Alienware 17in Laptop delivers an exceptional combination of power, performance, and portability for serious gamers. With their large displays, cutting-edge components, and highly customizable designs, these machines provide an immersive high-end Gaming experience on the go.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Alienware’s current and past 17 inch laptop models. You’ll find detailed specifications, performance benchmarks, pros and cons, and buying advice to help you choose the perfect Alienware 17in Laptop for your gaming needs.
Overview of Alienware 17in Laptop
Alienware has been producing high-end gaming laptops since the 1990s, and their 17 inch models represent the top of their lineup in terms of both size and performance. These laptops are designed to offer a desktop replacement experience, cramming the most powerful gaming hardware into a portable chassis.
Some standard features across Alienware 17in Laptop include:
- Large 17.3” displays with 1080p, 1440p or 4K resolutions
- High refresh rate panels up to 360Hz
- Cutting edge Intel Core i7/i9 CPUs and Nvidia RTX/GTX GPUs
- Highly customizable RGB lighting zones
- Advanced cooling systems like CryoTech and HyperEfficient Voltage Regulation
- Gaming-focused design with premium materials and finishes
Alienware’s 17 inch models are separated into various product lines including the M17, M17x, Area-51m, and more. New generations have been released over the years with updated technology and naming schemes.
Some key benefits of Alienware’s 17 inch gaming laptops are the powerful performance perfect for AAA gaming, expansive displays great for immersion, and thicker chassis that allow for desktop-class components and advanced cooling not possible in smaller rigs. The main downsides are the larger size and weight compared to 15 inch models, as well as high costs, especially for top configurations.
Next, let’s take a detailed look at Alienware’s past and present 17 inch gaming laptop models so you know exactly what you’re getting with each generation.
Alienware 17 (2014-2017 Models)
Alienware 17in Laptop was simply known as the Alienware 17 from 2014 through 2017 before being rebranded. These models set the template for Alienware’s large premium gaming rigs for years to come. Some key features:
- Nvidia 800M/900M series GPUs up to GTX 980M
- 1080p resolution up to 120Hz refresh rate
- Customizable RGB keyboard and AlienFX lighting zones
- Available proprietary graphics amplifier port for connecting external GPUs
- High quality magnesium alloy chassis with anodized aluminum finishes
- Excellent gaming performance for the time with support for GTX 900M series GPUs
The GPUs maxed out at the GTX 980M on these models, still quite capable for smooth 1080p gaming but lacking newer technologies like ray tracing that were yet to come. Display resolution was capped at 1080p, but with refresh rates up to 120Hz, these panels were great for fast paced gaming.
Overall these original Alienware 17s were excellent gaming machines for their time in the mid 2010s, establishing Alienware’s place in the emerging high-end gaming laptop market. But they were soon superseded by upgraded designs with more power. Still, they represented an important milestone being the first dedicated 17 inch gaming laptops from Alienware.
Alienware 17 R4/R5 (2016-2019)
The “R4” and “R5” models succeeded the original Alienware 17, bringing upgraded internals and features:
Alienware 17 R4 Specs:
- 7th gen Intel Core i7 quad and hexa core CPUs
- Nvidia GTX 1070/1080 GPU options with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM
- Up to 120Hz 1080p or 60Hz 4K UHD display choices
- Tobii infrared eye-tracking camera and software for novel gameplay interactions
- Fully backlit RGB keyboard with iconic alien head power button
- Thunderbolt 3 port for lightning fast accessories and external GPUs
Alienware 17 R5 Specs:
- 8th gen Intel Core i7/i9 hexa core CPUs up to the i9-8950HK
- Nvidia GTX 1070/1080 GPU options again with 8GB VRAM
- 144Hz 1080p display with Nvidia G-Sync variable refresh rate support
- Up to 64GB of DDR4 system memory supported
- Improved audio with front-firing speaker setup
- RGB keyboard with programmable zone and macro key lighting
With support for Nvidia’s 10 series GPUs up to the full power GTX 1080, the R4 and R5 models provided excellent 1080p and even 4K gaming performance with buttery smooth high frame rates. The novel eye tracking camera in the R4 was an interesting addition, enabling immersive gameplay experiences and interactions using only your gaze.
The R5 brought welcomed performance bumps from new Intel CPUs and faster displays packing 144Hz variable refresh rate panels. This generation really optimized the 17 inch design into an ultimate gaming machine.
Alienware M17/M17 R2 (2019 Onward)
In 2019 Alienware again rebranded their 17 inch gaming laptop line, introducing the M17 and subsequent M17 R2 models:
Alienware M17 (2019) Specs:
- 9th gen 8 core Intel Core i7/i9 CPUs up to the i9-9980HK
- Nvidia RTX 2060/2070 Max-Q design GPUs with ray tracing support
- 17.3” 1080p 144Hz speedy TN or gorgeous 4K 60Hz IPS display options
- Cleaner “Legend” design language with smooth curves instead of angles
- Per key RGB lighting with unique animation effects and syncing
Alienware M17 R2 (2020) Specs:
- 10th gen 8 core Intel Core i7/i9 CPUs up to the i9-10980HK
- Nvidia RTX 2070/2080 Super GPUs with Max-P power delivery
- Up to a blisteringly fast 300Hz 1080p display with G-Sync support
- Mechanical keyboard switches from gaming peripheral maker Omron
- Enlarged airflow vents and vapor chamber cooling technology
With the addition of RTX graphics, CPUs up to the 5GHz i9-10980HK, and displays up to an incredibly fluid 300Hz, the M17 and M17 R2 deliver outstanding high frame rate Full HD and 4K gaming. The sleek new Legend design refreshed the aesthetic with flowing lines instead of hard edges.
The M17 line represents Alienware 17in Laptop offering, with frequent component refreshes keeping performance top notch even in 2022. Overall it maintains Alienware’s reputation for mammoth power in a portable form factor.
Alienware Area-51m (2019-2021)
Billed as Alienware’s most powerful laptop ever at its 2019 launch, the Area-51m represented a completely new level of performance and customization:
Alienware Area-51m Specs:
- Desktop-class 8 core Intel Core i7/i9 CPUs up to the 9900K with overclocking
- Nvidia RTX 2060/2070/2080 GPUs running at full Max-P power delivery
- 17.3” 1080p 144Hz G-Sync display for buttery visuals
- Fully upgradeable CPU, GPU, memory, and storage post-purchase
- Proprietary thermal interface material for optimal heat transfer
- Iconic new “51” sci-fi aesthetic design language
With a socketed desktop processor and swappable GPUs, the Area-51m took customization to new extremes never before seen in a gaming laptop. Gamers could purchase affordable base configs, and then upgrade components later as desired to keep performance current. Advanced cooling and thermals enabled safe overclocking to push limits.
Unfortunately, the Area-51m was discontinued after just two generations likely due to low demand for its niche upgradability features. But it represented the peak of Alienware’s engineering capabilities, producing a true desktop replacement gaming machine in a portable body. It showed off the boundless customization Alienware 17in Laptop is capable of.
Display Options & Technology
The display is incredibly important for any gaming laptop, and this is an area where Alienware 17in Laptop models shine. Here is an overview of some display technology seen in their 17 inch offerings over the generations:
- 1920 x 1080 FHD – Standard for balancing performance and price
- 2560 x 1440 QHD – Sharper image quality ideal for larger screens
- 3840 x 2160 4K UHD – Gorgeous high resolution visuals when paired with top GPUs
- 60Hz – Minimum needed for smooth gameplay
- 120/144Hz – Ideal rates for high frame rate competitive gaming
- 240Hz/300Hz – For esports pros who can utilize extremely high frame rates
- Nvidia G-Sync – Matches refresh rate to frame rate for tear and stutter free visuals
- Advanced Optimus – Seamlessly switches between iGPU and dGPU for power savings
- IPS – Provides the best color accuracy and wide 178° viewing angles
- TN – Lower cost, faster response times, but worse colors and viewing angles
Alienware uses premium IPS and OLED panels on most configs, offering an excellent blend of color quality, responsiveness, and speed. Features like G-Sync and remarkably fast 300Hz refresh rates enable extremely fluid gameplay when paired with powerful GPU options. Overall the displays are stellar for immersive high FPS gaming.
To give you an idea of real world gaming performance, here are some FPS benchmarks from Laptop Mag testing popular games on different Alienware 17in Laptop configs:
Alienware M17 R4 (RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, Intel i7-10870H CPU)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – 140 fps (1080p Highest graphics preset)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 – 117 fps (1080p Medium graphics preset)
- Borderlands 3 – 103 fps (1080p Badass graphics preset)
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – 84 fps (1080p Ultra High graphics preset)
Alienware x17 R2 (RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU, Intel i7-12700H CPU)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – 177 fps (1080p Highest graphics preset)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 – 132 fps (1080p Medium graphics preset)
- Borderlands 3 – 126 fps (1080p Badass graphics preset)
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – 99 fps (1080p Ultra High graphics preset)
These benchmarks demonstrate the excellent 1080p gaming speeds achievable with the GeForce RTX 3000 series GPUs when paired with the latest 12th and 11th gen Intel Core CPUs. You can comfortably hit 100+ fps in many titles with graphics settings maxed out.
1440p and 4K gaming are also very achievable on the Alienware 17in Laptop models depending on the specific display resolution and GPU power chosen. Frame rates may be lower at higher resolutions but with G-Sync enabled, gameplay remains perfectly smooth and fluid.
Competitive esports and multiplayer gamers will especially benefit from the blisteringly fast 360Hz and 300Hz refresh rate display options available on select configs. Overall the performance is stellar across all of Alienware 17in Laptop models, delivering high frame rate gaming critical for immersion and competitive play.
Design & Aesthetics
Beyond just performance, Alienware’s laptops are known for their eye catching, sci-fi inspired designs that make them stand out against boring grey and black competitors. Here are some iconic design elements common across the 17 inch models over the generations:
- Sleek, futuristic “Legend” design language with smooth curves and lines
- Per key RGB backlit keyboard with unique alien head keycap fonts
- Fully customizable RGB lighting zones across chassis with unique animations
- Bold glowing alien head logo on the lid that can pulse and morph colors
- Made from magnesium alloy for ideal rigidity while remaining lightweight
- Available in “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Lunar Light” color schemes
- Intakes and vents strategically placed to work with advanced cooling systems
This visually striking combination of flowing lines, customizable lighting, premium materials, and alien branding gives Alienware 17 inch laptops their instantly recognizable look. The extensive use of programmable LEDs let you match colors to your gaming setup.
The clean profile and magnesium alloy construction results in systems that are surprisingly portable considering their high-end desktop-class components and performance. Dimensions are typically 16″ x 11″ x 1″, and weigh around 7lbs depending on specs. Not featherlight, but very reasonable for fully powered 17 inch gaming rigs thanks to intelligent engineering.
Overall, Alienware 17in Laptop models feature highly modern designs full of flourishes fitting for a futuristic gaming machine. Form matches function here, with every detail having a purpose, whether it be facilitating cooling, reducing weight, or simply looking awesome.
Cooling & Thermals
One major advantage of the larger chassis on Alienware’s 17 inch laptops is the ability to incorporate more advanced cooling systems compared to smaller 15 inch models. Effective cooling is critical to maintain high turbo clock speeds on powerful gaming components like Intel Core i9 processors and Nvidia RTX 3080 GPUs during prolonged gameplay.
Some of the cooling technologies seen in recent Alienware 17 inch laptops include:
- High airflow axial fans paired with large rear and side exhaust vents
- Multi-intake Dual Fan design with ultra thin 0.3mm fan blades for max airflow
- 5 total heat pipes and vapor chambers to spread heat across the chassis
- Alloy-infused thermal interface material for optimal heat transfer to heatsinks
- Cryo-Tech copper fin stacks with 158% more surface area to dissipate heat
- Smart fan control software to balance noise levels and temperatures
In benchmarks these intelligently engineered cooling systems allow the CPU and GPU to sustain much higher turbo boost clocks compared to competing gaming laptops where thermal throttling occurs. Average load temperatures stay relatively cool in the 70-85°C range even during prolonged gaming sessions.
This excellent thermal performance ensures the powerful hardware inside Alienware’s 17 inch rigs can consistently deliver maximum fps during games for the best possible gaming experience. Performance remains stable over time rather than dropping as components heat up.
Advanced cooling engineering is a key priority for Alienware to grant their systems unmatched sustained speeds, and their 17 inch models really showcase the capabilities of state-of-the-art laptop thermal design.
Ports & Connectivity
For accessories and external displays, the Alienware 17in Laptop comes equipped with a full array of physical connectivity:
- 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports for legacy peripherals
- 1x USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 4 support at up to 40Gbps speeds
- Mini DisplayPort 1.4 for external high resolution monitors
- HDMI 2.1 output capable of 4K at 120Hz with HDCP 2.3
- RJ-45 Ethernet port with speeds up to 2.5Gbps when using a CAT5e cable
- 3.5mm combo headphone & microphone jack
- Alienware Graphics Amplifier port for connecting an external desktop GPU (on some models)
There’s also fast wireless connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 being common across all current models. Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 6 boost speeds up to 2.4Gbps when using compatible routers, ensuring low latency and minimal bottlenecks for online gaming and downloads.
This modern and legacy port combination allows you to connect all your favorite gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, controllers, external drives, and other accessories. Running multiple external gaming monitors is also easy thanks to both next-gen ports like Thunderbolt 4 USB-C as well as classic video outputs like Mini DisplayPort and HDMI.
Connectivity is never a compromise with Alienware’s 17 inch gaming machines. Their variety of cutting edge and classic ports let you build your ultimate gaming battle station.
Configurations & Pricing
A huge benefit of Alienware laptops is the deep customization available when ordering. You can tailor every component to get the perfect balance of price and performance for your needs. Here are some example 17 inch configurations with pricing:
Alienware m17 R3
- Intel Core i7-10750H, 16GB RAM, RTX 2070 GPU, 512GB SSD: $1,850
Alienware x17 R2
- Intel Core i7-12700H, 32GB RAM, RTX 3080 Ti GPU, 1TB SSD: $3,100
Alienware Area-51m R2
- Intel Core i9-10900K, 64GB RAM, RTX 2080 Super GPU, 2TB RAID 0 SSDs: $4,100
Alienware M17 R5
- AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX, 64GB RAM, RX 6850M XT GPU, 2TB SSD: $3,560
As you can see, MSRP pricing scales from around $1,800 for more basic configs up past $4,000+ for maxed out builds. Even base models can easily handle 1080p gaming, while higher tier components bring better future proofing for smooth 1440p or 4K gaming.
The ability to customize every part allows you to tailor an Alienware 17in Laptop perfectly to your budget. And seasonal sales or coupons can often discount brand new models by 10-15% if you shop smart, adding up to major savings.
Here are the pros and cons added to the expanded article:
The Complete Guide to Alienware 17in Laptop
Should You Buy an Alienware 17in Laptop?
So should you consider buying one of Alienware’s powerful 17 inch gaming machines for your next computer? Here are some quick pros and cons:
- Desktop-class gaming performance from top mobile components
- Highly customizable when ordering to balance price and specs
- Stunning and futuristic design with fully programmable RGB lighting
- Large 17 inch screens for immersive high resolution gaming
- Advanced cooling solutions sustain performance during long gaming sessions
- All the ports you need for a complete gaming battle station
- More expensive than 15 inch models, especially with max specs
- Larger and heavier compared to more portable 15 inch gaming laptops
- Mediocre battery life of 1-3 hours when gaming unplugged
- Bold aesthetics may not suit professional or office environments
Overall, Alienware’s 17 inch gaming laptops are perfect for gamers who want the best possible performance in a portable form factor. If your priority is uncompromised FPS and graphics in the latest AAA titles, while retaining the ability to move your rig between home and gaming dens, Alienware’s 17 inch notebooks deliver.
More budget oriented buyers may want to opt for a 15 inch gaming laptop or a value brand like Asus. But for premium engineering, cutting edge innovation, iconic looks, and extreme power, Alienware 17in Laptop models stand tall as gaming laptop royalty.
In summary, Alienware’s large 17 inch gaming laptops clearly deliver an exceptional combination of power, immersion, innovation, and iconic design unavailable from mainstream brands. Configurable with the top gaming CPUs, GPUs, displays, and more, they offer an unrivaled mobile gaming experience.
From the original Alienware 17 to the latest m17 and x17 models, Alienware has continually pushed the envelope for over 15 years in terms of both performance and visually striking looks. For gamers who desire uncompromised speed to play the latest titles at their full visual potential, while still retaining true portability, Alienware’s 17 inch gaming rigs are unmatched.
Through intelligent engineering like advanced cooling and innovative upgrades like desktop CPUs, Alienware is managing to blur the line between laptop and desktop. Their 17 inch models are closing in on offering the best of both worlds – extreme gaming power with reasonable mobility.
If you seek the ultimate high-end gaming notebook that can capably replace a desktop, there is no better option than Alienware’s mammoth 17 inch models. Despite their larger footprint compared to 15 inch laptops, these systems still provide enough mobility for gaming in multiple places and transporting to LAN parties.
For premium build quality, epic speeds, cutting edge innovation, and an iconic sci-fi inspired aesthetic, Alienware’s diverse roster of 17 inch gaming laptops keeps them at the peak of the market after over a decade and a half. The bar keeps being raised with each successive generation as they work to perfect the formula of limitless power in a portable package.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Alienware 17in Laptop:
Q: How much does an Alienware 17in Laptop weigh?
A: Weights range from around 6.5lbs for lighter configs up to 10lbs for max spec builds. Expect models sporting desktop CPUs and extensive cooling to be on the heavier end of the spectrum.
Q: What’s better between 4K or 1080p on an Alienware 17?
A: This depends on your priorities. 4K resolution is gorgeous, but harder to power at peak frame rates. 1080p will net you a higher FPS, perfect for competitive gaming. 144Hz to 300Hz 1080p panels strike a nice balance.
Q: Are Alienware laptops good for school?
A: Alienware’s gaming focus means their large, flashy designs may not be ideal for professional school use. Performance and specs are excellent, but more discrete laptops are better for classrooms.
Q: How long do Alienware 17 inch laptops last?
A: With proper care and maintenance, an Alienware 17 can easily last 4-5 years or more. Their high-end components give them longevity and you can always upgrade parts like RAM and storage down the line.
Q: What’s better Alienware or Razer?
A: This is highly subjective, but Alienware tends to use more premium components and cutting-edge engineering. However, Razer laptops are often cheaper for similar specs. Choose based on budget, desired features, and brand loyalty.
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