This is the dell g5 se review. Well 15 inch as you can probably tell relative to the size of my body so this is their entry to mid-level gaming laptop. You know the g5 series is but this time we have Amd inside not just intel and Amd for the graphics too we’re going to look at it now so the g5se Sc stands for special edition. Special edition starts around 833 dollars currently on dell’s website that gives you the Ryzen competitor to a core i5 h-series processor which would be the Ryzen 5 4600 h eight gigs of ram and a 256 gig ssd nvme and a full hd display. Which is your only option there being two different full hd displays though but we’ll talk about that for a bit ours is around 1130.
We have the better Ryzen 7 4 800 h which is competitive with the core i7 nominally speaking there and you get 16 gigs of ram 512 gig ssd and no matter which one you get you’re going to get the same Amd Radeon rx 5600m gpu which does interesting things with the Amd cpu. They have this thing called powershift so they can dynamically shift how much power is going to the cpu versus the gpu. It’s a separate dedicated gpu but they treat it a little bit sort of like what they call their apu with the integrated graphics to manage that does.
It makes a difference we’ll talk about that as well so for that gpu. it’s equivalent in terms of actual benchmarks and game frame rates more like a gtx 1660 ti and no surprise that’s actually the gpu that’s available. if you get the dell g5 not se which is the intel version. Which starts out at around the same price but gets more expensive as you spec it out so the equivalent to our model would be about thirteen hundred dollars. If you went with the intel and NVidia combo there for displays you have two options I highly suggest you get the better of the two they’re both full hd matte non-touch ips displays but the base model is 60 hertz and 220 nits and probably has lower color gamut but the one that.
We have and it’s not a big up charge that one’s 300 nits. Which is always better brighter yes and also it has pretty good color you’ve got your full srgb color coverage good contrast on. it’s a pleasing display which is good to see because the achilles heel of the g series from dell used to be really mediocre displays so this one’s good. This one gives the Asus tough a15 to run for its money because that one has Amd inside too. It’s a competitor with this but not the greatest full hd display there. In this price range you get a plastic or polycarbonate casing no surprise there. A design that’s not super inspired but it goes with the g tradition. I leave that up to you their super Novus silver line that they’re using this year is kind of glossy and kind of like sparkly. It picks up colors and stuff.
It’s kind of is like that 70s paint job to me. I don’t know I’m not loving it but I don’t despise it the side-lines with the taper on all that sort of thing. I think that looks pretty good and you’ve got the typical dell g series back with pronounced grill markings and stuff like that. It’s not so out there looking and boy racer gamery and all that kind of thing so you can take this with you and people won’t you know like snicker at you which is cool ports on this are pretty good you have usb c and you know thunder ball 3 was an intel thing but now anybody can actually use it.
Which is good to see and one ups the alien where I know I keep again Alienware because I started soldering the ram down but you know. You’ve got two ram slots on here you have two m.2 ssd slots ea that and you can even get it in raid 0 if you order it direct from dell with two ssd’s in there or just get a single boot ssd like r512 gig. Which is a fast Samsung drive by the way I was pretty surprised at this price range that they would do that the heatsink is readily accessible. If you want to paste it and all that sort of stuff so good on the internals in terms of performance here you know Amd Cpu’s have been rocking it this year that zen2 architecture is just really good.
it uses less heat it performs better so for example with the 4800. Here you’ve got an eight core versus intel six core and the i7 as a competition. Yes, there’s a more expensive intel eight core i7 as well but in this price range not usually. So, the cpu performance on this is excellent not quite as good as the Asus rogue zephyrus g14 that we review but that one’s also a more expensive kind of halo for Asus there. It has a higher end cpu in it too with somehow using less power at the same time that’s a pretty cool machine. This is good cpu.
The thermals on it typically when gaming and running benchmarks is about five degrees centigrade cooler than the equivalent intel. Which isn’t bad and given that this is relatively speaking for dell a more budget laptop. You’re not getting a really fancy heat sink design and all that sort of stuff with better cooling. You could probably do better with a replaced. It might do better so the performance on this is pretty good.
The noise on this if you’re playing games, you’ll hear the fan plenty. Otherwise it’s not too bad. There is the dell g7 button as i call if you hit fn f7 you can turn on max mode which means max noise max frames in your game. So, I leave that up to you and personally I found that a little too vacuum cleaner like and for five frames. It’s not really worth it that’s me like.
I said in terms of benchmarks and actual gaming frames on this. it’s very competent and very smooth. Amd’s drivers have come a long way. we had a couple of years when they were kind of rocky there but this one played every game. I threw out very smoothly on higher ultra-settings at 1080p resolution. Which is what you get with this built-in display more like the gtx 1660 ti though. It does approach the rtx 2060 max-q in some games in terms of frame rates. It’s a decent enough one I mean really if you’re going to play a 1080p.
It is enough power to get it done you could spend more money on a higher end laptop with a rtx 2070 or whatever but then what would be the point unless you want to plug in an external monitor. You want to run higher frame rates battery life well don’t expect too much. Radeon has been really good in the zen2 architecture with battery life but they’ve only put a 51watt hour battery in here. So, you’re talking about the same battery capacity. You would see in the dell xps 13 little tiny Ultrabook so yeah you do have switchable graphics.
You can use the equivalent of Amd integrated graphics on this and doesn’t have to use the dedicated gpu all the time but it’s going to depend on what you’re doing but with the display set at 150 minutes of brightness. If you’re doing light to moderate productivity work and streaming some video four hours maybe five. If you’re really you know power sipping and going with the latest chromium-based edge browser and not Google’s own chrome web browser which still eats battery.
Keyboard & Touchpad
I don’t know if this is region based or pricing based in some places there’s one that they list is just being red backlit and there’s the zone rgb backlit that. We have and it’s a pretty comfortable keyboard considering the fact that this is not a particularly thick and beefy laptop by gaming laptop standards. Its nice key travels a good tactile feel it’s actually pleasant to type on. You can light up your zones any way you want the track pad is Microsoft precision. It’s okay it’s fine uh the right click zone seems to be a little bit far towards the right side but that’s a minor complaint. It’s fine the internals on this are pretty expandable.
So, we’ll start to see this with Amd more often but in this price range. You don’t get thunderbolt 3 anyway. We have three usb a port oddly according to dell specs two of them are usb 2.0. It’s like did they have stuff in the part spin left over from 2007. I don’t know and the other one is usb 3. granted a lot of the time. You’re just plugging in an external keyboard and mouse. It really doesn’t matter when you have 2.0 3.0 you don’t need a high-speed connection for keyboards and mice do you but still you have both HDMI 2.0 and a mini display port that’s nice to have there an SD card slot.
So, the ports are pretty good on this for wi-fi. You have your choice of getting either a wi-fi five card with no name. Bluetooth 4.2 goes with that one or you can get the killer wi-fi six card which uses an intel chip. which I leave that one up to you i probably would go for that option if you’re building it for yourself the keyboard on this uh there are two varieties.
Yeah to take off the bottom cover. There are visible Philips head screws some of them are captive so you don’t have to actually remove them. Then you can pry it off using a guitar pick or pry tools work your way around the edge in the front and then you can pop it off like so towards the rear decent amount of ventilation going on over here for air intake these are speaker grills by the way the audio on.
This is surprisingly good for a 15-inch mid-ranging gaming laptop nice, loud and full actually has some bass. I mean they actually get pretty loud. let me tell you can annoy people with these speakers if you want to all right taking the cover off, we have our internals here our two fans as per usual and cpu and gpu fans and decent number of heat pipes. We have one that’s running independent that’s always nice to see not the hugest fans in the world but this price range like I said you’re not going to get the fanciest cooling kit but that’s a beefy enough heatsink.
We have two ram slots here this being an Amd zen 2 cpu this uses ddr4 3200-megahertz ram faster than average faster than what intel uses so if you decide to upgrade it afterwards keep that in mind and buy the right ram. There is our wi-fi six killer card the 1650 which uses an intel chip good stuff right there. You’ve got two m.2 ssd slots. We’ve got a shorty here instead of the full length one but it can accommodate both obviously there’s a seven-millimetre 2.5inch hard drive.
There is no connector probably there’s a connector kit that. You can get from dell or if you actually ordered it with a hard drive one you would get that cable included and here is our 51watt hour battery so for those who are trying to decide between getting this with intel or with Amd inside. I would lean towards Amd because they’re doing such a good job you get stronger performance here in cpu for things like handbrake video and codes that sort of thing.
- AMD 4th Generation Ryzen 5 4600H Processor (6-core, 3.0 GHz Up To 4.0 GHz, 8 MB Cache)
Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- 8GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB PCIe SSD
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Display, AMD Radeon RX 5600M
AMD Radeon RX 5600M
256GB PCIe SSD
Integrated Wi-Fi 4 (802.11 b/g/n)
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C,
- 1 x USB 3.2 Type-A,
- 2 x USB 2.0,
- 1 x Mini DP,
- 1 x HDMI,
- 1 x Headphone/Speaker/Line-Out Jack
- HD Audio with Stereo Speakers
51WHr 3-cell lithium_ion
1-year limited international hardware warranty
The performance on this is excellent the thermals are pretty good and given dell’s not real impressive thermal solution on this then it runs the temperatures. It does run at yeah so in terms of competitors. There is the Asus tough a15 that I mentioned which is a strong competitor and you get the rtx 2060 with that model. I like that gpu a lot so that’s a plus but the display on it isn’t as good and the display quality really counts especially if you’re going to use it as a laptop and not use an external monitor
There’s also the Lenovo legion 5 not the 5i which is the intel but the 5 and that goes with Amd as well but NVidia graphics a little bit weaker specs for the price so there’s something to be said for the dell.