simply searching at structures with Nvidia GPUs, the Alienware m15 R5 gives a compelling value, coming in at thousands much less than greater effective structures with RTX 3070 playing cards whilst imparting 90% to 95% of the performance. However, if you’re actually searching for the first-rate bang for your buck, the G15 Advantage reigns supreme, costing about the identical as the m15 R5 whilst pumping out even higher fps in video games and quicker instances in productiveness benchmarks.

The problem is that there aren’t a ton of different AMD Advantage laptops on the market simply yet, and going with the G15 Advantage skill you’ll additionally have to accommodate some of its quirks, like the lack of webcam and even greater aggressive styling.

The M15 R5 stays an alluring choice, however the actual clever cash suggests you may favor to wait till later this summer season when even greater AMD Advantage laptops end up available. The m15 R5’s beginning rate of $1,300 is tempting, however that base model’s RTX 3050 Ti GPU possibly isn’t what you want. If you’re already offered on Alienware’s styling and aesthetics, it’s additionally really worth thinking about the new X15, which crams a lot of Alienware’s exceptional bits and up to date factors into an even thinner design.

You can’t genuinely go incorrect with the m15 R5, however with so a whole lot opposition in this space, its help of solely AMD CPUs at this time effects in a machine that isn’t pretty as engaging as it may want to be. But with Intel and Nvidia having had such a lock on gaming laptop computer components over the final few years, it’s first-class to see Alienware hearth up guide for AMD again, even if it’s solely AMD CPUs for now.