There was a time when a 60Hz display was just fine. They were simpler times, perhaps, but as graphics cards get ever more powerful and frame rates in the hundreds become more common (in the high-end PC gaming sphere, at least), displays need to keep up. 120Hz and higher have been pretty standard for a while, but Dell is looking to raise the bar even higher with its newest Alienware laptop displays that boast a whopping 480Hz refresh rate.
As Dell’s press release describes it, the new display technology “brings a multitude of gameplay benefits like animation smoothness for easier target tracking, ghosting reduction to minimise distracting effects, and lower system latency to make it easier for you to spot other players earlier.” Or, to put it more simply, it can keep up with higher frame rates—up to 480 frames per second, in theory, assuming the GPU and settings for whatever you’re playing are up to the task. To that end, the 480Hz panel will be available on two high-end laptops from Alienware, the m17 R5 and the x17 R2.
There’s no word yet on local pricing for New Zealand and Australia, but as a point of comparison, the price difference in the US between the 480Hz panel and a full HD 165Hz one, in an otherwise identical configuration of the Alienware m17 R5, is USD $100. I’ve asked Dell for more information about local price and availability, and will update this post when we have more information.
Alongside the new display, Dell also announced a new configuration of the m17 R5 with an AMD Radeon™ RX 6850M XT 12GB GDDR6 GPU, making it “the world’s most powerful 17” AMD Advantage laptop”. This “AMD Advantage™ Edition” is Alienware’s first all-AMD laptop, designed in collaboration with AMD and sporting a handful of AMD Smart Technologies to improve performance:
- AMD Smart Shift Max: Dynamic power shifting between a Radeon GPU and APU boosts performance for gaming, rendering, and content creation.
- AMD Smart Access Graphics: Improve frame rates, reduce latency and save battery by enabling discrete Radeon graphics or Ryzen graphics to handle rendering and presentation while maintaining AMD FreeSync™. Only available with select models.
- AMD Smart Access Memory: Get an extra edge when your Ryzen processors can harness the full potential of the Radeon graphics card memory.
- AMD FreeSync™ Premium: Put an end to choppy gameplay with fluid, artifact-free performance at virtually any framerate. This adaptive sync technology matches the refresh rate of your graphics and your display for buttery-smooth gameplay.
All that power doesn’t come cheap, though: depending on other options chosen, a setup with the RX 6850M XT and AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processer will set you back upwards of NZD $4,699 / AUD $4,199.
On the more affordable side of the spectrum, Dell also announced its new G16 laptop, “designed for PC gamers who need the essential gaming features but want mobility and performance without sacrificing screen size.” It’s got a 16-inch panel in a 15-inch chassis, with a larger viewing area than the G15 thanks to a 16:10 aspect ratio, and a QHD+ (2560×1600) 165Hz display. Under the hoot, it’s powered by a 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-12700H 14-core processor and up to a NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 3070 Ti, with copper pipes, four vents, and ultra-thin fan blades to optimise cooling and air flow.
The Dell G16 will be available soon, with local prices to be announced. For the sake of comparison, Americans are looking at USD $1,399 / CAD $1,799.