Dell G5 15 SE delivers 1080p power for little more than peanuts

    Lori Grunin/CNET

    Plenty of ports and efficiency are the spotlight of the Dell G5 15 Special Edition, the all-AMD mannequin of Dell’s entry 15-inch gaming laptop computer. It’s one among many techniques within the $1,000-$1,300 worth vary that boast 144Hz screens, however with AMD’s RX 5600M discrete graphics and an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor, it beats the standard Intel/Nvidia combo for the cash. And it isn’t too game-centric to make use of as a piece or distant studying Windows laptop computer, the place the additional CPU energy is useful. Plus, if you could find it on sale through the monthlong Black Friday that began on Amazon Prime Day, it will likely be a good higher purchase.

    LikeNice efficiency for the priceSlight bump on the S key helps you heart on the WASD keys quicker

    Don’t LikeThe energy buttton does not illuminate and there is not any Num Lock indicatorBacklight bleed on the display

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    The US has the biggest collection of AMD fashions — 4 — all outfitted with RX 5600M graphics. They begin at round $900 with a six-core Ryzen 5 4600H processor, 8GB reminiscence, a 256GB SSD and a primary 1,920×1,080-pixel-resolution show. At the highest of the road you may get an eight-core Ryzen 9 4900H, 16GB reminiscence and 1TB SSD with the 144Hz refresh-rate show. Dell UK gives two choices, the identical base mannequin for £949, however our check configuration with the eight-core 4800H is the highest of the road; Dell Australia has three variations, with a better base configuration that features our check configuration with a 120Hz show for AU$2,099 and a top-end eight-core 4900H mannequin for AU$2,500 (in the intervening time discounted to AU$2,124). There is not a 144Hz choice there.  

    Dell G5 15 SE (5505)

    Price as reviewed

    $1,260, £1,219, AU$2,099


    15.6-inch 1,920×1,080 IPS show 144Hz

    PC CPU

    1.6GHz AMD Ryzen 7 4800H

    PC reminiscence

    16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz


    6128GB AMD Radeon RX 5600M


    512TB SSD


    1 x USB-C, 3 x USB-A, 1 x mini DisplayPort, 1 x combo audio


    Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1, Ethernet

    Operating system

    Windows 10 Home (1909)


    5.5 lb/2.5kg

    If you go along with an Intel-based mannequin you’ve gotten much more to select from. They begin cheaper: round $900, presently discounted to $840, for a quad-core Core i5-10300H, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, 8GB reminiscence, a 256GB SSD and a 120Hz 1,920×1,080 show. At the highest of the road for $1,540 ($1,440 on the present low cost) it comes with an eight-core Core i7-10750H and GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q plus the identical 16GB reminiscence, 512GB SSD and 144Hz display as the remainder. The Intel-based equal of our check system is the $1,440 (or $1,400 with low cost) i7 with a GeForce RTX 2060. 

    The 2020 mannequin has a a lot totally different profile from its predecessor.
    Lori Grunin/CNET

    The least expensive mannequin I’d suggest might be the $1,000 Intel mannequin ($1,190 full worth), as a result of its GTX 1660 Ti graphics have 6GB video reminiscence fairly than 4GB, a minimum of for futureproofing, and since the system has 16GB RAM, as a result of that is what Windows actually wants. Unless you want your laptop computer to creep or solely use one utility at a time (and none of them is Chrome). But at that worth it competes with the equally configured Lenovo Legion 5, which makes use of the Ryzen 7 4800H, and which gives a quicker processor with the in any other case identical specs.

    The keyboard feels fairly good for typing, and for gaming there is a slight raised icon that will help you heart your hand on the WASD keys. My solely actual complaints are the dearth of an indicator for Num Lock and no illumination on the facility button, which fades into the background above the keyboard. It solely has a single backlight coloration.
    Lori Grunin/CNET

    Once once more, Dell revamped the design from final yr’s 5590 fashions, most notably by eradicating the facet vents and placing the ports in that area as a substitute of on the again, altering from a ahead hinge to a extra conventional clamshell and changing the ridges with rounding. The result’s (to my eye) rather less distinctive. However, Dell up to date the touchpad to a nicer mannequin that is extra like what you’d discover on a enterprise laptop computer, albeit with a distinct facet ratio (4:3) than the display (16:9). The system feels plasticky, however sturdy. The display confirmed plenty of backlight bleed on the prime, which is able to differ from unit to unit, however in any other case it is a typical IPS 144Hz show that you’re going to discover in low-end gaming laptops.

    There are additionally a pair bodily variations between the Intel and AMD fashions. The Intel fashions have backside illumination, which I miss, and a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connection, which you may by no means discover with an AMD chipset. The Intel mannequin additionally weighs rather less, 5.1 lbs/2.3kg versus 5.8 lbs/2.6kg.

    This mannequin delivers comparatively excessive efficiency for the cash. The 4800H processor fares higher than the marginally larger finish i7-10875H, and the Radeon RX 5600M graphics meets or outdoes the Nvidia RTX 2060 for gaming. It can deal with 1080 at greater than 60 frames per second with none points that may’t be fastened by dropping the settings in a really GPU-intensive sport.  The CPU and GPU work in conjunction to steadiness efficiency and battery life. The battery did not final fairly so long as its predecessor’s 8 hours, however at 5.9 hours it is nonetheless strong for a gaming laptop computer.

    You can get cheaper Intel fashions of the G5 — beginning at $750 — whereas the bottom AMD mannequin runs $900. Though I’m not a fan of 8GB RAM, the six-core Ryzen 5 4600H ought to be a strong gaming performer as effectively because of the RX 5600M, so long as you are not bottlenecked by that 8GB. While I do not assume the G5 is a shoo-in for prime banana in its worth vary, it is nonetheless positively price maintaining in your brief listing.

    Geekbench 5 (multicore)

    Dell G5 15 Special Edition (2020)

    Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA401IV)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    Cinebench R20 CPU (multicore)

    Dell G5 15 Special Edition (2020)

    Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA401IV)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    Video playback battery drain check (streaming)

    Dell G5 15 Special Edition (2020)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency (in minutes)

    Shadow of the Tomb Raider gaming check

    Dell G5 15 Special Edition (2020)

    Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA401IV)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency (fps)

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

    Dell G5 15 Special Edition (2020)

    Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA401IV)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency (FPS)

    3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

    Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA401IV)

    Dell G5 15 Special Edition (2020)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    System configurations

    Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (GA401IV)

    Microsoft WIndows 10 Home (1909); 3.0GHz AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz, 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with Max-Q Design, 1TB SSD

    Dell G5 15 Special Edition (2020)

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 1.6GHz AMD Ryzen 7 4800H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3.2GHz; 6GB AMD Radeon RX 5600M; 512GB SSD

    Gigabyte Aorus 15G

    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (1909); 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-10875H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max-Q; 512GB SSD

    MSI GF65 Thin 9SEXR

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (2004); 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060; 512GB SSD

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