Skip to main content

Alienware 15 R3 Gaming Laptop Review

Synthetic And Productivity Benchmarks

We're comparing the Alienware 15 R3 against the previously reviewed Gigabyte P37X v6 and MSI GP62MVR Leopard Pro-218. We also borrowed the testing results from the upcoming Asus ROG Strix 15 review to see how well the i5-6300HQ compares against other GTX 1060-equipped laptops with Intel Core i7 CPUs. The P37X v6 is here to show how 1060-based GPUs compare to a 1070-equipped gaming laptop.

The Gigabyte P37X features an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, 16GB of DDR4-2400, a GTX 1070, a 512GB Samsung SM951 SSD, and a 1TB HDD. The MSI Leopard Pro is packing an i7-6700HQ, a 3GB GTX 1060, 16GB of DDR4-2133, and a 1TB HDD. Finally, the Asus Strix GL502VM is equipped with an i7-6700HQ, 16GB of memory, a 6GB GTX 1060. All of the GTX 1060 laptops in this comparison use a hard disk as their primary OS drive, so the Gigabyte will outperform them in storage-centric applications, for obvious reasons.

3DMark

The Alienware 15 performs competitively against the other GTX 1060 laptops during graphics tests, but falls behind by a quite a bit during the CPU-based benchmarks. This affects the overall Fire Strike, Fire Strike Extreme, and Time Spy scores, but Combined tests show the Alienware 15 holding its own against the competition, which all have stronger processors.

Image 1 of 3

Image 2 of 3

Image 3 of 3

Cinebench R15

The i5-6300HQ isn’t as powerful as the i7-6700HQs, as illustrated by the rendering tests. At single core performance, the Alienware's i5 just barely manages to keep up with its competitors, but things quickly change in multi-core performance, as the i5 simply cannot render like an i7 can. The diminished CPU performance ultimately impacts OpenGL performance slightly as well.

CompuBench

We use CompuBench's Video Composition and Bitcoin Mining test to determine a system's video processing and integer performance, which are influenced by the system's CPU and GPU. The i5 hinders the Alienware 15's performance yet again. During the Video Composition test, the Alienware is 11-16.3% behind the various GTX 1060 competition. In the Bitcoin Mining test, it falls 9.7% behind the next best performer, and 18.3% behind the top model.

DiskSpeed

The Gigabyte P37X v6 aside, the 1060s all possess the very same HGST Travelstar 7K1000 hard drive as their primary hard drive. The P37X uses an SSD as its primary drive, so its speeds far eclipse the Alienware 15 and its competitors. Therefore, we've omitted the Gigabyte's results from the charts because they skew the results too much.

Image 1 of 2

Image 2 of 2

As for the Alienware 15, it suffers against the Leopard Pro and Strix 15 during 4K random tests, and falls into the middle of the pack in 128K sequential speeds, but these differences fall well within the margin of error, especially for a relatively slow 7200 RPM drive.

PCMark 8

The Alienware 15 has a massive disadvantage during the Adobe Creative Suite test. If the Alienware 15 is on your radar as both a mobile gaming and video editing solution, consider a model with an i7 CPU. The Office Suite performance also suffers, but in day-to-day use, this shouldn’t impose perceivable setbacks.

  • cyberthug
    Stopped reading at 8GB ram..
    Reply
  • ledhead11
    "gaming laptop", not quite. Nice case though, obvious where most of the money is going.

    I think if a manufacturer commits to 1440p/144khz-gsync/1070/16gb 213mhz w/ an adequate i5/i7 then you'd get a lot of people willing to happily pay around $2000-2300. Pretty sure I read mention of an Aorus model here somewhere. Would love to see a review of that beast.

    All these 1080p-60hz/$1400-1800 w/ 1050/1060's are really unimpressive in terms of price/performance. You'd almost be better off getting one of those custom built mobile PS4's.
    Reply
  • nebun
    for the price the benchmarks are very disappointing....thanks but no thanks.....Alienware is not what it used to be...also bloatware up the arse...i have a 17 R4 model and at times i am very disappointed
    Reply
  • lunyone
    Having only 8 gb's of RAM is disappointing. Could you upgrade to 16 gb's and see if this changes anything in the results? I'm also with LEDHEAD11 about the pricing for laptops with 1080p 60 hz 15" laptops in this price range. I would have liked to see a GTX 1070 in the $1,400-$1,500 price range, but I guess I'm asking for too much. The GTX 1060 should be filling the $800-$1,200 price range, IMHO.
    Reply
  • Clamyboy74
    Could you do a review of the clevo p650rp6/ Sager np8151/np8152? I've been scouring the web for a review on those two laptops, with no luck.
    Reply
  • Martell1977
    I'm still waiting for the models with the RX 470 in them. These nVidia models are overpriced and out of my price range. Considering you can get a laptop with a 960m for around $800, I had hoped the pricing would have been comparable. I know the performance difference, but that doesn't excuse almost doubling the price. Each new gen comes with performance increases.
    Reply
  • Clamyboy74
    The RX470 is an option in the Alienware 15, but it costs just as much as the 1060 configuration.
    Reply
  • Temp__
    I don't understand why the reviewer chose the lowest end alienware laptop and then mentioned cpu bottleneck as a con.

    If you were going to do such a big detailed review, you should have chosen the model majority of people would like to go with. The one with i7-6700HQ, 16Gigs Ram. And also, this is perhaps the only laptop which I have seen with options to choose battery size. I think you chose the lower battery version, but if you wanted you could have chosen the 99Whr battery for $50 extra and it would have beat all the laptops in the competition. 99Whr is the maximum legal limit for batteries in a laptop! Many other reviewers said that this one has one of the best batteries in its category. 6-8 hours on regular web-browsing in non-gsync version.

    Also, there is a 1440p and 4k version including one with 120hz.
    Reply
  • ragenalien
    Can you please do a normal use battery life test for these? I understand they're for gaming but that's not all people use them for.
    Reply
  • FritzEiv
    18893424 said:
    I don't understand why the reviewer chose the lowest end alienware laptop and then mentioned cpu bottleneck as a con.

    If you were going to do such a big detailed review, you should have chosen the model majority of people would like to go with. The one with i7-6700HQ, 16Gigs Ram. And also, this is perhaps the only laptop which I have seen with options to choose battery size. I think you chose the lower battery version, but if you wanted you could have chosen the 99Whr battery for $50 extra and it would have beat all the laptops in the competition. 99Whr is the maximum legal limit for batteries in a laptop! Many other reviewers said that this one has one of the best batteries in its category. 6-8 hours on regular web-browsing in non-gsync version.

    Also, there is a 1440p and 4k version including one with 120hz.

    I don't disagree with you here. We started looking at the sub-$1500 market at the 1060 GPU, and we specifically chose this one (we actually purchased it, because Alienware has been slow to provide us with review hardware) because we wanted to give a starting point range of what was possible under that price point; it wasn't our intention to hobble any particular vendor/product. In our MSI Leopard review, a commenter asked us to look at an i5-based system, in fact. Our intention is to look at a range of configurations at a variety of price points and expand the scope and comparison field, and we've got a few others on the way. I'm also planning to reach back out to Alienware to see if we can get a few more models in.

    Reply