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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.