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Dell G5 15 5500 Review : Affordable RTX Gaming!

Dell G5 15 5500 Review : Affordable RTX Gaming @ 144 Hz!

The Dell G5 15 5500 is a 15.6-inch gaming powerhouse that offers affordable RTX gaming, with on-site warranty!

Find out why we gave it our Reviewer’s Choice Award, and why this could be the gaming laptop you have been waiting for!

 

Dell G5 15 Series : What Is It?

The G-Series is Dell’s range of affordable gaming laptops, with the G5 15 as the mid-range option with a 15.6-inch display.

The Dell G5 series laptops come with more powerful processor and graphics options with beefier cooling, than the entry-level G3 series.

 

Dell G5 15 5500 : Specifications

First, let’s take a look at the specifications of our review sample, which is the top-of-the-line model.

Dell offers cheaper configurations with a Core i5 processor, and GeForce GTX 1650 Ti or GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics.

Dell G5 15 5500
Display 15.6-inch TN display
– 1920 x 1080 pixels (141 ppi)
– 144 Hz refresh rate, 19 ms response time
– 300 nits max brightness
– 72% NTSC colour gamut
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Processor Intel Core i7-10750H
– 6 core, 12 thread, 45 W TDP
– 2.6 GHz base, 5.0 GHz boost
Chipset Intel HM470
Memory 2 x 8 GB DDR4-2933
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6 GB)
Storage 512 GB SK hynix BC511 PCIe SSD
Camera 0.92 MP webcam (720p video)
Audio Realtek ALC3254 with Nahimic 3D Audio
2 x 2 W speakers
Dual-array microphone
Connectivity LAN : Killer E2500 Gigabit
Wi-Fi : Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
Ports 1 x RJ-45 LAN port
1 x Thunderbolt 3 port
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port
2 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x HDMI 2.0 port
1 x mini DisplayPort 1.4b
1 x audio port
Card Reader SD Card Reader
Security Wedge-shaped lock slot
Capacitive fingerprint reader
Keyboard 4-zone RGB Keyboard with G Key
– 18.7 mm x 18.05 mm key pitch
Touchpad 105 mm x 65 mm touchpad
Battery 4-cell polymer (68 Wh)
Charging 240 W charger
– 19.5 VDC @ 12.31 A
Dimensions 364.46 mm wide
254.0 mm deep
31.13 mm thick
Weight 2.65 kg

 

Dell G5 15 5500 : Price + Availability

The Dell G5 15 5500 is available in the Interstellar Dark Cover colour, with a starting price of RM 4,499 (about US$1,083 / £847 / A$1,486 / S$1,482).

Here are some online purchase options :

 

Dell G5 15 5500 : Box Contents

The Dell G5 15 5500 comes in a no-frills brown cardboard box. Inside, all you will find are these items :

  • Dell G5 15 5500 laptop
  • 240 watt charger + cable
  • Dell G5 Quick User Guide
  • Safety and Regulatory Information

 

Dell G5 15 5500 : Hands-On Experience!

The Dell G5 15 5500 is designed to offer RTX gaming, at an affordable price point. So the first thing you will notice its thick plastic chassis and heft.

This is no thin and light laptop, not at 31 mm thick and a weight of 2.65 kg… and that’s not even counting the large and heavy 240 watt charger!

Performance

Our review model was powered by the Intel Core i7-10750H, a 6-core, 12-thread processor with a clock speed that goes up to 5 GHz.

It’s paired with 16 GB of DDR4 memory, and the the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, with 6 GB of GDDR6 memory. More than powerful enough to handle any game you throw at it.

144 Hz Display

The Dell G5 15 5500 comes with a 15.6-inch TN display with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and a 144 Hz refresh rate.

Thankfully, it’s paired with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics, which should have no problem driving the high refresh rate for most games.

Storage

The Dell G5 15 5500 is spacious enough to support both a M.2 socket (for a PCIe SSD), as well as a 2.5-inch drive bay (for a hard disk drive).

Our review sample came with the 512 GB PCIe M.2 SSD from SK hynix. Dell also offers a 512 GB Intel Optane storage option in some countries.

This is more than enough storage for a gaming laptop, but if you need more, there is a 1 TB SSD option, as well as a 2 TB hard disk drive option.

Next Page > Dell G5 15 5500 : A Closer Look!

 

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Dell G5 15 5500 : A Closer Look!

Available Ports

One advantage of not going thin and light is the additional ports. On the left side, you will find these ports (from left to right) :

  • its barrel power port,
  • a Mini DisplayPort 1.4b port,
  • a HDMI 2.0 port,
  • a USB 3.2 Gen 1 PowerShare port,
  • an RJ45 LAN port, and
  • a Thunderbolt 3 (USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C) port.

On the right side, you will find the following (from left to right) :

  • an SD card reader, which supports SD, SDHX and SDXC cards,
  • a 3.5 mm earphone + microphone jack,
  • two USB 2.0 Type A ports, and
  • a wedge-shaped security lock slot

Keyboard + Touchpad

Thanks to its larger form factor, Dell could fit a full keyboard with a numeric keypad, and a horizontal key pitch of 18.7 mm.

The keyboard is backlit in blue by default, with WASD key highlights. But it can be programmed to support any RGB combination, in up to 4 zones.

It has a pretty small touchpad – just 105 x 65 mm, and it’s offset to the left, which makes it a little awkward to use, unless you are left-handed.

But this isn’t a big problem. This is a gaming laptop, and you will definitely be using a mouse.

RGB Lighting

Complementing the RGB keyboard lighting is an RGB LED light strip along the front edge. This is arguably the Dell team’s only concession towards pointless gaming bling.

Some gamers will argue that it will give a more immersive gaming feel. Whatever rocks your boat, my friend.

Fingerprint Sensor

Dell offers an optional fingerprint sensor integrated directly into the power button, right above the keyboard. There is no IR camera option for face recognition.

We highly recommend adding this feature, as it allows for convenient logging in and greater security especially in public – there’s no need to type in your password.

Webcam + Microphones

The Dell G5 15 5500 comes with a basic webcam, capable of recording 720p video. As well as two microphones – one on each side of the webcam.

This is hardly the ideal setup for video streaming, but it is perfectly adequate for gamers who just need to use it for video chats.

Note that it doesn’t come with a privacy cover, only a status light to let you know when the webcam is activated.

Speakers

The Dell G5 15 5500 comes with two side-firing speakers with a 2 watt output.

Powered by the Realtek ALC3254 with an integrated amplifier, they are loud and offer pretty decent sound quality.

Killer Connectivity

Our premium model comes with a Killer E2500 Gigabit LAN connectivity. Otherwise, you will receive Realtek Gigabit LAN, which isn’t bad at all.

Wireless connectivity is provided through Killer 1650i, which offers Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, as well as Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.

The basic models though come with Qualcomm DW 1820, which offers Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) connectivity on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, as well as Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity.

 

Dell G5 15 5500 : Surface Temperatures

An important criteria that many potential buyers forget to check for in a gaming laptop is “how hot does it get?

What’s the use of buying a powerful gaming laptop if it literally burns your hands while you game?

Take a look at the surface temperatures of the Dell G5 15 5500, with an ambient temperature of 29.8°C.

As you can see, the G5 15 5500 can get pretty toasty, with the temperature of the keyboard reaching a peak of just under 52°C.

On the underside, it peached a peak of 54.3°C in the middle. It is definitely not advisable to game with it on your lap!

We highly recommend you pair the Dell G5 15 5500 with a good laptop cooler, or play in an air-conditioned room. That will greatly reduce its contact temperature, and allow for hours of comfortable gaming.

Next Page > Dell G5 15 5500 : Performance, Verdict + Award

 

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Dell G5 15 5500 : Performance

Our Dell G5 15 5500 is the top-of-the-line model, powered by the 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H.

This is high-powered 45 watt processor with 6 cores and 12 threads, and a 2.6 GHz clock speed that ramps up to 5 GHz during intensive tasks.

The processor has Intel UHD Graphics built-in, but switches to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (with 6 GB of GDDR6 memory) for gaming and more strenuous graphics work.

Our review sample came with 16 GB of DDR4-2933 memory, and a 512 GB SK hynix PCIe SSD. Keeping all that powered is a large 68 Whr lithium-ion battery.

Work Performance : PCMark 10

The Intel Core i7-10750H is about 13% faster than the Intel Core i7-10510U, which is a 25 watt processor, with 4-cores and 8-threads.

It is, frankly, overkill for basic work applications, but will be very helpful in tackling compute-intensive tasks, like rendering videos.

Gaming Performance : 3DMark Time Spy

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 offers 6X more graphics performance than entry-level graphics like the GeForce MX250.

It is roughly between the performance of the desktop Radeon RX 5500 XT, and the desktop GeForce RTX 2060.

That means it will not only easily handle games at the display’s native 1080p resolution, it can deliver higher frame rates to take advantage of the higher Hz refresh rates it supports.

Gaming Performance : 3DMark Time Spy Extreme

We also ran a Time Spy Extreme test for those who are thinking of hooking up this laptop to an external display.

Performing between the desktop Radeon RX 5500 XT, and the desktop GeForce RTX 2060, it can handle 1440p gaming, but at roughly half the frame rate.

Gaming Performance : Strange Brigade @ 1080p

Strange Brigade is a third-person shooter game released in August 2018. We tested it at 1080p using the Vulkan API at Ultra High settings.

As you can see, the Dell G5 15 5500 has no problem exceeding 144 fps at times, with an average frame rate of 101 fps.

Gaming Performance : The Division 2 @ 1080p

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is a newer third-person shooter game released in March 2019, with much higher graphics requirements.

Even at the Extreme graphics settings, Dell G5 15 5500 was able to deliver an average frame rate of 59 fps.

It was head-to-head with the desktop Radeon RX 5500 XT, and just 6% slower than the desktop GeForce RTX 2060.

Battery Life : Modern Office + Gaming

We locked the display’s brightness at 50%, and ran PCMark 10’s Modern Office and Gaming tests until it powered off.

The Dell G5 15 5500 lasted about 5.5 hours running Modern Office applications, but only about 77 minutes while gaming.

You can only game on-the-go for a short time. Realistically, it should be plugged in when you game.

Battery : Recharging Speed

Dell quotes a 4 hour recharging time using the massive 240 watt charger, when the laptop is completely powered off.

We are glad to report that its real-world recharging speed is much, MUCH faster. To test it in a real world setting, we started charging at 10% with the display brightness set to 50% :

  • 25% : 21.5 minutes
  • 33% : 26.5 minutes
  • 40% : 35 minutes
  • 50% : 46 minutes
  • 60% : 57.5 minutes
  • 75% : 75 minutes
  • 90% : 91.5 minutes
  • 100% : 148 minutes

It charges really fast to about 90%, taking only just over 1.5 hours. However, the last 10% took much longer – an addition 56.5 minutes!

This gives it a battery life : recharging time ratio of 2.3:1 for office work. As a rule of thumb, you will need to recharge its battery about 26.5 minutes for every hour of battery life.

 

Dell G5 15 5500 : Verdict + Award

The Dell G5 15 5500 does a good job of focusing on what’s important for gamers, wasting little on pointless aesthetic bling.

Its powerful 45-watt Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics will have no problem driving its Full HD display beyond 60 Hz, no matter what game you play.

It also comes with fast networking capabilities – Killer E2500 offering Gigabit LAN, and Killer AX1650i offering Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.

And we love its large number of ports – three USB Type A ports, one USB Type C port, as well as an SD card reader and both HDMI and miniDP ports.

Powering all that is a large 68 Wh battery, but here’s a reality check – you can’t really game on-the-go for more than an hour or so. All that performance comes at a price – battery life.

Realistically, the Dell G5 15 5500 should be plugged into a wall socket whenever you game.

It is also a chunky and heavy laptop, no thanks to its large battery and the much higher cooling requirements for its powerful components.

But if all you want is an affordable gaming laptop that offers powerful gaming performance and a 144 Hz display, it’s hard to beat what Dell G5 15 5500 offers.

And here is what Dell offers over other gaming laptop brands – 2 years of premium on-site service!

Whatever happens to your G5 15 5500, just call Dell Support and they will either remotely solve the problem or send a technician to wherever you are to fix it.

That’s why we have no qualms awarding it our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

 

Dell G5 15 5500 : Where To Buy?

The Dell G5 15 5500 is available in the Interstellar Dark Cover colour, with a starting price of RM 4,499 (about US$1,083 / £847 / A$1,486 / S$1,482).

Here are some online purchase options :

 

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