We tested and compared the Lenovo Legion Y540 versus Dell G5 (5590) in terms of (Gaming) Performance, Price, Battery Life, Portability and more.
Above you can see our Ranking with the results of our test and below you will find the in-depth reports of each Gaming Laptop.
Ranking First: Lenovo Legion Y540
- Better gaming performance in Full HD than Dell G5
- Really quiet for a gaming notebook
- Good sound
- More expensive than Dell G5
This 17.3-inch gamer notebook could also pass as a chic office laptop thanks to its black, simple design. A Core i7, a GTX 1660 Ti, as well as enough RAM and memory are inside. You also get a 144 Hz display.
Most of the time you can see it on a notebook when it was designed for gaming. Not so with the Legion Y540, which looks more like a pretty Thinkpad. Thus, it is suitable as an office device, at least externally. The somewhat meager battery life and the weight of 6.17 lbs speak against this.
However, you can’t go wrong when it comes to gaming, thanks to rich graphics power.
A white-lit element in the letter “O” is the only design feature that indicates gaming. Despite plastic as chassis material, the Legion Y540 doesn’t look cheap.
The lid’s surface is slightly ribbed, which pleasantly tingles the fingers when you run your fingers over it. The fact that the notebook lid isn’t flush with the base seems a bit unusual. Thus, the display is offset by 2.2 cm on the chassis.
What’s also striking about the thoroughly black notebook is that you can open the display up to almost 180 degrees. I also like the ventilation design, which channels the airflow from right to left through the case. This ensures that it also cools down sufficiently when you use it on your lap or on an uneven surface.
The Legion Y540 is 40 cm wide, 29 cm deep and has a height of 2.6 cm. In terms of connections, you get a USB 3.1 Type-A and a 3.5 mm jack on the left side. On the right side is a second USB 3.1 Type-A.
At the back there is USB 3.1 Type C, Mini DisplayPort, a third USB 3.1 Type A, HDMI Type A, RJ45 LAN port, power connector and Kensington lock.
144 Hz Display
The built-in 17.3 inch display has rather thin edges by today’s standards. Only the lower edge is more powerful – Lenovo has sensibly integrated the 720p camera there.
The IPS panel has a 1080p resolution and is anti-glare. You have to do without HDR – instead, the display comes with a refresh rate of 144 Hz, which my eyes wouldn’t want to miss.
The display is sufficiently bright. Only gaming or working under direct sunlight is not possible with it. But that’s not what the Legion Y540 is designed for anyway.
In comparison to other notebook panels, the present one is illuminated quite regularly. The brightness is a bit stronger in the middle and a slight drop at the bottom left.
The irregularities are not visible to the naked eye. The display doesn’t cover the color space that would be necessary for a graphic artist, but the colors still look extremely crisp for non-graphic artists’ eyes or gamers.
Keyboard & Touchpad
All around the keyboard and touchpad the material is rubberized, which my palms thankfully register. The chiclet keyboard has two levels of illumination and has a rather unusually long key stroke of 2 mm for a notebook of this time.
When pressing the also slightly rubberized keys, you need comparatively little effort. The typing feel is thus rather soft, but the keys have a clear pressure point. The tactile feedback is therefore not comparable to a typical gamer keyboard.
Nevertheless, it already plays extremely well on it after a short period of getting used to it. A number pad is also integrated in the keyboard layout, but without a second enter key.
The touchpad measures 10.2 × 5.2 cm and has a very smooth surface. The given surface offers enough space for multi-touch and gestures.
The pad reacts very precisely to my input. It is complemented by two dedicated mouse buttons, which have a distinct haptic and also give a discreet acoustic feedback.
The speakers are mounted on the front, but cannot be seen because the base is bevelled all around. The sound is surprisingly good for a notebook. The highs and mids sound very clean, although the latter are somewhat pushed to the fore.
When it comes to the bass, it depends a lot on what you hear. Depth tuning, like in “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by Crash Test Dummies, sounds almost perfect. Electro sound is also possible, but if you listen to metal or industrial sounds, you’ll get ear cancer with this notebook, too.
The lithium-ion battery has only 57 Wh. But since gaming notebooks perform in their discipline even with great batteries usually not more than an hour and a half without a charging at the same time, so this cutback isn’t quite as tragic.
For continuous streaming with Youtube I set the brightness of the display to the middle level. The automatic shutdown comes after only 2 hours and 39 minutes.
This is little, but not surprising because of the weak battery. For comparison: MSI manages 6 hours and 5 minutes with the GS65 Stealth Thin and similar performance-hungry hardware (Intel Core i7-8750H, Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q, 16 GB RAM) with an 82 Wh battery.
In order to push all hardware to its limits, I let the stress test HeavyLoad as well as FurMark run simultaneously with highest screen brightness. The battery runs out after 50 minutes. This means that you can’t expect more than one hour of runtime for a graphically demanding game.
A word about noise emission: The notebook is not audible when working. Under full load, I measure 52 decibels from the sitting position – one arm’s length from the display.
That corresponds to the volume of a rather quiet office, which is why I never notice the notebook in our editorial office. Directly next to the notebook’s fan, it’s 64 decibels. I measured with a Sony smartphone.
If I use the notebook as a mobile office, the battery runs down after two and a half to three hours of use. But considering the weight and the bulky power supply (19.8 × 9.8 × 2.5 cm), the Lenovo Legion Y540 is not designed for this purpose anyway.
The Intel Core i7-9750H is a high-performance mobile 64-bit hexa-core high-end processor. It is the successor of the Intel Core i7-8750H and was released as a refresh this year. Based on the Coffee Lake microarchitecture, Intel manufactures it with the improved “14-nm++” process of the third generation.
Using up to two cores, the processor clocks at 2.6 to 4.5 GHz. If all six cores are addressed, the processor clocks at 2.6 to 4 GHz. The power consumption is 45 watts TDP. Intel’s UHD Graphics 630 GPU is also on the chip.
The mobile Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is located in the lower high-end range and is based on the Turing architecture (TU116 chip). In comparison to the faster RTX 2000 GPUs, it doesn’t have integrated ray tracing or tensor cores.
Instead it has 1536 shader units. It is manufactured in the 12-nm process. It operates at a frequency of 1455 to 1590 MHz and has 6 GB GDDR6 video RAM (connection via 192-bit interface). The power consumption is 80 watts.
The GTX 1660 TI is comparable to the mobile GTX 1070 in terms of performance, but the 1070 has a TDP of 115 watts.
Now it’s time to get down to business, because now comes what the part was built for. I measure the performance with various benchmarks for processor and graphics card as well as gaming.
With Cinebench from Maxon you can test how your PC performs when rendering Cinema 4D content. Processors with more cores will always give a better result (except for single-core). If you want to compare processors with Cinebench, you can only do so if both processors have the same number of threads.
As you can see one line above the orange result, the notebook performs almost as well in both the multi and single core test as the reference system with the same processor. This speaks for Lenovo’s cooling concept.
3DMark offers heaps of benchmarks to test gaming PCs and laptops like the Lenovo Legion Y540. To give an overview, I test 1080p gaming (Fire Strike), WQHD gaming (Time Spy) and UHD gaming (Time Spy Extreme).
The Legion Y540 clearly scores better in all benchmarks than a mediocre gaming notebook with Intel Core i7-6820HK and Nvidia GeForce GTX 980.
With the benchmarks from VRMark I find out if the notebook is ready for virtual reality gaming.
Here, the notebook only fails the Blue Room benchmark for future hardware. So you can play with the notebook confidently with current VR glasses.
Finally I test the performance with games. For this I do the in-game benchmark of Far Cry 5 and play Metro Exodus extensively.
In Far Cry 5 the benchmark reflects a real game game only to a limited extent, since there are no quick turns. But comparisons can be made with already tested notebooks. I set the graphics quality to the highest possible level at 1080p resolution.
This result underlines the power of the built-in Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti. With the achieved 72 FPS, the gamer notebook surpasses some already tested competitor products. With a Razer Blade 15 (Intel Core i7-8750H, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q) I only reached 61 FPS with the same quality settings.
With an MSI notebook with GTX 1070 Max-Q and Intel Core i7-8750H, I achieved 62 FPS. This shows nicely that a good ventilation concept sometimes gets more out of gaming notebooks than a better card.
If I play Metro Exodus at 1080p resolution (DirectX 12) at the highest quality level, the game always runs smoothly. However, I have to test for a long time, because if I crawl through the numerous dark underground corridors, the FPS rate visibly increases compared to above-ground areas, like the Taiga.
Above ground I reach an average of 64 FPS. Underground I reach 93 FPS. The display never falls below 37 FPS. So you can gamble at the highest quality level, even without ray tracing.
When it comes to value for money, Lenovo is not fooling anyone – here you get something for your money. Thanks to graphics power of the lower high-end range, a strong processor and enough RAM, the Lenovo Legion Y540 should provide long-lasting gaming fun.
On top there are enough connections as well as an eye-friendly 144 Hz display. You have to do without G-Sync and HDR, which is understandable in view of the price.
The only major disadvantage of this product is the short battery life. So you will never be able to gamble for more than an hour while playing a graphically demanding title.
But gambling without a mains connection is not a good idea, even with the competition. Therefore I can confidently give a clear recommendation to buy this product, which is why the Lenovo Legion Y540 is ranking first versus Dell G5.
Ranking Second: Dell G5
- Good Gaming Performance
- Better Price than Legion Y540
- Good Battery
- Display a bit dark
With a rather plain exterior, an Intel Core i7-8750H and an Nvidia RTX 2060, the Dell G5 15 5590 shows that even a gaming notebook can master a bit of understatement. Whether the little gamer is convincing as a whole, you’ll find out in the test.
Dell actually founded Alienware for everything related to gaming. There, gamers get a lot of power as well as RGB light and extravagant design. However, the parent company has always done some gaming, but then in Dell’s rather conservative look.
The Dell G5 15 5590 looks exactly the same: simple exterior, but a full Nvidia RTX 2060 under the hood. All this is available at a price of $900, which is quite reasonable for a gaming notebook.
The Dell G5 15 5590 is rather inconspicuous in terms of design. Nothing flashes here or is framed by any stylish shapes.
The notebook looks like any other representative of its kind from the outside. All exterior surfaces consist of simple, anthracite-colored plastic. There is a shiny Dell logo on the display lid and a G5 logo on the hinge. There’s nothing more to be seen from above. Simple and chic.
There are four plastic ribs around the entire edge. These are only interrupted by the ports and are felt to be the only concession to gaming that Dell makes in the G5 15.
The ribs aren’t even a millimeter deep and even look stylish, but I also see the perfect place for dust and dirt.
There are connections for various accessories on both the left and right sides. What is still rather rare to find in notebooks are the ports on the back. Here, the Dell G5 15 outsources all the ports, which are usually occupied longer. More about this in the following chapter.
Dell relies on a good mixture of classic and modern for the connections. Throughout the whole test I never had the feeling that I was missing a socket at the moment.
I’m still a bit skeptical about connections on the back of notebooks. But for everything that is permanently wired, it makes a lot of sense not to block the sides unnecessarily.
Thus, things like the video ports (HDMI and Mini DisplayPort), power connections and network socket move to the back of the Dell G5. Additionally, there is also a USB type A port, which would probably be permanently occupied by a wired gaming mouse in my case.
For quick and convenient access, there is a Thunderbolt 3, USB Type A and 3.5mm headset connector on the left side. On the right side there is a full SD card reader and another USB type A port.
Even though there aren’t many ports on the sides, the existing ones are well chosen and placed with enough space between them to avoid problems with wider USB sticks.
The screen is a 15.6-inch IPS display. The resolution is 1920×1080 pixels (Full HD). Thus, the Dell achieves 141ppi and can display content correspondingly sharp. Of course a higher resolution would be nicer, but that would again be at the expense of battery life.
It’s not a 144 Hz display. A normal 60Hz still works here. More would have been nicer, but then the beginner-friendly price wouldn’t have been sustainable. What’s definitely noticeable in gaming is the missing alignment between the display’s refresh rate and the system’s FPS.
Therefore, a slight tearing could be observed again and again during gaming. An external display is therefore recommended for current AAA blockbusters.
The Dell G5 15 is on par with other applicants in terms of illumination. The display is mostly evenly illuminated and the deviations are a maximum of 30 cd/m² on the entire 15.6 inch diagonal. This is a good result for the demanded price.
The color space coverage is on a different sheet. The Dell G5 15 is somewhat disappointing here. It only manages 65% in sRGB and only 49% in AdobeRGB. Thus, it’s roughly on par with the Huawei Matebook D.
As already with the Huawei notebook, this isn’t bad in everyday use, but color-critical work should be carried out on another device – or with a suitable monitor.
The operating system used is Windows 10 Home. So far, so unspectacular. There are – as almost always – all those small additional applications whose usefulness is highly doubtful. From “Candy Crush Friends” to “McAfee” to “Netflix”, they are all there again.
Additionally, there is more software from Dell itself. Tools like “Dell Mobile Connect” and “Dell Power Manager” are already pre-installed.
The former is designed to help you transfer data from your smartphone to your Dell. The latter is a program for adjusting performance and evaluating previous battery consumption.
There is also the “Alienware Command Center”. This is actually a software to customize your Alienware system. For example, the CPU and GPU can be overclocked here.
Well, that would be the case if it didn’t indicate on the Dell G5 15 that it didn’t detect any Alienware components. Without the appropriate hardware, this software only degenerates to manage or start some of your games.
An Intel Core i7-8750H promises high performance and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 should provide enough graphic performance for Full HD gaming. Practice has also confirmed this impression.
The Dell G5 15 delivers a good result in gaming. The Battle Royale Shooter Apex Legends runs in Full HD with maximum details with almost 100 fps. The G5 still manages almost 50 FPS on an external UHD monitor and medium details.
Very similar values are also achieved with the same settings in Players Unknown Battleground (PUBG). In a game of The Division 2, the notebook achieved just under 50 FPS (Full HD, max. details) and just under 40 FPS (UHD, medium details). These are good results.
They easily qualify the Dell G5 15 as a full-fledged gaming notebook that will still be able to handle current AAA games in a few years. But you shouldn’t overdo it with the resolution or details then.
Apart from the pure gaming performance, it’s also important how well the notebook performs in general. The Dell G5 15 is convincing all along the line here as well.
Thanks to the strong Intel Core i7 processor with 6 cores, it is on the same level as comparable ultrabooks and office machines. The system should certainly benefit from a small update in the RAM here.
Sound & Noise levels
The Dell G5 15 is within the range that can be expected from a gaming notebook in terms of volume development. The two fans on the bottom aren’t audible without load or during light work. The cooling system only makes itself heard when real performance is required – and clearly.
Unfortunately, the turning on fans are accompanied by a light whistling, which I find disturbing. Accordingly, I recommend the use of a good headset when playing elaborate 3D games.
Hardly any other manufacturer makes upgrading a notebook afterwards such a pleasant experience as Dell. There are nine Phillips screws on the bottom. Only these have to be loosened in order to open the case.
There are no hidden screws under the rubber feet or similar. After carefully loosening the clicked-in bottom (with an old plastic card or a wide slot screwdriver), the bottom plate can be easily removed.
Once the base is removed, several important components can be easily replaced. For example, the HDD can be changed or the small SSD can be replaced by a larger memory. Should the battery start to weaken after a few years, it can also be replaced within minutes.
But perhaps most importantly, it is possible to simply add a second RAM bar. Only one of the two RAM banks is occupied. The built-in 8GB SO-DIMM memory (2.666 MHz) is a good start, but for a gaming notebook it can be a bit more.
It’s great that Dell doesn’t make it any harder for users than it has to be to extend the notebook’s lifetime.
The Dell G5 15 has two loudspeakers, whose grilles are visible between the ribs at the front. The sound is okay and the achieved volume is even slightly above other laptops.
However, especially voices seem rather muffled and that takes away a lot of momentum. On the other hand, the good mids strengthen the sound image during music. Overall, the sound image tends to be warmer.
But neither of these things matters in gaming. The Dell G5 15 gets loud enough in demanding gaming so that I don’t want to sit in front of it without a headset. The speakers are always sufficient for the small YouTube video or the podcast in between.
The Dell G5 fulfills its promise of being a gaming notebook with understatement. Its simple exterior barely gives an idea of its performance and no matter if it is bought as a notebook for working or gaming, it convinces in both categories.
But you should be prepared to make concessions when it comes to gaming. Full-HD gaming works very well and slightly slimmed down 1440p gaming also works well. Everything beyond that requires too many resources for the built-in graphics card.
The biggest drawback is the weight and the display. Although the Dell G 15 isn’t much heavier than other gaming notebooks with 6.26 lbs, it feels heavier due to its massive construction. A higher Hz number would have been better for the display, as you also benefit from it beyond gaming.
For a price of $900, however, this is all very relative. Gaming notebooks usually cost a good double or even triple the price.
So I can live well with the small cutbacks if I pay such a budget-friendly price. All in all the Dell G5 is ranking behind versus Lenovo Legion Y540, but is still a great Gaming Laptop and quite a bit cheaper than the Legion Y540, so if you need to save some bucks, get this device.