Acer Nitro 5 (2019) Thermal Testing – Too Hot To Handle?
However, as I mentioned in my game, benchmark video, there was throttling in different scenarios, so lets put it to the test and find out just how hot it gets and what can be done to improve. Performance. Ive got the highest specced version of the Nitro 5, so theres an Intel, i7 9750H CPU Nvidia, GTX, 1660 Ti graphics and 16gb of memory running in dual channel.. The Nitro 5 is also available with different specs, so expect different results with different configurations.. You can find examples and updated prices linked in the description. On the bottom of the laptop weve got some air vents towards the back for air intake. Then air is exhausted. Out of the back.. While it looks like there are vents on both sides. Air is only exhausted on one side and on the back right hand, side.. There are a couple of heatpipes shared between the processor and graphics, and we can see why air is only exhausted from one corner., The Nitro Sense. Software allows us to control fan, speed, theres granular control of each separate fan. However, Ive only tested either with the auto or max setting.. Unlike the Acer Helios 300 and Acer Triton 500, no CPU undervolting is done out of the box with the latest BIOS and version of Nitro Sense. In use., Thermal testing was completed in an ambient room. Temperature of 21 degrees Celsius so expect different results in different environments.. At idle, both the CPU and GPU were on the cooler side, no issues there.
The rest of the results are from combined CPU and GPU workloads and are meant to represent worst case scenarios, as I ran them for extended periods of time.. The gaming results towards the upper half of the graph were tested by playing Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics.. The stress test results shown on the lower half of the graph are from running the Aida64 CPU stress test, with only the stress, CPU option checked and the Heaven GPU benchmark at max settings at the same time to fully load the system.. Any time I had the fans on auto speed, both the CPU and GPU were thermal throttling so 92 on the CPU and 86 on the GPU, and this was still happening even with the CPU undervolted, however, well see how this helped improve performance in the next graph.. Simply by setting the fans to max speed saw nice improvements to the thermals under both workloads, while undervolting the CPU helped cool things. Just a little more., With the cooling pad added into the mix, temperatures drop down a little further.. These are the average clock speeds for the same tests. Just shown. Were seeing the lowest performance with the fans on auto speed due to the thermal throttling that was taking place on both the CPU and GPU in this state.. We do, however, see decent improvements to CPU clock speed with the CPU undervolted, so, despite still thermal throttling its now throttling less and we see higher performance.
Setting the fan, speed to maximum helped improve clock speed over stock. For the same reason, though, we saw a much higher boost to the GPU here, as I wasnt doing. Gpu undervolting, just CPU. When combining higher fan speeds with undervolting were seeing much better results, though not quite the full 4GHz. All core turbo boost speed of the 9750H. In any of these workloads, but pretty close., These are the average TDP values reported by hardware info. During these same tests., We can see the GPU in the green bars failing to hit its 80 watt power limit when the fans are on the default. Auto speed due to the thermal throttling., Likewise, the CPU TDP is down for the same reason until things cool down.. Otherwise, once we are no longer thermal throttling power limit, throttling becomes the next limitation.. The CPU was maxing out at the 45 watt PL1 limit, and I was not able to boost this further with Intel XTU.. These are the average CPU clock speeds, while under a CPU only workload so with no GPU load. In both cases were hitting that 45 watt power limit. So, even with the best undervolt, I could achieve it still wasnt possible to hit the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed. Most other machines are able to hit this in this test.. We can see why, when we look at the power limit in both tests were averaging the same TDP and again, I couldnt raise this with Intel XTU.
. As a result, weve got basically the same. Temperatures in this case. Same amount of power equals same heat. To demonstrate how this translates into performance. Ive got some Cinebench CPU benchmarks., While the single core performance was about. As expected, the multicore scores were noticeably lower when compared with other laptops, with the same CPU Ive tested, and this was due to the 45 watt power limit on the i7 9750H. Undervolting did help improve performance, but this was still noticeably lower compared to the 2600 2800. I usually see., So how do these changes actually translate into gaming performance? Ive tested a few games at stock with auto fans, max fans and then with max fans plus some CPU undervolting and GPU overclocking. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built in benchmark at highest settings.. In this test, there was almost no change between auto and max fans, a single frame on average, while the custom changes just listed made. A larger improvement. Battlefield 5 was tested in Campaign mode at ultra settings.. Again, not too much of a difference was seen between auto and max fans, while the CPU undervolting and GPU overclocking made a much larger difference. This put the 1 low performance near the averages from the others.. Far Cry 5 was tested with the built in benchmark at ultra settings.. There was more of a difference between auto and max fans in this test, but also less of a difference with the custom settings in place, though, still an improvement nonetheless.
. As for the external temperatures, where youll actually be putting your hands at idle, it was around the normal 30 degrees Celsius., While gaming or under stress test with the fans on auto speed, its actually getting quite hot, mid 50s in the center, and it didnt feel comfortable To rest, my fingers, on. With the fans at max speed in the exact same workloads, were seeing around a 10 degree reduction to the hot spots.. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop Ill, let you have a listen to some of these tests. At idle. There was some fan noise, however, it alternated between this and being completely silent., While gaming or under stress test with the fans on auto speed its about the same and noticeably quieter compared to most gaming laptops when, under the same load. With the fan at max speed. It gets a fair bit louder in comparison. However, I think this is a good thing, as we do have the option of customizing fan speed, so you should be able to find a sweet spot that works for you.. Overall, the Acer, Nitro 5 gaming laptop runs on the hotter side and thermal throttles on both the CPU and GPU, while gaming with the fans on auto speed.. Fortunately, we do have the option to increase fan speed and by doing this, thermal throttling was removed and the machine became noticeably cooler to the touch.. Despite the thermal throttling in the games I tested with the fans on auto, I wasnt actually seeing much performance loss compared with max fans, so you do have the option of running quieter but hotter.
If you prefer.. Unfortunately, it was not possible to raise the power limit of the CPU above 45 watts to boost performance, though to be fair. That would also raise thermals higher and that is technically the Intel spec.. I didnt find the Acer, Nitro Sense, software or latest BIOS to perform GPU overclocking or CPU undervolting.. Given the performance and temperatures weve seen here, I think it would be good for them to undervolt the CPU like they do with the Helios 300 and Triton 500 models out of the box. That way, we wouldnt need to run the fans quite as loud to compensate.. Hopefully, this happens in a future update until then, you can, of course, change this yourself to improve the performance.. These differences in performance shown arent hard and fast rules. There are different factors which will vary results, primarily the temperature of the room, youre running in application of thermal paste, and even the specific hardware which comes down to the silicon lottery.. You may not be able to undervolt or overclock your hardware the same as me. It depends on the chip and its specific power requirements, so dont just blindly copy my settings and do some testing to find out where your stable point is for best results.. It may be possible to further improve temperatures by swapping the thermal paste. However, as this is a review unit that I have to send back Im not able to change the paste, otherwise, the next reviewer will unknowingly report different results.
Due to what Ive, done., Raising fan, speed, undervolting or using a cooling pad are much easier for most people to do than changing paste anyway and as weve seen, these tweaks did help improve performance and temperatures with the Nitro 5..