The Dell G15 (2022) is a budget gaming laptop available with Intel 12th Gen CPUs and NVIDIA dedicated GPUs. It's the 5520 model, and it replaces the Dell G15 5511 from 2021 with Intel 11th Gen processors. It looks almost identical to its predecessor, with the biggest change being Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs, which sport a new hybrid architecture with a mix of performance and efficiency cores. Other changes include the addition of a QHD 240Hz display and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti GPU option, as well as Thunderbolt 4 support on models with an RTX 3060 and 3070Ti. There are also more color options, including an Obsidian Black Special Edition with an aluminum lid. There are variants with AMD Ryzen 6000-series CPUs, known as the Dell G15 5525, and they replace the Dell G15 5515 with AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs.
Our Dell G15 has an Intel Core i5-12500H CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of storage. You can upgrade the CPU to an Intel Core i7-12700H, which has two additional performance cores. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 is the base GPU configuration. If you want better performance, you can upgrade to an RTX 3050TI, RTX 3060, or RTX 3070Ti. You can configure the laptop with up to 32GB of memory and 1TB of storage in the form of a PCIe NVMe SSD. There are also multiple display options, including a 1080p 120Hz, a 1080p 165Hz, and a 1440p 240Hz panel.
The Dell G15 is only mediocre for school use. It's a bulky and heavy laptop that's hard to carry around, and its battery lasts less than 5 hours of light productivity. The keyboard doesn't cause fatigue when typing for an extended period but feels slightly mushy, and unfortunately, the touchpad doesn't track particularly well. However, its Intel 12th Gen CPUs and dedicated NVIDIA GPUs can handle all student workloads, including demanding tasks like graphic design and 3D animation. The 1080p display is decently sharp and provides enough space for split-screen multitasking, and you can also configure the laptop with a sharper and brighter QHD panel if you prefer.
The Dell G15 is great for gaming. You can configure the laptop with powerful Intel 12th Gen CPUs and various NVIDIA dedicated GPUs, all of which deliver a smooth gaming experience at 1080p. There's also a QHD 240Hz display option if you want better visuals, though you'll have to pair it with the top-end NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti to get good frame rates. It doesn't get overly hot or loud under load, and there's no noticeable throttling on the CPU or GPU. Unfortunately, the 120Hz panel has a slow response time, causing noticeable ghosting, and it doesn't support variable refresh rate.
The Dell G15 is okay for media consumption. It isn't very portable as it's a bulky and heavy device, and you'll likely have to carry around the charger as well because the battery only lasts less than 5 hours of video playback. The speakers get very loud; however, they don't have much bass or treble extension, so they aren't ideal for music or movies. The 120Hz display looks washed out and doesn't get bright enough to combat intense glare, though there are better panel options available, including a QHD 240Hz panel with 99% DCI P3 coverage.
The Dell G15 is excellent as a workstation. Its Intel 12th Gen CPUs and NVIDIA dedicated GPUs can easily handle demanding tasks like video editing and 3D rendering. It doesn't get overly hot or loud under load, and there's only a small amount of thermal throttling, not enough to be noticeable. You can easily access the internals for repairs and upgrades, though there's only one storage drive slot. There's a USB-C port, but only models with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 or 3070Ti support Thunderbolt 4.
The Dell G15 is decent for business use. Its Intel 12th Gen processors easily handle productivity tasks like web browsing, text formatting, spreadsheets, and presentations. The display provides enough space for multitasking, the webcam captures a good image for video calls, and while the keyboard feels slightly mushy, it isn't fatiguing to type on for an extended period. Unfortunately, it's a bulky and heavy laptop that's hard to carry around, its battery lasts less than 5 hours, and the touchpad doesn't track well.
We tested the Dell G15 (model 5520) with an Intel Core i5-12500H CPU, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of storage. The screen, CPU, GPU, memory, and storage are configurable; you can see the available options in the table below. Our review applies only to the model 5520 with Intel 12th Gen CPUs.
Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar Dell G15 laptop that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.
You can see our unit's label here.
The Dell G15 5520 is a great budget gaming laptop. It offers higher-end display and GPU configuration options than other laptops in its class, but its build quality isn't as good.
The Dell G15 (2022) and the HP Victus 16 (2021) are very similar budget gaming laptops. The HP provides a better user experience with a sturdier build, a more comfortable keyboard, and a more responsive touchpad. However, the Dell has higher-end display and GPU configuration options, like a 1440p 240Hz display and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti GPU. The Dell's Intel 12th Gen CPUs also perform better than the HP's AMD Ryzen 5000-series processors, providing better frame rates in games and a smoother experience in demanding tasks like video editing.
The Dell G15 (2022) is much better than the Acer Nitro 5 (2020). The Dell is available with newer and significantly more powerful CPUs and GPUs that push out much higher frame rates. It also provides a better user experience with a more comfortable and responsive keyboard, better-sounding speakers, and a wider port selection. On the other hand, the Acer has much longer battery life, lasting more than twice longer in light workloads, and its build feels sturdier.
The Dell G15 (2022) and the Lenovo Legion 5 Gen 6 15 (2021) are fairly similar. The Lenovo comes out ahead in user experience because it has a much sturdier build, a better keyboard and touchpad, and a wider port selection. However, the Dell has higher-end display and GPU configurations, like a 1440p 240Hz panel with 400 cd/m² of brightness and 99% DCI P3 coverage, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti GPU. The Dell laptop's Intel 12th Gen CPUs also perform better than the AMD Ryzen 5000-series processors on the Lenovo.
The Dell G15 (2022) is better than the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 (2021). The Dell is available with higher-end display and GPU options, like a 1080p 165Hz and 1440p 240Hz panel, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 and 3070Ti GPU. Also, the Dell's Intel 12th Gen CPUs perform better than the HP's AMD Ryzen 5000-series processors, and it doesn't get as hot or loud under load. On the other hand, the HP laptop's build feels sturdier, and its touchpad has better tracking.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) is better than the Dell G15 (2022). The ASUS is a more premium device with a sturdier build, and its thin and light design makes it much more portable than the Dell. The ASUS also has a more comfortable keyboard, a larger and more responsive touchpad, and significantly longer battery life. On the other hand, the Dell doesn't get as hot or loud under load, and its GPU doesn't throttle.
The Dell G15 laptop has a relatively simple design. Aside from the patterned speaker grills and the orange-colored keyboard backlight, it isn't too heavy on the gamer aesthetic. It has a tapered shape, so although it looks thick and chunky from the back, it looks a lot thinner from the front with the lid closed. There are vents on both sides of the laptop, the back, and the bottom. It's available in three color schemes: Dark Shadow Gray, Obsidian Black Special Edition, and Specter Green with Camouflage.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's build quality is just okay. There aren't any flaws in the construction, but it doesn't feel particularly sturdy either. It has a cheap-feeling plastic chassis with a finish that picks up fingerprints and scratches easily, and there's flex in the display and keyboard deck. The Obsidian Black Special Edition model has an aluminum lid.
The Dell G15 5520's hinge is okay. It feels smooth when opening and closing the laptop, and it's solid, with almost no wobble at all when typing aggressively or moving the laptop around. However, there's a little too much resistance to open the lid with one hand, which might be disappointing for some, as it's a nice quality-of-life feature.
The Dell G15 2022 and its power adapter are hard to carry around as they're both bulky and heavy.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's serviceability is great. It's very easy to access the internals as you only have to remove 8 Philips screws and undo a few plastic clips. Four of the 8 screws are captive, meaning they remain attached to the bottom panel, so you don't have to worry about losing or misplacing them. You can see the service manual here. Opening the laptop and changing the hardware may void the manufacturer's warranty.
Note: Models with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti GPU have a 240W power adapter.
The Dell G15 is available with the following displays:
A 1080p resolution is fairly common for a gaming laptop this size, and it's a good match for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, 3050Ti, and 3060 as it isn't too hard to drive. Images and text look decently sharp, and you get enough space for split-screen multitasking. The 1440p display looks sharper, but you'll have to pair it with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti to get a smooth gaming experience. The 16:9 aspect ratio is good for gaming and media consumption; however, some may find it doesn't have enough vertical space for productivity, meaning you have to scroll more when reading a document or website.
The lowest-end display configuration is the 1080p 120Hz panel. It provides better responsiveness and displays a slightly clearer image than a standard 60Hz panel, but the response time is slow, causing noticeable ghosting behind fast-moving objects. The 1080p 165Hz panel has an advertised response time of 13ms, which is faster but still slow for its refresh rate, and the same goes for the 1440p 240Hz panel, which has an advertised response time of 10ms.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's 120Hz panel has a great contrast ratio for an IPS panel. However, it's still a relatively low number compared to other panel technologies like VA or OLED. Blacks look grayish in dim settings, so it isn't the best option for dark room viewing. The 1080p 165Hz and 1440p 240Hz panels will likely have similar contrast. The contrast ratio can vary between individual units, but the difference is usually minor and isn't noticeable.
The Dell G15's 120Hz panel gets reasonably bright, a little better than the advertised 250 cd/m². It's enough for use in most indoor settings but not quite for a brightly-lit environment or outdoors in broad daylight. For dark room viewing, it gets dim enough to help reduce eye strain. The 1080p 165Hz has an advertised 300 cd/m² of brightness, which is only marginally better. The 1440p 240Hz panel has an advertised 400 cd/m² of brightness, which is bright enough for outdoor use, albeit just barely.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's reflection handling is decent. It has a matte anti-reflective coating that diffuses bright, direct reflections like a lamp or open window during the day; however, it doesn't reduce the intensity of the reflections and spreads them out instead, causing a haziness in other areas of the screen. It makes it hard to view dark content but isn't as much of a problem when viewing bright content. You can still see some reflections when viewing bright content with the screen at max brightness, though they aren't overly distracting.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's black uniformity is good. The screen looks a little patchy, but there's no visible backlight bleed, and the patchiness is only noticeable when viewing dark content in a dim setting. Black uniformity varies between individual units due to manufacturing tolerances; you may get some backlight bleed, which is common for IPS panels, but you can expect the rest of the screen to be fairly similar.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop has acceptable horizontal viewing angles. The image looks inaccurate from the side, but the picture quality is still good enough to share casual content or even text documents with someone else. If you need perfect accuracy for color-critical work, it's best to be more or less directly in front of the screen. The other panels will likely have similar viewing angles.
The Dell G15 laptop has acceptable vertical viewing angles. The image dims and washes out when viewing from above or below. It's fine if you're only looking at documents or content where accuracy isn't important, but you need to look at the screen from more or less straight on if you need perfect accuracy, which can be hard if you're in a tight space with very little room to tilt the screen.
The Dell G15's out-of-the-box color accuracy is alright. Most colors look inaccurate because the 120Hz panel has a narrow color gamut and can't reproduce the correct colors. However, the white balance is great, and the color temperature is very close to the 6500k target. The gamma sticks to a mostly flat 2.2 instead of following the sRGB curve, making dark content too dark and bright content too bright. Color accuracy varies between individual units, but the difference is usually minimal.
The Dell G15's 120Hz panel has a poor color gamut. It doesn't even have full coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space, making most content look dull and washed out. It also has very limited coverage of the wider Adobe RGB, DCI P3, and Rec. 2020 color spaces. This panel isn't suitable for any color-critical work or viewing HDR content. The other displays will look better as the 1080p 165Hz panel has an advertised 100% sRGB coverage, and the 1440p 240Hz panel has an advertised 99% DCI P3 coverage.
The Dell G15's backlight is entirely flicker-free, which helps reduce eye strain for people sensitive to flickering.
The Dell G15 has a good keyboard. It feels spacious, and it has a fairly standard layout that's easy to get used to. The plastic used for the keycaps is okay; it isn't particularly premium nor cheap. The keys have a lot of travel and don't require much force to actuate, but they feel a little mushy. Overall, it provides a good typing experience and doesn't cause fatigue over time. You can toggle between two backlight brightness levels or turn it off completely using F5; however, you can't change the color. There are models with a 4-zone RGB backlight if you want more colors, and there's also an Obsidian Black Special Edition model with a 12-zone RGB backlight.
The Dell G15 has a mediocre touchpad. It's tiny even though this is a 15.6 inch device. There aren't any issues with palm rejection, but it doesn't always respond to taps, and actions like dragging and dropping can be frustrating. Also, the click mechanism feels mushy and cheap.
The Dell G15 has up-firing speakers that get pretty loud with minimal loss in sound quality at max volume. They have a lot of emphasis in the mids and low-treble frequencies to produce clear vocals, but they lack bass and treble extension and sound a little boxy and hollow. In short, they're great for spoken content but aren't ideal for music or movies.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's webcam video quality is good. Even though it's a 720p camera, it captures a decent amount of fine details with vibrant colors, good exposure, and very little noise. The microphone sounds loud and clear with almost no background noise, but voices are slightly nasal.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop has a good port selection. All of its USB ports support USB 3.2 Gen 1 data transfer speed (up to 5Gbps). The USB-C can output a video signal to an external display, but it doesn't support charging, meaning you can't use it to charge the laptop. The USB-C on models with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 or 3070Ti support Thunderbolt 4.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's wireless adapter is an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201. Some models have an Intel Killer 1650i wireless adapter.
The Dell G15 is available with the following CPUs:
They're both high-power mobile CPUs designed for gaming laptops and mobile workstations. Unlike Intel's 11th Gen processors, this new generation of CPUs utilizes a hybrid architecture with a mix of performance and efficiency cores, similar to Apple's M1 SoC and other ARM-based processors found in most smartphones. Both CPUs have 8 efficiency cores, but the Core i5-12500H has 4 performance cores, while the Core i7-12700H has 6, providing better multi-thread performance. Only the performance cores have Hyper-Threading technology to allow the cores to work more efficiently and process more threads simultaneously.
For gaming, the Core i5-12500H is powerful enough to provide a good experience. Upgrading to the Core i7-12700H doesn't affect performance significantly in GPU-limited games, but it's noticeable in CPU-intensive titles like real-time strategy and open-world games. The Core i5 is suitable for demanding production workloads like video editing and 3D animation, but the Core i7 can complete tasks and provide a smoother experience overall. As with any new CPU architecture, there's bound to be some incompatibility with certain applications. Intel has resolved the DRM issues that popped up in some games at the launch of these Alder Lake CPUs. However, some productivity applications may still be buggy, so if you plan on using this laptop for work, it's best to check whether the application you use is fully compatible.
You can configure the Dell G15 with the following GPUs:
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, 3050Ti, and 3060 are GPUs designed for 1080p gaming. The RTX 3050 can deliver around 60 fps or slightly more at medium or high settings. The RTX 3050Ti is only marginally better, with around a 10% performance increase on average over the 3050. The RTX 3060 is a good deal faster than the RTX 3050 and will get you higher frame rates, around 90 fps in very demanding games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin's Creed Valhalla, but well over 100 fps in lighter games. The RTX 3070Ti is the top-end configuration and the best GPU to pair with the QHD 240Hz display.
All four GPUs support ray-tracing and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling). Ray-tracing has a high-performance cost, so it usually isn't worth enabling on the RTX 3050 and 3050Ti as it will cause the frame rate to drop to an unplayable level. It may be worth it on the RTX 3060 and 3070Ti, but you'll have to also enable DLSS to make up for the performance loss. DLSS is a feature that boosts performance in supported games by rendering images at a lower resolution and subsequently upscaling it to minimize any loss in visual quality. However, the performance increase depends heavily on each game's implementation. DLSS also tends to work better at higher resolutions, so you may only see a small performance increase if you play at 1080p.
There's no MUX (multiplexer) switch, so all information processed by the GPU passes through the integrated GPU before getting to the display, which usually results in worse performance than a laptop that has one. The performance loss can be up to 15% in some games. Dell enabled the MUX switch on the G15 5511 and 5515 models with an RTX 3060 through a BIOS update, so there's a chance that they may do the same this time around.
You can configure the Dell G15 with 8, 16, or 32GB of memory. For gaming, it's best to get at least 16GB because 8GB isn't enough for some games and will cause stutters. Also, the 8GB model uses a single RAM module in a single-channel configuration, which can reduce performance in CPU-intensive scenarios.
You can configure the Dell G15 with a 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD.
The Dell G15 5520 with an Intel Core i5-12500H has an outstanding overall score in Geekbench 5. It has remarkable single- and multi-thread performance, meaning it can handle all types of workloads, including demanding tasks like video editing or 3D animation. The overall performance is still behind Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs but among the best for x86 CPUs of its generation. The Core i7-12700H is faster overall, but mainly in multi-threaded workloads because it has two more performance cores.
As for the GPU compute, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 has an excellent score and can handle demanding workloads, though the RTX 3060 and 3070Ti will provide a much smoother experience and complete tasks faster.
The Dell G15 2022 with an Intel Core i5-12500H performs remarkably well in Cinebench R23. It has fantastic single- and multi-thread performance, beating even the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) with an M1 Max SoC. It's more than capable of handling even the most demanding professional rendering tasks. If you want better performance still, you can upgrade to the Intel Core i7-12700H.
The Dell G15's performance in Blender is outstanding. Although the Intel Core i5-12500H can render the bmw27 scene quickly, it's always better to use the dedicated NVIDIA RTX GPU because it supports NVIDIA Optix API hardware acceleration.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 has a great score in the Basemark GPU benchmark. It's better than the RTX 3050 in the HP Victus 16 (2021) and the Lenovo Legion 5 Gen 6 15 (2021), but only slightly. The RTX 3050, 3050Ti, and 3060 can provide a smooth gaming experience at 1080p, though you may have to lower some settings on the RTX 3050 to get to 60 fps in very demanding titles. In the case of the RTX 3070Ti, it can reach at least 60 fps at 1440p, even in graphically-intensive games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption 2.
The Dell G15 5520's storage drive performance is outstanding. Its fast read and write speeds make the system feel snappy and responsive, shortening the time it takes to boot up, launch apps, and transfer files. The speed of the SSD may vary depending on the size, as larger SSDs tend to perform better.
The Dell G15 has poor battery life. Regardless of your workload, you'll have to plug it in at some point to get through a typical 8-hour workday, and the same goes for media consumption. For gaming or demanding tasks like video editing, you'll have to use the laptop plugged in almost the entire time. Some models have a larger 86Wh battery, so if battery life is something you care about, it's best to check the specifications first. Battery life varies greatly depending on your usage and the laptop's configuration, as higher-end GPUs and displays with a faster refresh rate or higher resolution consume more power.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's performance in Borderlands 3 is middling. The average frame rate at high settings is decent, but there are frequent stutters. You'll have to lower the settings a bit to reach 60 fps with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 or 3050Ti. Upgrading the memory to 16GB in dual-channel mode will improve performance, especially the 1% and 0.1% lows. The RTX 3060 and 3070Ti can run this game smoothly without any issues.
Civilization VI runs well on the Dell G15 with an Intel Core i5-12500H and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050. The average frame rate at high settings is well above 60 fps, and there aren't any noticeable stutters. The average turn time is decent, though not a significant improvement over Intel 11th Gen CPUs, like the Core i5-11400H in the HP Victus 16 (2021). Upgrading to the Core i7-12700H will only shorten the turn time slightly. Every configuration can run this game smoothly.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's performance in CS:GO is outstanding. The average frame rate at high settings is fantastic, well above the refresh rate of this laptop's 1080p displays. There are some stutters, but they don't happen often. Upgrading the memory to 16GB in dual-channel mode will improve the overall performance, bringing it closer to the performance of the HP Victus 16 (2021). Every configuration of this laptop can run this game smoothly.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider runs well on the Dell G15 gaming laptop. The frame rate at high settings is above 60 fps most of the time, though it can sometimes dip into the 30s. Again, upgrading the memory to 16GB in dual-channel mode will improve performance, especially at lower settings. The RTX 3050Ti, 3060, and 3070Ti can run this game without any issues. The large frametime spikes are scene changes and aren't representative of the laptop's performance.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's thermal and noise handling is alright. In an idle state, the keyboard deck is cool, and the fans are barely audible. The keyboard deck gets warm under load; however, the hot spots are near the top, away from where most people rest their hands. The fans are audible under full load, but they aren't overly loud or annoying. The above results are measurements taken in the Balanced thermal profile. If you don't mind a little more fan noise or prefer a quieter laptop, you can change the thermal profile through the Alienware Command Center software. The other options are Performance, Quiet, and Battery Saver.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop's performance over time is outstanding. The CPU gets pretty hot under load, but the GPU remains relatively cool. There's a small amount of thermal throttling on the CPU and GPU; however, it isn't noticeable. The other configurations will likely perform similarly.
The Dell G15 gaming laptop has many pre-installed applications, including: