Alienware Area 51m Upgrade Questions Help

Discussion in '2015+ Alienware 13 / 15 / 17' started by TricksterMatt, May 8, 2020.

  1. TricksterMatt

    TricksterMatt Notebook Consultant

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    Hello everyone, I’m so close to pulling the trigger on upgrading from my current Alienware 15 R1 laptop to the Alienware Area 51m! But I have a few questions regarding upgrades.

    With the RAM I want it to have 64GB of Corsair Vengeance, but is it better to buy 4x16GB of it and put it in all four slots or just buy 2x32GB of it and put it in two slots? Which option is better and will both options run in dual channel mode?

    With the drive I just want 1TB of SSD as that is more than enough for me and I won’t require any extra drives or to be running in RAID. Should I buy 1TB M.2 SSD or 1TB normal SSD?

    How good is the screen on this laptop should I opt for the extra £100 for the G-SYNC option or not?

    And finally what is the cooling like on this laptop? Will I need a laptop cooler for this beast and if so what is the best laptop cooler that will fit a laptop of this size?

    And my configuration will have the RTX 2080 + i9-9900K.

    Thanks
     
  2. Muezick

    Muezick Notebook Evangelist

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    doesn't matter, whatever is cheaper. The system can only ever run in dual channel because of the chipset/cpu.

    Also doesn't matter - I recommend any SATA class ssd that is relatively cheap. don't ever buy the cheapest, but there's also no reason to shoot for the most expensive. I like Western Digital/Sandisk, nearly anything made by Micron or mushkin.

    There's way more information on here than you need but this is a nice chart i like to reference;
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1B27_j9NDPU3cNlj2HKcrfpJKHkOf-Oi1DbuuQva2gT4/edit#gid=0

    g-sync is always recommended. Maybe if this were a thin n light, i'd recommend against it since it kills battery life but LMAO @ trying to conserve battery life in a system like this. Just go all out. Adaptive sync is always worth it. Its a game changer.

    You can probably expect it to run hot, but probably not outside of spec.
     
  3. Fire Tiger

    Fire Tiger Notebook Deity

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    If you're into benchmark scores etc. Then I believe only having 2 sticks of RAM is apparently better. If you aren't fussed about point scoring as mentioned go with whats cheaper. Both options will work in dual channel.

    In terms of the storage, again go with whats cheaper, NVMe will run faster than an SSD but not sure its something we notice due to both options being pretty fast. I think my NVMe drives were £100 each and my SSD was also £100.

    If you're going all out on 9900k and 2080 then I'd go for the G-Sync panel. Its a cracking screen, I did come from a 5 year old Asus laptop though so anything was going to be an improvement. I think you'd constantly be thinking 'should I have just got it' if you don't.

    I have the 9700k so can't really comment on 9900k temps. I do think my CPU is a lemon that runs hot anyway. On gaming you will likely always have performance or full speed fans, you're average temps will be fine I'd imagine , mine hover around 60-70c depending on the game. However, I still see spikes into the 90s and thats with Phobya Nanogrease repaste and Notepal U3 cooler.

    The cooler probably doesn't add much in way of the fans, its more having the laptop up off the desk thats benefitting the temps.

    Feel free to PM if you have more questions.
     
  4. Virale

    Virale Notebook Evangelist

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    Dell is about to announce the R2. DO NOT BUY yet.

    Wait and buy the R2. Announcement happens May 13.

    Assess your options again once the R2 is released.

    R2 comes with 10th gen and Super GPUs, if you’re going to spend, might as well be on the latest.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2020
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  5. Biker Gremling

    Biker Gremling Notebook Evangelist

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    1. G-Sync is not worth it since you will lose it when you install BIOS 1.5.0. Toobi is useless.
    2. Spec the laptop with the cheapest ram and storage option. Get 2x34GB Kingston Hyper X 2400MHz CL 14 memories and a 1 TB Samsung 970 EVO+
    3. Unless you do productivity stuff, ditch the 9900k and get the 9700k instead. This CPU can be run at +5MHz on all cores on this machine (something the 9900k can't do) and you will get higher fps in games. The A51m can't cool the 9900k properly.
    If you can get a huge deal on the R1 because of the R2 launch, then go for it. If not, then wait and get an R2. The R2 will be an improvement over the R1 A51m, but it's still not such a great difference that makes the R1 obsolete (since the difference between the regular and "Super" RTX2080 is not such great).
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  6. Virale

    Virale Notebook Evangelist

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    To build on Biker's post, I’d still dissuade you from purchasing an R1 knowing that you’ll have to make compromises on temps, or RAM speed, or the 2080 throttling, or GSYNC/noGSYNC, all dependent on whether you downgrade to BIOS 1.5.0. And you’ll need to work to make temps manageable. I have a 9900K and 2080.

    If you just go for the R2, my hopes are that you won’t have to make any of these tradeoffs, e.g. the R2s RAM will run at the specced 2993MHz, you’ll have Gsync, temps will be more under control with the leaked vapor chamber heatsink (which is likely the R2's), and the cooling will be more adequate to cool the components overall, so Dell won’t be gimping your PC via BIOS updates from the start to put in aggressive throttle points for the 2080 to avoid *potential* burnouts. I’ve been using my 2080 on the 200W VBIOS, overclocked and undervolted since day 1 and have not had a single issue (I replaced thermal pads and paste). But these are hurdles you *shouldn’t* have to deal with to “tame” your system. Ideally, it would just work and be stable out of the box, and you’d do thermal upgrades and OC and UV to get more performance if that is your thing, but not as a requirement (which it pretty much is on the R1 if you want it to last you and be on the safe side of not burning your 2080).

    If you were buying a 51M in mid 2019, then you’d get a unit with the least amount of tradeoffs, like mine. I got mine Feb 2019 and fortunately my screen has Gsync on 1.5.0 because it shipped with BIOS 1.0. By purchasing one now, you’ll have to make the decision of losing Gsync and lower speed RAM. Also, unfortunately there isn’t a 144Hz screen without Tobii and Gsync, so you’ll pay for something you cannot use should you choose to downgrade.

    Alsooo, R2 will likely have more screen options (240 Hz? QHD? 4K? If any of those are your thing).

    Finally, DO NOT get the lunar white. It stains very easily and out of the blue, and NOTHING removes the stains. Go black. This is my biggest sin. I replaced my palm rest via Dell warranty and they said they made an exception for me. I now have it permanently wrapped in a skin.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Biker Gremling

    Biker Gremling Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes, forgot about the color thing. Definitely avoid the white (mine yellowed as well and got the palm rest recently replaced).

    The R2 will be better than the R1, and many issues should be addressed on the R2. But the performance difference will be worth it if the price difference is huge?
     
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  8. Virale

    Virale Notebook Evangelist

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    Who knows how they will price it... I’d expect them to price it the same as the R1 and if there’s any R1 left, a discount should be in place for it as soon as the R2 releases.
     
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  9. jclausius

    jclausius Notebook Virtuoso

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