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Alienware X15 R1 vs R2 (2022): What’s The Difference?

The Alienware X15 R1 features a thin, eye-catching and stylish design that’s definitely geared towards gamers, but it still has a professional look to it and it’s not tacky at all. This design made it unique, but having powerful internal hardware is what made it a worthy purchase. The Alienware X15 R2 retains the overall design of its predecessor, and this time, it packs even more powerful hardware. So how does it perform and does it blow its predecessor out of the water? Below is our Alienware X15 R2 review and comparison against the X15 R1 to find out.

Alienware X15 R1 vs R2 Comparison Chart

ModelAlienware X15 R1Alienware X15 R2
PriceCheck Price Check Price
CPU11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H
Memory16GB DDR4 3200MHz16GB LPDDR5 5200MHz
Storage512GB M.2 PCIe NVMeUp to 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe
Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GBNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8GB
Display15.6-inch IPS LCD, 360Hz, 1920 x 1080 pixels, G-Sync15.6-inch IPS LCD, 360Hz, 1920 x 1080 pixels, G-Sync
OSWindows 11 HomeWindows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro
Ports1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port with PowerShare
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port with Power Delivery and DisplayPort™
1x Thunderbolt™ 4 port with Power Delivery and DisplayPort™
1x 3.5mm combo jack
1x HDMI 2.1 port
1x Power-adapter port
1x Type-C to RJ-45 dongle
1x 240W SFF A/C adapter
1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port with PowerShare
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C® port with DisplayPort™ and Power Delivery
1x Thunderbolt™ 4 port with DisplayPort™ and Power Delivery
1x 3.5mm combo jack
1x HDMI 2.1 port
1x power-adapter port
Dimensions0.64 x 14.16 x 10.92 inches0.64 x 14.16 x 10.92 inches
WeightStarts at 5 lbsStarts at 5 lbs


Both the Alienware X15 R1 and R2 have thin designs that lend to excellent portability.

alienware x15 r1 vs r2 display
The Alienware X15 R1 (left) and R2 (right) have pretty much the same design.

One look at the Alienware X-series laptops and you’ll know that they are for gamers. They come in an all-white exterior that looks premium despite being made of plastic. The laptops look clean and yet stylish with the inclusion of tasteful RGB. There’s a huge “15” branding on the lid, but it doesn’t detract from the overall design of the laptops.

When opened, you’ll be greeted by their excellent screens (more on that later) and keyboards with per-key RGB lighting. At the top right of the keyboard is an alien head that serves as the power button. Located at the top of the keyboards are honeycomb cutouts and flanking the keyboards are slim vents for ventilation. Their undersides also have honeycomb cutouts for added cooling. They both come with quad-fan cooling.

Size-wise, they are identical as well. They both measure 0.64 x 14.16 x 10.92 inches and they weigh nearly the same as well—this depends on the configuration. As mentioned earlier, they are made with mostly plastic, but despite that, they feel sturdy. There’s flex on the keyboard when pushed hard and the displays wobble a bit, but it’s not too bad.


Both the Alienware X15 R1 and Alienware X15 R2 gaming laptops come with various panel options up to 360Hz.

alienware x15 r1 vs r2 display
In this comparison, the Alienware X15 R1 (left) and R2 (right) have 1080p panels with a max refresh rate of 360Hz.

Alienware offers various panel options for both the X15 R1 and R2. The laptops being compared here have 1080p IPS panels with a maximum refresh rate of 360Hz. The full HD panels look good and they cover 100% of the sRGB range, so games, movies and graphics works benefit from their color accuracy.

The panels have a max refresh rate of 360Hz and they support NVIDIA G-Sync, so gaming is a treat on these, especially if your games can reach high framerates. Speaking of high framerates, the 1080p panels on these laptops are not as demanding as the QHD panels, so you’ll get excellent framerates on these, resulting in a responsive, stutter-free and tear-free gaming experience.

Both panels have a max brightness of 400 nits, so they have excellent contrast. Of course, they won’t compete against OLEDs in this area, but they are still more than good enough in showing deep blacks and highlights.


The Alienware X15 R2 performs better than the R1, which is expected.

alienware x15 r1 vs r2 performance
The keyboard and trackpad layout are exactly the same on the Alienware X15 R1 (left) and R2 (right).

The machines being compared here have different CPUs, GPUs and RAM. The Alienware X15 R1 is equipped with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB (110W) and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Meanwhile, the Alienware X15 R2 comes with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8GB (140W) and 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Unsurprisingly, the R2 performs better in almost every benchmark.

For gaming, both laptops can play demanding games such as Metro Exodus, Control, Far Cry 6 and many others at respectable framerates. The R2 with an RTX 3070 Ti had an average of 60 fps with settings maxed out and ray tracing enabled. Do take note that the laptop only has a 1080p screen, so performance won’t be the same when you buy the R2 with a 1440p panel. Meanwhile, the R1 with its 3070 GPU managed a lower average fps, but the difference is not that drastic.

Both laptops will have no problem running competitive e-sports titles and they can definitely take advantage of their 360Hz panels. A game like R6 Siege will have no problems running at upwards of 200 fps, while less demanding games such as CS:GO will easily run at over 300fps with these machines.

The two laptops have decent thermal performance. The fans are noisy when under load, but they’re no worse than their competitors. The exterior gets warm, but not dangerously so.


Battery life is disappointing on both models.

alienware x15 r1 vs r2 battery and ports
All of the I/O ports are located at the back on both laptops.

The biggest weakness of the Alienware X15 R1 is its mediocre battery life. It can last a little under four hours when playing games and just a bit more when used for basic tasks such as browsing, checking emails, etc. Unfortunately, the new X15 R2 also disappoints in this area. It performs just like the previous gen, so if battery life is important to you, you should maybe look at different gaming laptops. You can check our Dell G15 vs Lenovo Legion 5 comparison here.

Number of I/O ports is another area where the Alienware X15 R1 is lacking. It has all the essentials, but the total number is lackluster. You only get one USB-A, one USB-C and one Thunderbolt 4 port. If you are planning on plugging in various peripherals, you’ll need to purchase a USB hub.


The Alienware X15 R2 expectedly performs better than the X15 R1, but it still retains the latter’s weaknesses such as mediocre battery life and limited number of ports.

Alienware X15 R1

Alienware X15 R2

The Alienware X15 R1 is impressive when it comes to looks and performance, but its disappointing battery life and limited number of I/O ports hold it back from being the best in its price range. The next generation Alienware X15 R2 features the same design as the R1, but it has better hardware so it performs better in gaming, productivity workload and everyday tasks. Unfortunately, it also suffers from a disappointing battery life and limited number of ports. These can be deal-breakers for a lot of people, but if you don’t mind these shortcomings, both the Alienware X15 R1 and R2 are still worth buying since they offer excellent gaming performance and stylish designs. The R1 is cheaper while the R2 offers the newest hardware.


📌 What is the difference between Alienware X15 R1 and R2?

The only difference between the X15 R1 and R2 is their internal components, with the R1 having older hardware and the R2 sporting the latest. They have the same design and display.

📌 Is Alienware X15 RAM upgradable?

No, the RAM is soldered on the motherboard and there are no extra slots.

📌 How many fans are on the Alienware X15?

The Alienware X15 has a quad-fan cooling system.

📌 Can I upgrade the SSD on the Alienware X15?

Yes, you can upgrade the storage on the Alienware X15.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.