Back in January at CES 2022, AMD rolled out its Rembrandt processors, now extra correctly generally known as the Ryzen 6000 cellular household. AMD made some daring claims about these CPUs, together with that they’d surpass its earlier technology with as much as a 30% efficiency carry, regardless of using essentially the identical CPU core structure. AMD’s Ryzen 6000 chips include every kind of enhancements over the previous-generation household, and in reality, the adjustments are sufficient that the corporate refers to this core structure as “Zen 3+”. Many of the updates for Zen 3+ have been centered at enhancing the facility effectivity of Rembrandt as properly, and enhance they’ve.
Besides these revised CPU cores, the Ryzen 6000 household additionally comes together with software program updates that allow a wide range of new options, like AMD SmartShift Max. Smartshift debuted in 2020 inside a single Dell laptop computer, and that certainly wasn’t satisfying for AMD’s engineers who had labored so onerous on the power-balancing function. However, this 12 months, you will discover it inside “AMD Advantage” laptops from each vendor. That moniker describes machines that ship with an AMD Ryzen CPU and a Radeon discrete GPU but in addition a number of validated system and efficiency options that cater to optimizing the gaming expertise.
We noticed early variations of a bunch of AMD Advantage laptops based mostly on Rembrandt throughout CES, and amongst them, one among our favorites was the Alienware M17 R5 (video hands-on beneath). Perhaps on account of our effusive enthusiasm for the system, Alienware supplied to ship us one to evaluate. Naturally, we eagerly accepted.
So right here it’s: the Alienware M17 R5 all-AMD powered gaming laptop computer. Let’s dig into the pertinent specs first, then we’ll talk about this machine’s design, construct high quality and efficiency in deep-dive element.
Alienware m17 R5 Features And Specifications:
Find The Alienware m17 R5 At Dell.com
After perusing the spec desk, quite a lot of issues stand out. Nothing a lot as the size and weight, although. Make no mistake: this can be a hefty boy — not the kind of factor you’d need to lug round all day for enterprise, however then, that is not the purpose of this laptop computer, both.
Indeed, this can be a gaming machine by and thru. From the 45-watt AMD Ryzen 6000 CPU that may increase to 4.9 GHz underneath load, to its highly effective RDNA 2-based Radeon GPU, the 120-Hz UHD LCD, and the mux chip that connects all of them and permits direct output from the on board Radeon RX 6850M XT, this machine is decidedly not messing round in the case of, properly, messing round.
We will not go to nice element on the Ryzen 6000-series processors right here, however if you wish to learn extra on these chips, you’ll be able to try this evaluate which has a extra thorough write-up on AMD’s cellular flagship CPUs.
There are, nonetheless, a bunch of niceties within the system’s specs above. The show is downright divine; a real 4K UHD display that refreshes at 120Hz, places out as much as 500 cd/m² brightness, and may show 99% of the DCI-P3 coloration area. We did not have a colorimeter available to confirm Dell’s claims, however this show does look each punchy and correct, with good uniformity. The display is unbelievable in particular person, and should be seen to be appreciated.
Other nice-to-haves embrace the two.5G Ethernet connectivity, 2×2 Wi-Fi 6E, and a USB4 port. Sure, it is solely a single port, nevertheless it provides you a 20 Gbps connection that you need to use with a dock for a bunch extra connectivity.
We do have a couple of nitpicks concerning the specs, although. There is not a lot storage as configured, though you’ll be able to outfit this technique with a pair of 2TB NVMe SSDs if you would like. 1TB simply feels a bit cramped when you begin putting in AAA video games to it. Also, whereas there is a good quantity of exterior connectivity, it is a bit of a bummer that just one port on your entire machine helps a switch fee larger than 5Gbps.
Those are vanishingly small complaints within the grand scheme of issues, although. Let’s have a look across the exterior industrial design of the machine.
Alienware m17 R5 Design And Aesthetics
The social gathering finish of the machine has a generously-sized wrist-rest and a humongous trackpad. The touchdown space beneath the show is full of grilles that present a path for the laptop computer’s stereo audio system to serenade your ears and in addition some venting for the system’s thermal answer. While we weren’t blown away by the sound high quality right here, we practically have been by its quantity. This laptop computer audio answer can get loud, which we suppose could possibly be a boon if it’s worthwhile to make a Zoom name in a loud setting, or varied different necessities that require louder output.
Speaking of Zoom calls, up above within the bezel above the show there is a 720p webcam. This setup ought to serve for enough however not stellar teleconferencing, although we want the next 1080p decision was supported right here. This digital camera does assist Windows Hello IR, nonetheless. The digital camera can be flanked by a pair of microphones and the audio high quality was surprisingly crisp and clear — so much higher than your normal laptop computer webcam mic, although admittedly that is not saying a lot.
The entrance of the machine is, in fact, dominated by the keyboard—although maybe not a lot as we’d want it have been. As you’ll be able to see, the keyboard is a lowered format, lacking the numeric keypad. The enhancing block (that is the house/finish, insert/delete, and web page up/down keys) has been relegated to the tiny prime row, whereas the far right facet of the keyboard is taken up by quantity and microphone controls keys.
Don’t get us fallacious, we love this keyboard. It’s rocking Cherry MX key switches with ultra-low-profile mechanical motion, and it is a pleasure to sort on, with a pointy response because the keys actuate, however with out the noise of a clicky keyboard. The deck format is uncommonly barely limiting for a 17″ laptop, though. We would have really preferred a complete layout on a laptop of this size. Not only does it benefit the machine tremendously in productivity workloads, but it also makes for a handy set of shortcut keys while gaming. Still, the centered keyboard does make typing a little more comfortable.
On the left side of the machine you have an RJ-45 jack and a 3.5mm combo audio port for headsets. We have do have another nitpick about the Ethernet jack: it’s inverted, so that the clip is on the bottom. This can make it sort of tedious to get the Ethernet cable out of the machine without picking the whole thing up and tilting it upwards.
On the right side of the m17 R5, you get a pair of USB Type-A ports. Both are USB 3.2 Gen 1, which means they top out at 5 Gbps. This is completely fine for most common USB devices, and conveniently-placed for gamepads and mice. We would’ve appreciated a second USB Type-C port over here on the side as well perhaps.
The derriere of the m17 R5 features customizable RGB lighting on both the alien logo and around the port cluster and cooler exhaust. You can sync it up with the keyboard’s lights or have it do its own thing. The lighting seems to default to the cyan color shown here.
Around the back, you get another USB Type-A port (5 Gbps, again) and a USB Type-C port that supports the nascent USB4 protocol. That means it supports a minimum of 20 Gbps, and may support as much as 40Gbps with Thunderbolt support as well. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any USB4 devices to test with, but this should be a great option for devices like Thunderbolt docks, which can add much more connectivity if need be. There’s also an HDMI 2.1 port for connecting an external display if you so choose.
Despite the large vents in the back here, a significant amount of exhaust also comes out of the small vents on the sides of the machine. It’s not so much that it’ll make things uncomfortable, or anything like that, but it might be worth noting if you don’t want to warm up a cold drink sitting next to the machine.
But that’s enough gawping at the thing, right? Let’s see how this baby handles.