Dell G3 3579 laptop review (GTX 1050 Ti, I5-8300H)

Dell G3 3579

In Short

The stronghold of the Dell G3 3579 is mostly its looks/design. It’s hard to recommend the 3579 for its qualities as a laptop for its typical price, otherwise (thermals, display, keyboard, speakers, performance). However, the G3 3579 seems frequent discounts and if you can catch for $600-$650 (including tax), it might be worth it. Otherwise, unless you’re really require the specific looks, I’d probably suggest looking for other options as the value for money is currently low, considering all. If you do want a professional/business looking (and perhaps quality grade) machine, I’d wait for other models or go with an eGPU setup. And, true to other laptops too – remember that new GPU and CPU hardware is coming towards the end of 2018, so maybe it would just be better to wait.

Looks, design, texture
Noise levels
IPS quality
Keyboard quality
Thermals and throttling
Sound quality
Ports selection
Dell G3 15-3579 Specs
CPUIntel I5-8300H (Coffee Lake 4c / 8t, 2.3 - 4.0GHZ)
GPUGTX 1050 Ti 4GB (mobile) (Pascal), GP106, 1280 cores@1.404GHZ-1.67GHZ, GDDR5@2GHZ (8GHZ eff.), 192-bit
RAM2x8GB DDR4 2666MHZ
Storage

2.5″: 1TB HDD Seagate ST1000LX015 5400RPM HDD

M.2: 1xM.2 NVMe free slot

Display156WF6 [DELL P/N: 4XK13]
Weight & Dimensions (w x d x h)
2.464kg / 5.43lbs. PSU: 0.513 / 11.97lbs
380mm x 258mm x 22.7mm, 14.96" x 10.16" x 0.89"
KeyboardBlue backlit, 3 levels
IO Ports
left : AC+indicator, HDMI 2.0, RJ-45, 2 x USB 3.0, Headphone/Mic jack
right : Noble Lock, 1xUSB 3.2, SD slot
Camera720p@30FPS camera
WirelessIntel 9462AC 1x1
EthernetRealTek RTL8168/8111 1Gb
Speakers2.0
Battery56Wh
Bios/EC1.02
More

The new Dell G3 series is here. It’s part of the new Dell “G” gaming laptops line. The G5 and G7 are more gaming centric and feature rich while the G3 is more stylish and  lightweight, losing a Thunderbolt 3 (except I7 + GTX 1060 versions) and a better cooling solution.

The interesting angle of the G3 is mostly its looks and a little lower weight. For those who prefer to go around with a less “gaming” style looks/design but still keep some gaming prowess, the G3 offers some more sleek “professional” high quality and sleek looks while maintaining the same basic hardware power as the G5 and G7, for around the same price. In my opinion, the G3 cheaper versions are the more interesting options, because for $1000-$1100+ it won’t excel as a gaming laptop or a professional laptop against the competition.

The version in this is the 15.6″15-3579 with an I5-8300H, GTX 1050 Ti, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD and priced at $720 before tax, currently. I guess we’ll see even lower prices for new and/or refurbished. RAM upgraded 16GB manually for the benchmarks to get more accurate performance numbers. Why this configuration? Because I think it will interests many who want *some* gaming capabilities to go along with a good looking laptop, for a relatively low price. The I5 Coffee Lake I5-8300H CPU is at least as fast as the Kaby Lake I7-7700HQ so CPU performance should be more than enough for gaming and professional work. Let’s check if it’s really high quality as it seems.

Build quality, Case, design and looks

The build quality of the Dell G3 is average plus, at most. The whole thing is made out of plastic. The base unit has a typical firmness. The screen outer lid hinges are more firm than some of the laptops I’ve tested, probably because of the design that uses the base as a contra. For comparison, it is less easy to twist than the Lenovo Y720, by a bit. The outer lid itself provide typical protection against pressure.

Keyboard surface will yield under some pressure mostly around the center, however the pressure required is relatively high and nothing that should interfere with the experience. Also, the keyboard surface is clearly separated from the bottom plate and in some areas there is a space through which the insides are visible, which shows mediocre workmanship.

Looks

The G3 is a rather stylish laptop available in three key colors: Licroice Black, Recon Blue and Alpine White. The model in test color’s is the Alpine White one. The general theme of the G3 style is roundedness, a theme that was started with the Dell 7567 (in this laptops segment from Dell) and the G3 takes further even more.

The keyboard surface has a some kind of checkers pattern which looks nice. The plastic chassis and outer lid has some kind of silvery metallic finish which looks quite good, in my opinion. As said before, the keyboard surface is clearly separated from the bottom plate and in some areas there is a space through which the insides are visible.

I went with a rough style pictures for this gentle fellow

Maintenance and inner parts

Maintenance of the G3 is not the easiest. To access the inner parts, you have to remove the bottom maintenance panel. After 10 screws, you’ll have to carefully separate the keyboard surface from the bottom case. Beneath you’ll see two fans, 2xDDR4 slots, 2.5″ bay and an M.2 NVMe slot. The RAM in this image is the one I used for the tests.

The soldered CPU and GPU share two heatpipes and two fans. The CPU is the one to the right with two heatpipes. The GPU is in the middle, with one heatpipe + one heatpipe for the VRAM. Cool air is sipped from the bottom and thrown out through the rear. The ventilation fins near the CPU are smaller and are around 6mm in height compared to the fins near the GPU which are around 8mm in height.

Connection ports selection highlights are really only the USB 3.1gen2 Type-A. HDMI 2.0 is a standard. No mDP (mini-DisplayPort) or Thunderbolt 3 or USB type-C in this version. However, according to reports, it seems that the Dell G3 with GTX 1060 + Intel I7 CPU does have Thunderbolt 3.

 

 

Keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard quality is disappointing. No way around it. A combination of three factors contribute to this conclusion – low travel depth, considerably too low feedback and very low resistance. Keys are a bit unstable, meaning you might hit the edges and no input will be registered. Add to this varying typing experience across the keys. All of these make the G3 keyboard far from being a quality keyboard.

On the pro side, the keys are well spaced and the blue backlight is nice.

To make clear, the keyboard isn’t the most terrible I had, and perhaps it will be good enough for many, but in my opinion the it’s an average low cost keyboard at best and I wouldn’t like to type or game on it.

 

The touchpad is average in quality. It’s rather big with two integrated buttons under the pad itself. Texture is ok to touch, but it doesn’t provide the smoothest experience. Moreover, it feels a bit unstable when touched, like it’s not held well. That’s common problem in touchpads with integrated buttons. After few hours I got used to the touchpad and it was convenient, a lot more than the keyboard.

Sound & Speakers

The Dell G3 comes with 2.0 speakers system located at the bottom front of the case. The included software is the Max Audio Pro. Subjectively, the speakers are acceptable at best. The speakers are not balanced and overpronounce mids and lows compared to the highs, even using the software to decrease bass to its minimal. Moreover, it seems that their response isn’t good – playing relatively fast music will result in sound getting smeared. At high volumes distortion starts. Clarity is lacking and the sound is really all over. Dell claims the speakers are tuned, but having a tuned mediocre speakers is no good. I would suggest setting the basses to minimal.

As a bright point, the speakers sound relatively good when the bass set to minimal and while playing a slow music. That’s where you can notice pleasant high-mids and highs, shining through all this bass. However, even then the isn’t rich and deep enough and the bass remain strong no matter what at this point.

Overall, these speakers are not bad, but the bad balance and “tuning” from Dell interfere with the sound quality. They should be ok for most people, but don’t expect much.

Performance

Test Methods & Drivers

  • Cooling pad was used in all benchmarks
  • Windows 10 version 1803

Synthetic 3D benchmarks

Gaming performance

Compared to the old Dell 7567 and Acer VX15, the Dell G3 gaming numbers are a bit better or same. It’s not significant for the actual gaming experience really, and it’s a good reminder that such a powerful CPU isn’t required for a GPU like the GTX 1050 Ti.

Dell G3 15-3579Dell Inspiron 7567Acer VX15Dell 7577
Thief, Highest@1080p58575564-70
Bioshock Infinite, Highest@1080p75717195-100
Metro Last Light, Very High@1080p52504764-74

Numbers for the Dell 7577 were taken from notebookcheck (link).

The more powerful 4 core / 8 threads Coffee Lake I5-8300H doesn’t add much in the typical gaming scenario. It will, however, the faster I5 will be beneficial in applications that can use it, like 3D rendering, computational centric (Machine learning), scientific calculation and so on.

In comparison to the Dell 7577 with the more powerful GTX 1060 Max-Q (6GB VRAM), the 7577 does at least as good as +10% in Thief, highest settings@1080p, +26% in Bioshock Infinite Highest@1080p and around +23% at Metro Last Light “very high” settings@1080p.

More benchmarks will be added with time

Metro : Last Light

1920x1080
Highest
Very high
High
Medium

Thief

1920x1080
Highest
Very high
Medium
Low

Bioshock Infinite

1920x1080
Highest"Ultra" preset
Very high"Very High" preset
High
Medium"Medium" preset
Low

Ashes Of Singularity : Escalation

1920x1080, DirectX 12
Highest
Very high
High
Medium

Fortnite

1920x1080
Highest
High
Medium
Low

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

1920x1080, Vulkan
Highest
High
Medium

Battlefield 1

DirectX 11, AVG
Highest
Very high
Medium

Rise Of The Tomb Raider

1920x1080
Highest
High
Medium
LowNo FXAA
108

Thermals, Throttling & Noise handling

Stress tests and throttling behavior

UPDATE: See new tests with Dell G3 3579 bios version 1.1.0 (upgraded from 1.0.2)

In the Dell G3, cool air sucked from the bottom of the machine (hence, it’s important to keep its bottom above the sitting surface) and is thrown from the rear. The rear ventilation holes are somewhat blocked by the hinges, which is not optimal.

Four tests:

1. Idle, power saver mode (manually)

2. Gaming : Metro Last Light, highest settings. Highest “Performance” power mode.

3. Prime95 torture test. Highest Performance power mode.

4. Prime95 + Furmark on 768p test, AAx2. Highest performance power mode.

CPU: stable temps [C]CPU: max temps [C]CPU: stable clocksCPU: average utilizationCPU: max utilizationGPU : stable core temps [C[GPU: utilization
Idle38440.91.6
Prime9582852.9100
Prime95 CPU@-0.12V69993.210070
Prime95 + Furmark81861.4100
Prime95 + Furmark CPU@-0.12V70991.710073
Metro Last Light, Highest@1080p72932.7607298
Metro Last Light, bios 1.1.090943.8831507599

As a comparison, other laptops also get hot under Prime95, but also handle better higher loads that include the GPU running, with less throttling. Check the VX15, for example. It seems that something in the cooling solution doesn’t work out and it’s unclear to me as why.

I think, it might be the design of the heat fins part. [I think] They are fewer, smaller and are farther from the fans, on average. As described before, the fins near the CPU are smaller, measuring only 6mm in height, 2mm less than those of the GPU. Moreover, it seems to me that the ventilation grill is a little too far from the fans, and I think the air flow is not as optimal as in other laptops.

This was done maybe to give room for the heatpipes and keep the height of the laptop lower. The Dell G5/G7/7567/7577, for example, all have bigger/more fins. The Acer VX15 cooling solution which doesn’t look more impressive has a lot more fins close to the fans (but only one heatpipe!!). You might add to that the single GPU heatpipe, the semi-blocked rear ventilation holes.

All these traits of the cooling solution could explain the strange thermals behavior. But, this doesn’t explain the heavy throttling.

UPDATE with bios 1.1.0: Seems like the new Dell G3 3579 version 1.1.0 results in better clocks behavior and generally higher clocks.

  • For Aida64 stability test + Unigine Heaven benchmark, CPU clocks go down to 1.8-1.9GHZ for time to time, and for a long period. GPU core clocks remain high almost all the time. Again, no explaination
  • For Prime95 + Furmark benchmark, clocks finally get to 1.2-1.4GHZ as before. Still no clue why it happens.
  • For Metro : Last Light benchmark, set to highest graphics settings@1080p, the clocks remain at around 3.8GHZ, that’s a big boost from the 2.5GHZ before. Average FPS in this benchmark is up from 31FPS to 34FPS.

———————–

The new Coffee Lake I5-8300H can reach 4.0GHZ clocks, much higher than the 3.5GHZ of the I7-7700HQ, tops. Both are 45W parts. So, the I5-8300H should be better with thermals. However, it seems that for some reason, when running prime95+Furmark at some point the CPU heavily throttles down to 1.4-1.7GHZ.

I didn’t see such a harsh behavior while running Metro Last Light (highest, 1080p, loop), but the CPU did throttle to around 2.3-2.9GHZ

Downvolt of 120mV and ThrottleStop had no significant effect. It seems like the firmware algorithm of the G3 isn’t very smart, which is strange. If Dell chose to be hesitant with the fans, then it should be smarter with the clocks, knowing the temperatures will get high quickly at first.

I would definitely avoid the I7 version and furthermore, the I7 + GTX 1060 version.

Heat

The G3 thermals aren’t great, both on the insides and outsides. The upper part of the chassis gets rather hot, reaching 60C degrees at the center and right parts. Most of the keyboard is rather hot even under gaming load.

495757
495753
455250

Noise

The G3 traded thermal handling for noise. I think it wasn’t a good trade as it makes a bad service for the users in almost all use cases. Noise levels are relatively low even for high load levels. At low loads, like when writing these lines, the fans are actually off and the system is very quiet, even though it contains a mechanical HDD.

Screen & Screen quality

The default Dell G3 1080p panel is the 156WF6 [DELL P/N: 4XK13]. It’s the same IPS that was used in the Dell 7567 IPS and 7577 1080p IPS, at least in some versions. It’s a typical lower quality IPS, with low color palette coverage and ok contrast. Maximal brightness is quite low. I had to crank the dial up to near 100% to see the screen well in an open-window room during day.

 

Viewing angles are reatively good, though.

As you can see, the hopes for a high quality display in this good looking model were dumped in the drain. The 1080p panel of the G3 is just the disappointing IPS.

It is important to note that some people reported a different panel in the G5 and G7 laptops, from AUO, which has better overclocking room, up to around 100HZ. This panel OC capacity is very limited, however.

PWM: Not detected or frequency > 5000HZ.

Response times: 16.5ms rise, 14ms fall

ContrastBrightnessBlack levels
7801140.15
7701590.21
7602270.3
sRGBadobeRGBNTSC
624644

Battery Performance

The Dell G3 comes with a 56Wh battery. According to my tests, it can do around 4 hours of typical office + web browsing and around the same for 1080p@30FPS youtube video (tested on Chrome). It seems that the clocks jump too easily even when almost no work is done – not sure if it’s the I5 CPU or the Dell bios, I guess a combination. All video tests in this case were conducted using the most power efficient power plan of Windows 10.

Issues

A Samsung PM961 512GB SSD is not recognized by the Dell G3. Still investigating.

Competing gaming laptops / Alternatives

  • In this price range there isn’t much of a choice. If you want the same style. For gaming, almost anything with a GTX 1050 Ti and up will probably be better, but as a sleek/student/professional looking machine:

    I would wait for updated models.

Conclusion

The Dell G3 15-3579 is a fine looking sleek gaming machine, rather slim, with eye candy pattern and gentle chassis texture. Many, like students, would be more comfortable to walk around with such a laptop vs the more “gaming” styled models. The basic hardware is Coffee Lake I5 and a GTX 1050 Ti, a combination powerful enough for professional work and medium-high graphics settings gaming at 1080p resolution and it would cost up to $750 if the time is right.

However, both as a professional laptop and a gaming laptop the G3 disappoints. Keyboard, IPS quality, connection ports selection, maintenance and build quality are all average at best and thermals clearly lag behind compared to the gaming laptop versions (like the Dell 7577 or new G5 and G7). Also, the G3 is not as cost effective for gaming as other models for around the same price, like Dell’s own 7577.  So, the major selling point is the design/looks and it’s a strong point for many.

The current price for the GTX 1050 Ti variant is $700-$750 with 8GB Ram. That’s a good price compared to some other GTX 1050 Ti equipped laptops, but I think it’s too high for the reasons detailed above, for a laptop with so much downsides. I would wait for a discount, which will probably come in the following months – for around $600-$700 total, the G3 GTX 1050 Ti is an interesting offer.

Bottom line, it’s hard to recommend the G3. Unless you’re really need the specific looks, I’d stay away. If you do want a professional looking machine, I’d wait for other models like Asus or HP or go with an eGPU setup. Alternatively, increase the budget.

Sleek, more streamlined looks and design for a gaming laptop

Sleek, streamlined looks and texture
Selection of colors to order from
Relatively low noise levels, both under low and high workloads
Indicator led for AC power
Bios unlocked options are more abundant compared to other gaming laptops

Display, keyboard, thermals, ports selection

Mediocre IPS, poor color palette, low maximal brightness
Keyboard quality is low, insufficient feedback, travel depth, reponse and key stability
Connection ports selection is lacking - no DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, only 1xUSB 3.1gen2
Speakers are mediocre with overpronounced lows and lack of clarity
Accessing the inner parts isn't easy
Thermals are lacking, very high temps under typical high load
Fanky clocks. CPU throttles to 1.4-1.7GHZ for no good reason
Not as cost effective for gaming compared in its segment

Availability

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    Bogdan
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    Bogdan

    The cooling is a bit disappointing, why they just didnt update the inspiron 5577 (7559) with a newer cpu? it has a much better cooling system.

    Marko
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    Marko

    Hi, thank you for your review, it was one of the first about this model and it was very detailed. May I ask for an advice? I found the G3 and I really liked it, both for the design and for the specs. I’m looking for a business/gaming pc (so no monster chassis) with no less that i7-8550 processor and NVidia 1060 Max-Q graphics, 16gb ram; I’m still thinking whether I want 15.6 or 17.3 display. In my country the price for a G3 with this characteristics is about 1400 euros, with 256gb ssd and 2 tb hdd. Are there… Read more »