AMD Debuts Navi 31-Based Radeon RX 7900M In Massive Alienware m18 R1 Advantage Laptop

alienware m18 advantage
Laptop aficionados and HotHardware devotees will both recall when we reviewed the Alienware m18 R1 earlier this year. That machine was gorgeous inside and out, with the latest Core i9 processor and GeForce RTX 4090 graphics wrapped up in a slick "Metallic Moon" aluminum chassis. We had little to complain about with that system, but if you're a hard-core AMD fan, well, it obviously isn't going to do the trick for you.

Fortunately, Alienware's got just the ticket for the AMD faithful: the Alienware m18 R1 AMD Advantage edition. This machine is fundamentally the same laptop as the Alienware m18 that we reviewed before, but it swaps out all the system components for AMD hardware, including AMD "Dragon Range" CPUs up to the Ryzen 9 7945HX as well as GPUs ranging from the Radeon RX 7600M XT all the way up to the Radeon RX 7900M.

alienware m18 advantage sides

If you saw "RX 7900M" and thought "what the heck is that," don't feel bad—AMD hasn't announced it until now. In fact, AMD's allowing Alienware to announce it, because the AMD Advantage version of the Alienware m18 will be the first laptop available with the new mobile GPU. So what is it, actually?

amd radeon 7900m specifications

Well, it's a Radeon RX 7900 GRE. Basically. The Radeon RX 7900M is based on a denser configuration of the Navi 31 GPU that powers the desktop Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT, although it's a bit cut back even from the RX 7900 GRE; where that card has 40 RDNA 3 workgroup processors (WGPs), the Radeon RX 7900M has 36. This still puts it well ahead of the desktop Radeon RX 7800 XT, which has 30, to say nothing of the next-fastest mobile Radeon: the aforementioned Radeon RX 7600M XT, which has just 16 WGPs, same as the desktop RX 7600.

updated gpu product name chart radeon rdna3
Lighter background indicates desktop GPUs.

Another commonality with the RX 7900 GRE is the 256-bit memory bus. That's slashed from the 384-bit memory bus of a full-package Navi 31 GPU, and it cuts memory bandwidth accordingly. We can also note that the GPU's clocks are considerably more modest than the desktop part's; overall, we reckon this GPU will deliver performance in the same ballpark as the desktop Radeon RX 7800 XT.

That's a pretty darn fast GPU for the two 18" display options in the Alienware m18 R1. Both are IPS-like LCDs in 16:10 aspect ratio; you can pick from a 1920×1200 panel that refreshes at a blistering 480 Hz, or go for a higher-resolution screen in 2560×1600 that scans out 165 times per second. Either way, you get FreeSync support as well as "Dynamic Display Switching", which is what Alienware is calling the presence of a physical MUX.

alienware m18 advantage angle

Despite the commonality in chassis and other components with the Alienware m18 that we already reviewed, this system is actually the direct successor to the Alienware m17 R5 that we reviewed last year. It held the title of "fastest AMD Advantage laptop" at that time, and now, this new machine earns that coveted moniker—by default, really, as nobody else has this GPU yet.

Ultimately, the Alienware m18 R1 AMD Advantage edition looks to be one big bad beastie. Sixteen Zen 4 CPU cores and a Navi 31 GPU make for a hell of a mobile gaming machine, to be sure. Alienware hasn't announced pricing for this model yet, but don't expect it to come cheap if you want these high-end components; the m18 R1 that we reviewed with a Core i9-13980HX and GeForce RTX 4090 was $3,495, and this one will probably be in the same ballpark.