Dell Inspirion 14 3000 Shadow Review

Dell Inspirion 14 3000 Shadow Review

Welcome back to another iteration of "Will it run Shadow?". This time, we will be looking at low-end/cheap laptops to get into Shadow without breaking the bank...

Welcome back to another iteration of "Will it run Shadow?". This time, we will be looking at low-end/cheap laptops to get into Shadow without breaking the bank.

Today, we will be talking about the Dell Inspirion 14 3000 series laptops. Specifically targeting the new 3480 model. This laptop has three separate configuration models ranging from $230 to $330 directly on Dell's website.

I will be reviewing if any of these models are strong enough to run Shadow reliably, and possibly hook up a decent monitor to it to get some high-end gaming from a low-end laptop!

Let us begin!

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Processor

Configuration 1 - Intel Celeron N4000

Beginning with the processors, the first and cheapest configuration comes equipped with an Intel Celeron N4000 Processor. The Celeron N4000 is a dual-core, dual threaded processor that has a base frequency of 1.1 GHz, and a burst frequency of 2.6 GHz.

The Celeron N4000 has a max memory size of 8GB DDR4.

The Celeron N4000 also comes equipped with Intel UHD 600 graphics that supports up to a 4k 60hz outputs with the necessary ports.

This processor, although on the weak end, should be able to handle Shadow. I highly advise using this configuration for 1080p/60FPS gaming, as the low base clock rate may cause some issues with the Shadow stream.

Configuration 2 - Intel Pentium Silver N5000

The second configuration comes equipped with an Intel Pentium Silver N5000. The Intel Pentium Silver N5000 is a quad-core, quad threaded processor with a base frequency of 1.1 GHz, and a burst frequency of 2.7 GHz

The Pentium Silver N5000 has a max memory size of 8GB DDR4.

The Pentium Silver N5000 also comes equipped with Intel UHD 605 graphics that supports up to a 4k 60hz output with the necessary ports.

This processor, although on the weak end, should be able to handle Shadow. I highly advise using this configuration for 1080p/60FPS gaming, as the low base clock rate may cause some issues with the Shadow stream.

Configuration 3 - Intel i3-7020U

The final configuration comes equipped with an Intel i3-7020U processor. This processor is a dual-core, quad threaded processor with a base frequency of 2.3 GHz.

The i3-7020U has a max memory size of 32GB DDR4.

The i3-7020U also comes equipped with Intel HD Graphics 620 that supports a 4k 60hz output with the necessary ports.

This processor should be able to run Shadow fine without any issues. Computers with this processor should be able to handle 4k/60FPS streaming, however, if you run into some streaming issues, it may be best to stream with 1440p/60fps with this processor.

Memory

All three configurations come with 4GB of DDR4 memory. 4GB of memory is enough to run Shadow without any issues, as long as you keep other background processes to a minimum.

It is advised to upgrade this to 8GB as soon as you can for better stability and multi-tasking when using this laptop.

I/O Ports

1x SD Card Reader
1x USB 2.0
1x Wedge-shaped lock slot
1x Power
1x HDMI 1.4b
1x RJ45 (Configuration 3 only)
2x USB 3.1 Gen 1
1x Headphone & Microphone Audio Jack

The I/O for this laptop is on the rather poor end of the spectrum, which makes sense for this being a cheap laptop. You get 2x USB 3.1 and 1x USB 2.0 ports totaling 3 in total. If you can limit your peripheral usage, this should be fine, otherwise, I highly suggest looking into a USB hub.

This laptop comes equipped with an HDMI 1.4b output port, meaning the maximum resolution it can achieve is 4k/24hz. You can possibly squeeze out 30hz, but it wouldn't be recommended.

The last thing to note is the RJ45 or ethernet port. Only configuration 3 (most expensive) comes with the RJ45 port. Configurations 1 and 2 will only be able to be used with WiFi, which this laptop supports 5GHz at 433Mbps.

Storage

Configuration 1 has 64GB of eMMC storage, while Configurations 2 and 3 have a 128GB M.2 NVMe SSD. If you are mainly going to be using this laptop as a Shadow host, then storage doesn't particularly matter, however, the 128GB storage will be more worthwhile in the long run.

Final Thoughts

The Dell Inspirion 14 3000 will be able to run Shadow with little to no issues. Remember that the more you spend, the better you will get.

If you are looking for the bare minimum, and you are perfectly fine with some hiccups and being limited to 1080p gaming, then configuration 1 should work for you. However, as ethernet runs a heck of a lot better for Shadow then WiFi does, I highly recommend Configuration 3.

The HDMI 1.4b port also limits your monitor selection capability. You should be able to find some good 1080p/60hz monitors with HDMI, but you may have trouble finding anything higher.

Configurations 1 and 2 should only be used for 1080p/60hz gaming. You might be able to push some higher Hz out, but I would stay in the 1080p resolution range.

Configuration 3 can be used for some 1440p resolution gaming, though do not expect anything higher than 60hz to be stable. If you can push more out, great, but you may run into some issues.

Another thing to note that these computers ship with Windows 10 Home in S mode. This limits what you can install on them. This setting can be disabled to turn these laptops into a fully working Windows 10 computer, however, you will never be able to switch it back to S mode.

Sources


Looking to buy the Dell Inspirion 14 3000? Check out the Amazon link below, and help out Shadow.Tips in the process!

Buy a Dell Inspirion 14 3000 on Amazon Today!

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