The world of gaming laptops has many contenders, but Alienware and MSI are among the best in the business.
So if you know anything about gaming brands, then you’ve heard of MSI and Alienware. But which one is the better gaming laptop brand?
I’m about to compare these two brands so you can find out!
MSI vs. Alienware: Full Features Breakdown
I’ll be discussing the most important factors you should know about these two gaming laptop makers!
CPU and GPU
The performance will make or break a gaming machine, starting with its graphics card and processor.
These laptops feature the latest graphics cards and CPUs available on the market in different configurations, so you can find a great gaming device from either laptop brand.
Both MSI and Alienware laptops have also recently begun packing AMD processors, so you won’t have to run to one brand or the other if you prefer Team Red over Team Blue.
MSI and Alienware refresh their laptops every year, so you can get a device with a 10th-gen Intel core i7 chip, or you can scale up to a 12th-gen Intel core i9 chip!
It’s the same story with their GPUs. You can easily find gaming laptops sporting the latest NVidia GeForce RTX graphics cards.
WINNER: Tie! Alienware gaming laptops and MSI laptops come equipped with differing CPU and GPU configurations, but neither brand corners regarding their internals.
What About Their RAM?
Apart from the CPU and GPU, you’ll also need lots of high-speed RAM to load the latest games without worry.
MSI and Alienware produce laptops with different RAM configurations. Neither brand offers more RAM, so it’s another TIE here.
Alienware. MSI. When it comes to gaming computers, these two are extremely solid choices.
But the best laptops should ideally balance price and performance; this is where Alienware’s laptops fall short.
Your gaming experience will be smooth and stutter-free on these two brands’ powerful gaming machines, but MSI offers gaming computers at a far more affordable price.
MSI’s mid-range models will offer a good price-to-performance ratio if you’re gaming on a budget, but their models scale well even at the top-end.
Meanwhile, Alienware puts only the best internals into their machines, and they offer them at prices to match.
Other brands will often have a more approachable line of gaming devices, like the ASUS TUF series of Acer’s Nitro line. Alienware is strictly a premium line only.
WINNER: MSI laptops! You can get a gaming laptop with MSI no matter your price point, which gives MSI a slight advantage over Alienware gaming laptops.
Screen Size and Quality
You won’t be able to game at your best if you can’t see what’s happening on-screen. So you’ll want a larger and brighter screen.
Content creators will also appreciate a brighter screen while video editing, too. After all, you’ll need a clear and color-accurate display to produce the best videos.
But gamers don’t stop at their laptop’s brightness. A higher refresh rate will vastly improve your gaming experience and ensure you aren’t caught lagging during a high-speed match!
MSI displays come in 2 different sizes: 15.6-inch screens and desktop-replacement 17.3-inch screens. Alienware offers more variety, with 14, 15 and 17-inch screens.
Both MSI and Alienware feature high-refresh-rate displays, so you can get a laptop at a standard 60Hz or go up to a blistering 360Hz!
Their resolutions are similar, so you won’t have to worry about your screen being blurry. You can get laptops with resolutions from FHD to 4K screens for lifelike realism.
WINNER: Another Tie! Neither MSI nor Alienware have an edge regarding screen sizes, resolutions, or refresh rates.
If you plan on pulling all-nighters while gaming, then DON’T WORRY! You’ll need a sturdy gaming laptop that won’t cave in even as you rage towards the night.
Your standard Alienware laptop will be made of sterner stuff than most MSI laptops, thanks to their metal frames and stiff plastic chassis.
Thanks to their superb build quality and metal bodies, deck flex isn’t a common issue with Alienware laptops. But this sturdiness comes at a cost in weight!
An Alienware laptop will often be noticeably heavier than its MSI counterpart. If you want to carry a lighter load in your bag, go for MSI instead!
But build quality goes beyond weight. Another common point of failure for clamshell laptops is their hinges, and both Alienware and MSI share this problem.
To avoid this issue, ensure that you open your laptops carefully so that you don’t stress the hinges too much.
WINNER: Alienware laptops! Alienware makes gaming laptops tougher in general.
When gaming laptops were still starting, they often had loud designs. Large logos, bright-colored plastic chassis, you name it!
MSI was especially guilty of this back then, but they’ve moved on to sleeker all-black designs. They wanted their users to be loud and proud, but this design philosophy hasn’t aged well.
Conversely, Alienware has always had more subtle designs. Alienware laptops used to come only in extremely dark black frames, but they’ve recently come out with all-white models.
Where they differ is the small touches aside from color, and that’s where MSI lags behind Alienware. MSI devices have the same standard clamshell shape, with very few variations.
Sometimes the bezels are thinner, or the chassis has a different color, but it never changes.
On the other hand, the profile of an Alienware device is unmistakable. Sleek, smooth, and no fuss.
WINNER: Alienware! Their futuristic-looking laptops are more eye-catching than what MSI offers.
Gaming laptops won’t last long if they can’t keep themselves cool. Before getting a new gaming laptop, you must know how well it can withstand the heat!
A good gaming device should be able to deliver smooth frame rates while also keeping your CPU temperature ideally under 75 degrees C.
This may sound like too much heat, but a gaming rig will generate lots of heat while under load, so it’s quite normal. Heavier games may even push your gaming laptop to 100 degrees!
Alienware has long struggled with making a cooling system that can stand up to the beastly graphics cards inside their laptops.
Meanwhile, most MSI machines will have enough heat pipes to keep your palms cool while you game.
WINNER: MSI laptops! Alienware laptops are notorious for overheating and usually require a repaste before too long.
Regarding “The most important gaming features” that you’ll need, battery life usually isn’t too high on the list.
That’s because gaming PCs and laptops will always deliver much betterwhen plugged in.
Powerful laptops suffer even more from this issue because they’ll naturally use up more power while you play games.
However, there are ways to counteract this, and MSI has found a solution: They stuffed their gaming devices with larger laptop batteries!
Top-end MSI laptops often come with 99.9WHr batteries, the legal limit.
Alienware doesn’t use batteries with that much capacity, so don’t expect a battery life longer than 1-2 hours.
Winner: MSI laptops! The powerful specs that go into Alienware laptops are a huge drain on the battery. MSI has compensated by providing mobile gamers with bigger batteries.
Alienware vs. MSI: Quick Reviews
I’ll discuss a few of the best gaming laptops these giants offer!
MSI Katana GF66
This is a mid-range model from MSI, so it has lighter specs and a lighter price. Thanks to its bright red-backlit keyboard, you won’t have trouble using the Katana in darker conditions.
Despite being a slightly smaller device at 15.6-inches, you’ll still get a full-fat keyboard with an included number pad for easy hot-key access
The Katana isn’t the most unique-looking machine that MSI has, but it has a good selection of USB ports and has large cooling vents for long gaming sessions.
With 8GB of RAM and an RTX 3050 GPU inside, this laptop is no slouch! You’ll be able to run the latest games at respectable settings, but don’t push it too hard with ray-tracing.
You can pick it up here.
MSI GE76 Raider
Coming from the Katana, here’s the top-end of what MSI offers! This laptop results from MSI’s shift in design from red plastic to sleek black chassis.
To complement its subtler design better, the Raider has an eye-catching lightbar in the middle and is adjustable along with the backlit keyboard!
The GPU inside this device matches the premium-looking chassis. With an RTX 3070 graphics card inside, you won’t have trouble cranking up the settings on the most demanding games!
Plus, thanks to MSI’s Cooler Boost system, you won’t have to worry about overheating while gaming on this behemoth.
Get ready to smoke your competition with the Raider! You can pick it up here.
Alienware M15 R6
The M15 R6 is one of Alienware’s more modest laptops, but “modest” for Alienware is still miles ahead of what other laptop brands usually make.
An H-series Intel core i7 chip inside the R6 is designed to draw on more power and run faster, so you can ignore lag while playing competitive shooters!
Speaking of avoiding lag, this beast comes with a GeForce RTX 3060 and a 240Hz screen, so you know you’re in for a buttery-smooth gaming experience.
However, the M15 falls a little short when it comes to storage. 512GB is fine for schoolwork, but it won’t be able to hold more than a few higher-end games!
Fortunately, you can add another SSD inside if you need more space. You can pick it up here.
Alienware X17 R2
Stepping up in both size and specs is the X17 R2! This desktop-replacement laptop is made of the stuff of legend.
With an 8-core Intel Core i7 chip and an RTX 3070 Ti inside, you can experience your favorite gaming worlds with maxed-out graphical settings!
You can also upgrade the RAM to 64Gb if you need it, plus the MUX switch on the X17 R2 will let your games load straight from the graphics card!
My only small issue with this monster is the side-charging port. Placing the charging port at the back of the device makes for a much cleaner desk. You can pick it up here.
Alienware? MSI? Get to know these makers better here!
Does Alienware Offer Full AMD Laptops?
AMD has swiftly gained ground against Intel in both the CPU and GPU spaces, and laptop makers have used their chips well.
Unfortunately, Alienware has been a little slower than other brands regarding making the jump to AMD. Only a few Alienware laptops offer AMD CPUs, and even fewer have AMD GPUs.
Hopefully, they’ll switch tracks soon so that I can see a pure Alienware AMD device.
Why MSI vs. Alienware?
Both Alienware and MSI produce computer hardware that can put other brands to shame. But they’re not the only makers, so why compare them?
I’m pitting Dell Alienware laptops against MSI laptops because they’re both standouts in the gaming world.
These two sit at the top among gaming laptop brands for different reasons.
MSI laptops are available at all prices, while Alienware machines are the premium option for hardcore gamers.
Alienware vs. MSI: Conclusion
The main difference between MSI and Alienware laptops is in the range of gaming laptops.
Alienware offers incredible performance, but only at the highest price point, while MSI features several laptops for gamers at every level.
Alienware may have brand recognition, but how much is that alien logo worth to you? This gaming brand is for you if you can handle the eye-watering prices of top-end Alienware models.
However, if you don’t mind letting the idea of max settings slip away, a standard MSI laptop will give you a smooth gaming experience at a more approachable level.
But you understand your needs better than anyone else, so if you’re still deciding, “MSI or Alienware?” then follow this quick guide below to find the best gaming laptop!
Get an MSI Laptop if:
- You’re gaming on a budget
- The design of your gaming laptop doesn’t matter to you
- You want a powerful gaming laptop with a long battery life
Get an Alienware Laptop if:
- You love high-end laptops and have the budget to match
- You want a gaming laptop with the unparalleled build quality
- Portability isn’t a deciding factor for you