Alienware Area-51m Review: Desktop-Class, Upgradeable Elegance

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Alienware Area-51m - Gaming And Graphics Benchmarks

As this is a gaming laptop, probably the biggest question on everyone's mind is how well does it perform in real game titles. Equipped with a high-end 8-core desktop processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 desktop-class GPU, as you might expect, the Alienware Area-51m puts up some pretty fantastic frame rates in a variety of leading-edge AAA game titles.
 

Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor And Shadow Of War Gaming Performance
Glorious Orc-Slaying Vengeance

Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor is a fun and great looking game title. We tested the Alienware Area-51m with the Ultra quality preset at this notebook's native 1920X1080 display resolution.

Middle Earth Shadow Of War Alienware Area 51m Benchmarks

He we see the 8.5 pound Area-51m (with a few more pounds of AC adapter power bricks) pull up right behind our GeForce RTX 2080 18-core test bed, only trailing by about 5%. At 120 FPS, the system can push its 144Hz G-Sync panel to a buttery-smooth rendering cadence. 

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
DirectX 12 Performance
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider is the latest installment in the series for heroin Lara Croft, driven with a revamped DX12 game engine. It also supports visual effects like Ambient Occlusion, Depth of Field, Dynamic Foliage, Bloom shaders, Tessellation and more. 

Area 51m Shadow of the Tomb Raider Benchmarks

Once again the Alienware Area-51m cranks out frame rates around 120 FPS with minimums that don't break below 96. If you were looking for a bead of sweat from the new Alienware machine, you can forget it, at least in this game and the next one we'll run it through as well...

F1 2018
DirectX 11 Gaming Performance
F1 2018 is Codemaster’s latest Formula One racing simulation, and like previous version of the game, it sports impressive visuals with DX11 support (though a DX12 code path is currently in beta). We tested the game configured with its Ultra graphics preset, but with SSRT shadows enabled.

f1 2018
F1 2018


Area 51m F1 2018 Benchmark

As we noted, the Area-51m doesn't break a sweat here at frame rates just north of its 144Hz panel. However, it does trail our Intel 18-core-powered GPU test system by a fair degree, likely due to this game engine benefitting more from additional processing resources, better thermal headroom for the GPU and perhaps a larger CPU cache.

Far Cry 5 
The Dunia Engine Lives On

Next up, we’ve got some benchmark scores from FarCry 5, the latest installment in the storied franchise. Like its predecessors, FarCry 5 is a fast-action shooter set in an open world environment with lush visuals and high graphics fidelity. The game takes place in a fictional county in Montana, where a cult has taken over control of the area. We tested all of the graphics cards here at multiple resolutions using Ultra Quality settings to see how they handled this recently-released AAA title.

farcry 5
FarCry 5

FarCry 5 Benchmarks Alienware Area 51m

Far Cry 5, on the other hand, turns the tables. The Alienware Area-51m's higher speed 5GHz peak CPU clock lets it skip past our 4.4GHz max Turbo Boost Intel 18-core test bed for the top slot here. And once again, we're treated to 120+ FPS performance levels.

Metro Exodus DX12 With Ray Tracing
DirectX 12 With Ray Tracing Benchmarks

Metro Exodus isn't exactly the most stable benchmark right now but it does employ RTX for ray traced global illumination and NVIDIA DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) technology to recover some of its performance while maintaining good anti-aliasing results. This game engine and advanced rendering effects will place significantly higher workload on the Area-51m. Since the game is so new, we didn't have reference numbers to compare it to just yet, though we did run the benchmark over various resolutions available on the Area-51m's display. 

Metro Exodus

Alienware Area 51m Metro Exodus RT Benchmarks

Up through its native FHD resolution with the Ultra image quality preset and UItra Ray Trace setting, the Alienware Area-51m hangs on to completely playable frame rates approaching the 60 FPS mark and never dipping below 34 even within its minimum numbers. We'll also note that the visuals looked pretty fantastic.

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