The new Alienware x17 is super thin, extremely light laptop . Now’s your chance to game with gear that knows no boundaries. The Alienware x17 gaming laptops with advanced Alienware Cryo-Tech™ cooling defy boundaries. Introducing Element 31 thermal interface material and a Quad-Fan Design. We are incorporating more fan blades, more copper materials, and vapor chambers to deliver ample power while dissipating the heat more efficiently and allowing the fans to run less resulting in reduced noise. The x17 features five tailored power states, and grants access to thousands of games with Windows. Alienware laptops will bring your favorite games into hyper-reality with Windows DirectX 12 Ultimate. Constructed with magnesium alloy and aluminum parts gamers can experience the evolved Legend Industrial Design that reimagines the way you game. The Alienware x17 is equipped with 11th Gen Intel processors, has more storage options with dual drives featuring SSD and includes powerful NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 30-series discrete graphics.
Windows 11 has all the power and security of Windows 10 with a redesigned and refreshed look. It also comes with new tools, sounds, and apps. Every detail has been considered. All of it comes together to bring you a refreshing experience on your PC
17.3" 360Hz FHD Display
1920 x 1080 resolution with native 1080p support to showcase your games and HD movies with impressive color and clarity. Energy-efficient LED backlight.
1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
While offering less storage space than a hard drive, a flash-based SSD has no moving parts, resulting in faster start-up times and data access, no noise, and reduced heat production and power draw on the battery.
16GB system memory for intense multitasking and gaming
Reams of high-bandwidth DDR4 RAM to smoothly run your graphics-heavy PC games and video-editing applications, as well as numerous programs and browser tabs all at once.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics
Backed by 8GB GDDR6 dedicated video memory for a fast, advanced GPU to fuel your games.
11th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor
The perfect combination of performance and responsiveness. Enjoy boundary-breaking performance with the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. Stay productive with fast-charging, long-lasting battery.
Alienware Cryo-Tech™ cooling technology
Four intelligently controlled, uniquely programmable fans to help dissipate heat. Game for longer periods of time thanks to Element 31, a gallium-silicone thermal interface material.
Alienware Command Center
Gamers can set, activate and manage five unique power states in the Alienware Command Center.
Legend 2.0 Industrial Design
A fresh new evolution in design with a high-endurance finish and customizable AlienFX lighting.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate - Discover your next favorite game.
1 month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate included. Play over 100 high-quality games on Windows 10, console and mobile. Includes new day one titles, iconic Bethesda games and EA Play on PC.
Note: this laptop does not include a DVD drive.
Intel, Pentium, Celeron, Core, Atom, Ultrabook, Intel Inside and the Intel Inside logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.
I have been wanting to upgrade my 17” RTX 2060 laptop and when I saw the Alienware X17 R1 was available I jumped at the chance to get it as Alienware systems have been one of my favorites for years.
Unboxing / First Impressions:
The X17 arrived in a sturdy outer shipping box and inside was a perfectly designed box that was above most “and typical for an Alienware product”. Inside was the laptop, power supply, power cord and that’s it. The laptop itself was in a protective sleeve and had the usual keyboard / palmrest cover inside too.
The laptop itself is Lunar Grey and it looks spectacular with this color scheme, it’s a matte finish and barely shows any handling marks. On the lid there’s an Alien emblem that’s backlit with a large I7 in outline white, “looks great”. The bottom of the unit is the same “Lunar Grey” and has a lot of ventilation slits “some arranged in a honeycomb pattern”. There are also two rubber strips running almost the complete width of the laptop for feet and they are high enough to give it some breathing room on the bottom.
There are no ports on the front edge “other than speaker outlets”, the right only has a single headphone jack toward the back and the left has the power port. The back is where all the ports are located and they are “ USB-C w/ Thunderbolt 4 + Power Delivery + DisplayPort, USB-A 3.2 Gen. 1, RJ-45 2.5 Gbps, USB-C 3.2 Gen. 2 w/ Power Delivery + DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1, MicroSD reader, mini DisplayPort 1.4”, which should be plenty of ports for most anyone’s needs and having the MicroSD slot is a really nice addition.
I was really surprised how much this weighs, deceivingly heavy while being so thin, the nice thing is it’s also very very sturdy with really no flex to the bottom portion. The lid/LCD does flex “as most do” but it’s not as bad as my Eluktronics 17. The palmrest area and keyboard are all matte black and a nice contrast to the grey outer color. The keyboard does not have a keypad and is centered in the unit. I’m going to have to get used to that as It’s been years since I had a laptop without the keypad and now that I’m used to typing “off centered” being back to center is a little strange.
Upon setting up, getting my WiFi connected and getting things started up I was surprised that the setup asked if I would like to use Windows 11. I naturally said yes as Win 11 has been released and may as well get used to it. And with a new installation there are usually fewer issues than if I upgraded further down the road. It did mention that it had to download some things for it to continue but I assume that most of Win 11 was already there as the download only took a few seconds.
After completing and getting further I was greeted with the Windows Hello setup and was pleasantly surprised that this model does have the IR camera for the facial recognition. With that complete I was ushered into the new layout of Windows 11, “hmm not sure about this”, and there are a lot of visual changes here, one being the centered taskbar at the bottom of the screen “there’s a simple way to put it back left and that’s what I did, just didn’t care for the centered look “not used to it” and I’m focusing on how well the laptop performs hardware wise.
I’ve been using the X17 for a few days now and this is really a powerful laptop, the RTX 3070 easily handles any game I throw at it. I know the screen refresh rate is can go up to 360hz but I never got it close to that, “over 200 yes but nothing close to the full 360”. The screen itself is very clear, with nice color reproduction, the image does fade out from an angle so sitting straight on is a must but it easily matches and is a little better than the 120hz on of my Eluktronics.
There really isn’t any back light bleed in this one but the solid blacks could be a little better “but I haven’t tweaked the RTX color settings yet”, the bezel around the screen is thin enough for me, it doesn’t have to be completely borderless and does give some more rigidity to the lid, there’s a huge border at the bottom of the screen though “but this is a large laptop and they need to make it all fit properly” so at least they stuck that at the bottom.
The keyboard itself is not the Cherry MX mechanical that is offered on other models, but is the standard membrane full RGB lit keyboard they also offer. I have both mechanical and membrane keyboards on my laptops and I honestly can’t tell much difference other than the clickety-click of the mechanical keys, I’ve had and used so many different laptops over the years I just get used to what I have and don’t worry about it. The RGB lighting is nice, and each key can be configured independently. The only issue I have with it is that the secondary shift function of the number keys along with FN key symbols are not illuminated and in a dim / dark room there’s no way to see what those are. The keys on the Eluktronics are completely lit. Fortunately I rarely ever need to look at those but when I have my own personal glitch and can’t remember where a symbol is I have to really look for it.
If you are a fan of lights then the X17 won’t disappoint, while the trackpad isn’t backlit, the power button, rear panel alien head, and thee ring around the whole backside where the ports and vents are located then you’ll have fun customizing all the functions through the Alienware control software. Nice to see they’ve carried over a lot of the custom lighting options from the original models to the new line.
The trackpad is very smooth and accurate, it’s small but does its job, and with all my laptops I hook up a gaming mouse and turn off the track pack so that’s a moot point on my part, it’s not backlit like other Alienware laptops I’ve owned but that’s ok too as I always turned that off.
Now time for some gaming and see how the performance is.
I’ve been playing Borderland 3, The Witcher 3 and Fallout NV “for the heck of it” and I’m quite impressed. BL3 with the graphics set on Ultra and on Pandora in the Droughs I get anywhere from 88 to 126fps, “depends on complexity”, and when I’m in the ship “Sanctuary” I’m getting around 100fps. I’ve also tried setting the power settings from “Balanced” to “Performance” and didn’t notice any difference. Setting BL3 graphics to “High” my frame rate went up to 113-156fps, “also keeping field of view at 90”. These are all good numbers and even with the graphics maxed out the FPS is high enough to keep everything smooth.
Playing The Witcher 3 with the graphics set on Ultra I get a pretty consistent 110-142, also depending on environment and if you are indoor or outside. Outside environments during battle it was maintaining at least 130fps which looks great. Now turning the graphic quality down to “High” made the FPS jump to 165-190, that’s outstanding, and way more than really needed “at least my eyes can’t tell, so I’ll be playing on Ultra.
Now Fallout NV, it’s an older game and it’s maxed at 60fps, to my surprise the game played consistently at 78-94fps, so it’s above what the game was originally designed for and looks spectacular with everything set on “Ultra”, no need to test on lower graphics settings.
I’ve also done some benchmarking and I’ve attached photos of those. I have a MSI desktop as my main system, it has a RTX 3080 in it and 32gb mem, so it’s pretty hard to beat that one and this X17 actually does quite well “which you can see in the charts”. I’ve also posted the speeds of the drive which are on par with most every system I have, and the SSDs used are plenty fast.
I did take the bottom cover off “to my surprise it’s metal”, and there is an open SSD slot so you can and a second M.2 NVMe drive to it, there’s no space for a 2.5” drive, “I’ve noticed manufacturers getting away from that form factor in their thin laptops, just no room”. I was surprised to see that the Wi-Fi card is soldered to the motherboard and is not removable, although over the years I’ve only replaced one of those and it was a long ways back, just odd seeing that it’s not removable just in case. If you decide to remove the bottom cover there are different screw sizes used so keep track of where they go, and be sure to take all out but the lower left, closer to the track pad, “looking at bottom directly”, it’s a captive screw and made to help “pop” the corner up so you can release the rest of the bottom cover.
Other items of interest:
I was really impressed that there’s so much metal used in the construction of the X17, it makes it heavy but it’s also super sturdy. There are also 4 cooling fans instead of the usual 2 and sound levels were very good while gaming. I used my sound meter to do some measurements and during gaming at 24” from the outlets the sound measured a consistent 46db. 1” from the vents during gaming the sound was 56db, and it never got louder no matter how long I played. And during normal use the sound went down to 39db 24” from the vents, so not bad at all.
As for heat, yep it gets warm while gaming, and I took measurement after 30min of BL3 with my Flir camera, and have some pics posted of that with my review. The palmrest always stayed cool while the WASD keys did get a little on the warm side there’s no issue with them being too hot. I would recommend always using this “especially during gaming” on a solid surface so there’s plenty of air movement, otherwise heat isn’t an issue during normal tasks.
Wi-Fi speeds are plenty fast too, and I do have a Wi-Fi 6 compatible router, it connected without issue and easily maxed out our 150mb internet speeds using SpeedTest anywhere around the house so coverage with that is great.
I only tried out the webcam a couple times, it’s not the greatest but it does get the job done. It doesn’t have a sliding cover over it but since it’s Hello compatible you wouldn’t want to cover it anyway if you are going to be using that feature. The built in m
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Top tier gaming laptop
Alienware is well known for its gaming PCs and laptops and this one more than lives up to the brand.
The 17” screen on this is just plain wonderful. The 360Hz refresh rate is super nice and crisp. Good colors and not issues so far. I know that some people complained about light bleed on their units but I’ve not experienced anything like that fortunately.
The i7 and RTX 3070 pair wonderfully together and deliver power/performance to run any AAA game out there. There are different modes/profiles you can set for either performance or power saving as with any other gaming PC. I’m currently playing Destiny 2/RDR2 on High and there’s been no hiccups with either game. The 1TB NVME drive is super fast and fine, for now, however I’ll probably upgrade to a larger drive in the future. There is another slot for another drive as well.
Even with these high end components, the cooling on this laptop is quite surprising. I set my mode to performance and even after hours long gaming sessions, the laptop remains right around the 40c-44c temps. Keyboard gets a tad warm but nothing out of the ordinary.
The RGB on this laptop is subtle but still good. The keyboard has per-key lighting but the most noticeable is the tron ring on the back. Very nice touch and adds a bit of pizazz along with the logo on the lid.
The weight of this laptop is good. It’s a bit heavier than your typical laptop however it’s a good heavy. It feels super sturdy and just feels like a quality build. The matte coating on the keyboard tends to get a bit of a fingerprint magnet so just be aware of that. You’ll probably need to bring along a microfiber cloth with this thing wherever you go. The keyboard feels very nice and the keys have a pleasant touch to them and provide good feedback when typing.
I updated the RAM on mine to 64GB and was pleasantly surprised by the layout of the internals. The case comes off pretty easily unlike other laptops I’ve had where I had to, literally, pry the bottom off the latptop. This shows this laptop was well engineered and it shows.
There were two minor, but irritating, issues I had with the laptop and both were wth the keyboard. While the fit and finish of the keyboard is well done, two things prevent it from being perfect IMO.
Even though there’s RGB on the keys, the secondary characters are not lit up....why? Aesthetics aside, I can’t understand why the secondary characters aren’t lit up on this laptop and really just....sigh....just irritating.
This is a 17” laptop and there’s no number pad on it. I realize it’s probably due to the fan layout on this laptop but, c’mon, a number pad should be standard on a laptop this size.
That said, this is a fantastic laptop. For any advanced gamer, they’d be proud to have one of these to play on. I’m really digging this laptop and hope it’ll work for years to come.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Powerful and Flashy Gaming Setup
The Alienware x17 R1 sits near the top of Alienware’s current laptop lineup. This x17 features a large 17” display, per key lit RGB keyboard, and a super sleek design. It’s a fairly loaded laptop, and the only way to get one higher spec’d is to configure it yourself on Dell’s website. Nevertheless, this is one of the more impressive laptops I have had the opportunity to unbox. Benchmarking this laptop places it among other high end gaming laptops in 2021 with its combination of powerful processor and GPU.
Processor – Intel Core i7 118000H - CPU 8C/16T @ 2.3 GHz with boost to 4.6 GHz
Graphics – NVidia GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU w/ 8GB GDDR6 @ 1750 MHz
Memory – 16GB Kingston DDR4 3200 Dual Channel (22-22-22-52)
Storage – 1TB Micron PCIe SSD (M.2 NVME)
Display - 17.3” 1920 x 1080p LED IPS screen @360Hz, 3ms, 100% sRGB with Advanced Optimus
Camera – single camera 720p @ 30fps – Windows Hello enabled
Network Adapter – 802.11AX (WiFi 6) adapter / 1X Gigabit LAN Port / Bluetooth 5.2 Radio
Ports – 1X USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with DisplayPort and Power Delivery / 2X USB 3.2 Gen 1 with PowerShare / 1X Thunderbolt 4 with Power Delivery/ 1X HDMI 2.1 / 3.5mm TRRS jacks for headsets / 1X microSD slot
Battery – 87Wh with varying operating times and a 3hr charge while off
OS – Windows 10 Home – Several (7) Dell/Alienware Utilities, but minimal other bloat
The x17 R1 comes with an 11th gen Intel i7 and 3070 series NVIDIA GPU. The intel processor is a multithreaded Octo core with a 2.3GHz base clock with a single core boost up to 4.6GHz. The RTX 3070 laptop GPU is a slightly cut down version of the full desktop GPU (5120 shader pipelines vs 5888 and a reduced core clock of 1110 vs 1500MHz). The 3070 supports ray tracing and DLSS for some 4K gaming if you connect to an external screen via the HDMI 2.1, thunderbolt 4, or mini DisplayPort. To use this port you would need a USB-C 4.0 to Display port 1.4a adapter. The highest rates supported by these ports are: 4K @120 or 8K @ 60 for HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort. I couldn’t find what the external monitor limit was, but I have a similarly spec’d ASUS TUF laptop and it was limited to 2 external monitors.
The x17 comes with 16GB of DDR4 3200 RAM via 2X 8 GB SO-DIMM sticks. 16GB has been plenty of memory for me in the past, but If you are a heavy streamer or content creator then you might need to upgrade. Storage comes in the form of a 1TB PCIe 3.0 M.2 2280 NVME drive from Micron. There’s an additional PCIE M.2 slot available if more storage is need. Both storage slots support PCIe Gen 3 up to 1 TB or PCIe Gen 4 up to 2 TB.
The display is a 17.3” 1920 x 1080p IPS screen – Alienware dubs it a WVA (wide viewing angle) panel. It has a super high refresh rate at 360Hz. This allows the screen to display extra smooth visuals and keep pace with the highest framerates a game might put out. The response time for the display is 3ms which is pretty good for an IPS. Only the 165Hz panel the x17 is offered with has a faster response time at 1ms. The display gets Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus and G-Sync support which allows the display to switch seamlessly between the embedded Intel graphics and the 3070. This improves battery life when performing tasks that don’t require the dGPU.
I ran the x17 through a series of benchmarks to see where it stood in the world, and against my other similarly spec’d ASUS TUF Dash 15 laptop (Intel i7 11370H and GTX 3070 6GB), and high end (circa 2018) gaming tower (AMD R7 1800X and VEGA64). I ran it through 3DMark Time Spy, Cinebench R15, GeekBench, CrystalDiskMark 6, CPU-Z, and CrystalDiskMark 6. I have included a screenshot of my raw results table. Overall, the benches put it in pretty good standing with other high end gaming laptops, outpaced my TUF, and officially surpassed my full size tower in terms of raw performance.
I played a range of old and new games across Steam and my library from the Xbox Gamepass. My favorite game to throw back to on Steam is Portal and Portal 2. These are Directx 11 games that for the most part won’t push the computer to its limits by any means. However, these are games I like to play casually and it gives me a metric for how much the fans might spin up under a low-medium load. I didn’t experience any screen tearing or framerate issues playing these games – all good there. The fans spun up moderately but weren’t audible at all with headphones on.
My favorite game to play, even on Xbox, is the Halo MCC. It had no issue running games on the highest settings – both single and multiplayer matches. I tossed on Halo Reaches campaign and played through a mission – RIP Jorge. The 360Hz kept things looking nice and smooth even with a framerate cap at 120Hz. I did have some mild tearing in cutscenes but that was pretty minimal. I’m sure this could have been eliminated by capping my refresh rate.
I let my partner’s son test out a few games he likes to play as well. He booted up Geometry dash and Grounded. Geometry Dash relies on smooth screen playback and low input lag. For both of these metrics the x17 performed great. With Grounded he was able to bump the settings up to epic, but encountered some lag and framerate drops. I ended up capping the frame rate at 120FPS and that seemed to smooth things out for him, and I didn’t hear anymore complaints.
No matter what games I played the fans/cooling system started to kick up. It wasn’t until I moved into games like the MCC or Grounded that the system fans really kicked up to full blast. One thing I noticed was how much cooler the keyboard and laptop body stayed compare to my TUF. The side exhausts work well and I’m happy with how much ventilation there seems to be. I never felt like the x17 was going to overheat, even if it sitting in my lap while I played a game.
The design of the x17 is what Alienware calls the Legend 2.0 Industrial Design. What that really means is a sleek outer shell that comes in Alienware’s well known Lunar White. On the screen shell is a large ‘17’ silkscreened onto the surface and the Alienware logo lights up with an RGB LED. Opening up the case you are greeted by a large, center set keyboard that features media controls along the right side. The numberpad is absent on this 17.3” laptop, which somewhat perplexed me since there is ample space. Beneath the keyboard in a large clickable trackpad with multitouch input. Above the keyboard is the power button (an RGB alien head) and a honeycomb pattern of slots. These slots appear to be part of the ventilation and help passively vent some radiant heat upwards.
Opening the screen is limited to around 135° by the rear portion of the laptop. Most laptops have all their ports on the sides, but the x17 only has its power cord port (left) and headset jack (right) located near the rear. Spinning around to the backside you are greeted by a loop of RGB strip that encircles the entire I/O port panel. I would liken this back section to my docking station for my work. I wish the power cord would have joined the rear of the laptop – its unfortunate that you will always have that hanging off the side. This setup, I would have to assume, is mainly for airflow/cooling purposes since the sides are lined with vents.
The size of the x17 has its pros and cons. The large screen is a benefit if you want to plop it down on a desk and sit back. At the same time a 17” laptop is quite a lot to handle if you have it on your lap. I traveled with it and it was too large to nicely sit on the tray table during my flights. Its also a lot of laptop to carry around – coming in at a little over 7 pounds it’s a good sized chunk of hardware.
Overall, the design is the polar opposite of my TUF, which was pretty sleek and unassuming. This design screams gamer to everyone that sees it. It’s a real head turner, and I love how excessive it is. All of the RGB elements are controlled via the Alienware Command Center. You can turn everything off or light it up however you please. The tool is a little clunky to navigate, but it works.
I was hoping this would come with the slim Cherry MX mechanical switches, but it doesn’t. Instead the keyboard has a per key RGB backlight that is sitting atop a traditional laptop chiclet-style membrane. The keys have decent actuation force and have about 1.5-1.7mm of travel. The main key function is all that is highlighted by the keys’ RGB, so secondary key functions remain unlit. This can be a little hard to see if you turn off the RGB because the shine of the keys allows the reflection of the screen to washout what the secondary function is.
There are 2 main ways to upgrade the x17 – storage and RAM. There is an available M.2 NVMe x4 slot that supports 1TB Gen3 drives or 2TB Gen4 drives. After installing 6 games I have utilized 1/3 of my overall space. I can see this upgrade being necessary in my future, but for now I have enough space.
The RAM is pretty easy to upgrade as well. There are 2 removable RAM sticks that can be upgraded to 32GB per stick (64GB max) at a max speed of 3466Mhz via XMP.
There is also the OS to upgrade. At the time of release Windows 11 hadn’t quite rolled out, so these machines shipped with Windows 10. I’d assume stock of these laptops will come preloaded with Windows 11 once the stock of Windows 10 machines is depleted.
Overall the x17 is an undoubtedly cool looking gaming laptop. It has the performance to match the looks as well. I really enjoyed getting to mess around the with lighting and customization. The cooling system is powerful, and appears to be plenty adequate. I like the rear panel design and how it makes the overall setup look more compact and neat. There are a lot of ways to bundle the same core components, so what sets these laptops apart is the overall design and look.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Great for extended gaming sessions!
To date the X17 R1 is the thinnest 17" gaming laptop from Alienware. The exterior has kind of a simplistic yet elegant look to it, with dozens of inconspicuous air vents laid out across the machine.
The air vents are almost hidden due to the dark core design feature. The interior architecture is actually pretty impressive with a new independent quad fan system, a newly designed heat distribution panel system with a newly engineered thermal paste, new hyper efficient voltage regulator, a Cherry mechanical keyboard (that was co-developed with Dell to be their thinnest latest design), Advanced Optimus, and a "Comfortview plus" display with G-Sync. All these things combined make this a very impressive gaming laptop. Everything about all the new elements in this design really pushes this build for marathon gaming sessions.
Let's start with what I think is one of the most important features, the Comfortview Plus display. Blue light has been found to cause harm to the optic nerve in several clinical studies. Most people are unaware of the dangers of overexposure to blue lights or even how much blue light they are exposed to. Virtually all types of digital displays emit blue lights. However the new X17 R1's display comes with the Comfortview Plus, which by default is set to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the 17" screen. The low level blue light mode complies with TUV Rheinland's specifications for blue light safety.
One study found blue light triggered the release of toxic molecules in photoreceptor cells. This causes damage that can lead to age related macular degeneration. Aside from the long term effects of blue light, there are also short term effects that can cause eye fatigue, headaches, and even problems with sleeping. Reducing blue light will not only make it healthy but also more comfortable for a person to game for hours at a time. It used to be disregarded as a myth that overexposure to tv screens could cause blindness, but today it is becoming more apparent that blue light emitted from any type of display screen can be hazardous to your eye's health. It's nice to see that Dell is being proactive with using low level blue light displays. There are several apps out there for pcs and mobile devices to help reduce blue light emissions as well. In addition to the hardware and software blue light filters, you can also buy eyeglasses with blue light blockers, in both script and no script forms.
The new thermal solutions make keeping your system cooler a lot easier. The independent quad fan design, ties each fan to a specific component, and regulates the speed of that fan based on the need of it's related component, completely independent of the needs of the other items associated with the other fans. The fans can also work in tandem as needed.
Element 31 is an encapsulated gallium-silicone thermal interface material, that was designed by Dell to improve thermal resistance 25% more efficiently than previously used thermal compounds. Element 31 works with a specialized heat pipe and cooling fin design to pull heat away from internal components and push it out through the ample supply of vents.
The quad fan design is a patented technology in which a some fans move air through the system , while opposite fans move air through the chassis and over various internal hotspots creating a pressurized environment that dissipates heat quicker.
The TCC Offset (Thermal Control Circuit ), is a feature than can be set in the BIOS to put the fan control on automatic based on your own personal temperature limit.
The hyper efficient voltage regulator allows the processors to run at their highest levels of performance for extended periods of time, without losing quality game play.
The Cherry keyboard is really a plus. What a bonus it is to have a Cherry mechanical keyboard in a laptop as thin as this. It took Dell 3 years of collaboration to finalize a Cherry keyboard with a 1.5mm travel to fit this application.
The Advanced Optimus increases battery life by dynamically switching from the discrete GPU to the integrated GPU, and back when the extra GPU power is needed. The Advanced Optimus directly connects the display to the discrete GPU making all this possible, and gives it the ability to use G-Sync. G-Sync is a newer technology that delivers the smoothest and fastest gaming experience by syncing the GPU to the refresh rate of the display. The 17.3" FHD display is 360Hz with 1ms refresh rate, 300-nits brightness and a 100% sRGB color gamut. During some cut scenes the performance overlays were reporting 400 to 500+ fps.
I played with the different overclocking options for days trying to get into the top 10% tier for similar types of gaming pcs. While the closest I got was only at 91%, that doesn't mean this is a bad machine, or even incapable of playing demanding games, because it could definitely play everything I threw at it and it played them very well. While this machine might not beat everyone in the highest FPS numbers, it does put out some respectable numbers, and will most likely beat everyone in the long haul. Like I said earlier, all the industry firsts in the machine are designed for stability and extended use. I tested the X17 on several different benchmark apps and it returned favorable results beating 82 to 91 percent of other computers with the same tests.
The Alienware Command Center and NVIDIA 's GeForce Experience offer modest yet safe overclocking options. Third party overclocking software such as Afterburner, offer a wider range of overclocking numbers. However, If you are not well versed in overclocking then the simplest way to improve the machines performance is with NVIDIA's GeForce Experience app. All you need to do is enable "experimental features" in the general settings, and then hit the "alt" button and "z" , click on performance and enable "automatic tuning"
This feature will safely overclock the GPU based on your current hardware and what it thinks you might need.
The other option for automatic overclocking is to use Alienware's Command Center, and click on the "Fusion" tab.
Here you have a little more control over which parts of the performance you would like to change. You can change the "Power options", "Overclocking", and "Thermal"
If you click on each of the tabs, you will see the available choices. There are two preset overclocking profiles, the 2nd options yields the highest gaming performance of any of the automatic options.
You can also test and save your own overclocking or performance profiles in the command center.
A word of caution, third party overclocking apps do run the risk of causing heat damage to the internal components and break your laptop. It seems everyone is in pursuit of higher frame rates, but I would like to think there is such a thing as going to far. The X17 R1 puts out high frame rates that will show off the nice visuals, and give some advantage to the player. However if you are skilled at using 3rd party overclocking software there are a few options in the BIOS you might want to check out as well.
Typically higher FPS = better gaming for a few different reasons. The first is obvious, and that's because the general look of all the visuals will be improved, the action will be more fluid and edges will be smoother. The second benefit is timing, the faster the frames, the sooner you will notice enemy fire, or other animations in the game that depend on your reaction time for a better outcome. If the frames are slower than the action, then pretty much you have already died before you even saw the gun fire. The higher the frame rate, the more you will see, and have a better chance to react and counter whatever comes at you.
During actual gameplay of "Destiny 2" I was getting 115 to 155fps , averaging around 120
"Call of Duty Warzone" runs between 62 to 110, but primarily closer to 65
"Control" ran around 110 fps
"Fortnite" stayed at 60fps ( performance mode )
"Fortnite" in Alpha mode - around 170 FPS
according to 3DMark the following games should play at these frames per seconds in 1080p:
Battlefield V - 130+ FPS
Apex Legends - 140+ FPS
GTA V - 100+ FPs
Red Dead Redemption 2 - 50+ FPS
Also the best thing you can do for yourself and your laptop is to keep everything up to date, including the drivers and all software.
I must mention that I did have to update several drivers and pieces of software before downloading and playing any games.
There are a few add-on pieces of software that the laptop will automatically download, when you try to access different features within the Alienware and NVIDIA software.
There is an unlimited amount of visual customizations you can do with this laptop as well. You can do per key, key sections, or whole keyboard RGB lighting patterns, You can even change the Alien logo, and rear Tron LED strip ( which has 100 micro LEDs ).
I think I mentioned most if not all the items that set this laptop apart from others, the rest is typical gaming pc stuff, like the Xbox Game Bar, The GeForce Experience overlays, the Alien Command Center and custom profiles for individual games, the Killer Control Center to prioritize your laptops internet traffic, and then general personalized setting preferences.
Overall this is a great gaming laptop that is also perfect for any type of creative or design software. It runs everything perfectly and has a strong CPU and GPU that will still be very capable in the next few years. There are more expensive options out there, but unless your job depends on it, I can't see spending the extra 1 to 2+ thousands of dollars just to say I have the latest of the latest, especially when a slick laptop like the X17 R1 can do it just fine.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Solidly built and great performance
The Alienware x17 is pure performance in a nice looking and well-built chassis. The first thing you notice about this machine is the fantastically premium build quality and unboxing experience. This model (the RTX 3070) comes out of the box with the compact power brick instead of the usual gaming laptop “BRICK” for power. It is almost half the size of the same 240-watt brick for my Dell G7 and similar in size to some Ultrabook chargers, still not small but definitely easier to fit into a backpack or computer bag. The device also has USB-C PD ability through either the Thunderbolt 4 or the 3.2 ports (tested with a 65-watt charger for a MacBook Pro 13 and it was able to at least keep the battery at the same level under medium demand office/productivity usage). The per-key RGB lighting and chassis lighting accents can be as subtle or flashy as you would like, utilizing Alienware Command Center FX Lighting to make setup easy and pretty intuitive. Nice key travel that make for a great typing experience and definitely usable for gaming on the go. Well balanced hinge and very stable feet, with a finish that isn't totally grease and sweat-proof, but it cleans easily and resists a fair amount of fingerprints. The i7-11800H processor and it’s 8-cores/16-threads paired with 16 GB (fully upgradeable/not soldered), 1 TB NVMe SSD (with a second empty slot), and RTX 3070 is an absolute dream for gaming and workstation performance with the best cooling I have ever experienced on a laptop! The fans produce more of a "whoosh" than a "whirr" at higher usage, making it easier to use without a headset and less likely to annoy others in the room with the fan noise, the beefy cooling system also means the fans don't have to ramp up for every minor workload. Throughout multiple hours of gaming, I never felt the keyboard was too warm to comfortably rest my hands on nor did the system chassis get too hot to comfortable hold or move. The upgradeability and flexibility of this svelte machine makes it an absolute winner for a well-rounded high-performance laptop. Sounds is pretty good for a laptop and the microphones are good are picking up you instead of the fans. The drawbacks are mostly limited by software, much of the pre-loaded software can be viewed as unnecessary, especially at this price and performance, much of the initial setup is spent deleting certain programs in favor of your preferred ones and some may decide to just do a fresh install of Windows and download the essential software to minimize system usage. This isn’t a big deal and something that is expected with any OEM computer, much less a laptop. The Alienware Command Center is fine but feels like it needs a refresh sometime soon, especially the game library and home sections that are difficult to get functioning and are better left alone in favor of GeForce Experience. The trackpad is also adorably small on this behemoth of a 17-inch laptop, it is more than usable, but expect jokes from your Mac friends. That said, pairing it with a mouse is extremely easy through either of the two USB-A ports, USB-C ports, or through Bluetooth. The rear I/O is very nice, it would be nice to have a USB port on one of the sides, but its still more than most competitors and easily keeps your cables & connectors well managed away from your gaming space. The webcam is terrible, but it is there, works and provides Windows Hello support, which is very nice to have! The system does lack a 10-key number pad, which is almost a sin on a 17-inch laptop, but this should be forgiven as it has been replaced with superior cooling for this gaming laptop.
All around, this is an incredible system whose pros definitely outweigh the few cons, namely the cooling being some of the best on the market and the generously easy upgradeability of the components in a laptop that is still pretty light, relatively, and definitely thin for a high-performance gaming laptop! This is an excellent desktop replacement for those who want minimal compromises from their gaming machines to make them portable. The lighting is excellent, chassis is solid and looks amazing, and the cooling is ultracool and has a very tolerable fan noise, more of a whoosh than a whirr. I would highly recommend this system, especially if it is on sale!
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Yes, the X17 can take on the heat!
If you’re looking for the best gaming laptop out there that is not an RTX 3080 the X17 deserves your attention and here’s why.
It’s a good-looking laptop that feels very solid and comes in somewhat heavy around 7lbs without the charger (maybe close to 10lbs with the charger). Battery life sucks and I’m totally fine with that since you’re dealing with a high-performing power-hungry 8 Core CPU and a 140watt RTX 3070 GPU. For basic tasks like web browsing or streaming video, I got around 4-5hrs of usage with Advanced Optimus on aka Mux Switch. Turning off Advanced Optimus (disables the integrated GPU) expect battery life to drop half of what you were getting before. When turning it off the laptop runs on the RTX 3070 all the time even when you’re not gaming. Now, this is also good if you’re looking to get every performance juice out of the X17 since the RTX 3070 no longer has to go through the integrated GPU before reaching your internal display. In some games, you will see up 10% increased in performance. The keyboard is nice to type on with some good depth and the backlit is bright but I don’t know why they didn’t bother lighting the secondary keys. The trackpad is nice to use, it uses Microsoft precision drivers with a glass surface. My only complaint is I wish it was slightly bigger. Speakers are decent not the best but not the worst. They do get loud but minus the bass.
The port selection is generous, if you’re worried about having to bring a dongle along well with the X17 you can leave it home. Most of the ports are in the rear except for the 3.5mm headphone jack and the charging port.
HDMI 2.1 (up to 4K 120hz resolution)
1x Thunderbolt USB C port and the ability to charge with a USB Type C charger (must be 65w or over) You won’t be able to game while charging via USB C, but for basic tasks like web browsing or streaming video, it’s fine. The only time I used the 240w charger is when I’m gaming.
1x USB Type C port that can also charge with a USB Type C charger.
2x USB 3.2 ports
1x Gigabit Ethernet Port
1x Mini Display Port
Micro SD slot
Performance is amazing for how well it manages to keep the temperatures under control with a chassis that is slim for its size. There are times the GPU was pulling more than 140watts of power and the CPU going over 45watts. Here’s my experience with some of the games I was playing with maxed-out settings at 1080p. This is without messing around with the overclocking capabilities through the command center. I personally don’t have any experience with that part but if you do I’m sure you can gain even more performance out of this laptop. I just kept it at the balanced profile.
Back 4 Blood: Unlocked Frame Rate from a low of 120fps during intense scenes like when the zombie horde starts to attack up to 240fps inside the building with a couple of zombies. No stutters, temps hover around 70-74c for the GPU and 82-89c for the CPU. I would estimate my average FPS was around 140fps for most of the game.
Forza Horizon 4: 90fps with GPU temps around 68c and CPU around 80c.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Right around 80fps average during gameplay with GPU temps around 70c and CPU 66c.
Call of Duty Warzone: Right around 120fps average with GPU temps around 75c and CPU 80-87c. This game along with Back 4 Blood are some of the demanding CPU games which is why you tend to see CPU temps sightly higher.
This is actually the first gaming laptop that I did not bother to use a laptop cooler. Maybe it might help drop the temps by 1 point.
What I also like the only area that was hot to touch was the top part of the keyboard deck and the sides of the keyboard deck were just slightly warm. There was no heat that I can tell on the keyboard itself or the palm rest area. Even with 4 fans at full load, the most noise level I recorded was 50db The fan noise is noticeable but not jet engine loud like on some of my previous laptops. This was with the balanced profile for the fan and power. There are a couple of other profiles like high performance and full speed, but what I noticed with them is that fan speed just stayed on fast, instead of how the balanced profile adjusts the fan speed based on the current load. Another thing I noticed is how quickly is able to cool down after a long session of gaming. This might explain why they ditch the numerical keypad since there are also fans located on the outer edge of the keyboard deck.
The 17.3 1080p 360hz display is nice looking. The colors are nice and it’s sharp looking. My only complaint since the brightness maxes out at 300nits it can be a struggle outdoors. Indoors is not a problem. It’s a very good display to game on no doubt about it.
Overall, there’s plenty of features that the X17 comes with that helps make it future-proof for a good couple of years. One last thing it supports PCIe Gen 4. Right off the bat I went ahead and replaced the stock SSD (by the way is fast for a stock SSD, speeds were around 3300 for read and write) with a 2TB Samsung 980 Pro I was getting 6900 Read and 5058 for the write speed. Unfortunately, only 1 of the NVME ports can take advantage of the higher Gen 4 speeds. For the secondary NVME port, I went with a 2TB 970 Evo Plus that was getting around 3522 for read and 3323 for write speeds. If you can definitely get you a Gen 4 SSD to take advantage of those higher speeds. Besides being able to upgrade the storage, both ram slots can be upgraded up to a max of 64GB of XMP ram (32GB on each slot). The RGB lighting is customizable through the Alienware command center including each individual key. The command center also allows you to change the profile of the fan speed, power and including some overclocking abilities.
The X17 is not pricey for the looks it’s for the performance that it brings to the table. It does all of this in a slim package without sacrificing thermals for the sake of style points. The good looks are the cherry on the top the way I see it. It doesn’t have the best battery life and portability can be questionable since it’s a big laptop. If you want something slightly smaller that can be easier to carry around considered the X15 model since they’re pretty much identical on the cooling system. But for me, I’ll gladly take the X17 as my new daily driver. I highly recommend it for those that want the best performance from an RTX 3070 laptop.
“Reviewers in this invitation-only program are provided products for the purpose of writing honest, unbiased reviews.”
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Fantastic Gaming Laptop Right Out of the Box
The Alienware X17 R1 gaming laptop is the best laptop I’ve ever owned (and I’ve owned a lot of them over the years). I initially got it for my son, since I already had a pretty good PC that I use for gaming and creating content through various Adobe applications. I decided instead to give my son my PC and keep this awesome laptop for myself. It is an improvement over my PC and it’s portable! Win-win for me!
So starting with the looks: Awesome. If you like RGB lighting on your rig, this has it. There is programmable lighting in three areas: keyboard, back panel where most of the ports are, and Alienware alien head logo on the lid. You can make the laptop your own with all of the lighting options; even having custom lighting for each game you play.
Next is build quality: Awesome! This thing is sturdy! You can open the lid with one hand without the bottom lifting up or the lid bending. It’s solid. The off-white color on the exterior, combined with the matte black interior is a striking look. Plus the “17” on the lid makes this laptop look like some futuristic military laptop. Super cool look.
Specs: Mostly Awesome! The screen is FHD, which is fine for a 17” screen. The keys on the keyboard are mechanical with a nice sound and feel. The secondary functions on keys don’t light up though, making them hard to find in low light situations. The speakers are not very good. The sound is very hollow and light out of them. The good news is, you can plug your own speakers or headphones in via 3.5mm jack on the side of the laptop and the sound is great. The version I got has an 11th gen Intel Core i7-11800H @2.30GHz processor, which has been working out great. It also has (my favorite part) an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 GPU! Games look gorgeous, especially when I output the video to my separate 4k monitor via a mini DisplayPort cable. Ghosting and tearing are history! This also comes with 16GB of high density RAM @3200 MHz, which is okay, but I plan on upgrading to 32GB of low density RAM in the near future to help with my video editing. Both the RAM and the SSD are upgradeable. I’m having difficulty figuring out if this can be upgraded to 64 GB of RAM or just 32 GB though, as I’ve been told both things. Hmmm. I shouldn’t need to upgrade the SSD though, as 1 TB is fairly substantial, considering many things get saved to the cloud anyway. There are a substantial amount of ports on the back of the laptop. Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, 2 USB, ethernet, thunderbolt, etc.
Finally, the fan noise and cooling: Pretty darn great! For such a powerful machine in such a small footprint, this is remarkably quiet! The new cooling system that Alienware has in here seems to work really well, and I haven’t had any overheating issues as of yet.
Bottom line, this is a really good gaming laptop for those of us who want to just be able to buy a laptop and start gaming and being productive without having to mess around with it too much. Perfect for me!
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
The Cadillac of Gaming laptop
This gaming laptop is a beast, not only it has the power under the hood but performs extremely well. First when you unpack it, you will definitely admire the white box labeled “Alienware” that housed your laptop inside of it. That’s more like a collector’s box that you should def keep around, it has the machine architecture design inside and out. The laptop itself is beautiful, I really like this frost white white with black accent on the inside. The manufacturer actually calls it Lunar Light. It is very well designed and those honeycombs grills above the keyboard look awesome.
This machine is equipped with Intel i7 2.3ghz 11th Gen, GeForce 3070, 16GB memory @3200mhz, 1TB SDD and a 17in display whopping up to 360hz. All of the connections are in the back, which include USB-C x2, 2 USB-A x2, Micro SD, HDMI 2.1, and mini displayport. This specific model comes with an RGB backlit keyboard, not the touch pad :-(. In the back where all the connections are there's an RGB strip surrounding them. That strip can display multiple colors at the same time. It's very cool and it looks beautiful. The bad thing, it's in the back not easily visible.
The keyboard feels nice, almost like a soft touch, they are not loud and don’t get stuck. You can really appreciate the detail that has been put into this machine. The power button is an alien head and it can change colors. One of the best parts about the Alienware machine is that you don’t have to be computer savvy to tweak the performance. Using the Alienware command center, you can customize the lighting and performance to even overclock the CPU of this laptop. You can control the fan speed and even do macros. One thing I noticed is that the fan can get very loud during heavy loads, and the heat exhaust can get really hot. During normal use, those fans are very quiet.
Loading games was extremely fast. I played the Microsoft flight simulator at its highest setting “Ultra” @60 FPS 1080p. This thing ran that game like it was cake. It looks beautiful, no lag, the rendering was so smooth, I was very impressed. Back 4 Blood was another game that I played, and again, not even a dent on this video card. Despite the display being only 1080p and not even OLED or 4K, the colors on this thing are bright and vivid. There is a front camera and to be honest it is not the best. However it does work beautifully with windows hello for facial unlock along with the
Overall, this machine lives up to its hype. It is nicely crafted and well put together. My sister said “it looks like a Cadillac” LOL. It performs like a champ and the best part is that it is portable. It has one of the top video cards made for laptops, and for this to be a gaming machine, it doesn’t even weigh that much. In the box you get the laptop, power brick, power cords, and some Alienware materials.