Is this a good choice for a first gaming laptop?

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
I purchased that Dell Inspiron 15 7559 laptop with the i5-6300HQ and 256GB SSD recently.

Overall it is a pretty decent moderately priced gaming laptop. I installed a 2nd stick of 8GB DDR3L RAM and a 1TB hard drive for less than $100. I have not had the chance to fully stress the laptop yet, but I played Star Trek Online (STO) maxed for several hours (over 4 - 6 hours) on it. Max CPU temps I have seen so far using the Core Temp program is 72C which is quite good actually. I do not know hot hot the GTX 960m is running yet since I did not install a program to measure it's temperature yet. The fans are not loud, I do not notice hearing any fan noise while playing STO since I am more focused on playing the game and ambient sound masks the fan noise I suppose.

Although I have the Inspiron sitting on a laptop cooling pad, the pad's fans are not on. The CPU temps measured by Core Temp is pretty similar to the temps I see for my Dell Latitude 3540 which has an i5-4200u CPU. The temp generally hovers at about 75c while playing games with the Radeon HD 8850m dedicated GPU (basically equal to a nVidia 945m) and sitting on top of the previous mentioned cooling pad with the fans off. Again, that is a gaming session of 4 to 6 hours.



The Inspiron series laptops are for the general consumer. The Latitude series laptops are business laptops. If and when you need to deal with customer support for the Inspiron you will be dealing with the consumer level support. On the other hand if I need to contact Dell's customer support for the Latitude I will be dealing with Dell's business support department.

Upgrading the laptop is simple. There is only one philips screw that needs to loosened to remove the entire underside panel of the laptop. It is a captive screw meaning when loosened, the screw does not separate from the panel so you cannot misplace it. Upgrading the RAM and installing the 1TB hard drive only too me about 1 minute after removing the panel, or less than 2 minutes in total.

Adding in the 8GB of RAM will not really affect game performance since the GTX 960m has it's own dedicated VRAM. However, it makes the laptop feel a bit more responsive since more physical RAM means Windows 10 needs to swap data between system and the SSD / hard drive less often because with 16GB of RAM you are less likely to run out of RAM. Unless of course you are running programs simultaneously that can eat up that much RAM. For example, I work on Excel files that are roughly 20GB to 50GB large I notice a small improvement in responsiveness especially when using other programs at the same time. There is still a lot of disk swapping going on though since I only have 16GB of RAM.
 

GreyCatz

Admirable
For for a first-time 'gaming laptop' it's a great choice! You'll be able to play most AAA games available today, e.g. Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid V, GTA V and Batman: Arkham Knight, at high-maybe-ultra settings.

And if you can find another $40 (under the couch, say) I'd recommend the extra 8GB RAM option on your Amazon link. That should give you access to even the newest AAA titles, e.g. The Division, not at ultra/extreme but certainly medium-to-high settings. More and more games, e.g. Planet Coaster and Obduction, recommend 16GBs of RAM.

Bear in mind, though, that despite its GPU the Dell is not an actual gaming machine and there will be overheating issues and fan noise. You can't expect to do heavy gaming, i.e. 4-5 hours daily. The Inspiron is fundamentally a business/productivity machine, which is borne out by the internal design; it may come with a great GPU but the heat dissipation and fan setup clearly points to a (very capable) business multi-tasker.

Cheers,
GreyCatz.

PS. The Dell also comes with an IPS panel which makes it much more useable for everyday, non-gaming usage.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
I purchased that Dell Inspiron 15 7559 laptop with the i5-6300HQ and 256GB SSD recently.

Overall it is a pretty decent moderately priced gaming laptop. I installed a 2nd stick of 8GB DDR3L RAM and a 1TB hard drive for less than $100. I have not had the chance to fully stress the laptop yet, but I played Star Trek Online (STO) maxed for several hours (over 4 - 6 hours) on it. Max CPU temps I have seen so far using the Core Temp program is 72C which is quite good actually. I do not know hot hot the GTX 960m is running yet since I did not install a program to measure it's temperature yet. The fans are not loud, I do not notice hearing any fan noise while playing STO since I am more focused on playing the game and ambient sound masks the fan noise I suppose.

Although I have the Inspiron sitting on a laptop cooling pad, the pad's fans are not on. The CPU temps measured by Core Temp is pretty similar to the temps I see for my Dell Latitude 3540 which has an i5-4200u CPU. The temp generally hovers at about 75c while playing games with the Radeon HD 8850m dedicated GPU (basically equal to a nVidia 945m) and sitting on top of the previous mentioned cooling pad with the fans off. Again, that is a gaming session of 4 to 6 hours.



The Inspiron series laptops are for the general consumer. The Latitude series laptops are business laptops. If and when you need to deal with customer support for the Inspiron you will be dealing with the consumer level support. On the other hand if I need to contact Dell's customer support for the Latitude I will be dealing with Dell's business support department.

Upgrading the laptop is simple. There is only one philips screw that needs to loosened to remove the entire underside panel of the laptop. It is a captive screw meaning when loosened, the screw does not separate from the panel so you cannot misplace it. Upgrading the RAM and installing the 1TB hard drive only too me about 1 minute after removing the panel, or less than 2 minutes in total.

Adding in the 8GB of RAM will not really affect game performance since the GTX 960m has it's own dedicated VRAM. However, it makes the laptop feel a bit more responsive since more physical RAM means Windows 10 needs to swap data between system and the SSD / hard drive less often because with 16GB of RAM you are less likely to run out of RAM. Unless of course you are running programs simultaneously that can eat up that much RAM. For example, I work on Excel files that are roughly 20GB to 50GB large I notice a small improvement in responsiveness especially when using other programs at the same time. There is still a lot of disk swapping going on though since I only have 16GB of RAM.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Note:

Even though the Dell Inspiron 15 7559 is sitting on a cooling pad with the fans off, the elevated height means the laptop should be getting better airflow (which helps cooling) compared to simply placing the laptop on a table.
 
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