Alienware R4 Gaming Laptop GTX1080 Unboxing & Impressions 2017

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Alienware 17 Gaming Laptop Unboxing

Ryan has a bit of an obsession — and I don’t just mean with Firefly.

He is flat-out addicted to gaming technology. It doesn’t matter if it’s top of the range headsets or the latest console upgrade, if it’s new, improved and gaming related, Ryan is all over it.

It will come as no surprise then, that our boy has gone and bought himself a fancy new gaming computer. By this isn’t just any old gaming computer (no of course not) this is a top of the range Alienware 17 Gaming Laptop.

Complete with tech specs that boggle the mind, this piece of hardware will set you back nearly £2500. While this a dream laptop for any gamer, such a hefty price tag is likely to peak the interest of even the most casual of gaming fans.

In a Two Honest Guys first, Ryan has recorded an Alienware 17 Gaming Laptop unboxing, so now we can all find out exactly what you get for £2500 big ones.

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Is Alienware Any Good?

Alienware is synonymous with a quality gaming experience. It is perhaps the most recognisable brand when it comes to computer gaming — and for good reason.

Alienware has been in the computer gaming business for over 20 years, longer than most all major hardware producers. Established in 1996, the company has been at the forefront of gaming tech since its inception, but that was never the founder Nelson Gonzalez intention.

Initially, Gonzalez started a business that simply builds custom computers. In the 90s, when most people barely understood what a computer was, few had the capability to put one together themselves. Gonzalez was one of those few people but soon found most of his customers were only interested in one thing: computers built with hardware designed purely to improve computer gaming. Thus, Alienware was born.

So, why am I rambling on about Gonzalez and the origins of Alienware? Because it demonstrates why the company is so popular and why their hardware, including the Alienware R4 Gaming Laptop, is some of the best around.

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Alienware was never designed to be what it is today, it simply became that way because it made the best products out there. As a result, the company flourished, becoming the juggernaut we know in 2017. Yet, despite its growth, you can still see signs of its origins in the way it works.

This wasn’t a business built to take advantage of the gaming phenomenon, it was a business designed to give the people what they wanted.

And on that front, Alienware still delivers.

What you get is the ultimate gaming experience, wrapped up neatly and conveniently, put together by pros who know how to get the most out of a machine. Alienware allows everyone, not just those with knowledge and know-how to build a top spec PC, to experience the very best PC gaming has to offer.

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Is The Alienware 17 Gaming Laptop Up To Spec?

Ryan – Well the short answer is yes, the spec sheet on this gaming laptop is incredible! Of course, at a base price point of £2.5k, I decided to add a few essential upgrades to get a little more bang for my buck.

Being a laptop changing any spec down the line will be an utter ballache as many gamers out there will already know. A top tip from us here at Two Honest Guys is highly a recommended RAM upgrade from the core spec, 8GB is not enough for modern day gaming, especially if you ever wanted to game in 4K.

Here is the current highest standard specification for the Alienware R4 laptop. The THG additions to the standard spec in the machine we are testing are listed on the right.

Alienware 17 Specifications

Intel® Core™ i7-7820HK (Quad-Core, 8MB Cache, Overclocking up to 4.4GHz )

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 with 8GB GDDR5X

17.3 inch QHD (2560 x 1440) 120Hz TN+WVA Anti-Glare 400-nits Display with Tobii IR Eye-tracking

8GB DDR4 at 2400MHz (1x8GB)

1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s

Killer 1435 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1

*16GB DDR4 at 2667MHz (2x8GB)*

*256GB PCIe SSD (Boot) + 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s*

Alienware 17 Dimensions

Height: 29.9mm (1.18 inches)
Width: 424mm (16.7 inches)
Depth: 332mm (13.1 inches)
Average Weight: 4.42 kg (9.74lbs)

A Portable Powerhouse

If you have watched the unboxing video you know the intentions of the video games planned for testing and having lived with the Alienware for a few weeks now I’m happy to report back it exceeded my expectations massively!

This is no small feet, my desktop PC is 7 years old now but still has considerable grunt, running a second generation 2.6Ghz I7 Sandybridge chip (overclocked to 3.8Ghz), 16GBs of DDR3 RAM and a Titan X 12GB graphics card, with a 60hz 4K display, the setup is clearly no slouch.

The Alienware boasts an I7-7820HK Quad-Core, with a claimed overclocking of up to 4.4GHz, that combined with the 16GBs of DDR4 RAM is a potent combination. The differences between the GPUs would be like arguing semantics here, as the Titan has 4GBs more VRAM so it has a larger buffer for 4K, but the GTX 1080 is still the faster card for gaming here, this laptop really does hit hard.

Early signs show max visual settings on Gears of War 4 at the Alienware 17s max resolution of 2560 x 1440, running a silky smooth 120fps and under heavy load never less than 100fps, complimenting the 120hz G-Sync display perfectly. I’ve yet to test Gears of War 4 at 4K but early signs show it can handle it, as a ballpark the desktop can handle Gears 4 at max spec at 4K with a respectable 30fps.

Forza Horizon 3 is a tough nut to crack, my desktop breezed through 4K at a variable dipping 30fps. However, I’m struggling to get 30fps at 2560 x 1440 with the Alienware 17 without dynamic texture downsampling in play. I believe this is due to the vast open world nature of Forza Horizon 3, to be sure only more time testing other big open world games will tell, however testing Ghost Recon Wildlands springs to mind here.

I have however tested the PC-crushing DX12 game Quantum Break, however, those with knowledge of this demanding title will likely be pleasantly surprised here. 2560 x 1440 at high spec was a no go, with frames rates of around 10-15fps, scaling the settings back to 1080p however with V-Sync off at high setting presented a variable 40-50fps, which really isn’t bad considering the taxing volumetric nature of this game.

Again the desktop here weighs in with the 4K setting on high, with another variable 30fps.
However, does support my theory that GTX 1080 8Gbs of VRAM are not enough to run bigger open world video games at 4K without a significate reduction in texture settings.

In Conclusion 

All in all, though having so much power in something so portable, with its silky smooth and responsive keyboard, to its impressive 17″ 120hz G-Sync display handling most modern games well at high settings shows that it will not disappoint.
It is a shame that it runs such a high price point, as it puts itself high up on a pedestal as perhaps the pinnacle of powerhouse portable gaming, but for those willing to drop down some serious cash in my honest opinion you can do no better in today’s current gaming market.

Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments below and be sure to check out our gaming articles.

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