Alienware x16 R2 (2024) Gaming Laptop Review

The Alienware x16 R2 is a solid gaming laptop that is brought down by subpar performance from the Intel Meteor Lake H-based processor inside.

Published
Manufacturer: Alienware
6 minutes & 9 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 81%

The Bottom Line

The Alienware x16 R2 offers solid connectivity and design, but is brought down by its lack of performance among other issues, such as a high price tag.

Pros

  • + NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 laptop GPU
  • + QHD+ 240Hz G-Sync display
  • + Wi-Fi 7
  • + Keyboard and trackpad

Cons

  • - Memory is soldered
  • - Intel Core Ultra 9
  • - Price

Should you buy it?

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Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

While the Alienware M16R2 came through the lab as a redesigned multi-purpose offering from Dell, the X16R2 didn't get such treatment, continuing with the traditional chassis design we saw with the X16R1. That said, the hardware has been switched up, with Alienware opting for Core Ultra 9 instead of the 14th Gen Raptor Lake HX series, which is most certainly in the M18R2.

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With that, we do have the full specifications above for our review sample. As mentioned in the opening, this offering does use the Core Ultra 9 185H; this is a six-performance core eight-efficiency core offering with an additional two low-power efficient cores; this gives us a total of sixteen cores and twenty-two threads. Base clock speeds come in at 1.8GHz for the e-cores and 2.3GHz for the p-cores while boost clocks ramp up to 3.8GHz for the e-cores and 5.1GHz for the p-cores. Memory for this machine is soldered to the motherboard, though Alienware has stacked it with 32GB at 7400MHz.

There are two display options for the X16R2. Our sample arrived with the 1600p QHD+ offering, which supports a 240Hz refresh rate and G-Sync. Of course, this is connected to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 laptop GPU, which has its own 12GB of GDDR6.

The expansion includes multiple Gen4 NVMe slots for storage along with the 2230 M.2 slot for Wi-Fi. A Killer 1750 module has been installed from the factory for Wi-Fi 7 support.

Connectivity for the X16R2 includes two USB 3.2 Gen 1 using the Type-A connection alongside a single Thunderbolt 4 and an additional USB-C port. HDMI and Mini DP are available for additional screens and a microSD slot is also available.

As configured above, the pricing of the Alienware X16R2 comes in at $3099 at the time of writing.

Buy at Amazon

Alienware x16 R2 (2024) Gaming Laptop

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$2799.99$3068.42-
* Prices last scanned on 7/17/2024 at 3:19 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Notebook Overview

Overview

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The packaging for the X16R2 can be seen above. It includes a unique box with Alienware branding and a white colorway.

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Unboxing the X16, we have a chassis similar to last year's, including the Alienware logo and embossed X on the machine's lid.

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Running around the machine, connectivity is encapsulated on the rear of the machine. This includes the microSD, USB-C, Thunderbolt, and HDMI connections on the rear I/O. We also have Type-A USB, MiniDP, and the power input on the right side.

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Opening the machine, the keyboard itself is slightly recessed fully backlit with RGB while just above we have the speakers for the machine. Down below the trackpad is a bit small but fully backlit as well and offset to the left.

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Lights turned down, we can see the machine's lighting better.

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The bottom of the X16R2 is fully vented.

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Opening up the Raider, this machine offers a massive cooling array with four fans. Two NVMe slots are available just below the battery. As mentioned in the opening the memory on this machine is soldered and not upgradable.

BIOS/UEFI and Software

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The BIOS for the X16R2 is the standard Dell offering we have seen on many machines. The main page gives us an overview of the machine including a few hardware specifications. Running through the left panel menu system, integrated devices give us access to the camera, audio, and Thunderbolt configuration while storage gives us options for enabling Intel VMD along with per drive enable/disable.

The display menu offers brightness controls for the X16 and GPU options for enabling NVIDIA Optimus. Moving down the list, we have connections next, which allows us to control the M.2 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Further down, there is an HTTP boot option as well. Last, we have performance, which, of course, allows us to enable and disable cores, SpeedStep, and even C-states.

Software

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Alienware Command Center offers software controls for the X16R2 that are installed within Windows. This includes managing your game library and even performance mode along the bottom. We also have a hardware monitor in the same space.

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There is a performance menu item as well that expands the hardware monitor and performance profiles.

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Last, we have AlienFX fo controlling the lighting of the machine, this includes the keyboard, trackpad and Rear I/O light ring.

System/CPU Benchmarks

Cinebench

Cinebench is a long-standing render benchmark that has been heavily relied upon by both Intel and AMD to highlight their newest platforms during unveils. The benchmark has two tests: a single-core workload utilizing one thread or 1T. There is also a multi-threaded test that uses all threads or nT of a tested CPU

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With our charts filling up we are definitely seeing where Meteor Lake stands when compared to RLS HX CPUs like the 14900HX. That being said the 185H did quite well in single thread at 108, but severely lacks performance in multi-thread bringing in just 1170, nearly 500 points less than 14900HX.

BAPCo CrossMark

CrossMark™ is an easy-to-run native cross-platform benchmark that measures the overall system performance and system responsiveness using models of real-world applications. CrossMark™ supports devices running Windows, iOS, and macOS platforms.

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Crossmark lands the X16R2 towards the bottom of the charts, just above our sample of the XPS 16. Its overall score is 1811.

AIDA64 Memory

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Memory bandwidth gives us 84K read, 75K write, and 89k copy. Latency was absolutely terrible at 175ns.

Geekbench 6

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Getting into Geekbench 6, the X16R2 is fourth from the bottom, single core and 2416, and multicore just above 14K at 14057.

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GPU was quite good, with the RTX 4080 picking up 150K in OpenCL and 127K in Vulkan.

UL Benchmarks and Gaming

UL Benchmarks

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PCMark completes our move over to UL benchmarks, with the Extended workload, the X16R2 lands at 10250, third from the bottom.

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CPU Profile for one and two threads put the X16 fourth from the bottom once again, single thread landing at 1009 and two-threads 1945.

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Getting into higher thread counts, the X16R2 landed in the same spot in our charts, with sixteen threads offering just 8010 points.

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The storage benchmark finished with a 416 MB/s score.

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The X16R2 was one of the first machines we tested with the new Steel Nomad benchmark from UL. The overall score came in at 4235 with the RTX 4080.

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Speed Way scored 4715 for the X16R2, a touch better than the Blade 16 from two years ago.

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We got a couple of runs on the X16R2 with Cyberpunk 2077. At 1080p, we averaged 97 FPS.

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Bumping up the resolution the X16R2 picked up 64 FPS at 1600p.

Final Thoughts

The X16R2 is a solid offering from Alienware, though we remain confused about the use of Meteor Lake H CPUs in this model as they are truly subpar to even two-year-old Raptor Lake H offerings. Additionally, the X16R2 has one of the better cooling systems, including four cooling fans, which makes us believe the 14700/14900H would have done quite well in this chassis. Continuing on the chassis and something we have mentioned in previous articles, the rear I/O design, while perfect for keeping all connectivity off the desktop and in one place, has some of the most annoying lighting with a ring that encompasses the entire I/O and makes it impossible to see what you are doing when connecting devices.

Continuing, we move to the display, which I found quite good, including the 1080p webcam, though we are suspect of the hinge design as these typically aren't as strong as other designs. The keyboard on this machine is fantastic; it is slightly recessed, equipped with great RGB lighting options, and offers great mechanical feedback. We can say the same about the trackpad: awesome feedback with a solid click, and we don't often see backlit options for these, though Alienware does seem to do it quite well. That said, the trackpad is quite small and offset, which isn't my cup of tea.

Performance is more miss than anything. As seen in our charts, the 185H just doesn't compete with even two-year-old notebooks with 13th Gen Intel CPUs let alone the slightly better 14th Gen Raptor Lake. That said, the X16R2 did do pretty well in single thread operations, including Cinebench 2024, Geekbench 6, and 3DMark CPU Profile, and at the same time, it doesn't appear that gaming is held back too much by the Meteor Lake offering. The RTX 4080 in our sample easily picked up 4200 points in 3DMark Steel Nomad and 4700 points in Speed Way, which puts it on par with last year's Blade 16. Running through Cyberpunk 2077 using the Ultra preset, the X6R2 landed a nice 97 FPS, and moving up to 1600p, we lost 30FPS overall, giving us a rather decent 64 FPS.

The Alienware X16R2, as configured for our review, is priced a touch above $3000 at $3099, which does prove to be a bit expensive when the Razer Blade 16 can be had for $2999 and includes the better 14900HX and RTX 4090, not to mention upgradable memory.

Photo of product for sale

Performance

80%

Quality

90%

Features

80%

Value

75%

Overall

81%

The Bottom Line

The Alienware x16 R2 offers solid connectivity and design, but is brought down by its lack of performance among other issues, such as a high price tag.

81%

Alienware x16 R2 (2024) Gaming Laptop

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$2799.99$3068.42-
* Prices last scanned on 7/17/2024 at 3:19 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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