Healer: AMD Ryzen R7 5800H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6
memory: 16GB, 8GB x 2, DDR4 3200MHz
an offer: 15.6″ FHD 165Hz 3ms with ComfortView Plus
Accuracy: 1920 x 1080 pixels
storage: 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
batteryBuilt-in 6-cell 86 Watt-hour power
Connection: 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port
Operating System: Windows 10 Home / Professional 64 Bit
Dimensions: 13.94 x 10.2 x 1.07 inches
Weight: 5.07 lbs
Guarantee: one year limited
The new Legend 2.0 design of the m15 is quieter than you might imagine for an Alienware product. The stadium ring lighting on the back of the laptop is still one of my favorite details I’ve seen on any gaming laptop. It gives the m15 personality without distracting the user. I just love the black design; It gives your laptop a more professional look if you decide to turn off the stadium ring lighting in public or if the situation doesn’t call for a ring light (despite looking great).
This configuration of the m15 Ryzen Edition R5 is the more affordable option, although it still comes in at $1,649. Although you can cheat this laptop with an RTX 3070 and either QHD (at 240Hz) or FHD (at 360Hz) but expect to pay a pretty penny. However, the 1080p 165Hz screen that came stock was a perfect fit for the RTX 3060. There’s no sense paying 360Hz prices on anything lower than the RTX 3080, anyway.
Beyond pricing, one major thing that has bothered Alienware laptops for years, and that has been the laptop’s temperature. It’s no surprise that Alienware laptops are hot, and this one is no exception. After a few rounds of Mercenaries (a point attack mode focused on action) in Resident Evil Village, you can hear fans working their hardest. This thing generates a lot of heat internally, 84°C max temp on the GPU and 98°C on the CPU which is one of the hottest things I’ve come across in a while, in a gaming laptop.
Now for gaming, I was pretty much expecting these temporary employees. What I didn’t expect was how hot the m15 Ryzen Edition R5 was when writing this review on my lap. I gave it about 20 minutes before the heat on my thighs became unbearable. To Alienware’s credit, the m15’s surface never got too hot, so I didn’t feel a lot of hot air coming out of the system as I was working on the keyboard on non-lap dependent settings.
Minor heating complaints aside, the gaming performance of the m15 Ryzen edition makes you wonder why the Alienware/AMD team isn’t coming soon enough. The RTX 3060 isn’t the most powerful GPU, but it gets the job done to keep up with some of the other higher-priced Intel/RTX 3070 laptops.
This Alienware m15 R5 configuration sure hits well over 60 fps at 1080p in nearly all gaming benchmarks except for one, the Metro Exodus, on the Ultra with RTX running, which averaged around 56 fps. There is a small caveat with these benchmarks, as the m15 R5 is the first gaming laptop we’ve tested so far with the RTX 3060. That’s why we’ve compared it to other gaming laptops of a similar price, which is why we’ve featured a number of Intel sports systems containing an RTX 3070 and one AMD-powered machine with an RTX 3070 CPU and a Ryzen 5800H.
I was totally obsessed with getting SS ratings in the mercenary mode in Resident Evil Village. Hence, I also made sure to go a few rounds on the m15 outside of our usual set of benchmarks. I was hitting 45 fps with some noticeable 10-15 fps dips in the balanced graphical and ray tracing settings.
However, I was surprised to see how close some of the results were. The m15 R5 hangs toward the lower center end of the kit compared to some other RTX 3070-powered systems.
2 PCIe NVMe SSD Drive Filled Up Too Fast, But Is It Fast! I’m convinced that if more people could play games on an NVMe SSD, there would be no way back. The only drawback is that these bad boys are pricey, so I understood why there’s only 512GB in this configuration (although up to 2TB are available in configuration options) without raising the price of the system beyond most people’s budgets.
It doesn’t sound like a record but the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor continues to impress by delivering the productivity and gaming performance you want in a gaming laptop. Pair it with the humble RTX 3060 and the m15 turns into a great professional laptop and gateway into a mid-range gaming laptop. The real problem is that you can easily find other laptops with an RTX 3070 and a better screen for about the same price range. Machines like the Asus TUG Gaming A15 for just $100 more or the Intel-powered Asus Dash 15.
The Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 is a great, powerful system that suffers from many of the same issues we’ve had with previous Alienware laptops. Thermal performance and premium pricing have always mattered, and the fact that this RTX 3060 model costs some RTX 3070 gaming laptops will be a real sticking point for many PC gamers. But if you’re dead on an Alienware gaming laptop, consider sticking with the new X-series the company just announced. They promise better thermal solutions along with a host of design upgrades.