Thinking of replacing my 17r1 with a 17r4 thoughts


New Member
Mar 12, 2012
I bought an AW17 R1 and was appalled by the terrible sound quality compared with my previous M17x R2. Besides which, after 5 months of ownership the R1 had never worked correctly so Dell took it back and refunded me. In June I purchased an AW17 R4 and there is simply NO COMPARISON between the R4 and R1!

For starters, the sound is unbelievable with an incredibly well simulated 7.1 surround sound experience coming from the speakers. The first time you play a game or watch a film that has 7.1 surround sound you will be blown away. The machine is far more reliable and games are handled beautifully. Some people have complained about stuttering due to thermal paste not having been applied correctly but I have yet to experience that.

Overall I am delighted with this machine. There are only 2 things that I do not like and they are only 2 USB 3.0 ports and 1 Thunderbolt port, and Windows 10 which I absolutely hate!!!

My advice to you is to go for an R4 or wait for a possible R5. The R5 or replacement for the R4 is likely to have the new Intel i9 processor but it will be far more expensive. Maybe Dell will go with the AMD version which is almost as potent but more affordable? Whatever you decide, I seriously doubt you will regret the upgrade.


Sep 26, 2013
The R4 is a nice machine. The main point to take into the argument is that your losing the ability to upgrade your CPU/GPU in the newer models and unfortunately there is no way around this if you want to stick with Alienware.

The newer R4 series has made quite a leap in terms of laptops GPU design using full on desktop GPU's now instead of watered down "mobile" variants. The only lesser GPU out there would be the 1080 MaxQ in the 15, which if your looking at a 17 won't impact you.

Temperatures can be a little trouble some IF you get a unit from the factory that didn't get a good paste job. This can be fixed a number of ways but calling support and having them attempt a repair is best if your not super comfortable taking a laptop apart as the process is a pretty good teardown for these machines.

If you want the QHD screen then I highly recommend the 1080 vs the 1070 as it will future proof longer and give you higher FPS for that sweet sweet 120hz display.
I have the 4k UHD unit and at times I love the 4k in movies but for gaming ill be honest no big difference between 1080p and 4k as far as gaming is concerned I would go for the 144hz and 1ms package and 1070 vs 1080 both super fast cards and Alienware has a port to connect a desktop version of a video card in the rear of the system, its there for the Alienware graphic amp I found it on ebay as low as 40 bucks really if you get the AW17R4 even though you cant upgrade internal GPU/CPU the unit can still be upgraded, im waiting personally for something much better then there RTX2080 cause I dont see that much of a performance push like im waiting for a 50% increase card to replace my 1070, upgrading now would be a waste of money totally.
umm unless your a professional reviewer I wouldn't be saying this unit is slow because its not all reviews of this model are positive and its a very fast laptop and for sure bang for your buck, I own the 7700HQ Nvidia GTX 1070 for some reason I cannot find the MSRP on this product tag i see the others like with QHD and a 6th gen going for around 2g's some are at 3g's so I dont know how much mine cost retail, also I do have to agree somewhat that load times and excess times are slow compared to other devices, my asus g751jy boots windows in about 1 and a half loops while the AW17R4 takes about 6 or 7 even in on a RAID 0 config 1000+mb/s so idk why but the AW17R4 does has slow boot times and file excess times however when gaming OMFG super fast I can play anything and everything all I really need is a QHD monitor with 165hz because I believe the system bottle necks on this 4k 60hz display at times.


Jul 14, 2017

Right now - 2019, we are at the point where the R4 and new R5 are actually MORE computer than ANY game on the market even come close to.
There is currently, simply, no need for anything more 'powerful'. Unless you have some weird desire to run multiple monitors, and other such wallet sucking uselessness.

I've had my R4 for about 2 years now, and I've never found any game or other app that I can't run perfectly at full graphics and whatnots.
I expect this thing to be just fine for at least the next 5 years (or until games catch up!). In the past, I've noticed a discernible slowdown when I run multiple copies of an on-line game (multiple chars simultaneously) or when having a number of apps open at once. Not so with my R4! I haven't noticed any kind of slowdown and yeah, there are times when I really try to bog it down, just to see if I can. Only time I've come close is during the summer, when it gets hot! But that's a Thermal issue, not a performance issue. As long as you keep it cool, the R4 is likely more 'puter than most mortals will ever need. (it's a gaming machine!)
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