Dell G5 Gaming Desktop 5090 review

Dell G5 Gaming Desktop 5090 review
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Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

As long as you play full-HD games, the Dell G5 5090 ($570 starting; $1,050 as reviewed) is a relatively powerful gaming PC. If you need to upgrade it in the future, you will only need a single screwdriver. It can handle both demanding games and productivity tasks easily.

Although the cheapest G5 5090 configuration comes with modest parts, the more expensive model we reviewed still can’t handle 4K gaming or provide a lot of storage space. As a standalone computer, the G5 5090 is one of the best out there, offering lots of features to full-HD users. The G5 holds its own against the best gaming PCs in its price range even if you don’t feel comfortable building your own.

Dell G5 5090 design and lighting

dell g5 5090

Regarding the appearance of the G5 5090, I appreciate its simplicity while still maintaining a little flair. At 14.5 x 12.1 x 6.7 inches and 18.6 pounds, the chassis is surprisingly compact. If you have enough room, you can put it right on top of your desk. However, it is sturdy enough to live on the floor without getting knocked over. The front has an elegant crosshatch pattern and a diagonal blue LED strip. The LED is nice, but there is no way to dim or change the color without going into the BIOS.

I really like the clear side panel of the chassis, though. You can see the workings of the G5 5090 at all times thanks to the clear, rounded, plastic rectangle on its left side, softly illuminated by a blue LED. I think this is a very attractive setup, and it could theoretically let you diagnose hardware problems without ever opening your PC.

Dell G5 5090 ports and upgradability

dell 5090

Even the most accessory-laden PC enthusiasts should have enough ports on the G5 5090. There are three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack, and a 3.5mm microphone jack on the front of the machine.

Additionally, there are three more audio jacks (for subwoofers or surround sound), six USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, a DVI port, an HDMI port, and a DisplayPort. As well as 802.11ac wireless and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, the computer has an internal Qualcomm DW1810 chip.

It was also remarkably easy to upgrade the Dell G5 5090 during our testing. It is only necessary to remove two large screws on the back to gain direct access to the motherboard. A neophyte PC builder should be able to swap out RAM, upgrade a GPU, or clean out a fan because of the straightforward wiring. The problem is that there are few extra slots, so you’ll have to replace parts rather than add them.

Dell G5 5090 gaming performance

In its comfort zone, the G5 5090 performs well enough, though I’m not sure why a 1080p-optimized machine should cost more than $1,000. Using Very High graphics settings, this PC ran Far Cry New Dawn at 79 frames per second, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War at 65 frames per second, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 42 frames per second. Tomb Raider’s performance is disappointing since even consoles can run this game at 60 fps (albeit not perfectly).

In contrast, Far Cry has an average frame rate of 88 fps, Shadow of War’s average frame rate is 123 fps, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider has a frame rate of 96 fps.

According to our 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra synthetic benchmark, the G5 5090 scored 2,910, compared to an 8,055 average for the category. This comparison should be taken with a grain of salt, since most gaming PCs we review are much more powerful than the G5 5090.

In terms of quality, the Dell G5 5090 is quite good. With most of the settings at Ultra, I ran it through Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. Most games ran at a smooth 60 frames per second. The G5 5090 remained relatively quiet throughout all of this. The Dell G5 5090 provided a solid gaming experience despite not being able to handle 4K or QHD resolutions.

Dell G5 5090 overall performance

The G5 5090 handles everyday tasks better than most desktop PCs, including gaming. Regardless of how many programs I ran simultaneously – Chrome, Slack, Microsoft Office, Netflix, Spotify, Thunderbird, and more – the RAM and CPU rarely exceeded half. The speed and fidelity remained the same even after I hooked up a second monitor.

In the productivity department, however, the G5 5090 cannot really compete with PCs that are more powerful. During the Geekbench 4.3 synthetic test, the G5 5090 scored 5,558 – well below the category average of 37,301. In contrast, the G5 5090 successfully transferred 5GB of files from a USB drive in 9 seconds, beating the category average of 15 seconds.

Dell software

The G5 5090 isn’t overloaded with bloatware. Windows 10 Home Edition comes with some standard Dell software, which allows you to update firmware, contact customer support, and optimize USB-C displays, among other things. When testing the machine, this software didn’t really get in the way, but I deactivated most of it to save RAM.

It was the computer’s free trial of McAfee Antivirus that slowed me down. You get 12 months of free service when you purchase a G5 5090 (or most Dell machines). Although that’s a nice gesture, I would still delete the program right away.

As well as taking up a lot of resources, McAfee constantly pops up with unwanted advice and recommendations. However, its biggest flaw is its false positives. In some cases, it deletes very important gaming executables without even putting them in quarantine. The only way to make McAfee less aggressive or even simply to disable it is to completely reinstall Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds from scratch – after uninstalling it first. It’s hard to argue with the fact that the default Windows Defender program is better.

Pros Cons
Reasonably priced Not ideal for QHD/UHD gaming
Great chassis Preinstalled software can be a pain
Good productivity and gaming performance

Conclusion

I enjoyed using the Dell G5 5090. It provides smooth performance for 1080p games as well as excellent productivity features. In terms of gaming PCs, the chassis looks great, the software is easy to use (with one notable exception), and it is not overly expensive.

For the price of the Dell G5, a 4K console offers superior performance, but our configuration is a good choice for gamers who want to join the PC market but aren’t quite comfortable enough to build their own machines. With the G5 5090’s easy upgradeability, this gaming desktop is more future-proof than your average console.