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Dell G5 15 Special Edition (5505): Early reviews of the all-AMD gaming laptop are promising but there seem to be hints of underlying heating issues

The Dell G5 15 Special Edition (5505) gaming laptop costs from US$879.99. (Image source: Dell)
The Dell G5 15 Special Edition (5505) gaming laptop costs from US$879.99. (Image source: Dell)
Early reviews of the Ryzen 4000-based Dell G5 15 Special Edition (5505) gaming laptop have started appearing, with most praising the AMD Renoir APU and others impressed by the 144 Hz display. However, there are hints that the cooling solution of the Dell G5 15 SE could be flawed, especially when dealing with a Ryzen 9 4900H chip.
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Reviews of the new Ryzen 4000-based Dell G5 15 Special Edition (5505) gaming laptop have appeared online, and it seems that the potent AMD/Dell combination is proving to be something of a success so far. At the moment, the Dell configurator allows shoppers to choose between an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H mobile APU and a Ryzen 7 4800H processor, with a Ryzen 9 4900H-powered model expected at some point down the line. To enable AMD SmartShift technology, Dell has also fitted the G15 15 SE with a Radeon RX 5600M.

Positives of the new Dell G5 15 SE have focused on the “blistering CPU performance” (Laptop Mag) and the “fantastic” 144 Hz refresh rate of the display (Digital Trends). There has been some criticism of the overall build of the gaming laptop (“hefty” – Tom’s Hardware) and the screen brightness (“tame” – HotHardware). But there has been one crucial aspect about the device that seems to have elicited split opinions from the reviewers: heat dissipation. Is it possible that the Dell G5 15 SE’s cooling solution is going to struggle with its components’ thermal emissions?

Considering the Ryzen 4000-based Dell G5 15 SE has only just become available, it's surprising that there have already been comments made by concerned users about its heat development. There’s nothing uncommon about a high-powered gaming laptop getting hot, especially under load, but it appears to be the heat around the keyboard area of the Dell device that is somewhat disconcerting. Thermal images from Tom’s Hardware clearly show the central area of the keyboard looking positively toasty, with a temperature recorded at 55.3 °C. It’s theoretically possible to get a thermal burn at this temperature.

The bottom of the case doesn’t seem to cause concern in regard to heat issues: HotHardware published images of a teardown of the all-AMD Dell G5 15 SE that show it to have what appears to be a thorough cooling solution in place, consisting of three heat pipes, the prerequisite CPU and GPU fans, and various copper heat spreaders installed on the inside of the bottom case. The reviewer stated having to deal with “sweaty” hands during the test but claimed the keyboard area was not, in this case, “uncomfortably hot”.

Regardless of conflicting opinions, it could be that the Ryzen 4000 APU is getting too hot for the Dell G5 15 SE (5505) to handle. We reported on some leaked Time Spy benchmarks recently that showed an AMD Ryzen 9 4900H in an Asus TUF Gaming A15 laptop producing a much better result than with the new Dell G5 15: 9,090 points vs. 8,388 points. Speculation of what caused the 8.37% difference has mostly centered on a less efficient cooling solution inside the Dell laptop. As soon as we get a review device we will investigate further and check for any problems or hopefully see that the device is stable under long-term gaming loads.

Cooling solution. (Image source: HotHardware)
Cooling solution. (Image source: HotHardware)
Copper heat spreaders. (Image source: HotHardware)
Copper heat spreaders. (Image source: HotHardware)
Keyboard area. (Image source: Tom's Hardware)
Keyboard area. (Image source: Tom's Hardware)
Bottom case. (Image source: Tom's Hardware)
Bottom case. (Image source: Tom's Hardware)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 06 > Dell G5 15 Special Edition (5505): Early reviews of the all-AMD gaming laptop are promising but there seem to be hints of underlying heating issues
Daniel R Deakin, 2020-06- 9 (Update: 2020-06- 9)
Daniel R Deakin
Daniel R Deakin - Managing Editor News
My interest in technology began after I was presented with an Atari 800XL home computer in the mid-1980s. I especially enjoy writing about technological advances, compelling rumors, and intriguing tech-related leaks. I have a degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies and count my family, reading, writing, and travel as the main passions of my life. I have been with Notebookcheck since 2012.