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m18 Review - The King Has Returned?


ssj92

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Hope everyone finds it useful. Only two things I really want to emphasize:

  1. Audio is good BUT can be so much better. It needs a subwoofer and you will hear the difference when I compare it to the previous flagships!

  2. The overheating problem is real, BUT it is mostly an issue on 1-2 P-Cores for most people. The whole CPU is not overheating but just a core or two. This unfortunately will require a repaste to fix. Undervolting does help a lot and form BIOS 1.6.0 you can UV through BIOS or XTU/Throttlestop.

  3. The 300 nit display is critized because competitors have 400-500 nit displays. Well, take a look at my 500 nit macbook compared to the 300 nit AW. Yes the Macbook is brighter but the actual difference in real life is not much. The AW display is a true 300 nit display (not under 300). It has has 100% DCI-P3 and 87% AdobeRGB color space which is excellent.

  4. The fan noise...when doing normal tasks, this thing is quiet! And I mean QUIET! Only when you game or put the CPU on high loads does the fans kick in. Even then, they don't go to 100%. I do show how 100% sounds and unless you are running both gpu & cpu to high loads, the fans normally never reach 100%.

Overall, from the other laptops in 2023, the AW m18 is the best "all around" laptop. It's cheaper than the MSI & Razer Blade models even without a coupon.

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Alienware m18             : Intel Core i9 13900HX                  | nVidia GeForce RTX 4090    | K1675 | 2x1TB SSDs 

Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 

More Laps: M14x (555m) | M14xR2 (650m) | M15x (980m) | M17xR3 (880m) | M18xR1 (880m SLI) | 18 R1 (RTX 3000)

DT: Aurora R4 (i9 10980XE/RTX 4070) | Area-51 R2 (22-Core Xeon/2x Titan V) | SR-2 [2x6-Core/3x980Ti] | Mac Studio


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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it seams from ur temps for individual cores that dell new thermal paste ( liquid metal ) could do a good job if applied with care. 

 

i like that you compared it to the old m18 and m18x R1/R2. this is very important so we can get a good feel how big this laptop is ... for me ( and i know most of people will disagree) that the best screen and laptop size was the m18x . it is very well balanced and doesnt hurt my leg if i work for hours sitting .. 

 

i was surprised that this alienware 18 is much smaller then the m18x since the screen bezel on the m18x is not huge like the m18.. 

 

since you have the area51m to compare . is the 18 screen feels much bigger then the area51m ? and how it feels compared to the m18x screen ? 

 

when you showed the alienware command center , the GPU thermal limit is set for 87C . is that for the GPU hot spot or the main GPU ? because u know if this only for the general GPU temp , then the hotetst spot would be about 10C higher which is as far as i know is very high .. unless the 4090 has a different thermal limits . correct me if i'm wrong 

 

about the sound quality , what u said made me think about modding the 18 and the area51m some how and add a subwoofer .. i wonder if someone tried this before in any laptop ! i think finding a place to fit the subwoofer ( as a speaker only without the big black box ) from the m18 or the m18x will be a challenge !

 

good review man thanks 

Alienware M18X R1, i7 2960XM @ 4.4Ghz, Nvidia GTX 880M SLI , 32GB RAM , samsung 840pro + samsung 860evo ( THE BEST I EVER HAVE)

Alienware Area-51M R1, i9 9900K @ 5.1Ghz, Nvidia RTX 2080, 64GB RAM, samsung 980 Pro( LOVELY MACHINE WITH BAD BIOS )

Alienware 18 , I7 4930MX @ 4.2Ghz , GTX 980M SLI, 32GB RAM ( MAY REST IN PEACE)   (CAME BACK TO LIFE) 

 

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On 4/10/2023 at 12:48 AM, i.bakar said:

it seams from ur temps for individual cores that dell new thermal paste ( liquid metal ) could do a good job if applied with care. 

 

i like that you compared it to the old m18 and m18x R1/R2. this is very important so we can get a good feel how big this laptop is ... for me ( and i know most of people will disagree) that the best screen and laptop size was the m18x . it is very well balanced and doesnt hurt my leg if i work for hours sitting .. 

 

i was surprised that this alienware 18 is much smaller then the m18x since the screen bezel on the m18x is not huge like the m18.. 

 

since you have the area51m to compare . is the 18 screen feels much bigger then the area51m ? and how it feels compared to the m18x screen ? 

 

when you showed the alienware command center , the GPU thermal limit is set for 87C . is that for the GPU hot spot or the main GPU ? because u know if this only for the general GPU temp , then the hotetst spot would be about 10C higher which is as far as i know is very high .. unless the 4090 has a different thermal limits . correct me if i'm wrong 

 

about the sound quality , what u said made me think about modding the 18 and the area51m some how and add a subwoofer .. i wonder if someone tried this before in any laptop ! i think finding a place to fit the subwoofer ( as a speaker only without the big black box ) from the m18 or the m18x will be a challenge !

 

good review man thanks 

I will try ptm7950 this Saturday and see if it fixes the core differential issue and allows my CPU to not hit 100c. 

 

The m18 screen definitely feels bigger than area-51m, especially thanks to the 16:10 aspect ratio and higher resolution. 

 

I like the m18 screen personally. The colors are good, the screen calibration is quite good out of the box. Brightness is fine for me (mine is ~304 nits). Watching 16:9 content feels a bit better on M18x because of the 16:9 resolution (you get black bars on m18 due to 16:10 ratio) but the m18 feels good for overall usage. 

 

The GPU limit of 87c is main gpu temp not hot spot. I've never seen the GPU even hit 80c in any workload so should be fine either way 

 

I added a subwoofer to my m18xr2 a long time ago from GT72 laptop. It worked fine and I am thinking of looking around to see if any subwoofer would fit inside m18 (mainly where those two 2230 m.2 slots are) 

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Alienware m18             : Intel Core i9 13900HX                  | nVidia GeForce RTX 4090    | K1675 | 2x1TB SSDs 

Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 

More Laps: M14x (555m) | M14xR2 (650m) | M15x (980m) | M17xR3 (880m) | M18xR1 (880m SLI) | 18 R1 (RTX 3000)

DT: Aurora R4 (i9 10980XE/RTX 4070) | Area-51 R2 (22-Core Xeon/2x Titan V) | SR-2 [2x6-Core/3x980Ti] | Mac Studio


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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11 hours ago, ssj92 said:

I will try ptm7950 this Saturday and see if it fixes the core differential issue and allows my CPU to not hit 100c. 

 

The m18 screen definitely feels bigger than area-51m, especially thanks to the 16:10 aspect ratio and higher resolution. 

 

I like the m18 screen personally. The colors are good, the screen calibration is quite good out of the box. Brightness is fine for me (mine is ~304 nits). Watching 16:9 content feels a bit better on M18x because of the 16:9 resolution (you get black bars on m18 due to 16:10 ratio) but the m18 feels good for overall usage. 

 

The GPU limit of 87c is main gpu temp not hot spot. I've never seen the GPU even hit 80c in any workload so should be fine either way 

 

I added a subwoofer to my m18xr2 a long time ago from GT72 laptop. It worked fine and I am thinking of looking around to see if any subwoofer would fit inside m18 (mainly where those two 2230 m.2 slots are) 

i thought the m18xr1 already has a subwoofer .. my m18x r1 has one already .. since my last comment i did the exercise of adding a subwoofer to the area-51m . i will share the details in the correct section since i dont wanna get out of topic here ...

 

i know u said that the GPU doesnt exceed 80C but im still curious what is the temperature for the hot spot... maybe if u can check it in GPU-z and let us know .

 

 

Alienware M18X R1, i7 2960XM @ 4.4Ghz, Nvidia GTX 880M SLI , 32GB RAM , samsung 840pro + samsung 860evo ( THE BEST I EVER HAVE)

Alienware Area-51M R1, i9 9900K @ 5.1Ghz, Nvidia RTX 2080, 64GB RAM, samsung 980 Pro( LOVELY MACHINE WITH BAD BIOS )

Alienware 18 , I7 4930MX @ 4.2Ghz , GTX 980M SLI, 32GB RAM ( MAY REST IN PEACE)   (CAME BACK TO LIFE) 

 

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10 hours ago, i.bakar said:

i thought the m18xr1 already has a subwoofer .. my m18x r1 has one already .. since my last comment i did the exercise of adding a subwoofer to the area-51m . i will share the details in the correct section since i dont wanna get out of topic here ...

 

i know u said that the GPU doesnt exceed 80C but im still curious what is the temperature for the hot spot... maybe if u can check it in GPU-z and let us know .

 

 

Hottest spot I have seen on the 4090 is the ram, i've seen mine hit 90c (I pretty much have HWinfo up at all times.)  GPU die itself has only hit 72c on the hotspot.

I have been stressing the heck out of my system.  I'm not 100% happy with the way the cpu runs and the bios are hit or miss if they work at all for me.

 

I'm looking forward to your add-a-sub post! Thats pretty cool/

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14 hours ago, Popcan said:

Hottest spot I have seen on the 4090 is the ram, i've seen mine hit 90c (I pretty much have HWinfo up at all times.)  GPU die itself has only hit 72c on the hotspot.

I have been stressing the heck out of my system.  I'm not 100% happy with the way the cpu runs and the bios are hit or miss if they work at all for me.

 

I'm looking forward to your add-a-sub post! Thats pretty cool/

here you go 

 

Alienware M18X R1, i7 2960XM @ 4.4Ghz, Nvidia GTX 880M SLI , 32GB RAM , samsung 840pro + samsung 860evo ( THE BEST I EVER HAVE)

Alienware Area-51M R1, i9 9900K @ 5.1Ghz, Nvidia RTX 2080, 64GB RAM, samsung 980 Pro( LOVELY MACHINE WITH BAD BIOS )

Alienware 18 , I7 4930MX @ 4.2Ghz , GTX 980M SLI, 32GB RAM ( MAY REST IN PEACE)   (CAME BACK TO LIFE) 

 

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On 4/13/2023 at 10:17 AM, i.bakar said:

i thought the m18xr1 already has a subwoofer .. my m18x r1 has one already .. since my last comment i did the exercise of adding a subwoofer to the area-51m . i will share the details in the correct section since i dont wanna get out of topic here ...

 

i know u said that the GPU doesnt exceed 80C but im still curious what is the temperature for the hot spot... maybe if u can check it in GPU-z and let us know .

 

 

I added a bigger subwoofer in the 3.5" bay in addition to stock. But later on got rid of it. 

Alienware m18             : Intel Core i9 13900HX                  | nVidia GeForce RTX 4090    | K1675 | 2x1TB SSDs 

Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 

More Laps: M14x (555m) | M14xR2 (650m) | M15x (980m) | M17xR3 (880m) | M18xR1 (880m SLI) | 18 R1 (RTX 3000)

DT: Aurora R4 (i9 10980XE/RTX 4070) | Area-51 R2 (22-Core Xeon/2x Titan V) | SR-2 [2x6-Core/3x980Ti] | Mac Studio


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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37 minutes ago, ssj92 said:

I added a bigger subwoofer in the 3.5" bay in addition to stock. But later on got rid of it. 

 

nice , how electrically did u connected it ? did u split the wires from one of the speakers or other way ?

 

would u mind share a photo if u have ? and to share ur experience with it ?

 

 

 

Alienware M18X R1, i7 2960XM @ 4.4Ghz, Nvidia GTX 880M SLI , 32GB RAM , samsung 840pro + samsung 860evo ( THE BEST I EVER HAVE)

Alienware Area-51M R1, i9 9900K @ 5.1Ghz, Nvidia RTX 2080, 64GB RAM, samsung 980 Pro( LOVELY MACHINE WITH BAD BIOS )

Alienware 18 , I7 4930MX @ 4.2Ghz , GTX 980M SLI, 32GB RAM ( MAY REST IN PEACE)   (CAME BACK TO LIFE) 

 

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7 hours ago, i.bakar said:

 

nice , how electrically did u connected it ? did u split the wires from one of the speakers or other way ?

 

would u mind share a photo if u have ? and to share ur experience with it ?

 

 

 

I technically spliced the wiring from the factory sub. I ran extra wiring to the new sub. I did disconnect the old sub at the time to give the new sub full power. My post was on the notebookreview forum and it got taken down so I will have to find it in the archive. 

 

EDIT: Here's my post:

https://www.nbrchive.net/xfa/alienware-18-and-m18x.1092/MSI GT72S Subwoofer Installation [M18xR2]/

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Alienware m18             : Intel Core i9 13900HX                  | nVidia GeForce RTX 4090    | K1675 | 2x1TB SSDs 

Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 

More Laps: M14x (555m) | M14xR2 (650m) | M15x (980m) | M17xR3 (880m) | M18xR1 (880m SLI) | 18 R1 (RTX 3000)

DT: Aurora R4 (i9 10980XE/RTX 4070) | Area-51 R2 (22-Core Xeon/2x Titan V) | SR-2 [2x6-Core/3x980Ti] | Mac Studio


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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10 hours ago, ssj92 said:

I technically spliced the wiring from the factory sub. I ran extra wiring to the new sub. I did disconnect the old sub at the time to give the new sub full power. My post was on the notebookreview forum and it got taken down so I will have to find it in the archive. 

 

EDIT: Here's my post:

https://www.nbrchive.net/xfa/alienware-18-and-m18x.1092/MSI GT72S Subwoofer Installation [M18xR2]/

 

the MSI GT72S subwoofer quality and box size makes it sounds great in the 500hz range and bass.. 

 

when u said i added a subwoofer i thought u are talking about the area-51m 

 

 

Alienware M18X R1, i7 2960XM @ 4.4Ghz, Nvidia GTX 880M SLI , 32GB RAM , samsung 840pro + samsung 860evo ( THE BEST I EVER HAVE)

Alienware Area-51M R1, i9 9900K @ 5.1Ghz, Nvidia RTX 2080, 64GB RAM, samsung 980 Pro( LOVELY MACHINE WITH BAD BIOS )

Alienware 18 , I7 4930MX @ 4.2Ghz , GTX 980M SLI, 32GB RAM ( MAY REST IN PEACE)   (CAME BACK TO LIFE) 

 

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7 hours ago, i.bakar said:

 

the MSI GT72S subwoofer quality and box size makes it sounds great in the 500hz range and bass.. 

 

when u said i added a subwoofer i thought u are talking about the area-51m 

 

 

Naw, I am debating now of buying 2 subs and doing this to area-51m and m18 as well 

Alienware m18             : Intel Core i9 13900HX                  | nVidia GeForce RTX 4090    | K1675 | 2x1TB SSDs 

Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 

More Laps: M14x (555m) | M14xR2 (650m) | M15x (980m) | M17xR3 (880m) | M18xR1 (880m SLI) | 18 R1 (RTX 3000)

DT: Aurora R4 (i9 10980XE/RTX 4070) | Area-51 R2 (22-Core Xeon/2x Titan V) | SR-2 [2x6-Core/3x980Ti] | Mac Studio


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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