The Dell G5 SE demonstrated this potential for the first time. This is an affordable gaming laptop that can be equipped with both AMD Ryzen 7 4800H and AMD Radeon RX 5600M graphics cards. This is the latest and best product offered by AMD.
Nvidia does not manufacture PC processors. Intel has not yet produced PC graphics cards. AMD is a company that does both, and it hopes that a more harmonious relationship between CPU and GPU can bring higher performance.
- Excellent CPU performance.
- Great game performance for the price at $1200.
- Solid value across configurations.
- 144Hz refresh rate.
- No FreeSync validation.
The Dell G5 SE is a very competitive mid-range gaming laptop.
Dell G5 SE Design and Dispaly
The “Special Edition” label has nothing to do with appearance. It has a plastic, chunky case that looks almost ten years old and is the same as the Intel/Nvidia version. It is a slight improvement from last year’s model, which can dig the edges of the ribs to obtain a simple and unique silhouette. Everything about the universal silver cover will not stimulate the game.
It weighs 5.5 pounds and is 0.85 inches thick. It is not the blade of Razer-but it is not intentional. When you buy a gaming laptop for as little as $880, the outdated look and size are part of the deal.
The lackluster display of the Dell G5 SE is also part of the deal. The upper limit of brightness is only 171 nits, and color accuracy is greatly reduced. The colors are highly saturated and the screen appears blue.
Of course, this is not a distraction when playing games. Don’t buy the G5 SE for professional color accurate photography or video work, at least don’t use the laptop’s built-in display.
The refresh rate of 144Hz is great. Whether it’s cursor movement or high frame rate games, it can make the movement extremely smooth. However, the Dell G5 SE is not a platform verified by FreeSync, which means that unless you do not limit the frame rate or turn on vertical synchronization, you will still encounter some visual defects and screen tearing.
Around the screen are heavy borders. On laptops such as Razer Blade, ROG Zephyrus G14, and even Predator Helios 300, you will find thin bezels. Although the new Asus TUF gaming laptop has begun to change this situation, the price of a reasonably priced gaming laptop is comparable.
This year there is a small change in the chassis of the G5, which involves the port. They are no longer on the back but are separated on the left and right sides. G5 SE provides two USB-A 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, a Kensington lock, and an SD card slot.
The other is USB-A 3.2, Ethernet jack, HDMI 2.0, USB-C, and barrel plug connector. This is a good choice for gamers, and the SD card slot is especially noteworthy for content creators. Thunderbolt 3 is no longer used, which is common in cheap gaming laptops.
Dell G5 SE Performance
With the help of Ryzen 7 4800H, this laptop can provide 8 cores and 16 threads of processing power. In the RX 5600M GPU, it also has 36 computing units and GDDR6 memory.
This review unit includes 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD, and 1080p 144Hz screen, and the price is only $1,200. This is a very attractive price. The initial $880 model has the same graphics card and Ryzen 5 processor, but recalls storage, memory, and refresh rate.
The G5 SE managed to get the best thin and light gaming laptop, such as the 2019 Razer Blade we tested with Nvidia’s RTX 2070 Max-Q. This is very admirable. In comparison, although the G5 SE laptop is chunky, the price is much cheaper.
The processor performance is excellent, but with 8 cores and 16 threads, who would be surprised? AMD’s mobile Ryzen completely eliminated Intel’s six-core gaming chips in Cinebench R20 and Geekbench 5.
In Cinebench multi-core, it beats Razer Blade by 49% and also beats Razer Blade in video encoding in Handbrake. I am not surprised, especially after reviewing other Ryzen 4000 laptops (eg ROG Zephyrus G14 and Acer Swift 3).
The burden of games on the GPU is greater than the burden on the CPU, which requires a balance between components, which requires joint efforts. Compared with products obtained from Nvidia at the same price, these graphics products have great value.
Of course, all games are played at 1080p, which is the original resolution of the Dell G5 SE. As you can see, the RX 5600M is not the most powerful graphics card in the world and can be comfortably placed between the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti and Nvidia RTX 2060.
Fortunately, you can buy the basic configuration of G5 SE at a low price. The price is $880 and it is still equipped with the same GPU. This is a huge value compared to products obtained from Nvidia at this price.
Dell G5 SE Battery Life
The G5 SE uses only 51 watt-hour batteries, which is smaller than the 68-watt-hour battery used in Intel models. This is worrying, but the Dell G5 SE is one hour longer than the 2019 Intel model. The laptop can only be used for more than six hours on a single charge.
Although it can be used for gaming laptops, it is not very good. A 1080p screen resolution will help, as will the lack of Nvidia’s G-Sync technology.
The G-Sync panel prevents the laptop from switching between discrete graphics and integrated graphics, resulting in severely reduced battery life.
G5 SE does not have this problem. In any case, it won’t cost you a full working day, but using a small battery to make the Intel model durable is another victory for AMD.
The duration of the game can only last about 2 hours, but this is not uncommon. You simply cannot expect to play demanding games outside of the slot for long periods of time.
Dell G5 SE Keyboard & SmartShift Action
The keyboard and touchpad on gaming laptops are usually thought of afterward. This is especially true for cheap ones. G5 SE avoids this trap. The keyboard has a regular layout, ample travel, and even has four-zone RGB backlighting to improve game quality. However, you must pay an additional $30 for the fancy backlight.
The touchpad is large and smooth and provides a quiet click mechanism. For laptops, this is an important feature that can double work and games.
Dell G5 SE does not include a fingerprint reader or infrared camera for Windows Hello. The 720p webcam is located in the top bezel above the screen. Nothing special, but it can handle Zoom calls occasionally without problems.
In addition to the new GPU and CPU, the Dell G5 SE also uses AMD technology that combines the two for the first time. This is SmartShift, which is a way to share power organically between two components.
Each laptop has an upper limit on how much power can be used. Both ends of SmartShift use AMD’s Infinity Fabric, which can provide more power to the CPU or GPU when the heat dissipation space allows, even exceeding the standard power. AMD said SmartShift can increase the frame rate of games by up to 10%.
The problem is that SmartShift cannot be turned off, so I can’t prove that it can work properly. You just need to believe that AMD will deliver an additional 5% or 10% of additional performance.
I am curious how SmartShift affects tasks such as video rendering in Adobe Premiere Pro, which can use both CPU and GPU. I loaded a 2-minute 4K video clip and exported it to the ProRes 422 codec, and carefully observed the power distribution between the CPU and GPU.
Video rendering in Premiere is the most suitable task for high-core processors, but it can also be clicked on the graphics card.
SmartShift should work by using an automatic algorithm that can determine the best power allocation in an instant, but Dell said AMD also needs to “whitelist” the applications to better optimize application performance.
When talking about affordable gaming laptops, it is no better than the Dell G5 SE. It is powerful and can play most games brilliantly. This is of great significance for AMD and its Ryzen 4000 platform.
It is unclear how much impact SmartShift can bring, but I am satisfied with the performance provided by AMD Radeon RX 5600M. Despite the outdated look and style, Dell and AMD are hardly competing with value products.
G5 SE should last at least four to five years. It is not the most powerful graphics card in the world, but it can handle most modern games.