Once again, Dell has changed the design of its G5 gaming notebooks. Instead of the features, it borrowed from the Lenovo Legion series of the past couple of years, the US manufacturer has gone for a sleeker body to house the 10th Gen Cofee Lake processors.

By the way, you can max this laptop out with the Core i9-10980HK and the RTX 2070 Max-Q for an immensely powerful machine that will handle all of the latest AAA titles. It’s not only that, though. Dell is taking more and more advantage of their Alienware brand and now employs the Alienware Command Center, which gives you a little bit more control over your hardware, but still – at a significantly lower price tag than what a full-fledged Alienware laptop would cost.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-g5-15-5500-dp-th3/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Dell G5 15 (5500) (DP/Th3) – Specs


HDD/SSD

up to
1000GB SSD + up to 1000GB HDD


OS


Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home


Battery


68Wh, 4-cell, 51Wh, 3-cell


Dimensions


365.5 x 254 x 23.8 mm (14.39″ x 10.00″ x 0.94″)

Ports and connectivity

  • 2x USB Type-A 2.0
  • 1x USB Type-A 3.1 (3.1 Gen 2)
  • 1x USB Type-C 3.1 (3.1 Gen 2), Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Displayport mini
  • Card reader SD
  • Ethernet LAN Killer Networks E2500V2 Gigabit
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac/ax
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Audio jack 3.5 Combo Jack

Features

  • Fingerprint reader optional
  • Web camera HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone Dual Array Digital Microphone
  • Speakers 2 Speakers, Nahimic 3D Audio
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

Inside the package that this device comes in, we found some paper manuals and a huge 240W power brick that looks like a cutting board. Actually, it is a rare occasion to see this size of a power brick for a GTX 1660 Ti notebook (like the configuration we have).

Design and construction

Instead of giving the new laptop “only” a redesigned body, the manufacturer has applied an interesting finish on top of the lid. When light hits the surface, it scatters in different colors, resulting in an iridescent effect. It’s cool, but we would have liked to see a less intrusive design with a matte finish, to battle the fingerprints, because this one is a true magnet. In terms of measurements, the device has a profile of 23.8-26.6mm and weighs around 2.65 kg – by no means a thin and light notebook, but hopefully, it will have a decent cooling.

Despite the tight hinges, the lid opens easily with a single hand. As you can see from the images, the hinges are mounted in the middle of the base, very similar to the Dell G3 3590. This definitely gives the lid less resistance, but thankfully, it is not that easy to bend. Additionally, there is an HD Web camera above the display, as well as an array of microphones.

Next, we go to the base. At the top left, you’ll see a neet touch from Dell – the G5 logo is embossed into the material. Just above the keyboard, you can see the power button, which as usual with Dell hardware, doubles as a fingerprint reader. At least some fingerprints are going to be used. So, speaking of the keyboard, this model has a very familiar unit, which we bet is pretty much the same as that on the G5 15 5590. This means it has reasonable key travel, clicky feedback, and a blue backlight. Additionally, it has a NumberPad with small keys, a quartet of teeny tiny Arrow keys, and a dedicated G key, that launches the Game Center on demand.

While the keyboard is nothing out of the ordinary, the touchpad is something different. It has a glass cover that offers super-smooth gliding and it is very comfortable to use. Well… if it wasn’t for the too-tight embedded buttons.

Lastly, switch the device upside down, and you will find the ventilation grills and the two rather big speaker cutouts.

Ports

Unlike its predecessor, there are no ports to be found on the back of the device. Instead, they are scattered on the sides. On the left, you will find the power plug, as well as a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI 2.0 connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port, and a Thunderbolt 3 connector. On the other side, you’ll see two USB Type-A 2.0 ports (what?!), an Audio Jack, and an SD card reader.

Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

What separates you from this device’s internals, are 10 Phillips head screws and some clips. After you undo them, be careful with the LED strip ribbon cable, which connects it to the motherboard. Just gently lift the bottom panel and open up the connector latch with an elongated flat tool.

Interestingly, Dell has switched from four heat sinks, down to two for their G5 series. However, they employ an HP Omen-style fan, which is a lot thicker and can drive more air. Moreover, the three heat pipes are now significantly bulkier, as well, and there are two metal plates, dissipating the heat out of the graphics memory and the VRMs.

Next, we have the upgradability. This device can be equipped with up to 32GB of DDR4 memory in dual channel mode. In terms of storage – there are two M.2 slots – one supports PCIe x4 drives, while the other can hold only PCIe x2.

Battery-wise there is the rather big 68Wh unit. In addition to that, this notebook can be purchased with a 51Wh battery, which would open some space for a 2.5-inch SATA drive bay.

Display quality

Dell G5 15 5500 has 300 Hz Full HD panel – AUO W8KKR-B156HAN (AUOB98C). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

Its viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

The measured maximum brightness of 325 nits in the middle of the screen and also 315 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 8%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 7270K – colder than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is good – 1400:1 (1200:1 after profiling).

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Dell G5 15 5500’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 94% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Dell G5 15 5500 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 8 ms.

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Thankfully, Dell G5 15 5500’s display doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness. The lack of flickering makes the laptop comfortable for long periods of use.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Conclusion

Dell G5 15 5500 in the configuration we tested, comes with a 300Hz Full HD IPS panel with comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and wide color coverage (04% of sRGB). Additionally, its backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level, and our Gaming and Web design profile helps it reach enviable accuracy, good enough for color-sensitive work. Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the 300Hz refresh rate. Needless to say, this results in a butter-smooth gaming experience, and we found that the response times are pretty quick as well.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for 15 5500 configurations with 300Hz 15.6″ FHD IPS AUO W8KKR-B156HAN (AUOB98C).

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia’s products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work - screen profile

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming - screen profile

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard - screen profile

Health-Guard

THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

All

Sound

Dell G5 15 5500’s speakers produce a relatively loud sound with good quality. On the other side, the low tones have some deviations in clarity, while the mids and highs are clear.

Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-sg/product-support/product/g-series-15-5500-laptop/drivers

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. The 68Wh battery provides 6 hours and 40 minutes of Web browsing and 7 hours and 40 minutes of video playback.

CPU options

This device comes with the Core i5-10300H, the Core i7-10750H, or the Core i9-10980HK processor.


GPU options

As of the graphics card, you can choose from the GTX 1650 Ti, all the way up to the RTX 2070 Max-Q.


Gaming tests

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-10750H (45W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Dell G5 15 5500 3.82 GHz (B+47%) @ 75°C 3.63 GHz (B+40%) @ 99°C 3.01 GHz (B+18%) @ 81°C
ASUS ROG Strix G17 G712 3.88 GHz (B+49%) @ 77°C 3.83 GHz (B+47%) @ 84°C 3.51 GHz (B+35%) @ 79°C
Acer Predator Triton 500 (PT515-52) 3.72 GHz (B+43%) @ 90°C 3.53 GHz (B+36%) @ 90°C 3.26 GHz (B+25%) @ 85°C
ASUS ROG Strix G15 G512 4.16 GHz (B+60%) @ 81°C 3.99 GHz (B+53%) @ 95°C 3.52 GHz (B+35%) @ 87°C
Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-52) 3.05 GHz (B+17%) @ 68°C 3.05 GHz (B+17%) @ 75°C 2.90 GHz (B+12%) @ 79°C
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-55) 3.02 GHz (B+16%) @ 82°C 3.04 GHz (B+17%) @ 92°C 2.67 GHz (B+3%) @ 92°C
Lenovo Legion 7 (15) 3.78 GHz (B+45%) @ 80°C 3.69 GHz (B+42%) @ 83°C 3.51 GHz (B+35%) @ 83°C
MSI GP65 Leopard 10Sx 3.65 GHz (B+40%) @ 95°C 3.41 GHz (B+31%) @ 95°C 3.30 GHz (B+27%) @ 95°C

Ultimately, the Dell G5 15 5500 is not the most effective laptop in terms of cooling. Despite having thicker fan than before, its two heat sinks just can’t cope with the load.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (max fans)
Dell G5 15 5500 1455 MHz @ 83°C 1440 MHz @ 91°C
ASUS TUF A17 (F706) 1667 MHz @ 77°C 1666 MHz @ 79°C
MSI GL75 1714 MHz @ 66°C 1708 MHz @ 68°C 1726 MHz @ 62°C
Lenovo Legion Y7000 (2019) 1669 MHz @ 66°C 1646 MHz @ 71°C
Lenovo Legion Y540 1761 MHz @ 76°C 1752 MHz @ 82°C
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-54) 1660 MHz @ 78°C 1635 MHz @ 84°C

Well… that was unexpected. Apparently, the cooling of this notebook sucks. Not only does the GPU reach 83C after two minutes of gameplay, but it stabilizes at 91C. And the frequency… well, it’s 1440 MHz at the end of the game, which is 300 MHz less than the Legion Y540, and 200 MHz less than the rest of the competition here. Moreover, the GTX 1660 Ti wasn’t able to reach its maximum TGP, because the thermal throttling had to cut down the power in order to maintain “low” temperature.

Gaming comfort

No surprises here, after the shock in the previous section. The laptop is very uncomfortable for gaming, with its loud noise and ridiculously hot externals. As you can see, the keyboard reaches more than 60C after 30 minutes of gaming, and please do not play when you have the laptop on your lap.

Verdict

Sadly, this laptop is a bit disappointing. While it has some cool features like two M.2 slots, Thunderbolt support, SD card reader, and presumably – beast hardware, it manages to fail, given its competition.

In fact, its battery life is respectable with 6 hours and 40 minutes of Web browsing and 7 hours and 40 minutes of video playback. What turns us down, however, is thermals. During a long gaming session (or even gaming for more than 15 minutes), the GPU temperature spikes up to 90C and stays there. On a GTX 1660 Ti. Needless to say, the frequency it runs at is around 300 MHz lower than that of the Legion Y540 – a laptop that’s on the market for more than a year already.

Dell G5 15 5500 in the configuration we tested, comes with a 300Hz Full HD IPS panel with comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and wide color coverage (04% of sRGB). Additionally, its backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level, and our Gaming and Web design profile helps it reach enviable accuracy, good enough for color-sensitive work. Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the 300Hz refresh rate. Needless to say, this results in a butter-smooth gaming experience, and we found that the response times are pretty quick as well.

So, sure, you have a very nice display, reasonable battery life, and somewhat comfortable input devices. However, we would certainly not recommend this machine because of its cooling issues. We’re not sure whether the issue concerns the thermal compound in use or just a poor design. Basically, you’re better off picking an ASUS TUF A15/A17, or the Legion Y540 (15) from last year.

Pros

  • Pushes the Core i7-10750H to the edge with its decent cooling solution
  • Two M.2 PCIe slots
  • The display doesn’t flicker at any brightness level (Panda LM156LF-2F01)
  • Covers 95% of sRGB and has a great color accuracy (with our Gaming and Web design profile)
  • 300Hz IPS display option with quick response time
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3 support, plus an SD card reader on board

Cons

  • Heavier and thicker than the competition
  • Extremely hot internals and externals, making the laptop an overpriced barbeque
  • Performance deteriorates after a couple of minutes into a game

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-g5-15-5500-dp-th3/





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