ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison

JT JT 13 July 2020
ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison

ASUS TUF A15 or Dell G5 Special edition, which gaming laptop should you pick? Let’s check them out in this detailed comparison and help you decide which one is right for you.

I’ve got two configurations of Dell G5 available, the low and high spec options, and I’ve also got three different configurations of TUF A15, so we should be able to do a great comparison. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonBoth of these laptops have AMD’s latest Ryzen 4000 processors, and I’ve got both with the 6 core 4600H and 8 core 4800H. The A15 uses Nvidia graphics, while the G5 is the first gaming laptop to make use of the new Radeon RX 5600M.

All laptops were tested with dual channel memory. The lower specced G5 comes with 8gb while the higher specced version comes with 16gb, all A15’s were tested with 16gb.

ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonStorage options also vary. The A15 can have 1 M.2 slot, 2 M.2 slots, and optionally a 2.5” drive bay at the expense of a smaller battery. The G5 has 2 M.2 slots, however if you want to use the 2.5” drive bay you can only use one of them.

For network connectivity they both have gigabit ethernet, the A15 has WiFi 5 while the G5 also has WiFi 5 in the entry level model, while the others are WiFi 6. You can configure both laptops a bit differently.

The G5 has a grey plastic exterior and black interior, while the A15 has two finishes, Bonfire black which is a black plastic lid and black plastic interior, or Fortress grey which has a metal lid with the same black plastic interior. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonNeither had any sharp corners or edges, but I’d give a slight edge to the G5 in terms of feel and build quality.

The weights would vary based on the specs of each laptop, however the G5 was still noticeably heavier compared to even the heaviest A15 that I had available.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison The power brick of the G5 is also much larger than the rest, it’s a 240 watt brick regardless of what G5 spec you get, the A15 goes up to 230 watts, but there are smaller versions for lower specced models.

Despite weighing more, the G5 is only slightly wider than the A15 while also being thinner and not quite as deep. Both laptops have a 15.6” 1080p screen, and both also have FreeSync which is made possible due to the Radeon Vega graphics.

The colour gamut was best with the G5’s 144Hz panel, otherwise the three in the A15 were similar to the 60Hz G5 in that regard. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonBrightness was fairly similar with all five panels, nothing special and below the 300 nits I’d like to see at full brightness. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonIn terms of response time, the 60Hz G5 panel was a little worse compared to the 144Hz A15 panel, while the 144Hz G5 panel was 9ms a fair bit faster compared to the A15’s 19 to 22ms response times.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison Basically to summarise, the G5 144Hz screen is the best option. Backlight bleed varied a bit between the three TUF A15 models I had despite them all being the same panel and chassis, but I didn’t notice it during normal use. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonThe G5 on the other hand was a bit worse in both cases in my opinion, but you can see the results here. Both laptops have a 720p camera above the screen in the center, neither have Windows Hello support. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonThere was a little more flex with the A15 when intentionally pushing down hard, but I never had an issue with either during normal everyday use. The keyboard layouts are fairly similar, both have small arrow keys while the TUF has clear WASD keys. The G5 I have only has red backlighting, however you can pay more for 4 zone RGB, the A15 on the other hand is single zone RGB. Both laptop keyboards illuminate all keys and secondary functions, and honestly it’s hard for me to pick which I liked typing more on, I’d rate them at about equal. I like that both laptops have the power button above the keyboard and out of the way, the A15 also has air vents for cooling up the back.

The bottom of the A15 screen is cut out, apparently in an effort to allow air to better flow into those vents. The G5 on the other hand has a single hinge in the center, and the bottom of the lid is angled.

Both touchpads use precision drivers, the G5’s is larger and presses down anywhere to click. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonThe A15 on the other hand does not click down as it instead has physically separate left and right click buttons. Personally I preferred the G5 as I like pressing down on the touchpad, but that’s just me, overall both worked fine without issue.

Let’s get into the I/O differences. On the left both have the power input right at the back, gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2.0 output and a Type-C port with DisplayPort support. The G5 has mini DisplayPort which the A15 doesn’t have, while the A15 has its 3.5mm audio combo jack on this side as well as an additional USB Type-A port, all Type-A on this side are 3.2 Gen1. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonOn the right the G5 has its 3.5mm audio jack along with a full size SD card slot. All USB Type-A ports on this side are 2.0, so the G5 has one more on the slower speed. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonThe TUF also has an air exhaust vent on this side which the G5 does not have. This can differ between TUF A15 models though, in this example the lower specced version doesn’t have the air exhaust vent, only the higher models had it.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison On the back both had air exhaust vents towards the left and right corners, and neither had anything over on the front.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonSo basically to recap, the G5 has an SD slot and mini DisplayPort, otherwise the I/O is fairly similar, though the G5 uses more older USB 2.0 for the Type-A ports. On the G5 I confirmed that the mini DisplayPort and HDMI ports go directly to the 5600M while the Type-C goes to the Vega iGPU. The TUF A15 on the other hand has the Type-C port going to the Nvidia discrete graphics, while the HDMI port goes to the Vega iGPU.

ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonUnderneath both have air intake vents, however the G5 has these directly over the fans while the TUFs are placed in other locations, apparently in an effort to pull in air over other components and keep the chassis cool, we’ll compare temps soon. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonInside both have a couple of fans and a couple of heatpipes shared between the CPU and GPU.

Both have two memory slots, WiFi card, and in this case both have two M.2 slots. The A15 here has the larger 90Wh battery, however the A15 is also available with smaller 48Wh battery, and this smaller battery option allows room for a 2.5” drive. The lower specced A15 also only has one M.2 slot instead of two, and the heatpipes are cut down compared to the higher specced models, so the A15 can vary quite a bit.

Both laptops have the speakers towards the front on the left and right sides. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonThe speakers sound much better on the TUF A15, it’s not even close, there’s some bass and it’s just clearer. The G5 does get a fair bit louder at maximum volume, but yeah the A15 sounds way better in my opinion.

The latencymon results also seemed better with the A15, the results were decent on all 3 I tested but with the G5 although the lower specced config looked good too, the higher specced one was giving me worse results.

As mentioned before, the A15 has two battery options while the G5 has the same size no matter what.

Here are how the three A15s and two G5s I’ve tested compare.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison The lower specced G5 lasts longer than the higher specced model, and interestingly the highest specced G5 and A15 were very close together. The big difference is the 90wh battery with the A15 which lasted much longer than the other smaller options.

Next let’s take a look at thermals. All laptops were tested in an ambient room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius, and of course we expect different results due to the different hardware inside. I’ve done all testing in the highest performance modes available, so turbo mode on the A15 and high performance on the G5.

These are the temperatures while under heavy CPU and GPU stress testASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison the aim here is to demonstrate a worst case in a repeatable manner rather than typical performance. In all instances, both of the Dell G5 laptops were hotter both on the CPU and GPU, though the 2060 A15 does start getting close to the higher specced G5, the lower specced G5 was pretty crazy though.

These are the average clock speeds during these same tests over a 30 minute period.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison While also running cooler in general, it looks like the A15 is able to hit higher clock speeds. It’s not too practical to compare GPU clocks due to different architectures and whatnot, however even with the same processors the A15 appears to have an edge. Results will of course vary based on the specific workload.

Here’s what we’re looking at in terms of Cinebench R20 scores from these machines with their respective highest performance modes in use.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison The differences aren’t that big, the 4800H systems are all relatively close together, and even the 4600H G5 is only scoring 4% above the TUF below it.

As for the areas where you’ll actually be putting your hands, the G5 was warmer compared to the A15 when both were sitting idle. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonWith both running worst case heavy stress tests, the A15 gets to the low 40s in the center and was overall cool to the touch, just warm in the middle. With the same workload running on the G5 we’re now seeing mid 50s in the center and it felt quite a bit warmer, though wasn’t hot to the touch.

Both were similar at idle, though the G5 was a little quieter. The TUF A15 gets louder with the fans at maximum speed when compared to the G5, so this may partly help explain some of the difference in thermals between the two as the G5 was hotter.

Let’s compare some games next. All laptops were tested in their best performance modes, so high performance enabled on the G5 and turbo mode enabled on the A15, which does overclock the GPU a bit.

Here are the results with Battlefield 5 by running through the same section of the game on all 5 machines.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison I’ve got the three A15’s towards the top in purple, and two G5s in red on the bottom. Interestingly the G5’s were performing very closely together despite the 4800H model being around $300 more expensive. The 1660 Ti TUF was doing better than both of the G5’s though. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonShadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the games built in benchmark, and again the cheaper 4600H G5 was ahead of the more expensive one, though the 1660 Ti in the TUF A15 was ahead of either G5 configuration, while the 2060 had a further boost. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonCall of Duty Modern Warfare was tested walking through the same part of the game on all laptops at max settings. I’ve found this to be a title that favours AMD hardware, and as a result both of the G5s were in front of even the RTX 2060 TUF A15. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonApex Legends was also tested in the same manner, but this is one that I’ve found to typically have an edge with Nvidia hardware, and sure enough the 1660 Ti TUF is reaching higher frame rates than either G5. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonCS:GO was tested with the Ulletical FPS benchmark, and the G5s were getting similar 1% lows to the 1660 Ti and 2060 A15 machines, however the highest spec G5 was basically able to match the highest spec A15 in this one. 

The results can vary a fair bit based on the specific game. In many cases the cheaper G5 actually outperforms the more expensive G5.  ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonAt max settings, the 2060 was around 10% ahead of the 5600M in a larger number of titles, however at minimum settings the difference is closer together, presumably due to smartshift in the G5. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonWhen we instead look at how the 1660 Ti compares with the 5600MASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison they’re basically the same in terms of average FPS at max settings, at least on average, as you can see it clearly varies a fair bit depending on the specific game.

ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonThen at low settings the 5600M is now around 7% faster on average, again presumably as a result of smartshift allowing the processor more power as the GPU is needed less here.

Outside of gaming, I’ve used the Puget systems benchmark for Davinci Resolve.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison From my understanding this test favours GPU power, however it would seem that it may not be that well optimized for the Radeon 5600M yet, given the 1650 Ti is able to beat one of the G5s. ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop ComparisonI believe the Photoshop test is more CPU dependent, especially in terms of single core performance or clock speed, which would explain why the three 4800H configurations are at the top, although it’s a bit strange that the 1660 TI A15 was consistently beating the 2060 A15 with the same processor.ASUS TUF A15 vs Dell G5 SE Gaming Laptop Comparison Premiere seems to work better with Nvidia graphics regardless of the processors in use, as both 5600M machines were down the bottom this time.

I’ve tested storage with Crystal disk mark, the 512GB NVMe M.2 SSDs in the A15 and G5 weren’t too far apart, while the 1TB drive in the A15 had much better write speeds comparatively.

Now for the final difference, the price. The entry level Dell G5 I’ve tested starts at $880 USD, while the 4800H model with double memory and better screen goes for $1200 USD. The A15 on the other hand is $1000 for the 1660 Ti model, or $1300 for the 2060 model, granted that does also have a larger SSD in this example.

I don’t currently have pricing for the 1650 Ti A15, but honestly given how much better the 1660 Ti performs in games, it’s probably not worth it unless you’re on a strict budget, and even then the entry level Dell G5 may be a better pick, as you still get the 5600M which as we saw rivals the 1660 Ti in gaming. Yeah it’s got a 60Hz screen, but the response time and colours aren’t actually all that different from the weak 144Hz panel in the A15. The more expensive G5 with 144Hz screen option was significantly better when compared to the A15 screens, bleed aside.

The G5 ran notably hotter when compared to the A15. The G5 both felt warmer to the touch, though wasn’t hot, and had hotter internals. Overall I’d say the build quality of the G5 felt a little better, but it was also heavier and has a larger and higher wattage power brick than even the highest specced A15. CPU only performance was quite similar between the Ryzen 5 and 7 configurations, while gaming results could vary a fair bit one way or the other. In general the 5600M performs closely to the 1660 Ti, but the 2060 beats the 5600M, though it does also appear to be more expensive.

The speakers were better on the A15, though I personally preferred the touchpad of the G5, but didn’t have an issue using either, and I couldn’t pick a winner in terms of keyboard. I’d say the G5 has better ports, the selection is similar but the G5 also has an SD slot and mini DisplayPort which the A15 was missing.

This is a tough one, overall I prefer some features of the G5 but it just gets so hot and makes the A15 look good by comparison. With a cooling pad it was possible to cool down the G5 quite a bit as the air vents are right above the intake fans, this was not the case with the A15 though so this made almost no change.

  ASUS TUF A15 and Dell G5 on BestBuy

I suppose if you can deal with the worse screen, then the A15 may be the way to go if you’re looking at the 1660 Ti or 2060 model, it looked ok to me while playing games on it, as I don’t find myself too sensitive to the slower response time. Honestly I think it’s personal preference, but the 144Hz G5 was best there. The A15 will also be the best option if you want maximum battery life if you go the 90Wh option. At the more budget friendly prices though I suspect the G5 with 5600M will offer better bang for buck in terms of raw gaming performance.

At the end of the day there are compromises to be made with both of these laptops, you just have to decide which things matter most to you. So all things considered, which of these two gaming laptops would you pick and why? The Dell G5 or the ASUS TUF A15? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.

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