As we resume the Intel vs AMD fights in earnest again, many years later, the Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop sits much in the middle of the controversy. This is part of the second line of Dell’s gaming laptops, called the G Series. The other series is the Alienware line, and you’ll definitely know this. The G Series gaming laptops are about a slightly lower price tag compared to the Alienware-branded monsters. The latest in this line is the Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop. Since gaming laptops are so popular these days, there is no doubt that they will be shortlisted for anyone who wants to buy a gaming laptop. But should you do that? really?
The Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop, the Dell G5 5505, which we’re reviewing here has a box price of Rs 1,50,212. For some reason, Dell appears to be very shy about listing product pricing, particularly for premium laptops, on the website – for example, the same goes for the new Dell XPS 13 laptop. I’m not quite sure how many people will take the trouble to call With a toll-free number, part of their contact details is only for the official price list. Dell tells us that prices of the G5 15 SE gaming laptops start at Rs 74,990. Also below is a screenshot from the Dell website. However, I am not an expert on marketing or consumer behavior, and I will get back to the technical side of things. This Dell G5 15 SE laptop is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor with Radeon RX 5600M graphics, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD.
Checking the competition is more important than ever
This pits the HP Omen 15 gaming laptops with a 10th generation Intel Core processor plus the supported AMD Ryzen 5 variant, with a starting price range of Rs 75,999. Intel Core i7 variants start at Rs 1,00,999 and even the Rs 1,20,999 variant has 16GB RAM instead of 8GB. If we want to look at a similar for a similar comparison in terms of pricing, the HP Omen 15-ek0022tk currently retailing for around Rs 1,55,999 comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q (8GB) And 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD.
Design: unlike a gaming laptop
From first sight to last, the Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop has remained critically disappointed in terms of looks. Not only does it have the kind of aggressive and bright personality that is an integral part of gaming laptops, even though it does have some colorful LED processing along the way, this is a gaming laptop that doesn’t actually look pretty. You might see a picture on Dell’s website and imagine it’s very thin, but it actually isn’t. This is actually 21.6mm thick, and it’s three Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max phones stacked one on top of the other. The Dell website for India refuses to mention the weight of the Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop, but I imagine it’s not the lightest of the monsters out there. However, weight is not the most important aspect of the spec sheet for those looking to purchase a gaming laptop.
The color is called Supernova Silver, and after reviewing some really beautiful laptops in the last few weeks, I have to say that the likes of the Lenovo Legion 7i look much better in metal, plastic, carbon fiber and all that. Dell G5 15 SE Gaming Laptop, I have no other way to say it, it sounds boring. Open the cover and the matte black keyboard surface is not offensive at all. However, it’s pretty straightforward for gaming laptops that will likely want to appeal to a younger audience. In fact, this look is very similar to how Dell Inspiron laptops looked a few years ago – I don’t know what the newest generation will look like, and you haven’t tested it.
All this criticism aside, the Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop has no flaws in terms of ergonomics and practicality. It’s plastic build but it doesn’t really feel bad. It has this kind of enamel that is a little bit shiny than ever before, but that’s just so minor that you don’t have an opinion on it. There are ports on either side of the spine – and there are plenty of connectivity options, keep in mind. The screen features a beautiful hinged design placed in the center with angular spines meeting the keyboard surface.
Performance: It is hot. Instead, it gets hot. The skin is likely to burn
This is where things get interesting. The variant we tested here is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor with Radeon RX 5600M graphics (6GB). Honestly, I was really excited about the Ryzen 7 and the kind of performance it offers compared to Intel’s 10th generation chipset. The results are amazing, in terms of raw processor performance and graphics. The processor keeps things moving at amazing speeds, and to be honest, this matches the kind of real-world performance I’ve seen on some Windows 10 devices running Intel Core i9 – and these cost a lot more, keep in mind. Ostensibly, this also easily matches the Nvidia GeForce 1060Ti graphics in the HP Omen 15, and also feels on par with the Intel Core i7-10750H processor. Similar type of gaming setup, especially in F1 2019 and Forza Horizon 4 without the need to require effects – and no falling frames or stuttering. However, the Radeon RX 5600M will be able to propel much higher, near the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 (8GB RAM) range, in terms of its own capabilities.
However, Dell gave this a bit of a hindrance with only 8 GB of RAM on board. It’s a bit baffling that Dell wants you to buy a gaming laptop the box price is Rs 1,50,212. For example, the HP Omen 15 offers 16GB RAM variants of Rs 1,20,999 and beyond. For example, I was unable to run the F1 2020 on this machine, and in general you will not get the best possible gaming experience with half the RAM in a Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop compared to the HP Omen 15.
Yes, this device has a fast 512GB SSD and has a bunch of AMD functions to improve performance, but the RAM section in the spec sheet is off and that’s what proves it’s in the real world as well. AMD SmartShift technology works in the background to manage the allocation of tasks between processor and graphics to maintain stable performance while gaming. This, from my understanding, remains active and there is no way to stop this. This is not what you want either.
There’s more, too. The new AMD Radeon Software application gives you Radeon Anti-Lag options, which reduces input lag in case you notice a delay in input from the keyboard or controller and what you see on the screen. Then there is the Radeon Chill that changes frame rates when the system detects that the user is not providing any input and turns that back on when the action starts. There’s also Radeon Image Sharpening that upgrades the in-game low-resolution visuals to match HD screens. There are more options too, and that just goes into detail that AMD went into, to make this program easy to navigate and the settings are simple enough to understand and enable or disable them. Bear in mind that this allows you to choose settings individually for the integrated graphics and dedicated Radeon RX 5600M GPU.
AMD includes a lot of settings and pays attention to the smallest details
Another big issue with the Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop is the huge heating that comes with the games. I’ve doubted this from the start – the Dell G5 15 SE laptop doesn’t have enough physical cooling vents to induce warm air, no matter how hard AMD SmartShift tries. In fact, this laptop seems to have been born with the belief that it is not a gaming laptop. There are no cooling vents on either side, very thin vents on the back and on the underside, the Mi Notebook 14 Horizon Edition (which is not a gaming laptop) has more vents than the Dell G5 15 SE laptop. All of this means the keyboard gets warm, the sides get warm and there’s no way you can keep this on your lap. Really baffling, what was the thought process behind it – at least from what I gather the basis of my experience with this unit of the Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop.
Battery: Don’t expect too much of it
Battery life isn’t something to write home about either. The Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop, fully charged and used only for surfing the web, watching videos and editing documents, lasted about 3.5 hours. High temperatures are never the best recipe for good battery life, and this is definitely one of the main reasons for draining your battery. You will need to pull that huge block from the adapter, whenever you decide to travel with this.
Display: A mid-range display that does the job
15.6 ” Full HD Screen in terms of resolution. Depending on the variant you choose, you can choose between 60Hz and 144Hz refresh rate display. For gaming and also for basic computing tasks, sharpness, color, and overall visibility are perfectly acceptable. However, I feel this is a mid-range gaming laptop screen and it’s not as bright as you’d likely want it with certain games. In fact, the Lenovo Legion and HP Omen laptops, in their latest avatar, have brighter and more immersive displays. This has good response times even though there is no visual tearing of the visuals.
Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 6 is optional as we head towards 2021
It’s a bit odd that as we approach 2020 (many will be happy to see the end of this year, keep in mind), Dell offers an expensive laptop with Wi-Fi 802.11ac as standard and the Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 is an optional add-on.
The last word: There is definitely no way we can recommend it over the HP Omen
For all AMD’s good work with the Ryzen 7 under the hood, there are fundamental issues with the Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop on the design front and specs that restrict the experience somewhat. That would have been a nice combination, with AMD Ryzen 7 showing its power, the Radeon RX 5600M graphics got a chance to flex their muscles and you could have a great gaming laptop on your desk. As it turns out, this will not happen. It is not AMD’s fault that the limitations lie elsewhere. These are big limits. The Dell G5 15 SE Gaming Laptop is definitely a hot laptop, and unfortunately not in the coldest sense of the word.