The Dell G5 5505 SE is a new affordable gaming laptop featuring AMD Ryzen CPU and AMD Radeon graphics. Does it deliver on the promise of decent gaming graphics for less than $1000?

Specifications

  • Brand: Dell
  • Storage: 256GB
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Battery: 3-cell polymer (51 WHr)
  • Ports: 1 x mini DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x USB Type-C, 2 x USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone/mic, SD card slot
  • Camera: 0.92MP
  • Display (Size, Resolution): 15.5-inch, 1920x1080p
  • Weight: 2.50kg
  • GPU: AMD RX 5600M 6GB
Pros

  • Good graphics
  • Responsive keyboard, touchpad, and keypad
Cons

  • AMD Smartshift glitch is a pain to fix

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The gaming laptop sector is expanding as GPUs become more powerful and compact. Spearheaded by Dell’s Alienware range, gaming laptops are a desirable and convenient alternative to bulky gaming desktops.

Joining the market of sub-$1000 laptops is the Dell G5 range, a collection of lower-priced notebooks available with your choice of Intel and AMD processors, and Nvidia and AMD GPUs.

Join us as we a look at a popular gaming laptop available for under $1000: the Dell G5 5505 SE. Does it deliver portable PC gaming Zen?

Our Review Model Specification

Various versions of the Dell G5 are available. We opted for the popular G5 5505 SE, with a 15.5-inch display, AMD Ryzen 5 4600H with an 8MB cache and up to 4GHz speed. Ensuring your games play is the AMD RX 5600M 6GB discrete graphics chip with GDDR6 RAM.

Dell G5 5505 SE

The system has 8GB (2 x 4GB SODIMM) Dual-Channel DDR4 RAM at 3200 MHz and integrated AMD Radeon Graphics for non-intensive graphics tasks.

Two M.2 2230/2280 slots for solid-state drives are found inside. The default drive is 256GB on this model (increased storage is available), which is reduced to 220GB total thanks to the hidden Windows recovery partition. Adding a new disk drive is possible, but M.2 is the only option. While there is the physical space inside the laptop’s chassis for a 2.5-inch SSD, there is no accessible SATA port on the mainboard to plug one in.

Several display options are available for the Dell G5 5505 models. The review model has 1920x1080p Full High Definition (FHD) with a wide viewing angle (85 +/- degrees), and 300 nits luminance. The display measures 193.59 x 344.16 x 395mm (7.62 x 13.55 x 15.55 inches) with an anti-glare finish.

The refresh rate is an absurd 144Hz, while the panel has a 19ms response time, and uses up to 7.8W of power. Arguably the refresh rate is completely out of sync with the other mediocre specifications of the display.

Above the display is a single RGB HD front-facing CMOS 0.92MP camera with a 1280×720 30FPS video mode. It’s suitable for video calls, but not necessarily ideal for game streaming.

Case Design and Ports

With a smart appearance, the Dell G5 5505 is easy to hold and has a sturdy centralized single hinge beneath the display. The build quality of the chassis is a little flimsy and clearly plastic. Measuring 364 x 254 x 30.96mm (14.35 x 10.00 x 1.22 inches), the lowest point is 21.60mm (0.85 inches) at the front. It weighs 2.50kg (5.51lb), which is understandably heavier than a Surface Pro or MacBook Air.

Dell G5 5505 SE

Dell G5 5505 SE – decals optional

Once open, the power button is positioned above the keyboard. This is a responsive matrix of keys, with an optional backlight with two levels of brightness and auto-off mode. A number pad is found on the right-hand side, arrow keys are well spaced, and the WASD keys are correctly aligned.

The touchpad is equally impressive. Measuring 105 x 65mm (4.13 x 2.56 inches) it has a resolution of 1229 x 749px.

Along the left-hand side of the laptop, you’ll find (front to back) the 7.4mm x 5.1mm power input, mini DisplayPort 1.4b, an HDMI 2.0 port, a network port, and a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C) port. The network port is RJ-45 standard, with an RTL8111H PCI-e Gigabit ethernet controller, 10/100/1000 Mbps

Along the right-hand side of the G5 5505 SE is (front to back) a Security One lock, two USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo port, and an SD card slot. This reads standard SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards.

Dell G5 5505 SE USB port

Wireless connectivity is provided via a Killer 1650x card, offering Bluetooth 5.0 and up to 2400Mbps transfer rate on 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. This supports the key Wi-Fi standards up to Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and delivers 64-bit/128-bit WEP/AES-COMP/TKIP encryption.

Dell provides a slightly lower spec connectivity option as an alternative, based on the Qualcomm QCA card.

Audio Features of the Dell G5 5505 SE

Sound on this laptop comes via the Realtek ALC3254 with Nahimic 3D Audio for Gamers audio controller. It features stereo conversion, high-definition audio, and two 2W speakers of reasonable quality with a peak output of 2.5W

The laptop also features dual-array microphones, positioned either side of the webcam.

Gaming Performance on the Dell G5

In terms of standard computing, this laptop does everything that is thrown at it, from office tasks to media editing. It’s light enough to carry and has the connection options you need. But what is it like when it actually comes to gaming?

Dell G5 5505 SE keyboard

The most obvious thing about the Dell G5 is that you’re not going to get Alienware-level performance from it. Dell would be unlikely to shoot its premium gaming brand in the foot by undercutting it.

However, the performance from this laptop is surprisingly good. Testing with Call of Duty WWII and Total War Saga Thrones of Britannia on the best possible settings, the experience was good enough to shout about.

Battery Life Explored

Varying usage of the laptop will determine how long the battery charge lasts.

The review model features a 3-cell polymer 51WHr battery weighing 0.21kg (0.46lb) and measuring 241 x 67.45 x 7.05mm (9.49 x 2.66 x 0.28 inches). Operating temperature is optimum from 0 to 35 degrees C (32 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit) and full recharge takes four hours when the computer is switched off.

Naturally, different activities result in varying battery duration. Standard productivity tasks without too many browser windows should let the laptop run to maximum. Gaming is almost certainly going to drain the cells faster (unless you’re retro gaming, in which case, why this laptop?).

Dell G5 5505 SE power

Playing Call of Duty WWII with a full charge and the optimum settings for this laptop lasted under an hour. On the other hand, you can get four hours—a morning’s work—out of the device if you’re just word processing and researching on the web.

Battery life is considerably longer if the laptop is left to perform a single task. For example, some tests have shown the battery lasting almost 10 hours for video playback. Our test stretched to six hours, streaming from Disney+.

Benchmarking Results

As a gaming laptop, rather than a desktop gaming unit, the Dell G5 5505 SE is not going to be hitting maximum settings in AAA titles.

That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t impress. We benchmarked the laptop using Geekbench 5, a useful tool that scores a computer’s hardware across a variety of tasks.

Dell G5 5505 SE benchbacking with Geekbench 5

For single-core performance, the Dell G5 5505 SE scores 435. The multi-core score is 2976. While you wouldn’t normally pit AMD and Intel CPUs in this way, some context can be gained from a comparison with an older laptop. An HP Envy 17-inch laptop from 2017 with dual-core Core i7 Skylake CPU and Nvidia GeForce 940M GPU scores 605 for single-core processing and 1606 for multi-core.

One thing to consider when choosing this laptop is the intermittent hanging issue that affects some devices. This appears to be related to AMD Smartshift and rarely occurs when gaming, instead affecting desktop apps. Dell has released a fix for this, but some older laptops won’t have this preinstalled.

A Smart Laptop With Impressive Graphics, Some Overstated Features

With a good range of gaming laptops under $1000, the Dell G5 5505 SE is a competitive option. While it won’t deliver the highest performance graphics, you will nevertheless be able to play the latest games on it. Meanwhile, titles from 12 months and beyond should allow the best performance.

Dell G5 5505 SE touchpad

The battery isn’t great, but still better than many other gaming and PC replacement laptops.

The chassis might feel a little flimsy, but perhaps the biggest issue is the heat that generates when the processor and GPU are running on full. You can’t use the laptop on your actual lap in this scenario, while the gap between the device and your table is only around 2mm. Some form of elevation or cooling solution might be required before ramping up those graphics settings for some high-performance fragging.

But for the price, the decent display, and overall speed means the Dell G5 5505 SE is worthy of consideration. Competition from ASUS and ACER might catch your eye, but Dell’s offering arguably has the better pedigree.


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