Dell G5 15 SE (2020) review

The Dell G5 15 SE is fantastic value, but does that value come at a price?

Dell G5 15 SE 5505 on a table
Great Value
(Image: © Future)

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Here's how the Dell G5 15 5590 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Sky Diver: 33,781; Fire Strike: 13,768; Time Spy: 5,964
Cinebench CPU: 1,186 points; Graphics: 123 fps
GeekBench: 4,754 (single-core); 21,954 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test):
3,845 points
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 9 hours and 54 minutes
Total War: Warhammer II (1080p, Ultra): 58 fps; (1080p, Low): 124 fps
Middle Earth: Shadow of War (1080p, Ultra): 77 fps; (1080p, Low): 146 fps

The Dell Gaming G5’s core components are very nicely matched. The Intel six-core CPU, Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics and the 1080p LCD panel combine to deliver properly smooth frame rates at high settings in the latest games.

Specifically, we’re not talking about the very last word in buttery-smooth performance. For that you’ll need an even more powerful GPU and a display with 120Hz-plus refresh. But the point about the nicely matched components can be seen in our gaming benchmark results.

Set to ultra detail, frame rate results in the 60 to 70 fps region are very playable indeed. But they also indicate the futility of optioning a high refresh panel with this configuration. 144Hz support is pretty pointless if you’re only driving the panel at around half that refresh rate. That’s why the 60Hz panel option fitted to our review system makes sense.

As for other performance related observations, the fans are pretty noisy when the system is heavily loaded. But we’d prefer that over a rig that’s prone to thermal throttling. The aforementioned 1080p panel, meanwhile, sports IPS tech and good colours, but lacks a little outright punch if you want to be picky.

Dell G5 15 5590

Performance is good considering the price (Image credit: Future)

Battery life

Another significant highlight is battery life. Nearly 10 hours of movie playback is frankly stellar for a powerful gaming notebook and transforms the Gaming G5 into a genuinely useful all-round computing device, as opposed to merely a transportable gaming rig.

However, it's worth pointing out that in the more intensive PC Home 8 battery benchmarks, which replicate moderate use, such as document creation and video calling, the battery lasted a lot shorter at 4 hours and 39 minutes.

Still, these are very good results for a gaming laptop, especially one as affordable as the Dell G5 15 5590.

Dell G5 15 5590

Battery life is fantastic (Image credit: Future)


The best of Dell’s laptops tend to be the very best portable PCs you can buy. We reckon the latest Dell Gaming G5 slots straight into that category. In many regards, it doesn’t set new standards. What it does do, however, is offer a no-nonsense combination of features that actually matter in a gaming portable and then add outstanding battery life into the mix.

Thus, you get robust build, a decent screen, well matched components and strong performance in the latest games, not to mention support for the latest gaming features including ray tracing.

The kicker is the near-10-hour battery life. It makes the G5 so much more versatile than your average gaming portable and should open this laptop up to a much broader market. There will be many who would like a gaming-capable portable but either don’t want to pay an absolute fortune or aren’t willing to give up on usability when it comes to battery life. The G5’s aggressive pricing and excellent battery life squares that circle very nicely indeed.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).