Alienware M18 gaming laptop with Radeon RX 7900M GPU tested: a good RTX 4080 competitor

Alienware's new M18 gaming laptop with AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX CPU + AMD Radeon RX 7900M GPU tested: a good, but not great RTX 4080 competitor.

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AMD announced its new flagship RDNA 3-powered Radeon RX 7900M 16GB mobile GPU, with the first laptop maker to get hands-on with it and get it inside of their new gaming laptop is Dell with the introduction of the new Alienware M18.

Now the good folks at Notebookcheck.net have had hands-on with the Alienware M18 gaming laptop, and well and truly put it through its paces against the GeForce RTX 4080 and GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPUs. The new Alienware M18 gaming laptop features the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX CPU alongside the new flagship Radeon RX 7800M 16GB GPU.

In their testing, Notebookcheck.net reports that CPU performance is 10% faster in raw multi-threaded performance against the Intel Core i9-13980HX processor, while it's between 5-10% slower in single-threaded performance.

On the storage side of things, we have the M.2 SSD from Kioxia in the form of the XG8 KXG80ZNV1T02 is a higher-end PCIe4 x4 NVMe SSD with "no throttling issues" and high transfer rates of up to 6300MB/sec for "extended periods" of time.

The new Radeon RX 7900M GPU is significantly faster than the previous-gen Radeon RX 6800M, with Notebookcheck.net adding that it represents a 2x to 2.5x performance improvement over the 6800M.

Ray-tracing performance on the new Radeon RX 7900M is also worth noting, where the site says that the new Radeon RX 7900M is the "turning point" that AMD fans have been waiting for. The site notes that enabling RT was "previously never recommended" on a Radeon-based laptop due to the "immense performance loss," and they are right. NVIDIA owns RT on laptop, and it has not been something anyone would recommend for a Radeon RX 6000-series laptop GPU.

AMD's new Radeon RX 7900M 16GB tested (source: Notebookcheck)AMD's new Radeon RX 7900M 16GB tested (source: Notebookcheck)
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AMD's new Radeon RX 7900M 16GB tested (source: Notebookcheck)

In some testing of both Cyberpunk 2077 and F1 22, the site notes single-digit FPS differences between the RX 7900M and RTX 4080. However, enabling RT will still see the performance tanking somewhere between 15% and 35%, which is significant. NVIDIA has its DLSS 3.x AI upscaling, as well as Frame Generation, helping out in a huge way, compared to FSR3, which doesn't offer the same gains as DLSS 3.x, nor does it have that many games supporting it.

Cyberpunk 2077 v1.6 runs at 1440p on the Ultra preset at 93FPS average on the Radeon RX 7900M-powered Alienware M18 gaming laptop, while on the RTX 4090-based m18 R1 gaming laptop (with the Core i9-13980HX processor) we're looking at 102FPS. Close, for sure.

Enabling RT in Cyberpunk 2077 is interesting, where the Radeon RX 7900M drops to 41FPS average at 1080p with RT on the Ultra preset (DLSS disabled) compared to the 65FPS on the RTX 4080 Laptop GPU.

Another thing to note is that Alienware is using a bulky 330W AC adapter versus the thinner GaN AC adapter that has higher power-per-volume compared to traditional AC adapters.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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