Alienware m15 R7 + m17 R5 Q&A
- Balveen Singh (AW_Balveen, Community Program Manager)
- Anna Maree Manciet (rxysurfchic, Alienware Community Engagement+Host)
- Jon Pilon (AW_Jon, Alienware Arena Global Site Manager.)
- Eddy Goyanes (Alienware Product Marketing Manager)
Note: Text has been edited for legibility and grammar. The questions and answers' overall content/subject(s) remain unchanged. Some questions may have been cut from or rearranged within this write-up due to context, however, users can access all unabridged Q&As in the Alienware Discord server via the archives.
Q: Can these two laptops fit double-sided m.2 SSDs? I know the X Series can't, which limits them to 2TB max, but is there enough physical space in these M Series laptops to use double-sided SSDs without them bending when screwed in?
- A: No, it doesn't support double-sided SSDs.
Q: Will these laptops have support for XMP memory?
- A: Also no.
Q: I know Alienware does drop testing on laptops, but do you folks also do liquid spillage testing? It'd be great to know how resilient these laptops are when someone's cat knocks a glass of water over their laptop.
- A: There's no official spill testing process for the notebooks, and we don't certify them for any level of liquid protection.
Q: What prompted the change in approach with model numbers? Previously AMD and Intel configurations got different revision numbers, but with the m15 R, there are both Intel and AMD CPUs in the same revision of laptop.
- A1: Saving this question for a little bit later when our other guest can join! The early answer is that it was done to remove confusion about the AMD and Intel systems being different generations VS different platforms.
- A2: That is correct. In the past, we would assign model numbers in chronological order each time a new chipset or processor family would launch, so if a new processor family or chipset would launch that would increment ‘R’. However, moving forward we want to create a shopping experience that simplifies the platform choices and makes the processor families and chipsets a selection within the configurator.
Q: (In reference to the above question regarding model numbers+naming:) Makes sense on the model numbers... I guess the "Ryzen Edition" tag has been dropped also?
- A: That is correct. Moving forward we will not have that tag, as we received feedback suggesting we go a different direction moving forward.
Q: Where is the 6980HX Version? Has it been canceled?
- A: Unfortunately we can't comment on our upcoming roadmap, but stay tuned to our social channels for more information!
Q: What can we expect in the future in regards to drivers/firmware to support the SmartAccess feature and AMD Advantage machine in general? I've had 6 Alienware laptops over the years and have been through the ups/downs of discrete graphics support. If there are driver updates coming that will alleviate performance/stability issues, that'd be great to hear.
- A: While our hardware vendors are always working to improve drivers and support for their platforms, we currently have all available drivers available for the M-Series on our Dell Support site.
Q: 480hz refresh sounds nice, but what's the response time?
- A: 3ms!
Q: Will there be another screen/resolution option for the m17 R5 AMD advantage with the 6850? On that note, will the QHD 240hz option ever be available for Alienware's 17-inch models? I would immediately buy the m17 R5 with the AMD 6850 if the QHD 240hz screen was an option.
- A: Ooo another one! Unfortunately, we can't comment on our upcoming roadmap, but stay tuned to our social channels for more information!
Q: AMD is rolling out chipset drivers for 6000 series CPUs enabling USB 4. Does Alienware have the required hardware?
- A: Following up with engineering on this one! Hopefully, we’ll have an answer soon, and we will follow up on the Discord server once we do.
Q: I watched the YouTube video by @rxysurfchic for the m17 R5, which was really good and answered most of my questions except one about the screen option. Will the new 480hz screen be made available in the near future for the AMD advantage laptop with RX 6850M XT graphics, or is this laptop strictly limited to the 4k 120hz screen?
- A: No, the 1080p 480hz display is not available on the RX 6850 XT.
Q: Does the Alienware have RSR? Also, do the output ports bypass the iGPU?
- A: I haven't tested it myself but I will look into this!
Q: Question for @rxysurfchic... How much do you love the CherryMX keyboard, and is it identical on the m17 R5 to the previous ones, or does it have any special m17-specific tweaks? Will you be keeping yours, or is the boss insisting you give it back?
- A: First of all, how dare you remind them that I have it! Second of all, I don't know how to make it very specific, but for me, it seems like it's a 'cleaner typing feel'.
Q: When Alienware will adopt OLED panels for their products?
- A: Unfortunately, we can’t comment on future products.
Q: A lot of people seem to be complaining about their thermal paste on the m15 R7 not being applied right and having to get it re-pasted after acquiring it. Do you see this getting better in the future?
- A: I haven't heard any reports of this being a widespread issue, but I will follow up with the support team. If your system is not working properly, your best bet is to contact support. When issues become more frequent they are triaged and dealt with in a more critical forum. Any issues that arise with frequency like that are escalated.
Q: I’ve seen two Alienware m15 R7s with the QHD displays, both have had at least a handful of stuck subpixels visible in dark scenes/dim rooms. What company is manufacturing these panels? Is this bad luck? Is this likely to be a reoccurring problem?
- A: Hi, that sucks. I think what you should do is contact support and they’ll be able to review your situation to determine what your options are.
Q: The gaming laptop market is really crowded; what main differentiators or advantages does the AW team try to put in these [products] over the competitors?
- A: Is it crowded? Who said that? You ask about our differentiators and advantages – there are so many and it varies by product. In the example of the m17 R5, we were the first in the world to offer AMD Smart Access Graphics technology. So there are other examples like those throughout the portfolio.
Q: Question to all of you! Personal preference time: m15 or m17, and why?
- A: If I can only choose from those two, why not both? Keep the m17 at home and take the m15 on the road.
Q: Seconding the personal preference questions: do you prefer the 1080p, QHD, or 4k displays for the respective models, and why?
- A: That’s up to the gamer, their gaming standards, and what they do when they’re not gaming. For example, maybe you spend most of your time gaming and you prefer an FHD480Hz panel, or maybe you dabble in video editing and prefer a UHD120Hz panel for greater real estate. Personally, I prefer higher resolution but that’s just me.
Q: Looks like you've opted to drop graphics amplifier support. Not a criticism, just an observation.
Q: Hey Dell, for m17 R6: get rid of that chin that has your name to make it a 16 x 10 aspect ratio and add a full-size SD or micro SD card slot– then you can have my preorder. [Not a question.]
- A: Always happy to get feedback! Will pass this on to the team!