AW 17R3 models


New Member
Feb 22, 2016
Hello all,

FYI, I did my best in looking over the forum for the correct place to publish this thread. If I enrage anyone I apologize now. With that out of the way, I recently decided to get into gaming laptops instead of console gaming. I wanted the mobility factor and after playing Fallout 4 on both PS4 and a friend's maxed out MSI, I realized that I was being duped into believing that graphics do not matter. So now that I have the pixel bug, I need some advice. Impulsively, I went to a local Fry's Electronics and picked up an AW 17R3. Paid around $1900 with tax after finding a price match on a competitor's website. Took it home. Typing on it now. Like it (i.e., build quality, smooth trackpad, smooth keyboard, pleasing aesthetics), but did some browsing on Dell's website and noticed they are offering newer models than what I have. I will attach what Dell is currently offering at $2400 out the door, compared to what I purchased from Fry's for $2230. I have circled in black the main differences I am seeing between the two laptops, mainly processor, GPU ram, and display type. If some folks could take a look and tell me if it is worth the hassle of me:

1. returning the current model to Fry's

2. waiting for payment to clear back to my VISA

3. purchasing the upgrade from Dell

4. waiting another week for it to ship

5. spending another full day tweaking it to my current settings

If it is not that much of a difference, aside from maybe the upgraded display being decently better, is it worth the hassle. I don't want to deal with buyer's remorse, but I also have a tendency to not be happy with anything that I purchase (so says my wife). Is 8gb of GDDR5 that much better than 4gb of DDR5? Is the i7-6820HK that much better than the i7-6700HQ. Is the 17.3 inch UHD IPS really needed over the FHD LED? If several folks could give their input sooner than later so I can make a decision to return the current laptop or keep it, I would be much obliged. Thanks for listening to my rambles and I apologize if I sound redundant.




New Member
Mar 4, 2016
Hi Brian,
Sorry if this is a bit late, I just noticed your post.
I have had the Alienware 17r3, I7-6820hk, 17.3 inch UHD (4k) screen, with GTX 980 with 4gb DDR5 for almost 2 weeks now. I am very pleased with it. I am usually open to finding criticism regarding purchases I have made but I really struggle to find fault with this laptop. I note the laptop you have, and those specs are great too. If you have a gut feeling that you want to change them I suppose that is something only you can ultimately decide on. All I can say though is that the 4k screen is absolutely gorgeous, and that the gaming performance of the laptop is fantastic. I have been playing a lot of Elite dangerous, in 4k, on ultra settings and never really drop below 45-50 fps. If I pop the resolution to around 3k it locks at 60fps (v sync locked). It's certainly an excellent performing laptop. I'm sorry I don't have Fallout 4 on Pc, so can't provide a rundown of performance for you. I don't think you will notice too much difference though in FPS between the laptop you have, and the slightly higher spec graphics card (8 gb DDR). The only real difference will be on the screen resolution in my opinion.

If you do explore the option of taking your laptop back to the seller, and starting a new purchase from Dell, then you may wish to consider the Dell Euro outlet. This is the official Dell factory outlet site that sells "certified refurbished" laptops and PC's. I used the Euro site but I imagine they have a similar outlet in the US ?
Refurbished sometimes suggests inferior quality, or low specs etc, but I am amazed at the quality of the laptop I received. It is indistinguishable from a new laptop, no marks, blemishes etc, and the specs are as above, top of the line. The all come with standard 12 month warranty, which can be upped further if you want. To give a comparison of the prices, I paid (I'm in UK) £1330 for the above spec laptop. As far as I could see the retail model could not be bought cheaper than approx £1950. There are lower spec models also that are even cheaper. All in all, seems to be some good deals for high spec machines.
Good luck, whatever you decide you've got an excellent machine.