The new 2020 Dell G7 is available with some nice specs for a gaming laptop, including 6 core i7 processor and RTX 2070 graphics that I’ve got here, but how well does it actually perform in games? I’ve tested 22 titles at all setting levels and compared it with other laptops to show you the difference.
The G7 has the G key on the top left above the keyboard, and this is used to boost performance and fan speed, all testing was done with this on for best results. Unfortunately there’s no option of disabling optimus and only using the discrete Nvidia graphics, which also means there’s no option of G-Sync here without an external screen.
Let's start out by going through all 22 games at all setting levels, then afterwards we’ll see how other laptops compare.
Due to lots of requests, I’ve added Microsoft Flight Simulator, and testing was done in the Sydney landing challenge. It was chugging a bit at ultra around 30 FPS, but wasn’t too far below 60 FPS with the low-end preset, for the most part it felt ok to me at medium to high-end settings. I’ve also added Death Stranding into the testing lineup, again as this is the first time I’ve tested it I don’t really know what to expect, but I can say that it was running fine even with the highest setting preset in use, which was just above a 100 FPS average. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested using the game’s built in benchmark tool, to hit 60 FPS at ultra you need a very powerful laptop, even the 115 watt RTX 2070 isn’t capable here, but we could surpass 60 FPS at high settings in this test. Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode, and it was playing fine with the highest setting preset, the 1% low was right around 60 FPS, while low settings was averaging near the screen’s refresh rate. We’ll look at how this game compares with other laptops later. Control was tested with RTX disabled in the purple bars, RTX enabled in the green bars, which was much worse comparatively, then RTX on with DLSS enabled in the red bars, which was able to offer an above 60 FPS experience even maxed out while looking good. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark, and the results are about average for a 2070 based laptop, I’ll show you how other laptops compare in this game shortly. Apex Legends was tested with either all settings at maximum, or all settings on the lowest possible values, as it doesn’t have predefined setting presets. There weren’t any issues even with max settings, though we could get a big boost with minimum. Call of Duty Modern Warfare was tested in campaign mode with either max or min settings for the same reason. The difference is less pronounced here, but I still found it to play well with all settings at maximum. Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, and it was running fine even with the highest epic setting preset, while high settings were needed to hit average FPS above the screen’s refresh rate, then medium settings pushed even the 1% low above this. CS:GO was tested with the ulletical FPS benchmark, the results are fine and similar to a lot of other laptops with lower specs though, this test sees big gains from the option of disabling optimus, which unfortunately is not an option with this laptop. Dota 2 was tested playing in the middle lane with bots, and the performance at lower settings wasn’t that impressive, I’ve seen higher results from lower specced machines, but realistically still high frame rates and no issues at all running this game, which runs fine on potatoes. Overwatch was tested running through the practice range. Interestingly low settings weren't able to hit the 300 FPS frame cap that many others with similar specs are capable of, but either way even at max settings the 1% low isn’t far off the screen’s refresh rate, which is excellent. Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built in benchmark using Vulkan, the average FPS at max settings was above the screens refresh rate, while medium settings was able to get the 1% low above it. Metro Exodus was tested using the built in benchmark, most parts of the game perform a fair bit better than this, so don’t take these results as a good indication of what to expect throughout the entire game, it’s more of a worst case that can be compared against my other data. The Division 2 was also tested with the built in benchmark. Ultra settings was above a 60 FPS average, while low was more in line with the screen’s refresh rate if you prefer dem frames. Monster Hunter World was tested running through the main town, again above 60 FPS was possible maxed out, actually even for the 1% lows too, which typically aren’t that far behind the averages in this game, which is good for smoother gameplay. Borderlands 3 was tested using the game’s built in benchmark, and was only just off 60 FPS maxed out. Ghost Recon Breakpoint was also tested with the benchmark tool, and again near that 60 FPS point even with the highest ultimate setting preset. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is another that was tested with the games benchmark, not quite 60 FPS at max here, but that’s usually harder to achieve with this test, and very high settings would get us there. The Witcher 3 was running fine at ultra settings, but you can get big gains by lowering slightly to high settings which I think still looks great anyway. F1 2019 was tested with the benchmark tool and sees similar behaviour, still above 100 FPS at max settings, but nice gains particularly to 1% low just one level lower. I guess I should probably upgrade to F1 2020 soon - or let me know if you want to see some other racing game. Far Cry New Dawn was also tested with the games benchmark, similar results to many other laptops so let’s move on.
Now let’s take a look at how the Dell G7 with this hardware compares against other laptops, use these results as a rough guide only, as they were tested at different times with different drivers.
In Battlefield 5 I’ve got the G7 highlighted in red. The results seem reasonable for a 115 watt RTX 2070 when compared to others, it’s about the same as the Eluktronics MAX-15 just below it, granted with last gen CPU, 10th gen reviews are on the way though. The G7 is being beaten by the lower wattage Max-Q option in the Lenovo 7i just above it though, as that machine lets you disable optimus, a feature the G7 does not offer.
These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark. Again it’s basically right on par with the Max-15 just below it, but can be beaten by smaller Max-Q machines, granted this is more of a CPU test and many of those do have 8 core options, either way not quite as bad as the Scar III with same powered GPU.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was also tested with the games benchmark tool with the highest setting preset. Not too much has changed, the G7 is again slightly ahead of the Max-15 and Scar III by one to two frames, while the other options are still ahead. So I suppose somewhat average for a 2070 machine and not too bad, just nothing really impressive either given the larger 17 inch size.
If Dell gave us the option of disabling optimus it would see a nice speed boost, and unfortunately undervolting appears locked at the BIOS level, so there’s not too much option in the way of performance increase aside from a GPU overclock, which I found to give less than a 5% boost in this particular game, but keep in mind many of the other options could of course be overclocked too.
Here are the screen response time results for the 1080p 144Hz panel in the G7. The average grey-to-grey response time was just below 8ms. When we look at how it stacks up against other 144Hz gaming laptops it’s quite similar to the others, most seem to be in that 7 to 8ms sort of range, so not horrible, but still a little behind the 6.94ms needed for all transitions to occur within the refresh window.
Let me know what you thought of the gaming performance from the Dell G7 gaming laptop down in the comments.