Dell G3 15 review

Budget gaming in style

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For its price, you’re simply not going to get a more powerful laptop. In our daily usage, the Dell G3 15 totally destroyed most everyday tasks we threw at it, only slowing down when we overzealously loaded Chrome tabs in the background while trying to play Grand Theft Auto V.  


Here is how the Dell G3 15 fared in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Sky Diver: 20,162; Fire Strike: 6,836; Time Spy: 2,500
Cinebench CPU: 790 points; Graphics: 98 fps
GeekBench 4: 4,635 (single-core); 14,605 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,327 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 4 hours and 0 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 4 hours and 21 minutes
Grand Theft Auto V (1080p, Ultra): 28 fps; (1080p, Low): 110 fps
Middle Earth: Shadow of War (1080p, Ultra): 38 fps; (1080p, Low): 82 fps 

Speaking of, we were actually able to play GTA V on high settings while consistently getting a solid 60 frames per second (fps). Things slowed down a bit when we played Middle Earth: Shadow of War, but with the GTX 1050 Ti, we weren’t expecting the world. 

The Dell G3 15 managed to perform admirably on all benchmarks, only slowing down when we tried to max out the previously mentioned games while running their benchmarks. That’s all thanks to the Coffee Lake H-series processor here. Even compared to last year’s Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming’s score of 3,151 points, the Dell G3 15 managed to score 2,500 in 3DMark Time Spy. Considering the Inspiron has a much faster GPU, that gap really isn’t as big as we thought it would be. 

When we look at CPU performance, however, things pull a complete 180. The 7th-generation Kaby Lake processor found in the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 just can’t keep up with the Coffee Lake chip in the G3, scoring 513 points in the Cinebench CPU test, compared to the G3’s impressive 790. If you’re going to be playing a lot of CPU heavy games, the G3 15 is definitely worth looking at. 

At the end of the day, the Dell G3 15 is going to be a great purchase if you’re looking for a laptop that will get you through some esports and the occasional AAA game. And, with a processor as powerful as the one found here, this will be a great laptop for anyone looking to get back into World of WarCraft for the upcoming expansion. 

Battery life and storage 

We’d be lying if we said we weren’t a bit disappointed with the battery life on offer with the G3. While it’s not so abysmal that you can’t even check your email without a charger, you will quickly run out of battery when you’re trying to play games. If you’re putting it under heavy loads, you can probably only expect about three hours of life out of this thing.

Our battery test reflected this. While looping Guardians of the Galaxy at 50% brightness and volume, the G3 lasted about 4 hours and 21 minutes on a single charge. This is about what we expected out of this product, but with how well everything else was running, we were kind of hoping we’d be blown away by the battery life as well. 

However, if you’re just trying to get some work done away from the charger, you should be able to get around four to five hours off of a charge. It’s not enough to get a full day’s work done, but it’s enough to get a short project out of the way. 

Now, let’s talk about the storage. The model we reviewed came with a 128GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive, spinning at 5,400 RPM. Now, while this is a ton of space, and we didn’t need to worry about running out – games loaded incredibly slowly on this spinning drive. When we first set up the laptop and got Doom (2016) running, it took nearly 5 minutes for the game to fully load. It’s not great. 

However, that’s not enough to really detract from the laptop’s value. Luckily, you can actually upgrade the G3, so if you’re not satisfied with the slow drive, you can drop $100 (about £75, AU$134) and upgrade the drive with the much faster Samsung 860 Evo. And, honestly with that slight upgrade, this laptop becomes one of the best gaming laptops you can buy today, just in terms of value. 


Look, while the Dell G3 15 cannot hold a candle to something like the MSI GS65 Stealth, we don’t think it really needs to. Sitting at a bargain price, it’s going to be a great option for anyone looking to save a few bucks and game on the go. It’s not going to let you play something like Far Cry 5 at max settings, but if you’re looking to do some light gaming you’re not going to do much better.

We’d like to have seen some USB-C included on the model sent to us for review, but you can pay a bit more for a model with Thunderbolt 3. It just would have been nice to at least see USB 3.1 Gen 1 here for compatibility purposes. 

But, at the end of the day, you’re getting what you pay for here. For under $1,000 (about £750, AU$1,350) you’re getting a competent gaming rig. And that, in itself, is enough to earn a recommendation from us – just do yourself a favor and throw an SSD in there after you buy it. 

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.