Dell Inspiron 15 i7559-2512BLK Gaming Laptop Under 1000 Dollars

Product Name:Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series Gaming i7559-2512BLK (Core i7)
Brand:Dell
Rating:
Processor:Intel Core i7-6700HQ
CPU Base/Boost Speed:2.6/3.5GHz
Memory:8GB DDR3L-1600
Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
Storage:1TB HDD + 8GB SSD Cache
Screen Size/Resolution:15 inch/1080p
Dell Inspiron 15 i7559-2512BLK Gaming Laptop Under 1000 Dollars (hover to zoom) (tap once to zoom, tap left, right, top, bottom to move image, tap outside of image to cancel)
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Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK 15.6 Inch FHD Laptop (6th Generation Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD + 8 GB SSD) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M

We’ve written about the Inspiron 15 7000 before. We think the Core i5 configuration, outfitted with an SSD, is probably the most perfectly balanced cheap laptop for gaming. It certainly is the finest gaming laptop under 800 dollars. So, why are we revisiting this line? Because we think that the Core i7 has value as well, if you’re more of a tinkerer and willing to get your hands dirty.

laptop-inspiron-15-7000-pdp-polaris-07

Overview

In our review of the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Core i5 model, we said, “most games don’t take advantage of the HyperThreading feature found on the more more expensive Core i7 processors, and the cost increase wouldn’t be justified for a cheap gaming laptop.” And that’s true. However, that doesn’t mean that the Core i7 doesn’t have value. Quite the opposite, if you have need of the extra frequency and thread count that the Core i7 offers, then this particular configuration is also quite the value. However, we feel that there are a few changes that you’ll want to make in order to build this into a top-tier, high performance monster. We’ve got the Core i7 down, so let’s go through the rest of the configuration.

The other hero of this laptop is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, coupled with 4GB of fast GDDR5 memory. This 28nm GPU is based on NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture, and it performs brilliantly at 1080p resolution, with most games being playable on high settings. It has a very solid 1080p IPS panel, with great color output.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 CoolingBoth of these heat-generating components are cooled by a very robust dual-blower and heatpipe configuration that was definitely designed and built with gaming in mind. The components stay cool and don’t throttle during use.

The black and red color scheme works well, and we’re always happy to see a backlit keyboard. On top of it all, you still get a number pad, which is not always something you’ll find on a 15 inch notebook.

Connectivity is what you’d expect, with fast Intel 802.11AC and Bluetooth Wireless, 3x USB 3.0 ports, a media card reader, HDMI out, Ethernet Jack, and headphone/mic combo jack. The audio is robust, featuring stereo speakers and a “subwoofer.”

The system feature set rounds out with a 6-cell battery, and the whole package weighs in at about 5.7 pounds. You should expect to get about 4.5 hours of mixed-usage out of this system, more if you keep the brightness down on the display.

Upgrading the Inspiron 15 7000 – Making It Great!

Inspiron 15 7000 Memory Upgrade

Inspiron 15 7000 Memory Upgrade

The system features 8GB of DDR3L-1600 memory, in a single stick configuration. Remember how we wanted to build a top-tier configuration using this system? Well, your first challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to upgrade the memory in this system. Luckily, Dell has made this easy! Adding a second stick of 8GB DDR3L-1600 will not only double your system memory to 16GB, but you’ll double the available bandwidth to the CPU. It’s easy, and it shouldn’t cost you more than about $30 and a quick trip to Amazon. We recommend this Kingston 8GB stick. All you need to do is turn your laptop over, unscrew the screws holding the bottom panel to the chassis, and you’ll have access to the second memory slot. Make sure your computer is powered down before you do any maintenance or upgrades, however!

Inspiron 15 7000 SSD Upgrade

Inspiron 15 7000 SSD Upgrade

The next killer upgrade, and one that you HAVE to do in order to unlock this system’s true potential, is upgrade your hard drive. The 1TB spinning disk with 8GB SSD cache is simply outclassed by a pure SSD. So to that end, we want to upgrade, for around $100, to a powerful 250GB Samsung M.2 SSD, AND we’ll keep the 1TB drive as a backup volume, perfect for storing photos, videos, and other files. Sounds daunting? Don’t worry, it’s much easier than you think, and it won’t take too much time. First, make sure that your system is off, and we’ll go through the same motions of accessing the underside of the system to install the M.2 SSD. It doesn’t look like a traditional 2.5″ SSD, it’s more like a long stick of memory. You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver to secure the drive in its slot.

Samsung Data Migration

Samsung Data Migration

Next, after you’ve booted into Windows, Samsung’s handy Data Migration Software will allow you to move your OS installation from your factory-equipped 1TB mechanical drive onto your new Samsung EVO M.2 SSD. Upon restart, your system will automatically boot into Windows on its new, faster drive, and you will have already noticed the speed improvements. Then, you can right-click on the Start button, go into Disk Management, and format your 1TB drive, and continue to use it for storage. Boom, now you have a tricked-out Core i7 laptop with SSD, 16GB of RAM, 1TB mechanical storage, complete with a GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5; a fantasically configured gaming laptop UNDER 1000 dollars.

Dell Inspiron 15 i7559-2512BLK Recommended Gaming Settings

GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5


Overwatch

Doom (2016)

The Division

Star Wars Battlefront

Call Of Duty: Back Ops 3

The Witcher 3

Low

1280x720

Medium

1366x720


High

1920x1080


Ultra

1920x1080


Comparison and Conclusion

We’ve said it before, within the Inspiron 15 7000 series, Dell gets a lot right.  But they also have a good idea of what YOU want and need, which is even better. The Core i5 and SSD-equipped i7559-963BLK is perfect out of the box. It’s balanced for its price, and you’re ready to go. The i7-equipped 2512BLK is designed for someone who knows what they wants, and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty making it happen. If you go into this with the idea of upgrading it right away to 16GB of RAM and an SSD, you’ll find that you’ve saved yourself some money and built your self a relatively cheap laptop for gaming under 1000 dollars, that’s maxed out in several different key features.

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Detailed Specifications

Screen Size

Screen Resolution

Processor

Memory

Graphics

Storage

Wirless Connectivity

USB Ports

Audio

Wired Networking

Camera

Backlit Keyboard

Operating System

Dimensions

15.6 inches

1920x1080 Non-Touch

Intel Core i5-6700HQ 2.6/3.5GHz Quad Core w/ Hyperthreading

8GB DDR3L-1600 (1x8GB - max 16GB Total)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5

1TB HDD with 8GB SSD Cache - available M.2 SSD Slot

802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0

3x USB 3.0

Waves MaxxAudioPro w/ Headphone/Mic Combo Jack

10/100/1000 Ethernet

Integrated

Yes

Windows 10 Home 64-bit

15.1 x 10.4 x 1 inches

5.7 pounds

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