Dell puts Ryzen APUs inside Inspiron 17 5000-series notebooks

Dell wasn't a part of the Acer-HP-Lenovo triumvirate of manufacturing partners on board for the first round of Ryzen APU laptops. The Texas-based megavendor is nevertheless bringing Raven Ridge to its Inspiron 17 5000-series laptops today. The company seems to be tiptoeing into the waters of mobile Ryzen, as these machines are entry-level offerings built around AMD's latest APUs. Let's take a look.

Outside of their Ryzen APUs, the AMD-equipped Inspiron 17 5000 laptops look like standard big-box-store laptops. You'll find optical drives, 17" 1920×1080 TN displays, non-backlit keyboards, and a distinct lack of SSD options on these PCs' spec sheets. Base models pack a single performance-robbing 8-GB DDR4 memory module, but buyers can chuck in up to 32 GB of RAM if they're willing to cast aside the factory-equipped memory.

The big chassis has an I/O selection comprising a couple of USB 3.0 ports, an old-school USB 2.0 connector, an HDMI 1.4b output, and an SD card reader. These systems do boast modern wireless connectivity thanks to 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. A fingerprint reader offers a layer of biometric security, too.

The Inspiron 17 5000 measures 16.4" wide, 11" deep, and 1" thick (42 cm x 28 cm x 2.5 cm) and weighs in at 6.6 lbs (3 kg). Dell didn't say a word about how long the machine can run off the 42-WHr battery. We imagine the battery life is nothing to write home about, but at least the pack is removable.

The base Inspiron 17 5000 with an AMD Ryzen 3 2200U processor, 8 GB of DDR4 memory, and a 1 TB SATA hard disk starts at $680. Getting the dual-channel memory configuration that lets the APU stretch its legs requires stepping up to the $900 version with a Ryzen 5 2500U, 16 GB of RAM, and a 2-TB hard drive.

Comments closed
    • NeelyCam
    • 2 years ago

    Ok, sooo….

    I could get the cheap one for $680, add a second stick of memory, replace the HDD with SSD, and be looking at something like $800-$900 after upgrades

    And it still would have a crappy display, no backlit keyboard, small battery… but at least it has an optical drive and USB2.0.

    I’m starting to believe the Dell-Intel conspiracy theories

    • Phartindust
    • 2 years ago

    At $680-900 these are not priced like the entry level laptops they are supposed to be. For $900 an SSD and 16GB Ram or at least 2x4GB with an IPS panel would be appropriate.

    For now it seems the HP X360 is the one to get.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Is $220 a fair price to pay for the aforementioned upgrades? And.. card readers. I have to admit I still use optical discs once in a while because I stick to my old games and apps, but it’s been a long time since I actually used a card reader. I just plug my devices directly and I don’t think many folks are willing to lend you their memory cards to copy photos and such, especially since they may not want you to see whatever else is in there.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 2 years ago

      I use card readers for devices like a dashcam and the SLR. Last time I had a phone with an SD Card slot, a card reader was much, much faster for transferring data than going through the phone.

        • Airmantharp
        • 2 years ago

        SD card readers have disappeared from all of the ultrabooks- I now have an adapter :/

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        The slower transfer times isn’t such a big deal, at least to me, and it’s not like I’ve compared both methods of transferring data from my phone to my computer. I could just do something else while the files are being copied. Certainly a lot more convenient than unmounting the SD card, prying the lid off my phone, taking the card out, scavenging through my drawer for the card reader, plugging it behind the computer because my case’s front USB ports are garbage (it’s an Aerocool case), and inserting the card into the card reader. And then doing all those things in reverse once I’m done. Whew! Give me a minute while I catch my breath! 😀

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 2 years ago

    I think a lot of commenters here are not familiar with the more expensive non-APU AMD products that Dell has been selling for some time. The Inspiron 27 7000 is probably their highest-end AMD item, but there are also desktop towers that seem fine.

    Launching one super-cheap laptop with an AMD APU does not justify so much hot air.

    EDIT: Actually I see the version of the Inspiron above that is available in my EU country of choice has higher-spec components than the current US option, I wonder if Dell is actually starting to cut back on the AMD stuff at those price points. It might not have worked out as well as they wanted.

    • psuedonymous
    • 2 years ago

    AMD made the [i<]exact same mistake[/i<] they did with their past laptop CPU/APU gens: shoving everything from high-end to low-end under the same platform. And as with every past generation, the exact same result occurred: OEMs made the cheapest platform possible in order to make the low-end designs viable, then put the high-end chips into the same platform because it already existed.

    • DavidC1
    • 2 years ago

    Single channel is actually common with Intel laptops too.

    You can’t expect a company in a field that’s known for low margins is going to immediately take risks in putting an unproven chip into their best product lines.

    AMD needs to gain lost trust back before their chips will be used in more products, and more appealing ones. It takes years to do so. Consistent execution over many years is the key to success.

    Most people forget that these companies are run by people, and they need the same foundation as any relationship to function, and that’s trust.

      • Krogoth
      • 2 years ago

      SIngle channel memory and HDDs as primary media is commonplace throughout the entire OEM world for their mainstream desktop/laptop SKUs.

      It is a common place where they pull the “upsell” tactic by making dual-channel memory and solid-state media as “premium” options.

        • DavidC1
        • 2 years ago

        It’s very understandable. As a business trying to sell prebuilt systems, you have extremely thin margins. If they didn’t do this they might have even slimmer margins.

        If you ask most folks, you have to do a lot to convince them to spend even $50 extra for dual channel memory or solid state drive. When you don’t need it, the extra is a waste.

        We think its ridiculous, but it makes sense. There are more important things people have to worry about. Like paying the mortgage on your house, shopping for food and clothing, investing for your kids’ future education.

        It’s like with video cards. The low end is just to recoup development costs. The medium and high end is to bring the company into the black.

      • anubis44
      • 2 years ago

      “AMD needs to gain lost trust back before their chips will be used in more products, and more appealing ones. It takes years to do so.”

      And what, pray-tell caused AMD to ‘lose trust’? Was it the nVidia bumpgate scandal, where large numbers of nVidia GPUs died prematurely due to a specification flaw in the cooling? Was it the MOAP that Intel used to buy off companies from using AMD? [url<]https://www.cnet.com/news/sec-revisits-allegations-of-intel-dell-symbiosis/[/url<] Or perhaps trust in AMD products was tarnished by Intel's determination to withold security flaw information about their CPUs and their vulnerability to SPECTRE attacks for over a year? Get this through your thick skull. AMD has a solid track record with customers. AMD's Radeon drivers are NOT inferior to nVIdia's. AMD is a DARPA participant. If their engineering or technology was questionable, they would not be used in DARPA projects. Period. There are 10 year old AMD-powered HP servers still chugging away on a daily basis in countless datacentres, with no reliability issues attributable to the AMD CPUs. Your pathetic attempt to keep alive the farcical myth that AMD somehow has 'lost trust' with ANY of their customers is utter balderdash.

        • Pancake
        • 2 years ago

        Dude, you’re being a bit hyperbolic.

        In business trust is lost when one party doesn’t deliver as promised to another party. So, if AMD promised to ship a number of units to a manufacturer in a certain timeframe and couldn’t deliver. Or if they’ve failed to manufacture a reliable product or have buggy drivers that tarnishes a manufacturer’s image. Or if they failed to execute a product roadmap which could have caused a manufacturer to over-invest in designing/building AMD systems and lose money.

        We don’t have information of any on that.

        What we do know is that for many years AMD had an entirely underwhelming product range. The manufacturers were utterly well aware of that when they designed AMD systems but they figured they could still make money on them in low-end rubbish products. Which isn’t to say the products didn’t work exactly as intended – such as my dad’s rubbish HP craptop with giant low-res screen which served his basic web browsing needs freeing up space on his desk from the former mini PC. So, as you say – in that sense – AMD has a solid track record with customers. In fact, if Ryzen Mobile were to completely replace the Bulldozer low-end range then manufacturers would have a reason to rejoice as the new low-end is much better and a compelling reason for previous gen low-end users to upgrade.

        There never was a “farcical myth about lost trust” by AMD. Maybe just sorely disappointed fanboys. DavidC1 made it up and gets a downvote and you get an upvote.

          • anubis44
          • 2 years ago

          Dude, you’re being a bit condescending and hypothetical. Your first paragraph contains vague conjecture, which you yourself then follow up with the statement “We don’t have information of any on that,” thus utterly negating your own paragraph.

          Then you go on to say that “what we do know is that for many years AMD…” and then go on to provide more subjective conjecture, rather than facts. “Low-end rubbish products” is an opinion, not a fact. Then you go on to say “Which isn’t to say the products didn’t work exactly as intended,” once again torpedoing your own argument that you’ve somehow got hard evidence that AMD lost manufacturer trust. What loses manufacturer trust is you suddenly changing the business arrangements on them. Things like a supplier threatening your supply of their product if you sell a competitor’s product, as Intel did in the mid-2000s when they were scared to death of the AMD Athlon 64. What loses manufacturer trust is a GPU supplier telling them that they won’t get the same support if they sell a competitor’s GPUs, which is exactly what nVidia is trying to pull right now: [url<]https://www.hardocp.com/article/2018/03/08/geforce_partner_program_impacts_consumer_choice[/url<] I'm not a 'fanboy', I'm an observer of rotten business practices. And both Intel and nVidia have now made utterly blatant attempts to threaten their own business partners if they sell AMD products. This leads me to believe that both Intel and nVidia are actually frightened by AMD, or they wouldn't be going to such lengths to try to keep AMD CPUs and GPUs out of the marketplace. Clearly, straight competition is not sufficient, or they wouldn't be resorting to mafia-style 'protection racket' tactics with their own customers. Perhaps you're the 'fanboy', ignoring all this, and it's you who needs to get your head out of your rear end so you can see what's really going on here. I'm not in the least bit worried about AMD. They already have >75% of the x86 gaming market (console+PC), and now they've got Ryzen+/Epyc CPUs coming down the pipelines. They are selling every GPU they can make to miners (if not gamers) at top dollar. Perhaps this is why nVidia is trying to threaten their board partners? Perhaps nVidia is suddenly concerned that AMD's GPU market share is still increasing, no matter what nVidia does, and AMD already has both the X-Box and Playstation consoles, and will only have even more money once they break double-digits in the datacentre with their CPUs. Meanwhile, nVidia is still scarily dependent on gaming GPUs.

            • Pancake
            • 2 years ago

            I think you should re-read my post.

            And then humbly apologise.

            Here’s a downvote.

    • slaimus
    • 2 years ago

    You have to thank this AMD chip for the Core i3-8130U. 2 cores and 4 threads with 3.4Ghz turbo was an i7 last year, and it is now an i3 this year.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    These designs aren’t living up to the potential of these processors, so…don’t buy them?

    Not everything in the world is a conspiracy, and OEMs have probably done the market research to know that AMD APUs are perceived as budget knock-offs by consumers. AMD built that hole for their brand by pushing bulldozer-derived junk for years, and it will take more than one good APU release to change how they’re treated.

    Give it time.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      Not that I am saying this is the same thing, but Intel did get in trouble previously for giving money to people to sell systems just like this. Just something to think about from someone that owns only Intel CPUs in his systems.

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        From what I remember, that agreement was incentives for OEMs to ONLY source CPUs from Intel. So this is entirely different.

        Again, I’m guessing that it comes down to the marketing department capping the AMD SKU BOMs based on brand perception, not any sort of nefarious conspiracy.

        Put another way, if KIA created a competitive luxury car tomorrow it would take a while for black car services to incorporate the new vehicle in their fleets due to brand perception and segmentation. They might never do so, even if the car provided a similar feel for a cheaper price.

          • DancinJack
          • 2 years ago

          Is it really that hard to draw the line from that to incentives for putting AMD products in less than stellar products too? I think not!

            • Kretschmer
            • 2 years ago

            You’re speculating without proof. Occam’s razor suggests that OEMs are nervous about pushing APUs in premium SKUs, not that Intel is surreptitiously bribing every OEM with huge bags of catch despite knowing that such behavior results in lawsuits and fines.

            • DancinJack
            • 2 years ago

            lol okie dokie

            • ludi
            • 2 years ago

            Huge bags of catch? is that, like sturgeon or…?

            • Shobai
            • 2 years ago

            Oooh! I hope it’s barramundi!

            • Growler
            • 2 years ago

            Sand dollars.

            • Kretschmer
            • 2 years ago

            Autocorrect is a double-edged sword. 🙂

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          Intel also had agreements to keep AMD out of certain segments. Or for companies to not brand/openly sell/promote some AMD based products at events or on their website. An only if asked option.

          Also had agreements to keep AMD sales below X% (sometimes double digits even!) of sales.

            • Kretschmer
            • 2 years ago

            Ok, and if proof of agreements made this decade comes out Intel will suffer the lawsuits and fines that such behavior entails. until then, it’s cranky conjecture.

          • kuraegomon
          • 2 years ago

          Apply ‘s/luxury car/sports sedan/’ and see the following:
          [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kia_Stinger[/url<] Then go check out the reviews. I think that brand re-evaluation happens faster today than in years past, particularly among the under-40 demographic.

      • Pancake
      • 2 years ago

      Does anybody other than fanboi tech geeks care what processor is in a laptop? As someone who has done a fair bit of circuit design and low level programming in my career I don’t even care. Intel, AMD – don’t care. I buy a laptop based on reviews about its manufacturing quality, battery life, performance for my available budget. I also glean the web for any particular buggy crashiness issues.

      On the other side of the ledger, Dell don’t have a particular perception of AMD (or Intel) as a “brand”. In the Bulldozer days it wasn’t as if Dell engineers weren’t aware of the performance characteristics of that product. It cost X dollars, had Y performance and Z battery life. That made it fit a range of products.

      Today, Ryzen Mobile also has characteristics across a range of parameters. That makes it fit its own range of products. That it finds its way into the bloated disgusting craptop that is the Dell Inspiron 17 5000 isn’t because of some sort of conspiracy or AMD having to “earn its stripes”. It’s because that’s what the sheer ruthless rationale of market segmentation puts it. It’s there because that’s where it will make Dell money.

      Believe me, if Ryzen Mobile was that good and could deliver Dell some kind of edge in the high end market and outcompete other companies it would be deployed and marketed like crazy. Fact: ain’t nobody doin dat.

      Edit: anybody have some advice on how to remove the Intel sticker from my laptop? It rather spoils the beautiful look of my HP Envy 13 with the awesome i5-8250U and ridonkulous 10 hr battery life. The glue is strong and I don’t want to scratch the beautiful aluminium alloy case.

        • Phartindust
        • 2 years ago

        RE: Removing sticker

        Maybe try using a hair dryer to heat up the sticker to soften the glue so you can remove it, and then use some alcohol to get rid of any residue.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      AMD’s reputation for peddling cheaper chips goes much farther back than Bulldozer. Much, much farther. It’s a sad reality for them that they need to price cheaper than Intel for the same performance or beat Intel to price equivalently. But that’s a good thing for us so who’s complaining?

      • bwcbiz
      • 2 years ago

      $900 isn’t exactly low-end budget knock-off pricing…more like old-school ultra-book pricing. Here’s hoping the battery life justifies the investment.

        • Pancake
        • 2 years ago

        I’ll confidently guesstimate 1.5hrs under heavy load, 4hrs light web browsing. Which is a vast improvement for that category of product where in the old days 2.5hrs of light use was as good as you’d get.

    • wingless
    • 2 years ago

    We see what you’re doing Dell. This BS did not go unnoticed. Single-channel memory and poor build quality in AMD products has been your modus operandi for too long.

    The PC community is watching.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      lol and they’re gonna do what? Dell, HP, etc etc have been doing this kind of stuff for years and years. I wish you luck in your journey though. It’s not like I want these crappy systems either.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Well, I’m gonna not recommend them.

        Thing is I’m sure it’s not very cost efficient for Dell to buy a bunch of 4GB DDR4 DIMMs. And if you do upgrade it’s gonna cost an arm and a leg to replace both of them, so in a weird way this is almost doing DIY upgraders a favor. But it is sucky to see, and even worse that they have HDDs.

    • MileageMayVary
    • 2 years ago

    Dell, just crapping all over their AMD offerings again.

    • swaaye
    • 2 years ago

    Looks like another generation of notebooks like the last 2 17.3″ AMD APU notebooks my dad has been fine with. I wouldn’t buy one for myself but whatever. At least it isn’t 1600×900. Though hey he doesn’t mind that either. Old people like big text. And Windows scaling is still a bit less than ideal anyway so nice to avoid that.

    I put a SSD in for him but I’m not sure how much he notices. If you don’t reboot much the difference becomes less apparent.

      • shank15217
      • 2 years ago

      Until you do windows updates, or anti-virus scans.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 2 years ago

    Remember this is the same Dell that got incentive from Intel to not sell AMD.

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah. It’s gullible to think Intel truly cleaned up their act and became a good boy from then on.

    • cynan
    • 2 years ago

    If you’re not going to put Ryzen in an XPS 13″ (which might be compelling from a gpu standpoint), what about 13″ and 15″ versions of the Inspirion 7000s? No SSD? Single channel ram? Did everyone just take their non-gpu capable Intel-based mid tier laptop designs and shoe horn in Ryzen (cough, Lenovo Ideapad, cough)? Oh well, that’s what you get when comparable Kaby Lake + mx150 products are somehow selling for practically the same price…

    Allow me to add to the collective sentiment with “Uggghhh…”

    • shank15217
    • 2 years ago

    AMD can release the fastest processors on earth, they will still show up in cheap plastic 2nd teir laptops. Intel ass kissing is alive and well..

      • MOSFET
      • 2 years ago

      Well, we’re still waiting on the first part of that sentiment. In the meantime, maybe AMD can iron out some of the nagging weirdness with the CPU/chipsets/platform. FX and 990FX were several iterations into that architecture, and despite the performance sucking, the platform is absolutely sound.

    • dragosmp
    • 2 years ago

    Amazing how much press this launch got, for being the bottom of the barrel can’t make it worse even if I tried piece of overpriced garbage

    And when they don’t sell in the marketing buffs meeting – oh my, people really aren’t buying AMD, better stick in a what’s-that-caled-that’s-not-a-core-i-something next time, at least we get some goodwill advertising budget if we sell them or not

    /s

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    This is the same cheap plastic junk that normally gets lumbered with Goldmont Pentium/Celeron options.

    Ignoring all the flaws that others have mentioned, these laptops are’t even desirable at $680. Their Goldmont/Airmont competition starts at $400 and the typical target audience doesn’t even care what the specs are – they want a big screen and a low price tag above all else.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      I dunno, this APU is still a substantive step up from Goldmont/Airmont. This probably does fill some need of someone who wants decent performance on a budget and a big @ss screen.

        • Waco
        • 2 years ago

        Better than an Atom isn’t what these APUs are supposed to be targeting, though. 🙁

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with the APU, I’m criticising the choice of laptop that these APUs are being put into by Dell.

        These laptops are seen and bought as the cheapest options on the market. Not only are they very low quality in every way, they are typically bought by old people who don’t want to spend money, don’t have great eyesight and still use AOL CDs to connect to the internet.

    • NTMBK
    • 2 years ago

    On the plus side, at least it has an optical drive.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      lol I guess? I haven’t used an optical drive on a computer in years.

      edit: maybe you were joking. I honestly can’t tell.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Wonder if someone will make a dual drive caddy to replace it. SSD in the main drive, move over the 2TB HDD to the second drive.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    Oh, awesome. Not only do I get a spinning hard drive, I also get single channel memory. It’s like Dell is TRYING to make Raven Ridge look terrible.

      • blastdoor
      • 2 years ago

      Michael Dell said that taking his company private would enable him to do things that shareholders would never have allowed. Is this what he was yearning to do?

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        I mean, on the high end the XPS is one of Windows’s best ultrabooks, so maybe it did? It’s just, once you get to the budget models the old crap wasn’t avoided.

          • blastdoor
          • 2 years ago

          But wasn’t the Dell high end always one of Window’s best?

            • DancinJack
            • 2 years ago

            I’d agree with that, but until more recently that wasn’t really saying much.

            • tipoo
            • 2 years ago

            Before 2013 when they went private? The XPS line existed before, but not in its current form until later.

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      AMD: WE WANT OUR PRODUCTS IN DELLS DAMMIT!

      Dell: Are you sure?

      AMD: YEAH!

      Dell: I mean… are you [b<]really[/b<] sure? AMD: UH... YEAH! Dell: OK! Don't say we didn't warn you!

        • dodozoid
        • 2 years ago

        Now this is the kind of chuckula we all liked (or at least tolerated), keep up the good work!

      • Eversor
      • 2 years ago

      I don’t get why with screens of this size but OEMs have always preferred to ship with an empty slot than to deliver peak performance.

      On the other hand, for most current laptops you’ll find it is either shipping with paltry amounts of soldered memory or a single DIMM slot (mostly size constraints but not always). All manufacturers are doing this nowadays and you need to move to “business” class devices to really hit a high percentages of dual DIMM slot configurations.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 2 years ago

        My nearly six year old Asus Zenbook has 2 GiB of DDR3 soldered to the motherboard and an 8 GiB SODIMM that I installed in its only slot.

        • Krogoth
        • 2 years ago

        It is a classical upsell tactic to force customer to upgrade to “dual-channel” memory at a premium. This is how major OEMs make their profit from their mainstream line-up.

      • ludi
      • 2 years ago

      Unfortunately, they probably have a strong interest in making certain that Core-H APUs don’t get shown up on price/performance by anything Ryzen.

      • TheRazorsEdge
      • 2 years ago

      It’s easier to align your budget line to a brand that way. AMD has been positioned as a value product in the consumer market more often than not.

      It’s not good for AMD, but I can see why Dell would do it.

      • bthylafh
      • 2 years ago

      Dell’s got a bad history with screwing up AMD-based designs. The Optiplex 740 in particular had godawful USB ports and especially slow hard drives.

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      If it makes you feel better, the Intel 5767 comes with spinning rust as well.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Only if it also has single-channel RAM by default.

          • jihadjoe
          • 2 years ago

          You know I just noticed it doesn’t say ‘single channel’ anywhere on the AMD laptop specs. The only config explicitly listed as ‘single channel’ is the Intel based 5770.

          But wow, way to go, Dell! So the SSD-equipped model only comes with single channel memory, and the (hopefully) dual-channel configs only come with spinning rust.

      • Krogoth
      • 2 years ago

      Nah, it is more like the bean counters at Dell are trying to maximize profit margins. They do the same exact thing on their Intel line-up. Want dual-channel memory and solid-state media? Those are premium options, you got to pay up.

      This is standard fare for major OEM for last 10+ years. It is most likely that this will not change anytime soon.

    • Waco
    • 2 years ago

    Single channel memory designs are going to be the death of these APUs…

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Always seems to be, for AMD laptops. Although this time, they actually could be good without that hobble.

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