Alienware m16 R2 Review: A Multi-Purpose Sleeper Gaming Laptop

Alienware m16 R2 Review: Full System, CPU, Graphics, And Gaming Benchmarks

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Prior to running any benchmarks, we ensured that the Alienware m16 R2 was fully updated, in terms of its BIOS, drivers, and Windows Updates. This was made easy through the Alienware Update utility, which gives users the ability to check for specific system updates with the press of a button. We typically test a laptop or notebook in its out-of-box state, after completing all updates, similar to what the average end use would do after aquiring a new system.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

First up we have the ATTO disk benchmark, which is a fairly straight-forward tool that measures disk read and write performance at various transfer sizes. We're not comparing results across different machines here, but ATTO it is a good indicator of whether the drive in a system is up to snuff by today's standards. On board this Alienware machine is a Samsung PM9A1 NVMe 1TB SSD, a PCIe Gen 4 drive with a sequential read spec of up to 7,000MB/s with writes of up to 5,100MB/s...

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Read speeds fell much shorter than expectations with the Alienware m16 R2, based on the Samsung's drives specifications. Write speeds, however, were right on track. Despite repeated runs and performing disk maintence and all necessary updates, read performance in this range was repeatable. Something is clearly holding the drive back, unfortunately.

Speedometer 2.0 Browser Benchmark's Speedometer test takes a holistic look at web application performance, to gauge a mixed internet usage experiences. This test automatically loads and runs several sample web apps from, using the most popular web development frameworks around, including React, Angular, Ember.js, and vanilla JavaScript. This test is an example of how systems may cope with real web applications, as opposed to a pure JavaScript compute test like JetStream.

speedometer alienware m16 r2 benchmarks

The Alienware m16 R2 held its own here. The machine was not a chart topper, but beating out the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX and an Intel Core i9-13950HX is encouraging for a machine with a smaller machine with a lower-power Intel Core Ultra H processor. In any case, all of these systems are more than capable of handling even the most demanding web applications.

Maxon Cinebench 3D Rendering Benchmarks

Next up is the previous-generation 3D rendering benchmark from Maxon, based on the Cinema 4D R23 rendering engine. It's a purely CPU-based test that doesn't make use of the graphics processor at all, and it scales very well with additional CPU cores. We ran both the single- and multi-threaded tests on all of the notebooks represented here.
cinebench r23 alienware m16 r2 benchmarks

The Alienware m16 R2 landed about in the middle of the pack in Cinbench R23, but it did beat out some of the previous-gen systems despite the latter having more cores in some cases. Maxon, however, has a newer version of Cinebench available -- Cinebench 2024. Let's see if it tells a different story. 

cinebench 2024 alienware m16 r2 benchmarks

With Cinebench 2024, the Alienware m16 R2 falls into second place just edging out the M2 Pro-based Apple MacBook Pro 14 in the multi-threaded test. Single-threaded performance trails the Mac, however, but beats out the Ryzen processors. Single-thread performance on Meteor Lake is essentially flat vs. previous-gen Intel mobile processors.

Geekbench Benchmarks

Geekbench is a cross-platform benchmark that simulates real world processing workloads in image processing, compression / descomrpession and particle physics scenarios, among others. We tested the notebooks featured here using Geekbench's single and multi-core CPU workloads...

geekbench 5 alienware m16 r2 perf

Once again we see the Alienware m16 R2 landing about in the middle of the pack, but it certainly holds its own among comparable systems. Like Cinebench, a newer version of this benchmark is available, however. GeekBench 6 features an updated test suite, which includes things like video conferencing, background blurring for video calls, and HTML5 workloads, among others...

geekbench6 alienware m16 r2 benchmarks

Here, the Alienware m16 R2 lands in the top five, though we don't have quite as much reference data collected just yet. The Core Ultra 7 in the Alienware m16 R2 handily outruns the Ryzen 7 7840U here (and other processors with lower core counts), but trails the M2 Pro, Snapdragon X Elite, and other higher-end chips. 

PCMark 10 Whole System Benchmarks

PCMark 10 uses a mix of real-world applications and simulated workloads to establish how well a given system performs productivity tasks, including image and video editing, web browsing, and OpenOffice document editing. While these scores appear to be all over the map, the systems are sorted by their overall PCMark score.

pcmark alienware m16 r2 benchmarks

Once again, the Alienware m16 R2 doesnt pull away from the competition, but it held its own among its peers. Its overall score was pulled down a bit by the productivity test result, which was a few hundred points off the mark of some similar systems, but the Alienware system is bolstered by a relatively strong digital content creation score.

UL Procyon Benchmark

Given prevelence of artificial intelligence lately, and Intel's inclusion of a neural processing unit (NPU) on Meteor Lake, we thought it would good idea to see how the Alienware m16 R2 stacks up in UL Procyon's AI Inference benchmark.

procyoin ai alienware m16 r2 benchmarks
We don't have an abundance of results here either, but overall, the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H did well, and actually ouperformed the Intel Core Ultra 7 165H in MSI's Prestige 16 AI EVO. At the moment, NPU and many AI benchmarks are like the wild west, however, and results can (and will) change significantly with software and firmware updates, and further driver optimizations. We suspect that would explain the 165H trailing the lower end chip.

3DMark Graphics and CPU Tests

3DMark offers several different tests which focus on different types of systems. Out of the gate we have the Time Spy test, which is one of the more taxing in the suite, targeted at high-end gaming systems. It doesn't feature any ray tracing, but makes use of the DirectX 12 API.

timespy alienware m16 r2 benchmarks

The Alienware m16 R2 performs relatively well here, outpacing the XPS 17 which is powered by the same GPU. The Gigabyte Aero -- also featuring a GeForce RTX 4070, however -- finishes well out in front of the Alienware system.

We also tested Fire Strike Extreme. This DirectX 11 test is more intensive than Time Spy, and was originally developed for gaming desktops, but modern laptops can still churn through it...

firestrike alienware m16 r2 benchmarks

We saw more of the same here. The Alienware m16 R2 doesn't top the charts, but competes well and ultimately lands in about in the middle of the pack.

Finally, we put the laptop through its paces with Port Royal, a real-time ray tracing benchmark mean to provide a "realistic and practical" comparison for ray-tracing performance on modern systems.

port royal alienware m16 r2 benchmarks

Port Royal didn't reveal anything new. The Alienware m16 R2 performs decently, but trails the HP and Gigabyte machines, which both feature a GeForce RTX 4070.

Middle Earth: Shadow Of War Benchmark

Middle Earth: Shadow of War is a fun and beautiful title set in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings universe. To test the game's performance relative to other systems, we set the resolution to 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 (where available) and turned the visuals up to the High preset. The frame rates here are the average reported by the built-in benchmark.

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At both resolutions, with High in-game image quality settings, the Alienware m16 R2 puts up smooth, triple-digit frame rates in Middle Earth: Shadow of War with no problems whatsoever. However, as we've seen a couple of times already, it trails the other machines that are also packing an RTX 4070.

Shadow Of the Tomb Raider Benchmarks

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a DX12 game that was released a few years back, that follows Lara Croft as she tries to save the world from a Mayan apocalypse. Despite its age, this game is still a good comparison for performance across devices thanks to the built-in benchmark. In this case, we cranked the game to its highest quality preset and ran benchmarks in both 1080p and 1440p. 

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With both resolutions, we see a similar story unfold with the Alienware m16 R2. The machine provides smooth, playable framerates and competes well with the other mid-range systems.

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy

To round out our game tests, we have Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy. In this benchmark, we cranked the in-game image quality settings to Ultra and turned on ray tracing at both 1080p and 1440p. And without further delay...

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Once again we see the Alienware m16 R2 battling it out with the XPS 15 (that features a similar GPU) in terms of average framerate, though the Alienware machine's minimum framerates were somewhat lower. At 1080p, however, which is less GPU bound, the Alienware m16 R2 trails the HP and Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4070-powered machines, which feature processors that offer much higher clocks than the Core Ultra 7 155H. 

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