Dell G5 Gaming Desktop 5090 review
Last Updated on October 1, 2021 by Daniel Osakwe
As long as you keep your games in full HD, you’ll be fine with the Dell G5 5090 ($570 starting; $1,050 as reviewed). The gaming desktop is capable of handling both demanding games and productivity tasks with ease, and if you need to upgrade it in the future, you only need a screwdriver.
In comparison, the cheapest G5 5090 configuration comes with relatively modest parts, while the much fancier model we reviewed can’t offer 4K gaming or a ton of storage space. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best computers around, with plenty to offer those looking for a full-HD desktop. In the event that you do not feel comfortable building your own system, the G5 holds its own against the best gaming PCs in its price range.
Dell G5 5090 design and lighting
G5 5090 keeps things simple, yet still offers a little flair, which is something I appreciate. The chassis is surprisingly small, measuring 14.5 x 12.1 x 6.7 inches and weighing 18.6 pounds. If you have enough room, you can put it right on top of your desk, but it can also live on the floor without getting knocked over.
There is a diagonal blue LED strip on the front of the case along with an elegant crosshatch pattern. Despite liking the LED, I was disappointed that it could not be dimmed without going to the BIOS and that the colors could not be changed.
It is the clear side panel on the chassis that really appeals to me. You can see the interior workings of the G5 5090 at all times through a clear, rounded piece of plastic on its left side. The LED blue illuminates the area softly. In theory, it should enable you to diagnose hardware problems without ever having to open your computer.
Dell G5 5090 ports and upgradability
Unless you’re an accessory-laden enthusiast, the G5 5090 should have more than enough ports. Several USB A and USB C port options are available on the front of the machine, along with a 3.5mm audio jack and a 3.5mm microphone jack.
It has three additional audio jacks (subwoofer or surround sound), six USB-A ports, a DVI port, an HDMI port, and a DisplayPort port on the back. Wireless and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity are also provided by an internal Qualcomm DW1810 chip.
It was really easy and straightforward to upgrade the Dell G5 5090 in our testing. To access the motherboard, you only need to remove two screws at the back. With its uncomplicated wiring, even a neophyte should be able to swap out RAM, upgrade a GPU, and clean out a fan. You will, however, simply replace parts, not add them.
Dell G5 5090 gaming performance
It still doesn’t seem justified to spend more than $1,000 on a machine designed to perform well in 1080p. On 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. In spite of its poor performance, Tomb Raider still runs well on consoles (although not always consistently).
In comparison, Far Cry averages 88 frames per second, while Shadow of War averages 123 frames per second, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider averages 96 frames per second.
A similar result was achieved with our 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra synthetic benchmark, where the G5 5090 scored 2,910, compared to the category average of 8,057. This comparison should be taken with a grain of salt since most gaming PCs we test are far more powerful than the G5 5090.
Considering its quality, the Dell G5 5090 is quite good. Through Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and The Witcher Tales: Thronebreaker, all settings turned up to Ultra. There were no games that ran below 30 frames per second; most ran closer to 60 frames per second. This G5 5090 stayed relatively quiet the entire time. Despite not being able to run 4K resolutions or even QHD, the G5 5090 offered a solid gaming experience.
Dell G5 5090 overall performance
As with most gaming PCs, the G5 5090 excels at everyday products as well. It couldn’t run more than half a dozen applications at once – Chrome, Slack, Microsoft Office, Netflix, Spotify, Thunderbird, and more. A second monitor was even connected, without any discernible loss of speed or fidelity.
Although the G5 5090 isn’t as powerful as more powerful PCs in terms of productivity, it’s still an option for gamers. According to Geekbench 4.3, the G5 5090 scored 5,558 out of 37,301, far below its category average of 37,301. Unlike comparable laptops in its class, the G5 5090 effortlessly connected to a USB drive and transmitted 5GB of data in less than 9 seconds.
With the G5 5090, you don’t have to deal with excessive bloatware. You’ll get Windows 10 Home Edition as well as Dell’s standard software, including software for updating firmware, contacting support, optimizing USB-C displays, etc. I deactivated much of it during my testing of the machine to save RAM, but it did not really impede my testing.
I was frustrated by the computer’s trial version of McAfee Antivirus. This service is free for 12 months with a G5 5090 (and most Dell machines). The gesture is nice, but I would still remove the application as soon as possible.
In addition to being resource-wasting, McAfee presents unwanted advice and recommendations constantly. The biggest problem is McAfee’s false positives.
The program considers some very important gaming executables to be Trojans and deletes them without putting them in quarantine. Because there are no shortcuts for making McAfee detection less aggressive, I had to completely reinstall the game from scratch after uninstalling McAfee first. In my opinion, the default Windows Defender program is a better option.
|Great chassis||Not ideal for QHD/UHD gaming|
|Affordable||Preinstalled software can be a pain|
|Good productivity and gaming performance|
In my experience, I enjoyed using the Dell G5 5090. Playing games with 1080p on this device is smooth, and it has excellent productivity features. As far as gaming PCs go, it’s not too expensive; the chassis looks great; the software is easy to use (with one notable exception).
Although a 4K console is a better value for the price of a Dell G5, our configuration is a perfect fit for gamers who seek a PC upgrade but aren’t quite ready to build their own. Furthermore, this gaming desktop’s easy upgradeability ensures a longer lifespan than a typical console.