An Alienware laptop will pack an AMD CPU for the first time
If you want proof AMD's Ryzen 5000 laptop CPU has really made it, look no further than the new Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 which, as its name tells you, will feature an AMD CPU for the first time in history.
The new Alienware m15 will pack either an 8-core Ryzen 7 5800H or an 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HX. Having covered Alienware gaming laptops since the very beginning, we can tell you AMD CPUs have never made it this far.
Sure, you can say Asus, MSI, Gigabyte and other gaming laptops would like to have a word, but in the "making it" world, getting an AMD Ryzen into such a high-profile brand as Alienware is a crowning achievement for AMD's Zen 3 cores and its award-winning Ryzen 5000 chips.
Alienware, after all, is a brand backed by mega pc company Dell and one of the global brands synonymous with 'gaming' for more main stream audiences who have seen its computers in movie and television show product placements over the years.
Those hoping for an all AMD Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 won't get their day today though as the laptop will offer either an Nivida GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop or GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop. Both GPUs are rated at a TGP, or total graphics power, of 115 watts. With their support for Nvidia's Dynamic Boost 2.0 technology, you can add another 10 watts to the graphics power for those times when the CPU doesn't need it. Both TGP ratings would put the laptop at the top of the scale rather than the bottom which is as low as 80 watts for the RTX 3070, and 60 watts for the RTX 3060.
Those who have bitterly complained about Alienware using soldered-in main memory on previous versions will be happy to know the company has heard you and the R5 will feature a pair of SO-DIMM slots that are user upgradeable to with DDR4/3200 RAM.
Screen options for the 15.6-inch R15 will vary from a 165Hz 1080p panel with a 3ms response, to a 1080p panel with 1ms response and G-Sync and Nvidia's Advanced Optimus. The last option is a third 16:9 panel at a 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response and G-Sync with Nvidia Advanced Optimus. Both of the 1080p panels are rated at 300 nits of brightness while the 1440p panel is rated at 400 nits.
Advanced Optimus, if you don't know, is a technology that lets you seamlessly switch between using the power-saving MS Hybrid Graphics mode and the discrete graphics ability to support Nvidia's G-sync. Most gaming laptops either chose battery life with MS Hybrid Graphics, or G-Sync only mode. More recently, we've seen laptops that let you switch between them manually which required a reboot of the machine. With Advanced Optimus, you get the best of both worlds and automatically.
Besides being one of the few laptops to offer Advanced Optimus, the new Alienware m15 R5 will be the first with a Ryzen CPU to support the feature as well.
Depending on the options, the laptop will weigh from 5.3 pounds to 5.9 pounds and measures about 14 inches by 10 inches with a thickness tapering from 0.9 inches to 0.5 inches. Keyboard options include the a 4-zone 1.7mm rubber dome switches or per key RGB low-profile Cherry MX switches with n-key rollover. Alienware specs the laptop with a 240 watt power brick to charge the laptop's 86 watt hour battery. Ports include a 2.5GbE, combo headset jack, three USB-A ports, a full-size HDMI 2.1 jack, and USB-C 10Gbps port.