MSI vs Alienware: Which Gaming Laptop Brand is Better?

eGaming is becoming more and more popular and not only for pleasure.

Some gamers are professionals and compete in tournaments around the world. No longer is gaming only for children, there is a serious amount of prize money at stake for competitors.

If you’re a game enthusiast, you want to equip yourself with the best machine you can for your money. This information will help you make a more informed decision.

Making the process of choosing between MSI and Alienware easier.


MSI Logo

MSI (Micro-Star International) is a Taiwanese company. MSI design and develop computer hardware and related products, which include:

  • Laptops.
  • Motherboards.
  • Desktops.
  • Graphics cards.
  • All-in-one PCs.

Although they provide all these products, unless you are a gamer, it’s possible you won’t have heard of them. Their more famous machines are features of the gaming world, not everyday computing.

They are keen sponsors of many e-gaming events and this is a big reason that their name is so well-known in gaming.


MSI uses a wide variety of components in their machines

The price tag dictates what you get included in the machine.

The lower budget models tend to include 8th generation Intel core processors that are either i5 or i7. Premium-priced models also include Intel core processors but these are 9th or 10th generation i7 and i9.

Most models use SSD and the premium-priced models have SATA as well as SSD and come with more RAM.

Display sizes vary from around 13 inches upwards. They also boast one of the biggest screen sizes, with a model having an 18.4-inch display. Displays are LED and full HD; the most premium priced models are UHD.

The audio components vary by price range. Budget models include Dynaudio and Nahimic 2 technology. The premium models have Nahimic 3 or ESS Sabre Hi-Fi technology.


MSI Gaming Laptop

The design of MSI laptops boasts nothing special. Compared to other brands, it is a disappointment.

They tend to opt for the same chassis throughout their range, so all the models have a similar look to them. Design is not an area where these laptops provide the wow factor.

Product Variety

MSI offers a vast range of gaming laptops. This range covers all (gaming machine) budgets, from entry-level gaming to premium priced.

A seasoned gamer will expect the highest level of performance and technology. This is found in the higher-end MSI models.

If you are new to the scene and testing the water, MSI has some great lower-priced machines to fit your needs.


MSI Gaming Laptop

Price can be a major factor in which model you eventually choose. MSI focus their laptop models on gaming, so offer some good specs at entry-level prices.

To own an MSI gaming laptop, you will be looking to invest between $800 and $6,000. Gaming is not a cheap hobby and some won’t think twice about spending that amount of cash on a laptop.

You need to make sure you don’t regret your purchase. Do thorough research before committing.


All MSI laptops come with a free accidental cover. All you do is register your laptop after purchase. You also get a standard one-year warranty for the machine.

When it comes to contacting customer support, there are good and bad reviews. This is to be expected as we all have a different level of expectation. On the whole, most are satisfied with the service they receive.

Customers do report being held in long queues waiting to speak to technicians. They also report technicians have been unable to answer questions correctly on occasions.

The website is a difficult site to navigate as a whole but to find support, is even worse.



MSI always keeps ahead of the game with innovative technology. They are continuously coming up with new and improved components.

A recent release is the Z370 Godlike Gaming motherboard. Based on the latest Intel 8th generation, it can handle lightning-fast internet connections. It includes the Killer xTend, which has a combined built-in switch and wireless extender. This allows the gamer to see the ultimate in traffic prioritization.

They have also come up with the GeForce GTX Lightning Z graphics card. Built with military class materials and includes a Tri-Frozr thermal design. This feature uses three fans to provide ultimate air cooling.

These are just a couple of examples of MSI’s latest innovative technology, and there is a whole heap more.

Where They Stand Out

MSI machines are popular in the gaming world. Their innovative technology helps to increase that popularity.

While the machines are not aesthetically pleasing they are durable and built to last.

With the components included in their range, you are sure to get a good solid machine.

The accidental damage cover they offer sets them apart from other brands. Great if you’re accident-prone or an aggressive gamer.

What Others Say

MSI as a company receives many awards and honors. This is especially noted for their innovation.

They most recently earned honors in the CES Innovation Awards. These were given for:

  • Lightning Z graphics card.
  • Z370 motherboard.
  • Titan Pro with killer wireless.

When it comes to reviews they are often featured within the top 10 for best gaming laptops. A recent brand review carried out by Laptop magazine rated them in 9th place though.

They felt their innovation was lacking and they needed to come up with something new. A poor score was also given for the recycled design and poor website.


Alienware Logos

Alienware is a subsidiary of the Dell Corporation and was formed in 1996.

The range offers a great selection of gaming laptops.

Machines that feature components to meet the performance needs of all gamers.

With Dell being a famous name in the world of computing it is likely to be a series of machines you have heard of. If you haven’t, then you should read this to have a good understanding of what the series offers.


Components are important features of any laptop. With a gaming laptop, they are even more important. A gaming laptop needs to have both power and performance for the best level of gaming possible.

Models in the lower price range feature Intel core i7 8th generation processors. As the price gets higher you will see 9th and 10th generation i7 and i9 Intel Core processors included.

Most models throughout the series feature SDD. Some higher-end models include both SSD and HDD to improve performance. Display size varies from 13 inches to 17 inches.

Displays are Full HD or UHD, and they tend to opt more for LCDs, although a few models are LEDs. All models include an NVIDIA graphics card and some models boast the Alienware Xenowave audio sound effect.

You can increase RAM up to 32GB for all models and the batteries used throughout the range are either 4-cell or 6-cell.


Alienware Laptop Design

The design of the Alienware range has an alien theme to it but all models feature this same look. On the whole, the design is disappointing and Alienware offers no wow factor in this area.

Alienware design changes once the machine is opened. You get a rainbow of colors once the lid is lifted or you touch one of the keys. The keyboard has five customizable sections. There are also additional areas you can customize. These are:

  • Alienware head on the top.
  • Power button.
  • Touchpad.
  • The logo below the screen.
  • The outer perimeter on both sides.

You are also able to disable all or some of the lights. So if you don’t want your machine resembling a UFO, you’re still fine.

Product Variety

Alienware has a great range to choose from and the prices vary. You can customize your setup with additional storage, your preferred processor, and the amount of RAM.

There are different display sizes to choose from ranging from 13 inches to 17 inches.


As we all know, gaming laptops come with a high price tag. Alienware does offer some lower-priced models but not as low priced as MSI.

The model you choose and the customizable options you add will dictate the final price. To own an Alienware machine you will be looking to pay between $1,000 and $4,000.

In price comparison, you get better specifications and components from MSI models. Their expertise and focus are on gaming and that is probably why they can offer more for your money.


Alienware Support

Alienware models come with a one-year warranty. It is important to note that the warranty does state that refurbished parts will be used if a repair is needed under warranty. Some customers failed to notice this and were left disappointed.

If you need customer support and have an issue that needs to be resolved, the service is excellent. You have a personal technician assigned to your case who you can contact.

The technician sticks with you until the problem has been resolved. So, no repeating yourself to several technicians trying to fix the same issue.


Alienware was the first to include lightning-fast graphics on their gaming machines.

They often partner with companies such as Oculus and Steam to come up with innovations. They pride themselves on providing gaming enthusiasts and professionals with high-performance machines.

Models feature technology to enhance graphics using Nvidia, and they add the best processors for efficiency.

While not as innovative as MSI, they manage to keep up well with the competition.

Where They Stand Out

Alienware Picking

Alienware stands out for the great opportunities to customize your model on purchase, allowing you to choose the processor, storage, and RAM.

The level of customer support they provide makes them rise above most, as this is often an area where companies fail to satisfy.

Alienware offers a good range of models to choose from, with different display sizes.

What Others Say

The Alienware range has received many awards and is often featured in laptop reviews. Recent reviews include:

  • PC Magazine.
  • Computer Shopper.
  • Laptop Magazine.
  • Game Informer.
  • PC World 100 Best Products.

As a subsidiary of Dell, the company itself, also receives many awards, not only for their products but for business ethics too.

Alienware models. get great customer reviews too. Selling sites award Alienware good star ratings according to customer satisfaction.

What Are the Main Differences Between MSI and Alienware?

Alienware vs MSI

MSI seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to adding innovative technology to its range. Alienware keeps up but doesn’t quite offer as many innovative additions.

Alienware offers more customizable options at the point of purchase. This allows you to include what you want from your machine at the start.

Neither MSI nor Alienware offers amazing designs.

Alienware does have a more appealing look with the alien theme.

MSI offers something in all gaming machine price ranges. They also offer lower-priced models than Alienware, which will entice those who are new to gaming. With both brands, the components included reflecting the price. You are not paying extra for brand name or useless gimmicks.

When to Choose MSI?

MSI Buget Laptops

If you want a serious hardcore gaming machine, then this is a great range to choose from

Even if you are just starting in the gaming world with a low budget, they have something to offer.

MSI stays ahead with innovation. They often add new technology to their machines which enhance power, performance, and displays.

MSI specializes in gaming, so all their emphasis is focused directly on gaming.

Another good reason to choose MSI is the accidental damage cover. This is not something you will find many laptop brands offer.

When to Choose Alienware?

Alienware Laptops

For a laptop that you can customize at the purchase point rather than upgrade later, Alienware is your best choice

This is a feature they offer so you can start with the machine you want.

Alienware puts great emphasis on their displays and many models come with UHD. You can also purchase the graphics amplifier to view games in 4K and use VR.

Customer support is an excellent standard and will give you peace of mind that, should something go wrong, you will receive the best support available.

Final Thoughts

Whichever brand you go with you won’t be disappointed. They both offer superb performance and an enhanced gaming experience.

As you will be looking at a hefty price tag, make sure you do thorough research on the specific models you have in mind.

 Check out what other customers say and what the hard-core gamers recommend.

About the Author Marcus

Marcus has a graduate degree in computer engineering and has many years of experience in cutting-edge technology research and development in both startups and Fortune 500 corporations. In his free time, he enjoys RTS gaming.

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