It should be able to run anything we throw at it. So lets find out what compromises weve got to make for crazy levels of performance and who something like this is for. Ive got the highest configuration available here so Intels 8 core overclockable, i9, 9900K CPU, RTX, 2080, graphics. Definitely no Max Q, here and 64gb of memory running in dual channel.: Its got a 17.3 1080p 144Hz screen and for storage. There are two 512GB NVMe M.2 SSDs in a RAID 0 array, along with a 1TB hard drive. For network connectivity, its got 2.5 gigabit, ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 5.. There are a few different configurations available, such as with i7 9700 CPU, RTX, 2060 or 2070 graphics. You can find prices for different specs linked in the description.. The 51m is available in two colours, lunar light or dark side of the moon, also known as white and dark grey and Ive got the latter.. The machine feels extremely well built and solid, and while there were no sharp edges, the front corners were a bit sharp.. The maximum weight is listed at 3.87kg on the Dell website, though I found mine to be more.. My scales only go to 5kg, so measuring the 330 watt. Brick separately was about 1.5kg, while the second 180 watt, brick was over 700 grams, so all up were looking at over 6.3kg for this beast.. The dimensions of the laptop are 40.2cm in width 32cm in depth and 4.

2cm in height at the thickest point. So definitely on the larger side for a 17 inch machine honestly completely expected, given the insane hardware inside, though, to be fair, the screen bezels are still on the thinner side. All things considered., The 17.3 1080p 144Hz IPS screen has a matte finish and good viewing angles and its got G. Sync too. Ive, measured the colour gamut using the Spyder 5 Pro and my results returned 96 of sRGB, 67 of NTSC and 72 of AdobeRGB. At 100. Brightness in the center I measured 310 nits with a 9501 contrast ratio, so pretty decent for a gaming laptop though I would have liked to have seen other screen options. When it came to backlight bleed. However, there were some glow areas, though I never noticed these, while actually viewing darker content, but the results will vary by laptop and panel.. There was minimal screen flex as its quite thick and the with hinges out towards the corners made. It feel very sturdy., As youd expect from such a heavy machine opening it up. One finger is no problem, and this is despite it being way more back heavy due to the cooling. However, due to the larger size, it still felt fine, if heavy on my lap., The 720p camera is found above the display in the center.. This is what the webcam looks and what the microphone sounds like with the fans at maximum, which is honestly how theyre probably going to run most of the time.

, But seriously its because I wasnt able to disable them after some changes. I made but Ill talk more on that soon. Below the screen. Theres also Tobii eye tracking. It was my first time using it and it seemed to work well.. The keyboard has per key RGB backlighting, which can be controlled through the Alienware Control Center software.. Its got 2.2mm of key travel and a bunch of programmable macro keys.. I really liked typing on the keyboard. The presses seemed a tiny bit clicky heres. How typing sounded to give you an idea of what to expect.. There was almost no keyboard flex while pushing down hard the body felt extremely solid.. I really didnt like using the touchpad. I often found gestures and sometimes presses werent registering., Its got synaptics drivers and physically separate left and right click buttons, so doesnt click down itself. For a machine of this price. I think a precision touchpad would have been better granted for gaming. Youll likely be using a mouse anyway.. The touchpad does at least have RGB lighting, so theres that. Fingerprints show up quite easily on the matte interior, but as a smooth surface, they were easy to clean. But Id expect this to be far less noticeable on the white version. On the left from the back theres a wedge lock slot air exhaust vent, USB 3.1 Type C port with Thunderbolt 3 support, and this also offers DisplayPort 1.2 USB 3.1 Type, A port and 3.

5mm Mic and headphone jacks. On the right. There are two more USB 3.1 Type: A ports and another air exhaust vent On the back. There are large air exhausts towards the left and right corners, then for the IO from left to right, theres, a HDMI 2.0 and mini DisplayPort 1.4 output, 2.5 gigabit, ethernet, port Alienware, graphics, amplifier port and the two power inputs. The whole back also has this RGB lighting Trim which will, of course come down to personal preference, but I actually liked it and you can customize the colour and effects through the software. On the front. There are two speakers found towards the corners.. They still sounded quite clear, even at higher volumes, and there was a little bass present overall theyre, definitely above average. Heres. What were looking at with maximum volume and music playing and the latencymon results were looking good. On the matte lid theres, some A51 branding down the bottom and RGB Alienware logo towards the top, which can be customized through the software.. Underneath there are air intake vents towards the back in this honeycomb sort of pattern, along with some rubber feet that could have done a better job of preventing movement. Considering how heavy the machine is. The bottom panel can be easily removed by taking out just 6 screws with a phillips head screwdriver.. This gives us basic access to the WiFi card. Two M.2 drives four memory slots battery and single 2.5 inch drive bay. Everything else, including the CPU and GPU, can be accessed by further removing the back plastic and Dell has good guides for doing this.

Available. Upgradeability is meant to be a key selling point with this machine. As its using a desktop socket. The idea is that the CPU can be upgraded.. The potential issue with that is at the moment the 9900K is the top of the line socket available. So, if Intel stop using it next generation, theres no upgrade path. There. That said, if you instead have got the i7 9700 model, then you could go to the 9900K later.. The GPU should also be upgradeable, at least in theory. Well have to wait and see. Alienware, designed their own custom board for the GPU die, rather than use the existing MXM standard. At CES. They mentioned how they were committed to this. So in theory, we should have next gen graphics options available, but only time would tell.. Basically Id be skeptical of upgradeability and assume that nothing is confirmed until we see it. At the very least, though I dont think we have to worry about it, not having ample cooling and power delivery for future hardware. Powering. The laptop is a 90 Watt hour, battery. Ive tested it with the screen brightness at 50 background apps, disabled and all RGB lighting off., While just watching YouTube videos. It lasted for just 1 hour and 37 minutes, and this was despite using the Intel graphics. So quite a low result for this test. I found the Intel graphics would be in use, regardless of whether or not I disable G Sync through the Nvidia control panel.

, While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidias battery boost set to 30 FPS. The battery lasted for 1 hour and 23 minutes in total. However, 53 minutes in with 34 charge left the frame rate dropped down to 16 FPS until the end.. The battery is on the larger side, but with desktop grade hardware dont expect good battery life.. You dont need to carry both power bricks with you. You can get away with just the smaller 180 watt, one if youre doing less power consuming tasks, but for gaming at maximum performance youll definitely want to use both.. I never noticed the battery drain with both the 180 and 330 watt bricks attached, and I had some comments asking me to test ripping out both power bricks, while gaming, as some have reported their machins turn off.. I tried this both in a game at maximum settings and also with the Aida64 CPU stress test and Heaven GPU benchmark running. However, in each instance my machine was fine.. I can see why this could be an issue, though its using a huge amount of power under full load and removing that instantly could be difficult to quickly flip over to the battery. But I wasnt able to replicate that even with the GPU at 190 watts and CPU at 130, watts. Lets move onto the thermal testing as youd expect. With this level of hardware, weve got some pretty serious cooling with massive heatpipes.. The Alienware control center allows you to run the laptop at stock settings or also pick from two built in overclocking profiles, 1 and 2, and these are the settings that each profile gives us.

. None of the profiles perform undervolting. They basically just boost clock. Speeds. Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments.. All of these tests are from combined CPU and GPU workloads and are meant to represent worst case scenarios, as I ran them for extended periods of time.. The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics.. The stress test results shown on the lower half of the graph are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test, with only the stress, CPU option checked and the Heaven GPU benchmark at max settings at the same time to fully load the system.. All tests were also run with the fans at maximum speed, but more on that later. Lets start with the stress test results at stock down the bottom. The CPU was thermal throttling at 99 degrees Celsius, as shown by the blue bar.. Simply by applying a 0.15v undervolt to the CPU, we were able to drop the temperatures back by 12 degrees. When we enable the overclock 1 profile in combination with the undervolt. The CPU temperatures rise, a couple of degrees and the GPU also goes up by 4. If you recall earlier this profile, also overclocks the GPU, which equals more heat. Stepping up to the overclock 2 profile, which raises the 8 core boost, speed by 100MHz, were back to thermal throttling at 99 degrees.

, As the higher tier overclock requires more power. I had to drop the undervolt to 0.075v to keep it stable in this workload and then, when we add in the cooling pad, were only seeing a small improvement to the GPU temperature.. The gaming results are a bit better comparatively in terms of temperatures, not quite as intense as a synthetic stress. Test. Honestly, once we add the undervolt, even the overclock 1 profile, isnt actually running that hot. So personally, Id probably use it somewhere around this level to keep it from getting too hot, as youll soon see, were not really getting much extra performance from the extra heat.. In any case, the cooling pad did at least make a bigger difference here compared to the stress tests.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests, just shown. Youll notice that theres not actually all that much difference in terms of the CPU average over all 8 cores, maybe a 350MHz difference from the lowest result to the best result. Rather than tweaking for maximum Performance with these specs, I think it will be more important to make changes to keep it running. Cool instead. In the stress test at stock were hitting thermal throttling, so just a lowly 4.5GHz all core speed on the CPU. Undervolting allows the CPU to hit the stock 4.7GHz all core turbo boost, speed of the 9900K and then with the overclock 1 profile with the Undervolt were able to hit the newly defined 4.

8GHz, all core limit., Its worth, remembering OC1 doesnt undervolt by default. But basically, if I didnt undervolt, the overclock profiles were useless in this workload, as we were already thermal throttling at stock with the fans maxed out., Applying overclocks isnt, going to help us out without first dropping those temperatures, hence the undervolting being essential to properly utilize. The overclock 1 and 2 profiles in this stress test, though this would not be the case in instances like gaming, where thermal throttling is not hit, though, of course depends on the game.. The GPU also sees a nice clock, speed bump here due to the overclock. This profile applies and then a little extra boost with overclock 2, which further raises the clock speed. With the second overclock profile. The all core turbo boost speed is raised to 4.9GHz, however, were only getting a little extra speed here, as I had to lower the undervolt to keep it. Stable. Were hitting thermal throttling here, so this isnt, all that useful and nor would be adding more voltage and the cooling pad didnt really help this out.. The game tests saw similar clock speed changes, though we were able to reach the full 4.9GHz. All core turbo boost speed with the overclock 2 profile here with 2000MHz on the 2080.. These are the average TDP values during these same tests.. The take aways are that were using a fair bit less power when undervolting is applied, which is why we see lower temperatures.

Less power equals less heat, which equals more performance when thermal throttling is hit.. Otherwise, the RTX 2080 was pretty crazy, spiking up to 190 watts at times. Heres. What were looking at with Cinebench for context. Many 9750H systems are lucky to reach 3000 points based on my own testing., Not much of a difference between the tests shown here though.. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was sitting at about the typical 30 degree celsius. Average. With the stress tests going, the keyboard area is actually still quite cool and only getting to 40 up the back.. In the same test. With the fan maxed out, it was a little cooler, only a little warm to the touch and quite impressive when you consider that in this test, the CPU is thermal throttling at 99 degrees.. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle. The fans were only just audible. With balanced mode set. It was definitely quieter compared to most other laptops tested. So you do have the option of sacrificing performance and thermals for quieter. Noise levels., Even with the fans at maximum while it is loud, Ive, certainly had louder machines with much weaker specs that still ran just as hot take the Aorus 15 for example.. You might be asking why Ive tested different volume levels of fans without also testing the thermals well buckle in because have I got a story for you.

? Essentially the Alienware control center software is trash, or at least that was my experience while using the latest version. During my testing., You need it installed to use the overclock profiles and control fan speed.. Basically, with the software installed during both stress test and while gaming, the GPU power limit, would drop every few minutes. You can see in the screenshot. The maximum power was 195 watts, but the minimum was about 40, while its currently sitting at 50, with a '0MHz clock speed.. This means that it thought it was operating at 100, though the performance would suffer during these periods.. You can see the historical GPU load bar is essentially the same, but the clock speed cycles up and down during these periods.. Yes, both power bricks were plugged in. I even tried a clean install of Windows, but the problem persisted as soon as I reinstalled the Alienware software again.. The only way to prevent this from happening was to remove the alienware oc controls and control center software.. By doing this, the fans were stuck at what ever I last configured them to which in my case was maximum.. I also was never able to reinstall the oc controls, no matter what I did, all sorts of errors kept coming up, no matter what order. I did things in and I dont have time to keep doing fresh installs of Windows., Basically after wasting over a day troubleshooting. In the end, I decided it was easier for me to manually, apply the settings of the overclocking profiles with MSI Afterburner and Intel XTU and just leave the fans at maximum so that I wouldnt have these dips in performance.

. I couldnt find very many instances of this issue happening to others, so it could just be my unit.. There was one guy who posted online, who seemed to think it was an incompatibility with having MSI Afterburner installed. However, I confirmed this was not the case after my clean Windows, install. Just to be clear, it wasnt a reset. I tried that too then after I downloaded a fresh 1903 ISO and installed it from scratch.. This was one hundred percent, some sort of software bug in the control center. If I swapped between the different profiles, while in a low performance period, it would reset the state and the power limits would boost back up for a while straight away.. So, while it should be possible for them to fix this, this issue severely impacted performance in my testing to the point where I had to rage quit trying to use it. However, I believe the data represented here accurately shows what youd actually get from using the software overclock presets normally, as I manually set the same settings that those use. Again this issue doesnt seem that wide spread based on the lack of other instances. I was able to find – I definitely dont expect it to be the norm. Overall Im pretty impressed with the performance of this machine software issues aside.. Yes, out of the box with stock settings, it does run hot and thermal throttles under a combined, CPU and GPU stress test. However, with some simple undervolting, it was possible to improve this quite a bit.

. You really do need to undervolt it, though, to get the most out of it, as we saw due to the thermal throttling the stock, all core turbo boost, speed, wasnt being hit under stress test.. This means enabling the overclock profiles is essentially pointless on the CPU side. Until we can bring the temperatures under control, though some extra GPU performance was still possible from these.. Combining the settings with undervolting, though, gave excellent performance without the temperatures being too crazy, so it would have been great if Alienware could have incorporated this into their default profiles. Maybe in future. A cooling pad didnt help out too much here. Even while thermal throttling clock speed boosts were not really seen, though, interestingly, the fans werent crazy, loud either. Dont. Get me wrong. 55 decibels. Maxed out is on the louder side, but it was possible to lower the fan speed at the expense of thermals and when you compare it to other machines, Ive tested that reach the same noise levels with far weaker specs. I think its fair. Next lets take a look at some gaming benchmarks. Ive tested these with with a customized version of the overclock 1 profile, so higher GPU overclocks, but also a CPU undervolt.. As this is an enthusiast grade machine, I think it makes sense to try and get the most out of it. Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode rather than multiplayer.. At 1080p, even RTX was playing alright. With 60 FPS averages still reached at ultra settings, while with RTX off shown by the purple bars, were getting much higher frame rates compared to other machines.

Stepping up to 1440p and were still getting results better than what most other gaming laptops are able to provide. At 1080p, though, the RTX results are now about inline, with 1080p results from those other machines. At 4K. Rtx is pretty much a write off regardless of setting level. However, 60 FPS averages were still achieved with it. Disabled at high settings. Apex Legends was tested with either all settings at maximum or all settings on the lowest possible values as it doesnt have predefined setting presets.. This game seems to cap out at 144 FPS and we were able to average this at 1080p and minimum settings.. Stepping up to 1440p still saw around 140 FPS averages at minimum settings, while maxed out was still scoring above 100 FPS. At 4K. Minimum settings were still playable with above 100 FPS. However, for some reason, maxed out the game would chug badly and wasnt really playable. So not exactly sure what happened there thats the only game. This happened, in. Assassins, Creed, Odyssey was tested with the built in benchmark and as a CPU heavy game seems to benefit well from the 9900K. Granted at higher settings. The frame rate isnt that high, but the difference is clearer at lower settings. Moving up to 1440p and the results are still better than most other gaming laptops, Ive tested at 1080p, very nice results. At 4K. The frame rates are much lower as youd expect. However, I dont think this game needs a mega high frame rate to enjoy, so you could still easily play it with lower settings.

Shadow of the Tomb. Raider was also tested with the built in benchmark and again its no surprise that these are some of the best results. Ive ever seen from a laptop with 120 FPS averages, even at highest settings., Even at 1440p. Again, like the other games were seeing performance greater than what most other gaming laptops can reach at 1080p., Things drop off quite a bit once we go up to 4K. However, 60 FPS averages were still possible in this test at medium settings with not much difference at high.. Csgo is a game that loves CPU performance and was tested using the Ulletical FPS benchmark. At 1080p were seeing crazy performance for a laptop. Well, I guess its not really a laptop when it will crush your legs. Anyway, 500 FPS averages with all settings at minimum. At 1440p. There was a larger decrease at higher settings. However, still above 300 FPS and not too far below 500 at minimum settings. At 4K were still getting better performance than most other laptops at 1080p. Again, because of that insane, CPU performance. Far Cry New Dawn was tested with the built in benchmark and as a game that likes CPU performance were seeing quite high. Results for this test, with 100 FPS reached at ultra., 1440p was still giving performance above most other gaming. Laptops at 1080p, while 4K was still capable of 60 FPS averages at ultra settings with not too much of a difference at lower settings.

Fortnite was tested with the replay feature and as a game that runs on pretty much anything when we give it top end. Specs were getting pretty crazy results with 400 FPS averages at low settings and still over 200 at epic. At 1440p, 400 FPS averages were still achieved at low, where were more CPU bound, while epic was still sitting comfortably at 130, FPS. 4K was still able to reach 60 FPS averages at epic settings and was actually playable with much higher frame rates possible depending on how far youre willing to lower the settings. Rainbow. Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark and with a 1080p resolution. Ultra settings were still able to reach above 200 FPS no problem with over 350 at low settings.. The 1440p results were excellent, too still able to reach 150 FPS at ultra settings with high 200s possible at low settings. At 4K. While the results are lower, it should still be usable without issue. Even low settings were reaching 144 FPS. Watch. Dogs 2 loves, CPU power. So no surprise that were seeing excellent results at 1080p, with 90 FPS reached at ultra settings and 100 plus at high and lower. At 1440p. High settings was now only just below 100 FPS, while ultra was still running extremely well without any issues.. Honestly, even 4K ran alright. For me, I find a stable 30 FPS in this game. Fine, so 32 for the 1 low is at least playable, though you can still hit 60 FPS averages at high settings.

. The Witcher 3 was tested with hairworks disabled and, while it doesnt need a crazy high frame rate were still getting one here with over 150 FPS at ultra settings at 1080p., At 1440p, ultra settings were still reaching more than 100 FPS, so it was playing perfectly fine. While looking excellent. At 4K, the frame rates drop back quite a bit. However, even ultra settings still maintained a stable 60 FPS in this game.. If youre after more games check the dedicated gaming benchmark video in the top right corner, where Ive tested 15 games at all. Three resolutions. Lets also take a look at how this config of the Alienware 51m compares with other laptops to see how it stacks up use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers. In Battlefield, 5 Ive got the Alienware 51m highlighted in red and, as expected, its smashing the competition due to the desktop grade hardware., Both the 1 low and average frame rate are significantly ahead of even the closest competition. This thing is literally on another level.. Here are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark. Again, the 51m is way out ahead. Even the 92 1 low is ahead of the average frame rate. Most of these machines are able to provide, with the average at least 30 FPS higher than the closest neighbour.. These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider with the built in benchmark at highest settings and once more theres a significant gap between the 51m and the other machines due to the crazy specs inside.

. So, as weve seen, the Alienware 51m is offering serious levels of performance, which is to be expected, its a thick machine with a desktop overclockable 8 core CPU and full on RTX, 2080 graphics capable of running up to 190 watts. 1080p and 1440p. Gaming was no problem at all, while many titles at 4K ran alright too, depending on setting level. Now for the benchmarking tools, Ive tested, Heaven Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike Timespy, Port Royal and VRMark from 3DMark just pause. The video, if you want a detailed look at these results. As we saw earlier, weve got the option of making some changes to improve performance, so lets see how these performance boosts actually translate into games.. Far Cry New Dawn was tested using the built in benchmark at ultra settings. Theres a bit going on here. So let me explain. Ive got the laptop tested at stock in the purple bars with the overclock 1 profile in the green bars. Then, with the overclock 2 profile in the red bars., Basically we can see the overclock 1 profile is giving us the best results as by default. The overclock 2 profile seems to push it too far and cause higher levels of throttling still better than stock results. But again, I think the overclock 1 profile is a good sweet spot, especially if you undervolt it. Ive, used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage and the 1TB RAID 0 array made of two 512GB M.

2 NVMe SSDs is performing very nicely.. The 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive, on the other hand, has good reads but lower writes. However, there are different storage options available when buying. For updated pricing check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US. The entry level 51m is going for 2050 USD, while the top end model Ive got here is 5150 USD granted. That does have double the SSD space. Here in Australia. With these specs were looking at 6200 AUD a lot of money, though it is currently on sale down from 8000 AUD, so theres that.. So who is a machine like the 51m for Rather than your typical laptop, its definitely more of a desktop replacement? That also happens to be somewhat more portable. For the insane power in this form factor. The trade off is, of course, a much higher price and a thicker and heavier machine that is expected to run hot under load.. You could, of course, build a mini ITX system with same specs for far less so it really depends how badly you want the one portable unit with battery screen and touchpad included., While Im a bit skeptical about the future upgrade paths. It would definitely make this a good feature of the machine if Alienware come through Ive just seen these sorts of things not work out so well in the past., So to conclude, youre getting insane desktop levels of performance in games from this desktop replacement machine.

. I wasnt a fan of the touch pad and theres more bleed than Id like, but otherwise theres not much else to complain about. With this hardware, its a given that the machine will be larger, heavier hotter and have poor battery life. It is what it is.. Despite running hot, the fans didnt really get much louder compared to many other gaming laptops with lower specs Ive tested and with some undervolting we could improve thermals and performance significantly.. I would have liked to have seen higher resolutions than 1080p, though considering how much raw horse power weve got available, though I guess as a desktop replacement. Maybe theyre assuming youll, connect a larger external display. Still, though a nice 120Hz 1440p option or 4K for those that want it would have been nice as weve. Seen in my testing, many games ran well at 4K., While the control center software worked well for everything else. Such as customizing lighting, it was doing something strange to my unit that severely kneecapped performance, while gaming to the point where I just had to remove it, to stop. Having FPS dips, though, as what appears to be a software bug Id expect that to get fixed, assuming it even actually affects anyone. Else. Im very interested to hear what you think about Alienwares Area 51m gaming laptop slash, desktop replacement down in the comments based on the price, its definitely more of a niche product. So is it something youd consider getting? Let me know down in the comments and, if youre new to the channel consider getting subscribed for future tech.