Alienware x14 gaming laptop review and testing

Alienware x14 gaming laptop review and testing

Alienware x14 is a brand new gaming model from the famous American notebook manufacturer Dell. The novelty boasts a screen diagonal of 14 inches, a thickness of only 14.5 mm and weighs 1.8 kg, in addition, it is the only notebook of this size, equipped with a display with NVIDIA G-Sync technology and NVIDIA Advanced Optimus function. With that said, it’s a true full-featured gaming notebook with no reservations, because the top-of-the-line configuration here features GeForce RTX 3060, which is more than enough for any game in Full HD.

Appearance and ergonomics


The design of the new X14, completely in line with the models X15 and X17. The manufacturer uses the same materials in the finish as in the older models. The lid is made of high-quality, tactile pleasant material with a coating that prevents the appearance of stains. The ruggedness of the case has deteriorated slightly compared to the Alienware m15 R5. The base and lid are slightly more prone to warping, while crunching more when we apply force. The keyboard also squeezes down the center, but not significantly. It is possible to open the laptop with one hand, the hinge is quite stiff, the maximum opening angle is 135 degrees.

In terms of interfaces Alienware x14 has something to please gamers. All the ports are placed on the back of the case thanks to the display hinge shifted forward. The gaming laptop offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports with DisplayPort and charging functionality, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI 2.1 output, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot. With a 14-inch screen, the Alienware X14 has a case that is only 14.5 mm thick and weighs only 1.8 kg. Alienware claims the 14.5mm chassis is the thinnest among 14-inch gaming models.

Height Weight
Asus Zephyrus G14 GA401 19.9mm 1.70kg
Alienware x14 14.5mm 1.84kg
Razer Blade 14 16.8mm 1.80kg

The bottom panel is fastened with six screws and latches all around the case, the latches hold the entire bottom panel quite firmly, so when you disassemble them first need to loosen.


The amount of RAM and storage subsystems may vary depending on the laptop model and cost, as well as laptops with the same name and index can be used components from different manufacturers.


RAM ROM
Soldered on motherboard 16 GB LPDDR5-5200 1 M.2 (2280) M. 2 PCI 4.0 x4 SSD: 512GB

Input devices

The Alienware x14 keyboard is a regular island keyboard. The actuation point can be felt well, the stroke depth is 1.2 mm, typing is quite pleasant. The tactile feedback is not bad and even the tapping of the keys while typing is very quiet. The keyboard layout is standard, except that arrows are directly integrated into it. The RGB backlit keyboard allows to choose any color of illumination, but there is only one zone. Through the Alienware utility you can control the backlighting of each key separately, the backlighting itself is even and bright. The touchpad measures 10.8 x 5.5 cm, so there is not much room to maneuver.


Display and sound

Dell provides just one display for the Alienware x14: a matte 1080p IPS screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels (16:9), 144Hz refresh rate and fast response time. Sharp’s IPS panel showed high contrast and good color reproduction. We got a contrast ratio of 1730:1 with backlight uniformity of 89%, which is quite good. Note that the display on the Alienware x14 supports Nvidia G-Sync and Advanced Optimus.

Matrix type IPS
Coverage matte
Diagonal 14.0″
Display resolution FHD 1920 x 1080
Refresh rate 144 Hz
Matrix speed (response time) 7 ms
Contrast 1:1730
Brightness max. 434 cd/m2
sRGB color gamut 100%
Wideband – pulse modulation no

The sound in the Alienware x14 is a fairly standard pair of stereo speakers, although the addition of Dolby Atmos to the entire line of Alienware laptops does improve stereo sound.

Specifications

Processor:Intel Core i7-12700H 1.7GHz-4.7GHzVideo

Card:NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop (75W) 6GB GDDR6

Display:14.0″ FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9, IPS, 144Hz, Matte, Advanced Optimus, CV+, NVIDIA G-SYNCOperating

Memory:16GB DDR5-5200 SO-DIMMDrive:512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD(1 M.2 Slot)

Connectors:1x 3.5mm audio combo jack

  • 1x HDMI 2.0b
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C / DisplayPort
  • 1x Thunderbolt 4 / DisplayPort / power support
  • 1 x microSD slot

Audio:2x 2W speakers

Network:Intel AX211, 2×2 MIMO, 2400Mbps, 2.40/5/6GHz, Wi-Fi 6E (WiFi 802.11 ax), Bluetooth 5.2Battery:6 cells, 80Wh, lithium-ionni

Weight:1.84kgDimension (LxWH):32.1 x 26.2 x 1.45 cm

Operating system:Windows 11

While compact size is the hallmark of the Alienware x14, after all, this is a gaming laptop. Performance is paramount. The Alienware x14 uses the latest 12th generation Intel Core i7 processors-12700H or 12900H. Both are 45-watt processors with 14 cores and 20 threads.

Our variant features an Intel Core i7-12700H processor from the Alder Lake family with a hybrid architecture. The processor part of the chip is divided into two clusters: six performance cores with operating speeds up to 4.8 GHz (supporting Hyper Threading), as well as eight energy-efficient cores with speeds up to 3.7 GHz. Thus, the i7-12700H is capable of simultaneously processing up to 20 threads. Intel lists the Core i7-12700H as a 45W model, but in our notebook the figure is 80W.The notebook has 16GB of RAM, unfortunately all of it is soldered onto the motherboard, so memory upgrades are not possible on the Alienware x14.

The operating system is installed on a 512 GB NVMe SSD with PCIe 4.0 interface, respectively, the performance from a subjective point of view of the storage subsystem is very high. As for the graphics card, there are three options available, but all from NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30 line. The base version is equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 “for laptops” with 4 GB of video memory. But you can choose the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti “for laptops” or GeForce RTX 3060 “for laptops” with 6 GB of video memory.

The two lower-end variants have their TGP cut to 65W, the top-end one to 85W, so Alienware opted for the economical Max-Q variants. Our Alienware x14 thanks to the discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card with 6GB of GDDR6 video memory lets you play the latest AAA-class games at high graphics settings at 1080p display resolution, but you still have to tinker with some settings if you want to get the cherished 60fps, as the graphics card performance of the Alienware x14 is slightly lower than the RTX 3060 installed in other notebooks, the fault is the low TGP of 85W.

Testing

Processor performance

The CINEBENCH test is designed to compare CPU and graphics card performance between different systems and software platforms. The capabilities of the CINEBENCH test. Benchmark created by the Canadian company MAXON Computer, known for the development of software for three-dimensional modeling and animation Cinema 4D, and is designed to evaluate the performance of the processor and graphics card.

ineBench R23 CPU (Multi Core) CPU (Single Core)
Intel Core i9-12900H(Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603ZW) 17882 1891
ntel Core i7-12700H(Alienware x14) 15783 1763
Intel Core i7-11800H(Asus TUF Gaming F17 FX706) 13498 1509
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX(Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage G513QY) 13149 1488
Intel Core i7-12700H(Acer Nitro 5 AN517-55) 17012 1414

Graphics card performance

3DMark is the name of a series of the most popular and widely known computer performance tests developed by the Finnish company Futuremark (formerly MadOnion.com). 3DMark includes test suites for evaluating processor and graphics performance, as well as various graphics card features. 3DMark automatically scans the characteristics of your computer or laptop and recommends the best test for your configuration.

3DMark 3DMark Fire Strike Score: Graphics 3DMark Time Spy: Graphics
AMD Radeon RX 6600M 100 Вт(Alpha 15 B5EEK) 21876 7200
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 125 Вт(ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703HS) 31372 12338
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 95 Вт(Asus TUF Gaming F17 FX706) 19737 7582
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 85 Вт(Alienware x14) 19277 7425
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti 125 Вт(Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 GU603ZW) 23118 10748

Testing in games

Mobile GeForce RTX 3060 is a mid-range graphics card among Ampere generation gaming models. The graphics card has 6 GB GDDR6 standard graphics memory connected via 192-bit bus. In games with raytracing GeForce RTX 3060 is limited to 1080p resolution if you do not use the image scaling with DLSS. In absolute terms in Full HD novelty in modern games often gives more than 60-70 f / s, and sometimes well over 100 f / s. Even the high-tech Cyberpunk 2077 at maximum settings feels quite good. Overall, the RTX 3060 is on average 20-22% faster than its predecessor GeForce RTX 2060 in Full HD resolution when comparing cards with similar TDP.

Less than 30FPS

Lower Framerate

Over 60FPS

High Framerate

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt offers a non-linear, adult, action-packed story and an unparalleled QTE-free combat system that combines a wide range of tactical elements typical of role-playing games with dynamic and spectacular battles worthy of the best action games. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was developed on the REDengine 3 game engine, which was aimed for the current generation of consoles and PC. The first part of The Witcher was based on Aurora Engine technology, a game engine developed by the Canadian company BioWare and first used in the PC RPG “Neverwinter Nights,” which was released on June 18, 2002. The technology uses HDR rendering with 64-bit depth, which produces the highest image quality with more realistic and accurate lighting without loss of detail. Flexible rendering ready for delayed or advanced rendering has a wide range of cinematic post effects, including depth-of-field bokeh, color gradation, flare from light sources. High-quality landscaping allows multiple layers of smoothly merging materials and uses tasseling to maximize the amount of detail. Technology also includes seamless animation and physics linking and a number of other features. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is currently the most technological and advanced open-world RPG. The game pleases the eye with its beautiful world and atmosphere, making you fully immersed in the gameplay, forgetting about all the other problems going on around.

Display resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, Graphics settings: DX 11, HIgh Preset, Hairworks On 4 Display resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, Graphics settings: DX 11, Ultra Preset, Hairworks On 4
144 FPS(100%) 61 FPS(100%)

Battlefield 2042 is a first-person shooter in which the series returns to legendary large-scale combat. Adapt and overcome challenges in a near-future world of chaos. Set out on incredibly large-scale and ever-changing battlefields for 128 players with their squad and arsenal of the latest technology. Battlefield 2042 is powered by the acclaimed Frostbite graphics engine. Frostbite Engine – is a game engine developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and it is used in both own developments and projects of other Electronic Arts branches.The exclusive Battlefield 2042 option on PCs was the ray tracing support. However, unlike the previous part of the franchise, the new series uses ray tracing in a completely different way. If in Battlefield V based on the rays created reflections, the Battlefield 2042 in this way calculated Ambient Occlusion effects, that is, shadows in those areas of the frame, where the geometry blocks the spread of background lighting.

Display resolution: 1920X 1080 pixels, Graphics settings: DX 12,High Preset, TAA High+Ray Tracing no Display resolution:1920 x 1080 pixels, Graphics settings: DX 12,Ultra Preset TAA High+Ray Tracing no
73 FPS(100%) 63 FPS(100%)

Cyberpunk 2077 is an adventure RPG set in the metropolis of Knight City, where power, luxury and body modifications are valued above all else. You play as V, a mercenary in search of a device that allows you to gain immortality. Cyberpunk 2077 received the fourth version of the game engine REDengine, which is an improved and enhanced version of the “native” engine of CD Projekt RED. The improved engine actually allows the game to display amazing facial detail, slightly surpassing such things in Horizon Zero Dawn in this regard. Intelligent distinctive design and high attention to fine detail are the two pillars of the visual beauty of Cyberpunk 2077. Importantly, CD Projekt didn’t pursue new heights of polygonal detailing of objects or the introduction of some fundamentally new graphical technologies, as Crytek likes to do, but focused on the painstaking and creative elaboration of time-tested old elements, raising them to a fundamentally new level.

Display resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, Graphics settings: DX 12, High Preset,+RTX no Display resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, Graphics settings: DX 12, Ultra Preset,+RTX no
65 FPS(100%) 61 FPS(100%)

Far Cry 6 is a first-person shooter and action-adventure computer game developed by Ubisoft Toronto Studios and published by Ubisoft. It is the sixth major game in the series of the same name. The action takes place in the fictional tropical country of Yara, and tells the story of the confrontation between the main hero (or heroine) of the local resistance named Dani Rojas and the brutal dictator Anton Castillo (Giancarlo Esposito). Far Cry 6 is based on the Dunia Engine. The Dunia Engine is a game engine developed by Ubisoft Montreal for its internal projects and first used in the first-person shooter Far Cry 2. The Dunia Engine is a proprietary multiplatform game engine used by Ubisoft Montreal only for its own, internal projects and is not available for licensing by third parties. The latest version of the engine has added support for DX12, ray tracing and AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution.

Display resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, Graphics settings: DX 12, High Preset Display resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, Graphics settings: DX 12, Ultra Preset
75 FPS(100%) 63 FPS(100%)

Alienware Command Center provides a single interface for game setup and optimization. The Control Panel displays the most recently launched or added games and game information, themes, and profiles, and provides access to your computer settings. You can quickly access settings such as game profiles and themes, backlighting, macros, audio, and overclocking that are important to your game. Alienware Command Center also supports the AlienFX 2.0 backlighting system. AlienFX allows you to create, assign, and share game lighting cards to enhance your game. In addition, you can create your own custom backlighting effects and apply them to your computer or connected peripherals.


Cooling System

Like the older Alienware x15, the x14 also gets a cooling system with an evaporation chamber and a special gallium-silicone thermal interface, which together should improve the efficiency of heat removal from the components. When working with office programs, watching videos laptop usually works silently, but in game mode, the noise level reaches 52 dB. Chassis heating was not high considering the powerful components inside the notebook, the temperature from the bottom during gaming reached only 47 °C. The keyboard area around the WASD keys was heated up to 45 °C.

Battery life

The notebook is equipped with a 6-section battery with a capacity of 80Wh. The battery life results are good for a gamer’s device: in web surfing mode, it lasts 6-7 hours and 7-8 hours when watching streaming video. Gaming drains the device in about 1 hour. The charging speed of the laptop is quite high The battery is fully charged in 2 hours.

  • Fullscreen 1080p video – 8 hours 08 mins
  • Internet surfing on Wi-Fi – 9 hours 11 minutes
  • Full system load – 1 hour

Conclusion

For anyone who isn’t stopped by the price, the Dell Alienware X14 can be a great option for gaming. Other advantages include a 14-inch Full HD screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz, a comfortable keyboard with individual key backlighting, and an accurate touchpad. Finally, the notebook has a decent set of interfaces, a large battery. The laptop is equipped with powerful components, consisting of Intel Core i7-12700H processor and discrete graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, so it will be relevant in the coming years. It is important that despite the fact that Alienware X14 easily pulls modern games at 1080p resolution at high settings, yet it is still inferior in this respect Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA402R and very significantly.

Advantages

  • 144Hz display with G-Sync support
  • Good battery life
  • MicroSD card reader
  • Two Thunderbolt 4
  • RGB key illumination

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