Alienware abducts chips from Coffee Lake for its latest laptops


Intel's new six-core laptop CPUs represent a big step forward in both single- and multi-threaded mobile CPU performance. The folks in Dell's Alienware division pride themselves on selling the fastest laptops Round Rock offers, so they clearly couldn't pass up the new kit. As a result, Dell's got new Alienware 15 R4 and 17 R5 laptops that come equipped with Intel's latest and greatest.

In the refreshed Alienware 15 and Alienware 17, you have a choice of the Core i5-8300H, Core i7-8750H, or the mighty Core i9-8950HK—even in the 15" model. Dell says that the laptops use a cooling system it calls Cryo-Tech v2.0. This cooling system apparently uses a vapor chamber to keep chips cool. The Alienware laptops support overclocking with Intel's first mobile Core i9, and Dell seems to think that 5 GHz is a reasonably-realistic goal for that chip. Not too far-fetched, given that the i9-8950K can Turbo up to 4.8 GHz on its own.

Either machine can be outfitted with GeForce graphics ranging from the GTX 1060 on up to the GTX 1080. These aren't Max-Q implementations, and Dell lists the cards with an "OC" appellation indicating that the graphics chips are overclockable, too. Folks who bleed Radeon red can instead buy an Alienware with a Radeon RX 570 inside. Those graphics chips will be connected to your choice of 1920x1080 or 3840x2160 displays, with or without G-Sync support. The Alienware 17 also has an option for a 2560x1440 display. Both the 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 displays can optionally be had with a 120-Hz refresh rate.

Both the Alienware 15 R4 and 17 R5 will accept up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory running at up to 2666 MT/s. You'll have to buy 16 GB SO-DIMMs to hit that number, though. The laptops have two M.2 sockets as well as a 2.5" drive bay, and Dell offers single, dual, and triple storage configurations all the way up to a pair of 1-TB PCIe SSDs and a 1-TB 7200 RPM HDD. You could also use one of the three USB 3.0 ports to connect storage, or the Thunderbolt 3 port. External monitors can hook up to HDMI 2.0 or Mini-DisplayPort 1.2 connectors. There's also an Alienware Graphics Amplifier port, although we can't imagine why you'd need to use it.

You can already order the new Alienwares from Dell's website. The currently-available configurations start at $2400 for the Alienware 15 R4 and $3700 for the Alienware 17 R5. Dell says that base configurations starting at $1450 for the 15 R4 and $1600 for the 17 R5 will be available beginning next week.

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