Alienware 15r3 with Kaby Lake vs Skylake

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by CASteinman, Jan 8, 2017.

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  1. CASteinman

    CASteinman Notebook Consultant

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    I have purchased an Alienware 15r3 with i7-6700hq, GTX1060 16gb of 2666 RAM and the 4k Screen.

    I do not intend to use this primarily for gaming. I want a high power machine for good number crunching (I have enormous datasets that I do graphical and statistical analysis on) and photo or video editing and I want a machine that will last for ages. Also, although I would really really love to have a lighter machine, I want the longer travel of the Alienware keyboard (coupled with a great screen) -- so I must take the Alienware weight. I will game a little bit but not that much.

    I was in Dell Hell for a while ordering that machine (my experiences were horrific and included being yelled at and hung up on). It just arrived. I have not opened the box yet and I see that they have a newer Alienware 15r3. It has an i7-7700Hq which Passmark seems to think is about 18% better than the i7-6700HQ. In addition, it seems that they might have improved the case and cooling a bit since the September launch with the Skylake processors. But, so far, the newer machines with the Kaby Lake do not seem to have the UHD 4k Screen. I realize that 4k gaming is a stretch, but as I said, that is not my priority.

    So -- opinions please: Should I keep this machine or should I get the upgraded machine? (Or do you think something else would be even better?)

    (Edit: I believe that there is nothing new to the case now that I look at the press release. So the only difference is the 17-7700HQ and the missing 4k Screen. I think the 4k screen might show up later this month).
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  2. ElessarTelcontar

    ElessarTelcontar Notebook Enthusiast

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    well base on your needs you need a better cpu for the statistical part and you need the 4k screen if you are serious about the photo and video editing . i believe you just chose the wrong specs to begin with but if i were you i would open it and stress test it to see if it has the usual problems that plagues the same alienware gen machines , and if not return it for a refund and get at least a better cpu machine ( you want it to last for ages after all) . It all depends though how hard you need to analysis and edit .
     
  3. CASteinman

    CASteinman Notebook Consultant

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    I don't want to open it until I confirm that I can return it with zero restocking fees if it is unopened.

    When you say that I did not spec it out that well, you must be referring only to the CPU. But when I ordered, Dell only offered one other CPU higher than that and its big advantage was overclocking. Other than that it was not a huge improvement. I worry about overclocking reducing CPU life span.

    And outside of the one bigger overclockable CPU on the Alienware, it was pretty hard to find any 15.6 inch laptops that have a faster CPU than the i7-6700HQ.

    Yes, I can go to a larger desktop model -- and I might yet do that, but I need to be able to travel and work. I have previously used WorkStation Laptops, but they don't seem to have kept up in my opinion (I think that they are trying to become ultrabook workstations) and the keyboards are not as good as alienware.

    If you have a suggestion for me that includes an accurate 4k Screen a nice keyboard with a better processor, then please tell me about it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  4. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Please take a look at the Lenovo P50. It has an island style keyboard but the travel is as good as the Alienware if not better. The Xeon E3-1505M will be faster than the 6700HQ. 64GB RAM is a possibility which may help your dataset processing. The 4k panel is rated to 100% NTSC by Lenovo, and it is a very accurate display.

    There is a couple of reviews of this model that may help you consider it:
    http://www.notebookreview.com/notebookreview/lenovo-thinkpad-p50-review-workstation-all/
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-P50-Workstation-Xeon-4K-Review.168604.0.html
     
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  5. ElessarTelcontar

    ElessarTelcontar Notebook Enthusiast

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    I understand your struggle and your thinking but that doesnt change that 6700hq will propably not be enough for what you want to accomplish with your laptop. If you have some time check out this thread about a 15,6" 4k screen laptop with desktop cpus from eurocom. Its a msi barebones and there is quite a hype train arround it nowadays . If gaming is not what you after you can always spec it with quadro gpu http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...cussions-lounge.797128/page-210#post-10427711
     
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  6. CASteinman

    CASteinman Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you. I looked at the P50. Like the Alienware it had a similar processor issue: The i7-6700HQ and a higher end CPU. In the case of the P50, two higher end CPU's but neither one of them blew me away vs. the 6700HQ. Also, the screen is not really all that good. It is just "OK". And the memory is slower. All that and a similarly configured machine is about 10% more expensive in the P50 version.

    Still, I liked it that it was about 2.5 pounds lighter and I *think* the keyboard looks really excellent. I will take another look at it and I thank you and appreciate your recommendation.
     
  7. CASteinman

    CASteinman Notebook Consultant

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    So, you are suggesting a "build your own" option. I will consider it.

    The thread you sent me to is full of people talking about problems not how wonderful it is!
     
  8. CASteinman

    CASteinman Notebook Consultant

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    I have spent some time with the configurator.

    There is no doubt I can get a better CPU this way. But I don't like the keyboard and I cannot get the screen I want. Also, I like the "You break and we fix it" warranty situation with Dell. I move my machines quite a bit and I have used those warranties on every single computer I have owned for the last 8 years. In one case -- twice. So I get my money for that and I don't see any option for it with the machine you recommend.

    Also, when I configure a machine that is roughly close to the specs of the two Alienware machines I am looking at, this machine is $400 to $600 more expensive. And I don't like that keyboard nor the screen.
     
  9. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Have you considered the Alienware 13R3? I think the OLED panel would be a much better display for photo or video editing than any of the 15R3 options.

    The P50 is very nice, but I didn't notice that you do want to do some gaming on this machine. In that case, something with a GTX card makes more sense.
     
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  10. Althernai

    Althernai Notebook Virtuoso

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    It sounds to me like you really like what you already have. If your concern is the 7700HQ vs. 6700HQ, I would not worry about it that much. Kaby Lake and Skylake are very similar when operating at the same clock speeds so the only edge the 7700HQ has is that it is clocked slightly (i.e. less than 10%) higher. It's difficult to say what the advantage will be in real life because both of them boost by quite a bit, but I don't expect it to be large.
     
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