Dell G15 5515 Ryzen Edition review – they finally fixed the cooling issues

Dell is one of the manufacturers that can benefit from having a separate gaming division, that has a ton of experience. And as of lately, they are slowly but surely taking parts from the Alienware series, and bring them to the more affordable G-series gaming notebooks.

However, previously, we were not really impressed by Dell’s work in the gaming laptop market. And more often than not, the reason for that was the cooling solution. And this was the puzzling part, given the available Alienware technology sitting literally next door. In addition to that, we were not really impressed by the weight of their G5 series, as well.

Hopefully, everything we just mentioned is about to change. Today, we have the G15 5515 Ryzen Edition in our office. Its design is revamped once again, and we hope that this year, it will be for the better. An impressive thing about it is that it is extremely affordable for a gaming device, albeit the highest spec model features the Ryzen 7 5800H, and the RTX 3060. At the same time, we were most interested in the RTX 3050 Ti, which has a 90W TGP, making it a viable option for gaming on the budget.

Additionally, you can pick from two display options – 120Hz and 165Hz, both 1080p IPS panels.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-g5-15-5515/

Contents


Video Review


Specs Sheet

Dell G15 (5515) - Specs

  • Innolux 7XGNJ-156HRA (CMN1522)
  • Color accuracy  5.5  3.4
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 2x 2280 M.2 NVMe slots  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 64GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Pro, Windows 11 Home, Windows 10 Home, Windows 11 Pro
  • Battery
  • 56Wh, 3-cell, 86Wh, 6-cell, 56Wh, 3-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate
  • Dimensions
  • 357.26 x 272.11 x 21.21 ~ 24.90 mm (14.07" x 10.71" x 0.84")
  • Weight
  • 2.81 kg (6.2 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), Sleep and Charge
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 2.1
  • Card reader
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10, 100, 1000, 2500 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.2
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • optional
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Dual Array Microphones
  • Speakers
  • 2x 2W, Nahimic 3D Audio
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

All Dell G15 (5515) configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

The packaging here is pretty modest. There are some paper manuals, as well as a 180W power adapter.


Design and construction

Looking at this device we can’t help but notice the similarities to Alienware’s m15 series. The extended backside, vents on the sides, and form of the lid. Nevertheless, it is an entirely plastic product, with some speckles residing inside of the material. We are not sure if it is a recycled material, but it looks very similar to how recycled paper looks like, with the nonuniform particles, that come from the difference in the color of the shredded paper (or plastic in this case). Although the design is very likable, there is something expected going on. Dell has once again produced a rather heavy laptop. It weighs 2.81 kg, which is significantly heavier than the competition. However, with a profile of 21.2-24.9mm it feels good in the hand.

Next, we have the lid, which can be opened with a single hand. It has a pretty recognizable design, with thin side and top bezels, and a pronounced chin at the bottom. As you can see, the hinges are placed in the far most edges of the device, which results in better stability. Above the matte display, you can see an HD camera. By the way, the design features on the lid cover offer two types of finish – one smooth, and one serrated, with a V-shape, and a Dell logo in the middle.

Moving to the base, we see the same smooth material we saw on the lid. It has a slightly rubbery feel to it and is relatively nice to the touch. Above the keyboard, you will see a huge vent cover. As for the keyboard, itself, it is definitely something that we’ve seen on an Inspiron before. It comes in three configurations based on the backlight – one without illumination, one with the regular bluish-white, and one with a four-zone RGB backlight. Ultimately, it has decent key travel and average feedback. We wouldn’t say that it is a very comfortable unit for gaming, especially in a world, where the Lenovo Legion 5 exists.

Thankfully, there is a NumberPad section but it should serve as a consolation for the tiny Arrow keys, and the “Page Up” and “Page Down” buttons surrounding them. This would be the only disappointment here if it wasn’t for the touchpad. While it is fairly accurate and responsive, it is too small for our taste, and unfortunately, the clicking mechanism has a huge dead zone, especially in the bottom right corner.

Now, let’s turn the device upside down, in order to see the speaker grills and even more ventilation cutouts. Naturally, the two fans exhaust the hot air out of four vents – two on the back, and one on each side of the notebook.

Ports

With this one, the I/O is scattered pretty much everywhere. On the left side, you get an RJ-45 connector and an audio jack. Then, on the right, there are two USB Type-A 2.0 ports (on RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti models), or two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports (on RTX 3060 models). And lastly, on the back, you will find a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port with DisplayPort capabilities, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, an HDMI connector, and a power plug.


Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

To take this notebook apart, you need to undo 8 Phillips-head screws. After that, gently pry the bottom panel with a plastic tool, and slide it away from the chassis.

As you can see, our unit was equipped with the smaller 56Wh battery pack.

Here, the memory and storage can be easily upgraded. There are two SODIMM slots for up to 64GB of dual-channel RAM, and two M.2 slots for PCIe x4 SSDs.

Interestingly, there is no view of the cooling solution. And if you need to change your thermal paste, you have to remove the entire motherboard. Before you do that, undo the four Phillips-head screws from the plastic bracket on the back. Then, pull it backwards.

After that, remove the Wi-Fi card and its cables. What you need to do next is to remove all the cable connectors. Be careful, as some of them are very fragile. Additionally, there are some screws that need to be removed. They are of Phillips type. Lastly, remove the motherboard with the fans, and the USB daughterboard from the chassis.

Here, you can see that the cooling consists of two heat pipes common for the CPU and the GPU, and one more for each of them. Additionally, there are heat spreaders on top of the graphics memory and the VRM modules.

Display quality

Dell G15 5515 has a Full HD 120 Hz IPS panel, with a model number Innolux 7XGNJ-156HRA (CMN1522). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 142 ppi, their pitch – 0.18 x 0.18 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 60 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Viewing angles are excellent. We provide images at different angles.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The maximum measured brightness is 255 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 244 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 8%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6580K (average) – practically matching the 6500K optimum for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 65% Brightness (White level = 140 cd/m2, Black level = 0.09 cd/m2).
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 (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is very good – 1540:1.

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 on 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 G15 5515’s color gamut coverage.

Sadly, its display covers just 54% 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 G15 5515 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 = 23 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

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.

Dell G15 5515’s display doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment, which makes the panel comfortable for long working periods.

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.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Dell G15 5515 configurations with 15.6″ Innolux 7XGNJ-156HRA (CMN1522) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.

*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

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

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

Health-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.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Dell G15 5515’s speakers produce a sound of decent quality. Although there are no deviations across the entire frequency spectrum, the sound is not really loud.


Drivers

All of the latest drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us/product-support/product/g-series-15-5515-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. This model’s 56Wh battery pack delivers 8 hours and 20 minutes of Web browsing, and 8 hours and 3 minutes of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.

For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.


CPU options

The Ryzen edition of this device can be found with AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 7 5800H.

Dell G15 (5515) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Dell G15 (5515) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Dell G15 (5515) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.


GPU options

Respectively, the available graphics options are the RTX 3050, RTX 3050 Ti (90W), and RTX 3060 (115W).

Dell G15 (5515) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the Dell G15 (5515) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Dell G15 (5515) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.

Results are from the 3DMark: Time Spy (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the 3DMark: Wild Life (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)


Gaming tests

Far Cry 5 Full HD, Normal (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
Average fps 99 fps 93 fps 88 fps

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) Full HD, Lowest (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Very High (Check settings) Full HD, MAX (Check settings)
Average fps 144 fps 119 fps 65 fps 43 fps

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Very High (Check settings) Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
Average fps 78 fps 72 fps 63 fps 37 fps

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.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (45W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Dell G15 5515 3.29 GHz (B+3%) @ 74°C 3.14 GHz @ 74°C 3.21 GHz (B+0%) @ 82°C
HP Victus 16 (16-e0000) 3.29 GHz (B+3%) @ 80°C 3.20 GHz (B+0%) @ 80°C 3.27 GHz (B+2%) @ 89°C
HP Omen 15 (2021, 15-en1000) 3.33 GHz (B+4%) @ 78°C 3.33 GHz (B+4%) @ 85°C 3.42 GHz (B+7%) @ 88°C
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 15 G533 3.43 GHz (B+7%) @ 76°C 3.35 GHz (B+5%) @ 80°C 3.47 GHz (B+8%) @ 82°C
ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE (GX551) 3.93 GHz (B+23%) @ 81°C 3.82 GHz (B+19%) @ 86°C 3.78 GHz (B+18%) @ 93°C
ASUS TUF A17 (FA706) 2021 3.42 GHz (B+7%) @ 74°C 3.34 GHz (B+4%) @ 78°C 3.35 GHz (B+5%) @ 84°C

In order to provide more breathing space for the graphics card, we see a very lenient approach for the CPU thermals. As you can see, the temperatures remain pretty low even after 15 minutes of stress testing.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (Max fan)
Dell G15 5515 1857 MHz @ 76°C @ 80W 1850 MHz @ 77°C @ 80W
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-57) 1616 MHz @ 70°C @ 66W 1607 MHz @ 72°C @ 65W 1632 MHz @ 69°C @ 66W
MSI Katana GF76 1619 MHz @ 76°C @ 60W 1594 MHz @ 82°C @ 60W 1632 MHz @ 70°C @ 60W

When it comes to the graphics, we see that the RTX 3050 Ti inside of this device completely obliterates the competition. However, it wasn’t able to achieve its 90W TGP limit, as said inside of NVIDIA’s Control Panel.

Gaming comfort

Indeed, the fans of this thing were pretty loud, but we’ve definitely heard louder models. Also, thanks to the additional space behind the screen, the heat is moved away from the keyboard, hence, the hottest spot we measured was barely exceeding 36°C.


Verdict

If we have to be completely frank, Dell did surprise us with this one. They fixed arguably the biggest issue of their gaming notebooks – the cooling. This allows for more powerful GPUs to be used, which is perfect, considering the wide range of TGP options from NVIDIA this year. And we were absolutely right to be excited about the high TGP RTX 3050 Ti used inside of this device. It runs at very high frequencies and delivers a very good performance in games. Ultimately, this makes it the perfect entry-to-mid-range gaming option.

Additionally, the smaller battery (56Wh) achieves 8 hours and 20 minutes of Web browsing, and 8 hours and 3 minutes of video playback, which is also great for a gaming machine.

Dell G15 5515’s 120Hz display option (Innolux 7XGNJ-156HRA (CMN1522)) has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, and a very good contrast ratio. However, it covers only 54% of the sRGB color gamut and the pixel response times are quite slow for a fast-refresh-rate display.

As far as upgradability goes, you get the standard two RAM SODIMM slots for up to 64GB of DDR4 memory in total, as well as two M.2 PCIe x4 slots for storage. Unfortunately, maintenance down the line is made a tad more difficult, as the cooling elements are placed on the other side of the notebook. Essentially, this means you need to remove the entire motherboard to change your thermal paste, but this is not a job too difficult to perform, especially with our disassembly guide.

Now, the I/O is a bit underwhelming, unless you get the RTX 3060 option. Two out of the three USB Type-A ports on our unit were working at 2.0 speeds. This is because Dell uses a different USB daughterboard for their high-spec model, which may actually mean that it is hot-swappable. Nevertheless, you don’t get an SD card reader, which is petty, but the rest of the I/O seems okay.

Ultimately, we feel that Dell has more job in hand for their next generation of gaming laptops, as this one was particularly heavy, especially for a 15-incher. On the other hand, the gaming capability of this particular unit was commendable, and we are happy to see the cooling improvements.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-g5-15-5515/

Pros

  • Relatively affordable
  • 2x RAM SODIMM + 2x M.2 PCIe slots
  • The display doesn’t flicker at any brightness level (Innolux 7XGNJ-156HRA (CMN1522))
  • 120Hz and 165Hz display options
  • Improved cooling
  • Decent battery life


Cons

  • Heavier and thicker than the competition
  • Two USB Type-A 2.0 ports (in RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti models)
  • Covers 54% of sRGB (Innolux 7XGNJ-156HRA (CMN1522))
  • Not the best input devices

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
jake
jake
2 months ago

Where can i download your colour profile to get better RGB range?