Dell Inspiron 15 5515 review (2021 model, w/ AMD Ryzen 7)

25 Comments

  1. Chris Costello

    July 14, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    Solid review. I got the 5500u version of the laptop for less than $450. Surprisingly, my 3dMark numbers are slightly higher than yours once I upgraded to 16gb RAM. For my purposes and for that price I am rather pleased.

    • Derek Sullivan

      July 17, 2021 at 3:05 pm

      It's interesting that you bring that up. A lot of laptop manufacturers are releasing cheaper(and slower) RAM in their models now, so simply swapping out RAM chips can have a significant effect on performance depending on what you use. I was able to confirm this in my Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review. There are a few Youtubers that have investigated this further and give a good explanation, but in short, the 1Rx16 chips that are being used are the problem and you need to replace them with dual ranked chips in order to close the performance gap.

      • Jack

        August 19, 2021 at 12:39 am

        I'm confused about installing a 2280 M.2. Since the screw hole is under the flap, does the flap need to be removed before installing?

        Also, can you take the screw from the 2230 install and it should properly thread into the 2280 hole?

      • Derek Sullivan

        August 19, 2021 at 2:39 am

        There's a mounting bracket that can be relocated to the 2280 spot. This guy made a video that shows how to do it. https://youtu.be/zMVc8iDhzh4

        He also points out a secret 2230 slot that I completely missed! I'm guessing that is what was under the metal plate on the right in my pictures.

  2. GradStudent

    July 16, 2021 at 2:21 am

    Great laptop for the price and can confirm that this model supports 64 GB of RAM and 2TB ssd SN750. Make sure to update the BIOS to latest version and related SSD firmware updates BEFORE upgrading RAM. 64GB is supported. DIMM1: https://postimg.cc/yknTPZK9 DIMM 2 https://postimg.cc/Jsn5dz7F

    Memory I used is Team Elite 64GB (2 x 32GB) 260-Pin DDR4 SO-DIMM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Laptop Memory Model: TED464G3200C22DC-S01

    I am very happy with this laptop!

  3. At

    September 10, 2021 at 12:46 am

    Going to amd settings and turning down th brightness worked wonders for the display.

  4. Lei Fang

    September 24, 2021 at 5:29 am

    Is it possible now to buy a ultrabook with full size arrow keys? I find the half sized arrow keys are really annoying to use.

  5. Giorgi

    September 29, 2021 at 3:20 am

    hi there, good review, I am looking at this laptop as an option vs Intel i5 model. One question re colors on the screen. When I connect my external monitors, I would not have any problems displaying properly colors, would I? I do a lot of Photoshop photography work/video with Adobe.
    Any thoughts? thanks, Gregoz

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 29, 2021 at 3:23 am

      Colors on the monitor are only limited to that panel. It'll be the same as if you hooked any other computer up to it as well. You might need to calibrate the screen of you want accuracy though, but chances are the default profile is fine for most non professional stuff.

      • Giorgi

        September 29, 2021 at 5:54 am

        thanks Derek, are you saying that if I connect a good EXTERNAL monitor (not using the laptop's screen at all) the colors will be faded too?
        Is it because the video card is cheap?
        I would not work on the laptop directly for any Photoshop work, the external monitors are bigger and offer a higher resolution, plus the laptop screen is only 15 inch)
        thx

      • Andrei Girbea

        September 29, 2021 at 8:47 am

        He's saying that the image quality would depend on the quality of the external monitor that you're using, and that you should still calibrate the external monitor for best results.

  6. Anonymous Hacker

    October 8, 2021 at 6:37 am

    I use this laptop currently for my engineering classes that I am taking in Uni. I currently run four VM, Windows terminal with WSL 2.0, Visual Code, and a bunch of Edge windows with no ISSUES.

    The 5700U, with it's 8 Cores and 16 thread is a great cheap workhorse!

    If you can grab this laptop in sale for around $700. I highly recommend it. This is a great, cheap, engineering laptop alternative.

    • Prabhnnet

      February 1, 2022 at 4:35 pm

      I am getting this laptop for cad $800 from dell Canadian website.Should I opt for it or you have any other recommendations within same price point

  7. Linda Olson

    October 25, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    I just bought a 5515 and plan to upgrade RAM and Memory, but am having extreme difficulty with the wifi in the nether regions of my house, whereas I've had no similar problem with a Dell 5000 model in the past in that area. I've spoken with two tech advisors and they have had no luck in improving the strength via the machine. Anyone else had difficulties with wifi and what did you do to help it?

  8. Fran

    November 16, 2021 at 10:59 am

    The Inspiron 16 Plus it's very interesting.

  9. IR

    December 2, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    I bought this laptop on 2nd October on Amazon and got it delivered on the 11th. Within a week the touchpad of the product started hanging up, and in two weeks, it stopped responding completely (23rd October). (mind you for a week this laptop was anyway not being put to use because I was setting it up for use)
    I complained and got a technician to replace it and during replacement itself I told the technician that the hinges seem lose since his service and unless he fixes it, I will not sign the customer copy. He assured me that they were fine and any other replacements or repairs would require a new request through the central team. After arguing for a good 20 minutes he made me sign the receipt and left. Immediately after, the laptop started heating up within 10 minutes of good usage and in another week the laptop screen started peeling off from where the right screen hinge joins the keyboard.
    In-spite of complaining to the customer care of such a horrible product they refused to replace it saying I have already crossed the 1 month mark (24th November) beyond which replacement is not possible. So I went ahead reluctantly with a repair request only to be informed again after 10 days that the parts are not available until January 2022 so they'll provide a "same-age" laptop as replacement but even that'll take at-least 45 days. Now, while I'm waiting for another 45 days for laptop repair or replacement the left half of the screen is also starting to peel off and I have to hold the screen with both hands to keep it even open.
    Even a INR 2 popsicle is sold with a better shelf life than this ridiculous 60K worth laptop. Would never ever again make the mistake of going for Dell again.

  10. Justin

    December 3, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    HI There!

    Will this Laptop be able to produce the right sort of resolution for an Ultra Wide Monitor? 3440 x 1440?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 3, 2021 at 2:56 pm

      If it's 60Hz, then yes, it will work via both HDMI and the USB-C port.

    • Ben

      February 17, 2022 at 12:30 am

      it has hdmi 1.4b so it will support these resolutions – 4096×2160 at 24 Hz, 3840×2160 at 24, 25, and 30 Hz, and 1920×1080 at 120 Hz

      hdmi.org/spec/hdmi1_4b

  11. Edward

    December 18, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Does this model have an extra slot for SATA hdd/ssd? Thank you for the solid review.

    • Derek Sullivan

      December 18, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      Sort of. There's a short 2230 m.2 slot, so I think you could move the m.2 there and put a new SSD in its place, provided you get a short m.2 like I did. Dr the link in the comment above with the video that shows it in better detail. I actually missed it completely when I had my sample.

      • KHOA NGUYEN

        December 20, 2021 at 11:31 am

        Do you still have this unit? I just got one and the screen bothers me so much. If you record a video on your phone you will see the screen flicker so bad, but it's not noticeable to normal eye. I did some research and found out Dell used PWM tech on this model. Even my 6 year old Asus laptop doesn't do this. I wonder if this causes eyestrain or any bad effect to your eyes?

      • Derek Sullivan

        December 20, 2021 at 1:20 pm

        No I don't sorry. But yeah, PWM is tough on the eyes for some people. Unfortunately I don't have a reliable way to detect it so I can put the frequency in the article. Sometimes it's only at the lower brightness settings.

  12. Leon Cryp

    February 7, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    I think you can manually set a higher sustain Wattage to get more performance
    https://github.com/FlyGoat/RyzenAdj

    Its too bad Dell seems to put this chip on 15watt sustain, Lenovo sustain is about 28watt which makes a huge difference in performance, gets hot and drain battery.
    In linux I know you can manually set the wattage as long as its under 90c. This laptop has 2 heatpipes, I think it will do 28-30watt easily.

    Ive previously had an Acer 3500u (single heatpipe) and constally run it at 25-28watt via RyzenAdj in Linux.

  13. John

    June 11, 2022 at 3:38 am

    The specs for this computer are amazing. I have one and I like its performance. I have one with a Ryzen 7 series CPU with 64GB RAM and two blazing fast SSDs. So performance-wise my computer is a screamer. But, all of that power and performance does not make up for how incredibly frustrating everyday use can be. If you put any amount of pressure on the palm rest and the machine becomes very complicated to use. The trackpad buttons will stick. Yes, I know that if it is permanently doing that you can correct the locked trackpad by loosening the screws on the bottom of the case will fix the issue, sort of. Even with the screws slightly loosened the problem will persist. But, preventing the trackpad from clicking is only one of the issues and the rest do not go away by loosening or even completely removing the screws. Again, place any amount of pressure on the palm rest and the trackpad will often still lock up. But, then other things happen. My numlock is constantly switching from on to off and back, just because my palms are on the palm rest–nothing else is going on. The cursor will suddenly move (and this is with both my thumbs resting on the spacebar, so it is not from them being too close to the surface of the trackpad). Text will suddenly become highlighted, sometimes way away from where you are currently typing. Then randomly modifier keys (ctrl, shift, etc) become invoked and none of your fingers are anywhere near them. If it weren't for this issue, it could be one of the best laptops on the market, and this is coming from a guy who was a Mac devotee for decades (even though I made my living in the industry supporting Windows PCs).

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