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Alienware Vs Razer: Which Brand Is Better & Why In 2021?

With many affordable gaming laptops competing with their desktop counterparts, PC gaming is becoming more popular than ever. The Alienware vs Razer debate is one that many people ask themselves when looking to buy new gaming hardware.  

In this guide, we will discuss each brand and the similarities and differences between the two so that you can make your own decision based on what fits your gaming needs best! 

Alienware has been around for over two decades, making them a prominent and respected brand in the gaming industry. The company was established in 1996 as Saikai of Miami, Inc, and then later renamed Alienware in 1997. 

Founded by Nelson Gonzalez and Alex Aguila, the name “Alienware” stemmed from their appreciation for the television series, The X-Files. 

Alienware started by building high-end gaming PCs before venturing into gaming laptops. The release of the iconic Alienware 51 Predator desktop in 2003 featured a futuristic design, which created a buzz in the computer industry.

This attention caught the eye of Dell, who made numerous attempts to buy Alienware throughout the years and eventually succeeded in March 2006.  

Initially, Dell maintained its competing XPS line of gaming PC's which offered similar specifications. However, in the Spring of 2008, Dell's gaming division and Alienware consolidated, becoming Dell's Premier gaming brand for the company.   

Fast forward to 2009, Alienware introduced the M17, a laptop that revolutionized the outlook of portable PC gaming. Today, Alienware continues to offer high-performance products that are specifically tailored to meet gamers' needs.

With features like multi-threaded CPU cores, multi-task GPU's and advanced cooling systems, Alienware offers an immersive gaming experience at a premium price point.  

The company also prides itself on its innovative keyboard variations, including ultra-low-profile Cherry MX switches optimized for performance and comfort while typing or gaming! 

Alienware has a gaming laptop to suit every gamer's specific needs; some of their most popular models include: 

  • Alienware M15 
  • Alienware X15 
  • Alienware M17 
  • Alienware X17 
  • Alienware Area-51m 
man using a gaming laptop setup

Pros & Cons Of Alienware Laptops 

What We Like  
  • CPU Performance 
    The multi-threaded CPU cores allow you to tackle heavy tasks like gaming or video editing without experiencing lag.
  • GPU Performance 
    Bundled with the latest GPUs, Alienware laptops easily handle triple-A gaming titles while still retaining amazingly high frame rates.
  • Advanced Cooling 
    Their Cryo-Tech technology and HyperEfficient Voltage Regulation keep heat levels down, which means longer playtimes and safer conditions at higher temperatures.
  • Superior Display Options 
    With the option of a 144Hz - 360Hz refresh rate, you’ll have butter-smooth gameplay and a competitive advantage over those with a standard 60Hz display.
  • High-Performance Storage 
    Fast SSD speeds allow you to quickly access data and decrease loading times while gaming. Newer models like the M17 R4 even allow you to add up to three additional M.2 NVMe solid-state drives
  • Mechanical Switch Keys 
    The ultra-low-profile mechanical switches offer complete anti-ghosting and n-key rollover (NKRO). The keys are also fully programmable for macro key assignments as well as RGB backlighting.
  • Unique Design 
    Aside from the striking alien logo and RGB lighting, Alienware laptops are easy to identify with their fun and futuristic design style.
Things We Don’t Like
  • Somewhat Expensive 
    Alienware laptops can cost thousands of dollars should you want the most premium features and high-end performance. 
  • Short Battery Life While Gaming
    When gaming at the maximum refresh rate, the battery lasts anywhere between 2 to 3 hours. 
  • Can’t Upgrade RAM 
    Dell has opted for fixed RAM chips soldered to the motherboard, which means you can’t upgrade later down the line.
person using a gaming laptop with dell headphones

All About The Razer Brand  

Razer started as a subsidiary of Kärna LLC in 1998, but the iteration we all know today was founded in 2005 by Min-Liang Tan and Robert Krakoff.

The two men had procured the rights to the brand after Kärna ran into financial issues and ceased operations in 2000. The current headquarters are located in Singapore and Irvine, California. 

Today, Razer is a household name for those interested in anything tech. Their products are generally marketed at gamers and include gaming laptops, tablets, mice, keyboards, headsets, and mouse pads.  

The Razer DeathAdder mouse is the company's best-selling product, with the brand placing emphasis on competitive gaming.

Although approximately 5% of professional gamers use Razer peripherals, it's a go-to choice for those looking for an affordable price-to-performance build quality option. 

In 2011 Razer announced "The World's First True Gaming Laptop," dubbed the Razer Blade. The laptop featured an Intel i7 Processor and an Nvidia GT 555M graphics card.

At the time, the Blade was considered 'high-performance,' and to this day, Razer continues to improve its gaming laptops annually.  

In 2021, with features such as the New 11th Gen Intel® Core™ H Series Processors and NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 30 Series Graphics, you'll be able to enjoy gaming at the highest level competing with custom desktop builds. 

In terms of design, rather than going for sharp jagged lines and flashing LEDs, Razer has instead opted for a sleek, low-key design with subtle RGB that can be used for work or play.

This means you can set up your laptop in a coffee shop without having to worry about drawing attention. Something interesting to note is Razer tends to name their peripherals after predatory animals, while their laptops are named after bladed objects. 

Razer has four different gaming laptop models, with each model offering a variety of different specifications to choose from. These models include: 

  • Razer Blade Stealth 13 
  • Razer Blade 14 
  • Razer Blade 15 
  • Razer Blade 17 
black razer laptop

Pros & Cons Of Razer Laptops  

What We Like 
  • Excellent Gaming Performance 
    With the latest GPU technology and high refresh rates, gaming is lag-free and smooth.
  • Design And Build Quality 
    Razer laptops are housed in a high-quality CNC aluminum unibody frame. The design is often compact and sleek enough to easily blend into a work/gaming environment.  
  • Display 
    Display sizes are varied for all budgets. Ultra-fast 13-17-inch screens have refresh rates of 120Hz to 360Hz for smooth gameplay.
  • Variety Of Port Options
    These include USB 3.2, HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3, Gigabit Ethernet, and a headphone jack. 
  • Large Trackpad 
    The precision glass trackpad is large and responsive, effectively picking up the most sensitive touches. 
  • Vapor Chamber Cooling 
    The new Vapor Chamber Cooling technology quietly dissipates heat through the evaporation and condensation of internal fluid. The laptop stays efficient even under the heaviest of loads. 
Things We Don’t Like
  • Expensive
    While their peripherals are very affordable, their laptops are expensive. Razer laptops rarely cost under two thousand dollars.
  • Short Battery Life
    Like most gaming laptops, Razer’s battery life is in the 2-to-3-hour range while gaming.
  • Synapse Software 
    The Razer Synapse software can be a hassle to set up. Used to link your peripherals and customize your gaming experience, Synapse often runs into bugs when initially installed. 

Alienware Vs Razer: Which Is Better? 

Alienware and Razer are two of the most popular brands when it comes to gaming laptops. Each brand has a variety of models with many display, CPU, GPU, and storage options to choose from.  

To decide which is the better option, we've compared the most popular models of each brand in terms of quality, durability, design, and style. We've also taken a look at their similarities and differences to help you decide which is best for your specific tastes. 

Build

Razer and Alienware have both done an excellent job of providing great designs with advanced cooling systems, amazing displays, and clutter-free setups. The main difference between the two laptops is the metal used for the chassis. Razer uses an Aluminum Chassis, while Alienware utilizes Magnesium Alloy.  

Razer laptops do tend to run hot to the touch, but you shouldn’t have any hassles as long as the laptop is on a leveled surface. Additionally, Alienware has a signature, futuristic, eye-catching design, while Razer has opted for a more simplistic, clean, and low-key finish. This makes Razer a better choice if you'd like to also use your laptop at work or school.  

Processor

The latest models of both Alienware and Razer gaming laptops use the Intel Core i7-11800H (11th generation) as their processor. This processor has a 2.3 GHz base frequency and a maximum turbo frequency of 4.6GHz.  

Both brands also have Intel Core i9 variants, as well as Ryzen options (AMD Ryzen R7 5800H and AMD Ryzen R9 5900HX) to choose from. Therefore, in terms of CPU power, both Alienware and Razer tie with the same specs.  

Graphics Cards/GPUs  

The heart of a gaming laptop lies in its GPU, and both brands feature the latest graphics cards from NVIDIA®. These include the NVIDIA® GeForce RTX  3060, 3070, and 3080. The new RTX 30 series is powerful enough to support all the latest games, and 1080p gaming should be future-proof for at least a few years.  

Whether you buy an Alienware or Razer laptop, you're probably going to get the same raw GPU performance. With that being said, this is only valid as long as you compare them using the same CPU, RAM, and refresh rate specifications. 

For gamers on a budget, Alienware offers a 3050 Ti option for its Ryzen edition, while Razer has chosen last year’s GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. Razer's cheaper 1660 Ti still offers great value for money, but you might not get over 100 fps in the newest graphically demanding titles on release this year.  

The 3050 Ti and 1660 Ti GPUs are more catered toward E-sport titles that are not as demanding. If Valorant, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is your thing, these laptops will handle them with ease.  

Storage/RAM 

Looking at storage, Razer offers 512GB and 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD options. They also have an open M.2 slot on some of their other models. Alienware takes the lead here, with storage ranging from 256GB all the way to 4TB. If you want the most onboard storage, then Alienware is a clear winner.  

If you don't need all that space at once, you can always upgrade your Razer laptops storage at a later stage using the M.2 slot. However, with newer games being close or more than 100GB, how long can you really last without buying an additional SSD for Razer? 

In terms of RAM, both Alienware and Razer offer DDR4 in a variety of storage capacities, including 8GB, 16GB, 32GB at 2900MHz - 3200MHz. 

However, the biggest difference between the two brands is that Alienware has soldered their RAM directly to the motherboard, which means you won't be able to upgrade it later down the line.  

For this reason, Razer is definitely the better choice in terms of RAM. Just be aware that only the Razer Blade 15 and upwards have this interchangeable RAM ability.  

Keyboards 

Razer laptops feature optical keyboards with single-zone RGB Razer Chroma on their base models and per-key RGB Razer Chroma for their advanced models.

The keys are low profile and have anti-ghosting technology. Although it’s not necessary a key, something that also sets Razer apart from other gaming laptops is their inclusion of a large precision glass touchpad. 

Alienware, on the other hand, has both optical and mechanical keyboard options. While their optical keyboards also have per-key and per-zone RGB variants, the mechanical keyboard option features CherryMX ultra-low-profile keys with per-key AlienFX lighting.

CherryMX switches are a favorite amongst gamers for their high-quality keystrokes and customizable abilities. The type of keyboard switches on your gaming laptop can have a massive impact on whether you prefer a clicky, tactile, or silent output. 

The keyboard, therefore, comes down to personal preference, so we would advise watching a few YouTube videos and seeing which model sounds best for you. In terms of quality, though, both brands offer great keyboards. 

Display/Screen 

Display sizes for both brands include 15-inch and 17-inch options, while Razer has 13-inch and 14-inch models as well. Within these sizes, both brands offer a large selection of refresh rates, including 60, 120, 144, 165, 300, and 360Hz.

For gaming, anything over 120Hz will be sufficient, but 360Hz might be the smoothest pixels your eyes ever witness. G-SYNC is also available on certain models, which is a big yes for those who dislike screen tearing.  

Alienware offers Tobii Eye Tracking Technology which means improved gameplay by tracking your eye movements as an additional input. This allows you to shoot where you're looking without using your mouse to aim on the target, among other features.

Additionally, this feature enables your screen to automatically turn on when you sit down in front of it or turn off when you walk away. 

Ports 

Both Razer and Alienware offer an excellent variety of ports in their gaming laptops, including USB-C (Thunderbolt), USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet, display port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a power delivery port.  

All Alienware laptops include an SD card reader, but some Razer base models do not. Keep a lookout for the specifications sheets to ensure you know what ports are included.

If you want to enable your headset microphone while gaming, you will also need a 3.5 mm splitter that connects to your headphone jack.  

For Gaming  

When trying to decide between Razor vs. Alienware laptops for gaming, we found it to be a close competition between the two brands' performance. Both brands feature nearly identical specifications for their CPU, GPU, and display configurations.  

However, Alienware's inclusion of eye-tracking technology as well the option of Cherry MX mechanical keys might make it the better choice for gaming in terms of performance. The emphasized RGB elements and concept design of Alienware also give it a more 'gamer feel' when compared to Razer.  

For Business 

Due to Razer's clean design versus Alienware's distinct futuristic aesthetic, we chose Razer as the better option for business use. The low-profile mechanical keyboard is quiet when typing, while the lightweight, compact frame is easy to carry around.  

With that said, both Razer and Alienware will perform similarly for business-related tasks. Gaming laptops are catered towards high-end performance, so browsing in between work apps will be a breeze.  

Innovation 

Both brands feature the newest CPUs and GPUs available on the market, as well as their innovative cooling systems.  

Razer features an advanced heat pipe in their base model and vaporized liquid cooling in their advanced model. Similarly, Alienware features its latest Cryo-Tech technology and HyperEfficient Voltage Regulation to provide excellent thermal performance when gaming. 

There are some exclusive features to each brand, such as the inclusion of eye-tracking technology from Alienware and the ability to interchange and upgrade RAM from Razer.

As the years progress, it seems as though both companies are getting closer to matching the capabilities of full gaming desktops. All that is needed now is a leap in battery life from both brands. 

Cost  

As leaders in the gaming laptop market, Alienware and Razer are in the high-end to premium price category. While it is possible to find older models at lower prices, the new models with the best specs are around $2000 or more. 

This may sound expensive at first, but you should weigh in the cost that the GPU alone costs around $500, and you’re getting an all-in-one gaming device. 

Both brands also have budget options that are just over $1000, but you will need to sacrifice some performance in terms of frame and refresh rates.

Overall, Alienware laptops tend to be a little more expensive, but then again, they offer more storage and somewhat better gaming performance.  

laptop keyboard with red backlight

Razer Blade 15 Vs Alienware M15: Top Models Compared 

In the realm of Razer Blade vs. Alienware gaming laptops, there are various options to choose from. However, each brand has a model that stands out above the rest.

We've compared the Razer Blade 15 Advanced model with the Alienware M15 gaming laptop in terms of specs and features. 

Which model is better? Both models feature nearly identical specs, so this will depend on whether or not being able to upgrade the RAM is important to you, or if you’d prefer to have the additional 1TB of storage space.

Further than this, it depends on which design aesthetic you prefer and what your budget is. Both models are similarly priced around the $3000 mark, but the Alienware will be cheaper if you opt for the standard keyboard rather than the mechanical one.  

Specifications 

Display 

Size 

Resolution 

Refresh Rate 

Response Time 

NVIDIA G-SYNC 

Blue light protection 

FHD 

15.6" 

1920 x 1080 

360Hz 

2ms 

No 

No 

FHD 

15.6" 

1920 x 1080 

360Hz 

1ms 

Yes 

ComfortView Plus 

CPU 

Generation 

Cores 

Clock Speed 

Intel Core i7 11800H 

11th Gen 

8 Cores 

2.3GHz (4.2GHz boost) 

Intel Core i7 11800H 

11th Gen 

8 Cores 

2.3GHz (4.6GHz boost) 

Storage 

Configuration 


Additional Slots 

1TB SSD 

1 x M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 x 4 

1 x M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 x 4 

2TB SSD 

2 x M.2 NVMe PCIe 

None 

Memory 

32GB DDR4 3200MHz 

32GB DDR4 3200MHz 

GPU 

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (8GB DDR6 VRAM) 

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (8GB DDR6 VRAM) 

Keyboard 

Mechanical 

Anti-Ghosting 

RGB 

Tenkeyless (TKL) 

No

Yes 

Backlighting 

Tenkeyless (TKL) 

Yes

Yes 

4-Zone RGB 

Battery 

80 WHr (Integrated) 

86 WHr (Integrated) 

Size 

0.67" x 9.25" x 13.98" 

0.90" x 14.02" x 10.73" 

Weight 

4.59 lbs 

5.93 lbs 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do I know which Alienware model I have? 

On the laptop's home screen, click the start button and type in system information. Under programs, you can then select system information that will display the model you have.

Alternatively, most Alienware laptops usually have a sticker on the outside of the device. Look for a label or logo, and you should find the model's name.  

Where can I download Alienware Command Center? 

The Alienware Command Center can be downloaded directly from the Dell website. To protect yourself from cyber-attacks, as well as to ensure that you are getting the correct version for your specific model, never download from any source other than the official Dell website. 

How long does a Razer laptop last? 

While this will largely depend on how well you care for your laptop, you can expect it to last around 3 to 4 years in terms of hardware specifications. After this, you’d need to look at either upgrading the components or the entire laptop itself. 

Do Razer laptops overheat? 

In most cases, no. The aluminum chassis is designed to carry heat away from the internal components, preventing overheating. You may feel that the chassis is getting warm when gaming for long sessions, but this is not a sign of overheating.

As long as you play in a relatively temperature-controlled room, you should be perfectly fine.  

Do Alienware laptops overheat? 

In most cases, no. Temperatures may rise when using the turbo boost function, but these will return to normal again. If the fans are getting a good amount of airflow, the laptop is on a flat surface, and you're playing in a cool, well-ventilated room, you should be ok.    


Conclusion

Alienware and Razer are two of the most popular gaming computer brands on the market today. Both companies offer a wide range of gaming laptop models with varied specs and price points.  

Which brand you choose to buy from will depend on your gaming preferences and how much money you're prepared to pay upfront. A gaming laptop is a 3-to-4-year investment, so choose wisely, choosing performance over looks is a good place to start.