Alienware Area 51m Review

by birtanpublished on March 30, 2021

This is Lisa from mobile tech review and this big honker is the Alienware area 51 M this is like totally exciting ok I've reviewed so many Alienware laptops this is eight and a half pounds so I'm gonna put it down instead of flapping it around but yeah so what's so exciting about it Haley and we're since Dell bought them in 2006 has been kind of getting more and more mainstream and like every other gaming laptop other than the casing styling which you know they make there as uniquely but in terms of the specs how different was it from an msi or and a sous you know you get the idea because Alienware used to be

Known for as a boutique PC maker that name he's incredibly powerful basically desktop machines crammed into an immense laptop right so that went away an Origin PC in fact it is one of the companies that still does that and those are exhaling where employees that run that company we still see a few of those there's some cleveo jassi's in fact they have the desktop CPUs and all of it finally Alienware under Dells umbrella is rediscovering their roots and doing something different and something I think that they should they still have things like the Alienware 15 m and the

17 m that we reviewed which are trendy not ultra thin and light but fairly portable laptops with Intel 45 watt mobile 6 core CPUs so this one here has a desktop CPU you have a couple of different choices about which one you get we have the top of the line which is a core I nine dish a 9900 h.k overclockable processor with an nvidia r-tx 2080 card which is the fastest card you can get for a laptop it's the mobile GPU in this as with all laptops there's no desktop card that would possibly fit inside of a laptop but the interesting thing is they're doing something sort of

Like MXM graphics card that is its socketed in its removal so you can actually upgrade that to we're gonna look at it now so almost 17.3 inch gaming laptops that have desktop CPUs not that there are many you can count them on one hand really they're usually very thick and very chunky laptops this one not so much it's thirty one point two millimeters at the thickest point so not that chunky but it's thick enough that there room thank God for cooling because that is certainly imperative when you have a 95 watt desktop CPU inside and in our

Case that our TX 2080 card the most powerful Nvidia graphics card that's available right now so the base model which is $2,150 has a core i7 – 8700 cpu that's actually the same desktop CPU in that HP I'm an obelisk desktop that we review so that's not actually bad for that base price but you get an Nvidia r-tx 2060 card so that's the lowest same configuration probably if you're enough of enthusiasts to consider in this kind of machine you're probably not gonna go with the 2060 but there's that 16 gigs of DDR 420 400 megahertz dual channel Ram all these are dual shown good times

For that and a 256 gig nvme boot SSD no hard drive this does have a hard drive back obviously you can upgrade the SSDs yourself you could put in a hard drive you can upgrade the RAM those things are pretty easy vir and the service door on the bottom of the laptop we want to bring that up to an RT X 2070 and I think that you probably do at the very least that's gonna be $2,800 they throw in a couple of extra little things there you do get our one terabyte hybrid hard drive in the package as well so our configuration is pretty much top-of-the-line everything and it's

Around 4500 dollars we have that core i9 9900 HK 8 core 95 watt CPU inside we have 32 gigs of DDR for dual channel ram we have the nvidia r-tx 2080 we have a one terabyte nvme raid zero SSD so that's to 512 gigs in a raid configuration and that's available even if you go less than top-of-the-line if you want that and a one terabyte hybrid hard drive inside no matter what you order though you're gonna get a 17.3 inch IPS Full HD display which is kind of mission because full HD gaming even with demanding games like Far Cry 5 it's child's play for this laptops but you

Know happily you have your display port so you can just plug that right into a 4k monitor in game in 4k or 2k resolution if you want to do that it's available in two colors black and white but of course they have marketing name for those so you have lunar light for the white and Dark Side of the Moon for the black one it's your usual alien we're kind of construction it's a magnesium alloy frame inside for rigidity and soft touch panel on the outside the build fails pretty strong I'm fairly tanky if you push some

Of the panels who get a little bit of flex on it but my gaming laptop standards it's pretty rigid though I would say not quite as rigid as the Alienware 17 that's okay I'll take the performance over on te loss of rigidity though they're cooling on this they call it cryo Tec cooling so you've got unfortunately not vapor chamber cooling which would be the apex of cooling but you do have separated heat pipes for the CPU and the GPU so that means your group your GPU is not going to sympathetically heat the CPU which is the typical problem a lot of gaming laptops and you

Have massive ventilation out the backside and the casing doesn't get that hot even when gaming in the only place that does get hot is the rear exhaust area which tells us that the exhaust flow is actually functioning as it should so the heat goes out the backward should it does not stay in the laptops chassis so before we talk about anything else let's talk about heat noise because that's really what you care about what you're gonna be worrying about with this and like I said it's surprising that did such a good job is that its head and shoulders more impressive to me than the

Alienware 17 which had a mobile CPU inside when it comes to heat surface temperatures are good like I said the core temperatures it's going to depend on what game you're playing and how much you're overclocking because these are overclockable CPUs except for that base model configuration I went with a mild overclock so it's pretty neat to game and you see at least being pegged at 4.9 gigahertz and sometimes up to 5 point 1 gigahertz core temperatures in something like far cry 5 it doesn't harvest 1080p or 4k honestly the core temps will go up into the 90s Far Cry is a great way to

Heat up your laptop so that's not wonderful you know we like to not clog get close to thermal maximum I didn't really see too much thermal throttling if any going on there so that part's good but built into the end they were command syndrome the size effect you can choose some of their can over clocks it's really easy to go in there and make it your own so it you don't even have to install until XTU or throttle stop you can actually under bolt the CPU right inside that utility so I just under vaulted by a very modest 68 millivolts and that really did a good job of

Bringing down core temperatures to the upper 80 to lower 90s in that game now other games like shadow of the Tomb Raider which is much less demanding of the hardware it was in the upper 70s to low 80s gaming at full HD at the highest possible settings and moving up to 4k really didn't stress it out much more because the GPU was feeling it more than the CPU that's not so much an open-world game this is good stuff this is surprising when you see temperatures that are certainly not hotter than an alienware 17 running a whole complete

Mobile setup inside so a desktop CPU and in fact you're seeing cooler temperatures they've done something good here so does that mean that this thing is noisy that depends if you leave it at the default balanced mode for the thermal management and alienware command center has separate settings for the performance and for the cooling which is nice balanced is pretty normal if you're at idle are you doing the lightweight test you won't even really hear the fans if you're gaming they'll come on and they'll ramp up pretty well but you've got a couple of options in quiet mode if

You really want to quiet it's not necessary in my opinion though but if you go up to like performance mode when you're gaming the fan just runs at a steady state at high rpms and it is loud you will fill the room with fan noise so there it is that's how it's staying cool folks that said the Alienware 15 and 17 we're just as loud when gaming and they don't have nearly the powerful insides of this guy does the keyboard is typical Alienware is the bevel side keys if you're hoping for a chiclet island style keyboard they're not doing that I'm fine with it

It's a lovely feeling keyboard I always like their keyboards just the right amount of dampening and spring and his n key rollover a nice travel on it perky RGB backlighting is good the trackpad is synaptics it's not a Microsoft precision trackpad it has soft touch clickers which I like doesn't take a lot of umph like some msi laptops and it's not precision but it feels pretty good to me I have no complaints nice trackpad the display on this like I said there is only one option it's a confident display and they're keeping prices down by not giving you an over-the-top lovely

Display I wish they did have a 4k option origin PC does offer that but the color gamut is typical of a premium laptop consious ratio is good it's not class-leading either it's fine it supports Tobi eye tracking and I'm not a big fan of Toby eye-tracking games all's that happens is it to me it looks like somebody's been tapping my mouse and tapping my mouse you don't realize that your eyes are moving a little bit here and there all the time until you have Toby enabled but the only thing I do like about it is it will wake up your machine when you step in front

Of it automatically so it's kind of neat you just walk there and they display lights up again I don't think it's worth having told me but it's there good thing about the display though it's 144 Hertz fast refresh despite our particular panels and LG but typically Dell is a big company so they may source other manufacturers panels as well and this is a g-sync panel which given the performance level the machine is not imperative to have it's pretty unlikely that you're gonna have a problem syncing up the frames but it's there other goodies include the usual Dell graphics

Amplify our poorly or graphics amplifier ports up what's nice about that is it has pretty good bandwidth and is a pretty affordable solution compared to a lot of Thunderbolt 3 GPUs in terms of the enclosure sometimes you can find it as cheap as two hundred and fifty dollars but there is Thunderbolt three on board as well we have killer III thousand two point five Gigabit Ethernet and killer in 1550 Wi-Fi which is a rebranded Intel card so for your killer haters you can feel good about them obviously a good number of ports on this is a fairly

Large chassis it's a mind-boggling amount of points but you've got what you need you got HDMI you have DisplayPort you've got your USB a ports the speakers on this there's stereo speakers but I'm not super impressed with them they get pretty loud but they lack any bass and they don't have a subwoofer usually in this size class if you're looking at something like the MSI Titan or surprising even the msi ge70 5 radar manages to have a four driver audio system are the insu's rogue g7o 3g x of your review which is their big desktop replacement but with mobile cpu not a

Desktop those have subwoofers this doesn't so a yeah even listening to me on our youtube channel playing that I sound a little thin and Tinian the the bass registers are missing from my voice so there's headphones for that given the fan noise you're probably going to be using headphones so how's your carbon footprint obviously our carbon footprint with this laptop is not too impressive though it can sort of be impressive yes it comes with two adaptors interestingly enough it's a 330 watt adapter which looks like every other 331 ginormous 3 pound gaming

Laptop adapter you've seen and a little 181 so huh so put those together we've got 510 watts of power which is actually adequate you will not discharge when you're gaming it always consumes just under 500 Watts if you're doing max load on so that's fun there's a 180 watt those two make it somewhat more portable if you're just dragging this thing around for productivity kind of use so you can actually avoid having a discharge if you're just doing things like Word Excel surfing the web you get the idea of slack whatever it is that flows you're both for productivity and

Lightweight work even for streaming video so there it is we have a 90 watt hour battery inside which is a very large battery but let's face it we have a desktop CPU and an RT X 2080 card here so Angie sinks oh yeah dedicated GPU on all the time yes a couple of hours away from the AC outlet if you're doing very lightweight tasks and that's about all you're gonna get out of it but for something like this a desktop replacement you don't really expect a whole lot more do you beyond the perky RGB backlighting of course this is an alienware so you have configurable

Lighting all over the place I particularly like the ring around the rear exhaust area or the laptops but if you will so yeah you've got tron lighting and you can customise it on all four colours you want you get the idea it's it's kind of fun stuff including the track that I love their line of track pads easy to find in the dark anyway getting inside it's really easy until it isn't I'll tell you what I mean but first here's the bottom lid nice honeycomb big ventilation area that is good stuff so not many screws to remove just the ones as you can see right here

And then you yank and it takes a good yank to pull this up and it'll seem traumatic but it's ok then you see the tabs where it fits in there and there's our easy access internals which is typical of what Alienware has been doing for a while now so there's a 90 watt hour of battery right there this is our hard drive bay you could put a two and a half inch SSD in here as well if you wish to very large fans really nice sculpted turbine design these fans here there's a 60 millimeter good stuff there so here's our RAM and the nice thing about the ram is that it is eagerly

Accessible all of it you know we've seen soos with that g7 or 3G X MSI with some of their laptops making two slots accessible and two that are just about impossible to get to a list you take the motherboard out and flip it so you don't have to do that here all four slots are easily accessed this is our Wi-Fi card right over here and two m2 SSD slots with nvme matching drives inside because we have raid zero we've got a heatsink on top of each of those those drives do run cold the heatsink works and they're not too close to anything else hot so that's great stuff so this part is easy

But as with all alien wares if you want to say you want to repeat just replace your CPU and GPU it really admire your heat sinks completely except for just the little parts that show through here then you have to do more taking apart so to take this thing completely apart so you can access the upgradeable CPU reap aced the the heatsink all that sort of stuff there's a lot of disassembly which has been typical of alien wares for a while which is unfortunate but it is what it is as usual taking off this back cover over here is required it's not that hard there's four screws here two

On the back on the butt that you can see and the aft illumination cable has to be disconnected which is pretty well labeled so you take that off you're going to take the battery out which isn't a bad idea anyway to disconnect power because some of its mounting screws go over this inner frame that we're gonna be removing looks like the hard drive can stay in place which is nice and refreshing you do have to remove one of the two if you have two SSD is the one right over here as well because you see this cover is going to come up all right we're going to

Continue taking things apart one thing I will say there are cables you have to disconnect and they're very well labeled like the camera cable and hopefully they have little grabby areas on them and they're all kind of nice normal connectors nothing tricky no bayonet kind of slippy things like MSI uses that are easy to break and ten minutes later we've unscrew I have unscrewed all the screws all around the frame over here taken out the Wi-Fi card because well yes you have the cable routes over here disconnected the Tron Tobi light rather and everything is really well marked

It's pretty easy to do I have to say peeled off the cable from the rear unscrewed a little metal plate that's back there because this overlaps holds down some it's not as bad as it seems but the only way that it is bad is a the whole point of this is that it's got this upgradeable CPU and here the CPU is under this and if we look from this I will show you this side where you can see the usual bayonetted CP which means there's a lever open it and you can pop out the CPU and put another one in there that's a lot of work to get to something that is famous for being

Upgradeable at this point right and our GPU here see this cable right there is as DG FF it's not using an MX M card anymore that's a new format for connector but the the graphics card is also socketed so say you can only afford and r-tx 2060 but you'd love to have a 2080 down the road you could do that generationally we don't know what's going to happen with the next generation of cards if they're going to be able to maintain compatibility also typically with these kind of cards are you probably not going to see anything aftermarket you're probably have to rely

On Dell the good thing about Dell is they have good scaled manufacturers so their prices are pretty good but typically socketed graphics cards mobile graphics cards and laptops are pretty darn expensive six hundred seven hundreds and there's eight hundred dollars so yeah so obviously very large desktop replacement style gaming laptops aren't for everybody whether it's because the price is too much for you or because the dimensions are too much for you but if you are considering that sort of pipe I have to say this really gives the the competition or run for the money

When it comes to something at the MSI Titan or the Asus rogue g7o 3gx those machines are equally as big equally as heavy in fact someone washing thicker and heavier and they have mobile CPUs inside where's this one has a more powerful desktop GPU and the pricing is pretty similar across the line so yeah so that's the Alienware at area 51 M duh it's not cheap right these kind of super high-end crazy powerful laptops are but they're not priced much differently from the competition that does offer desktop CPU and down laptops and the starting price at twenty one hundred and fifty

Dollars is actually not terrifying by gaming laptop standards so undoubtedly you me and all of us really want to get the more powerful configurations that will push you up around $3500 but still they have done a very good job at the quality I'm actually shocked because alienware is 15s and the 17s have been hot and running and I haven't been that impressed with the cooling I think they sacrifice that and the thinness not so much here even though the chassis size and weight really aren't much different from the Alienware 17 that we've known

And reviewed and used for years now the performance on this is simply madness it's right up there like I said with our HP omen obelisk and you have the high-end configuration there the fact that it can do that not melt down and maintain good clock speed Wow I like this a lot I'm Lisa from mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more cool tech videos and thumbs up if you like this vid

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