Acer Predator Helios 500 Review – GTX 1070 Power!
My unit has an Intel i7 8750 H CPU, although it's also available with the overclockable eye. 9 I've got 16 gig of memory running at ddr4 2666 single channel, but the four slots can support up to 64 gig in total for the storage there's, a 256 gig SATA SSD in one of the two MDOT two slots, although faster nvme storage, is supported and There'S, a one terabyte hard drive in the single 2.5 inch drive bay as for the graphics there's, an nvidia 1070 with 8 gig of gddr5 memory and that's, the full 10 17. No max queue here, and this Powell is the 17.3 inch 1080p 144 Hertz IPS panel. For network connectivity there's a Gigabit Ethernet port support for ADA, 2.11 AC, Wi, Fi and Bluetooth version 5. The Helios 500 has a black and blue theme to it. The lid and interior are a dock matte blue plastic and the keyboard also has blue accenting. Even the air exhaust vents match this color scheme. Overall, the build quality feels really solid, despite the primarily plastic exterior, the dimensions of the laptop, a forty two point: eight centimeters in width, twenty nine point, eight centimeters in depth and three point: eight centimeters in height, so it's approaching the largest side for a gaming laptop. But as we'll see later, this space results in great cooling capacity ASA have the weight listed at four kilos on their website and in my own testing, my unit came in under three point: eight kilos with the 230 watt power, brick and cables for charging the total Weight increases to five kilos, so, on the heavier side, the 17.
3 inch 144 Hertz IPS panel has Nvidia g sync. The viewing angles were quite good. Colors, looked perfectly clear to me on any angle, side to side or up and down at 100 brightness. I measured the panel at 327 nits in the center and with the 770 to 1 contrast ratio, I've measured the current color gamut, using the spite of 5 prayer and my results returned 97 of s. Odd, be 69 of NTSC and 74 of Adobe RGB. So not bad for a gaming laptop I'd have no problems using it for light content creation, I've taken a long exposure photo in a dark room as a worst case. Backlight bleed test, and my panel didn't look too great here. I could only see this myself looking at it directly front on in the dark room, but I never noticed any bleed during normal usage or in games, but this will of course, vary between laptops. Screenflex was on the lower side as it's fairly thick plastic. Overall, it felt pretty sturdy due to the hinges that have found toward the far left or right corners due to the weight. It can easily be opened with one finger demonstrating a fairly even weight distribution, so you could use it on your lap without a falling off. Above the display in the center is a 720p camera. The camera looks alright, not terrible, but still a bit grainy. The microphone sounds about average, but you'll be able to judge both for yourself.
I didn't have any issues with the keyboard it's good to see the space has been utilized well, with no small arrow keys or smaller numpad. The backlighting can be customized in four separate zones using aces pretty decent software, so you can change the colors, but there don't seem to be any effects built in and as the WASD and arrow keys have blue sides, it did look a little strange using non blue Backlighting overall, it was nice to type with here's how the keys sound. There was a little keyboard flex while pushing down hard, but this was never an issue while using it normally just above the keyboard towards the left, a five programmable macro keys. These can be modified to do built in tasks such as a player, GPU, overclock change, fan, speed, launch an app or any other keyed macro you want. You can press the program button on the left to toggle through three groups of macro keys, so all up you've got 15 custom macro keys here the touchpad was smooth to the touch and what great it's got physically separate, left and right click buttons below it all Edges of the touchpad light up blue and I wasn't able to find a way of customizing this color. If you're not a fan, you can turn it on or off using a button on the keyboard, and this lets you toggle lighting, to have both keyboard and touchpad lighting on together, one or the upper or both off for the guy on the left.
Just after the large air exhaust fan is the Gigabit Ethernet port, you must be 3.0 type, a port and two USB 3.1 type C Thunderbolt, three ports on the right, there's, separate 3.5 millimeter headphone and microphone jacks and two more USB 3.0 type, a ports fully by Another large air exhaust fan on the back there's the power input, as well as HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort outputs. There is a warning noting not to touch it as it may be a hot surface, but I didn't personally think it was too bad. Even after extended stress test, there's, nothing at all on the front it's, just completely smooth on the back of the dock: blue plastic, lid there's, the predator logo, in the center, with the brushed silver finish in blue trimming, fingerprints are hidden a little by the matte finish. If the lid and interior and they're easy to wipe away anyway, as it's a smooth surface underneath there's, some rubber feet, which did well at preventing sliding as well as air intakes towards the back, the subwoofer is also underneath, along with two speakers, towards the front left And right corners, the speaker's sounded pretty good, still clearer at higher volumes, and there was some bass present thanks to the subwoofer speaking of sounds when you boot it up. It makes this sound out of the box Applause. Thankfully you can disable it in the BIOS learner. The laptop can be opened up easily using a Phillips head screwdriver.
The first panel is removed by taking out two screws, and this gives you access to the battery two of the four memory slots in the two m dot two slots. In order to get to the 2.5 inch drive bay. The battery needs to be removed as it covers it. The m dot two drives also need to be removed to take the rest of the bottom panel off, but this only gives us access to the Wi Fi card. The other two memory slots are found on the other side of the motherboard powering the laptop is a four cell, seventy forward hour battery and with the full charge and just watching youtube videos with the screen on half brightness keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled. I was able to use it for three hours and five minutes. It was using the nvidia 1070 graphics for this whole test. I wasn't able to use the Intel integrated graphics, even after disabling g sync and trying to manually install the drivers for it, which failed, while playing The Witcher 3 with medium settings and invidious battery boost set to 30fps the battery lasted for one hour and eight minutes And was able to sit at 30fps the entire test without dipping overall, the battery life isn't amazing, not too bad, considering the specs that it would have been good if it could swap over to Intel integrated graphics to save power outside of gaming. Thermal testing was completed with an ambient room temperature of 18 degrees Celsius, it's cold here at the Mirman, is at winter in Australia, so expect warmer temperatures in a warmer environment.
The heat pipes were shared between the CPU and graphics, so a change in one component may affect the other at idle. Both the CPU and graphics were a little warm, as shown by the light blue bar towards the bottom, but that's, just because the laptop was completely silent at idle. As you'll hear soon, the gaming tests were completed with watchdogs to at high settings as I find it to be a CPU demanding game, and we can see that the temperatures shoot up in the green bar, but no issues at this point over the rain height. If we manually max out the fans, as shown by the yellow bar above, we actually drop the temperatures of both the processor and graphics by around 20 degrees. An impressive result. If we instead go back to leaving the fans on the automatic profile but apply a minus 0.15 au volt under volt to the CPU we're, still seeing a little temperature improvement, as shown by the orange bar again, if we manually max out the fans shown by the Red bar the combination of high airflow and under vaulting gives us quite cool temperatures and gaming, just to clarify early CPU under volting was done here, but this generally affects GPU temperatures a little due to the shed heat pipes. The stress tests were done by running a to 64 and the heav'n benchmark at the same time, in order to attempt to fully utilize both the CPU and graphics moving up in the graph, starting with the dark red bar we're.
Actually, Parliament throttling on the CPU, with an average of 91 degrees Celsius once again when the fans are manually maxed out in pink, even with the stress test, when lowering the temperatures by 20 degrees really impressive stuff, but that doesn't affect the power limitations with the fans. Back on the order profile shown in the purple bar, even with the minus 0.15 oval under bolt applied to the CPU, it was still hitting the power limit and with the fans maxed out and the under multiplied in the top dark blue bar we're. Seeing the best results under this full load stress test: these are the average clock speeds for the same temperature tests just shown. You might need to pause and refer back to the previous graph to get the full picture first off starting down the bottom in the gaming results. We can see that once we apply the CPU wonderful, the average clock speed if the cpu rise is quite a bit closer to the 3.9 gigahertz or quarter my speed of the 8750 H. So not only does the undervolt improve temperatures we're, also seeing improve performance and the increased fan speeds provided just a little boost, as shown by the yellow and red bars. I wasn't actually seeing power madelung in this particular game, but that will vary between games and their specific workloads. Moving up into the stress tests, the clock speeds in the dark red bar are the lowest due to the power limit throttling and with the fan max down.
In pink, this doesn't really change anything as it's, not a thermal issue. Once the CPU under volt is applied in the purple bar we're, getting much better performance on the CPU, but with the fans maxed out. This appears to increase just a tiny bit, so the power limit is preventing us from reaching the 3.9 gigahertz all core turbo speed of the 87 58 CPU in this particular stress test workload. Although it's getting close, these are the clock speeds I got while just running CPU or in these stress tests without any GPU load power limit throttling was always present in this test, even without the GPU load, and even with this, you wonder, multiplied Intel x2. You showed it sitting on a 45 watt TDP in a full multi core stress test, and I wasn't able to change this by modifying the values of next to you. So I'm, guessing it's, defined at a low level and can't be changed. Here are the GPU and the clock speeds, while under a graphical only stress test Isis, predators and software lets. You apply GPU over clocks easily in two different levels, known as fast are, inter burr, the faster profile over clocks, the GPU core by 75 megahertz and the memory by 150 megahertz. While the turbo profile doubles this to one hundred and fifty megahertz on the core and three hundred megahertz on the memory, I was able to get a little further improvement by manually overclocking it with msi afterburner, as shown in red.
But this will probably vary between laptops. As it depends on the particular chip, I suspect the baked in faster and turbo options – probably work on all laptops, so they probably don't push things right to the limit and stick to the safe aside for compatibility reasons. As for the external temperatures, where you'll actually be putting your hands at idle, the body of the laptop is sitting in the low 30s fairly cool while gaming. This increases to the lower 40s towards the center of the keyboard as kind of a worst case. These are the results under full stress test, with the fan on the water profile getting to the mid 40s still not too bad for comparison. This is the same test, but with the CPU under faulted and the fans maxed out back into the low 30s. Quite a huge difference. As for the fan noise produced by the laptop I'll, let you have a listen to some of these tests at idle. That was completely silent, which explains the slightly warm idle temperatures noted earlier, while gaming with the water fan profile, it was actually fairly quiet, at least compared to many other, less powerful gaming laptops, which seems to explain the warmer temperatures with the fence maxed out. It gets very loud but, as we saw earlier, the temperatures drop down a lot. I don't think I've ever seen, maxing out the fans make such a big improvement and you've got the option of setting the CPU or graphics fan speeds through aces, predators and software.
So you should be able to find a good balance between temperatures and fan noise that works for you. Overall, I was really impressed by the cooling solution, but would like to see less power limit throttling in multi core workloads, especially when it can clearly take it in terms of temperatures. The limitation appears to be in the power delivery. Perhaps it will be something that's improved in a future. Bios update just to be clear. This isn't an issue unique to the Helios 500 I've, seen this in pretty much every eye: 78758 laptop I've tested, but as covered here there are steps we can take to mitigate this and improve performance. Finally, let's take a look at some gaming benchmarks. All games will run at 1080p with the latest Windows and NVIDIA driver updates installed. Fortnight was running well, regardless of setting level even in epic settings have played great high settings or below were needed to average above the refresh rate of the panel with low settings. Giving us 1 lows above the refresh rate for really smooth gameplay, however, watch was tested playing with the bots and again really nice results. Although the 1 lows are a fair bit behind the averages here, it didn't really matter as they're still quite high, even at epoch. Settings to me, the gameplay great pub G was tested using the replay feature and we're getting pretty good results, even in ultra settings, definitely playable, which usually isn't the case for many laptops.
Thanks to the 1070 graphics, CS, guru was tested using the, u litical benchmark and the results were pretty good, quite high average frame rates and even the dips and performance in this test, weren't that bad compared to other laptops Rainbow six siege was tested with the built In benchmark and even at Ultra settings, the one percent lows are only just behind the refresh rate of the panel, so it should work very well, regardless of setting level. Far cry. 5 was also tested with the built in mark and with sink fairly high frame rates. In this test, compared to most of the laptops, the 1070 is really helping out a lot here. Assassin'S Creed origins was another that was tested with the built in benchmark and yet again pretty good frame rates for this test, as this tends to be a more intensive title, dota 2 was tested using a fairly intensive replay, so there should be a worst case scenario. Realistically, you'll probably get better results in this, while actually playing and despite this, the frame rates here is still pretty good for this benchmark. Testing battlefield 1 in the first campaign mission read great even at Ultra settings, although the 1 lows are a fair bit behind and don't change too much between setting levels. I personally didn't notice any dips in performance. It played great rise of the Tomb. Raider was tested with the built in benchmark and even in max settings were able to average above 100 FPS in this test, which is quite good for a laptop Ghost.
Recon was also tested with the built in benchmark and is a more demanding game. Unfortunately, not excellent performance at Ultra, but that's just the nature of this game. It runs pretty well at any other setting level there. Watchdogs, too, is also on the more demanding side. However, I personally don't think it needs a high frame rate to play, but even at Ultra settings the averages are fairly high for this title. I can play it no problem with the solid 40 FPS, but that's. Just me, doom was tested using Vulcan and we're. Seen clay overage frame rates even in ultra settings, no problems at all playing this game and arendt smoothly the whole time I've got a few more games covered in the gaming benchmark video, if you're interested now for the benchmarking tools, I've tested, Heaven Valley and superposition from Unigine, as well as fire strike time, spy and VR mark from 3d mark just pause. The video, if you want a detailed look at these results, while the Nvidia 1060 is a sweet spot for 1080p 60fps gaming with good settings. I think the 1070 is a great choice for taking things to the next level if you're looking at a laptop with a 144 Hertz display, it of course depends on the games, you're playing and the settings you're comfortable with. However, as we've seen, many of the games tested here are getting pretty high frame rates due to the Nvidia 1070 graphics, as we saw earlier, we've got the option of under vaulting the CPU and overclocking the graphics, so let's see how this actually helps improve gaming performance.
In the games tested the exact same windows, updates, game updates and Nvidia drivers were installed, so there shouldn't be any Changez other than the cb1 defaulting and graphics overclocking. The same minus 0.15, her volt under volt to the cpu, was applied as before, along with a manual 200 megahertz GPU core overclocked and 100 megahertz GPU memory of the clock pub. She was tested using the replay feature and at Ultra settings, which is seeing a little 5 percent boost to the average frame rates, but a larger 8 percent improvement at very low settings. Far cry 5 was tested using the built in bench mark and at Ultra settings there was an 11 improvement to the average frame rates and a 7 percent improvement to the 1 lows Rainbow. Six siege was also tested with the built in benchmark and out ultra settings. There was an 8 percent improvement with the under vault and overclocked applied, which increases to 10 percent at low settings. So is same some good performance improvements, although it depends on the particular game in questioned. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to test any others. I'Ve got some Cinebench cpu benchmarks here, and we can see that we get a nice boost in performance with the minus 0.15 EV all undervolt applied at the top of the graph. As mentioned earlier power limit throttling was present in all CPU. Only stress tests so we're still not getting full performance here. To be honest, I was hoping for better results in 87 58, without any limits should be able to pass 1200 points in this test with north rattling.
So, although a single core workloads are fine, if you need heavy multi, core use, you're – probably not going to get the full performance of the processor, but this can be improved by under vaulting in crystal disk mark, the 256 gig m2 SSD was getting around 550 megabytes Per second in sequential reads and 260 megabytes per second for the Bryant's, but keep in mind you can upgrade to faster nvme storage. The one terabyte 5400 rpm hard drive was getting expected speeds over 100 megabytes per second for both. As for the price here in Australia, it appears to gary for around 2800 Australian dollars, with these same specs, all three hundred dollars more for double the memory and a larger hard drive or two thousand US dollars in the US with these same specs. But with an nvme SSD check the links in the description for updated pricing and to see other configurations available, such as the i9 model. So what did you guys think if the predator Helios 500 from a saw overall, it was quite a nice gaming laptop. I personally like the design bill quality and the specs which, as we've seen hold up very well in games when paired with the 144 Hertz display it's a great all round gaming experience. It would have been nice to get the full performance of the 8750 H CPU under multi core workloads, but as discussed. Basically, no laptops seem to be able to handle that which realistically in games is less of an issue anyway.
Otherwise, it'd have a great cooling solution and the only other negative was that I couldn't use the Intel integrated graphics to save battery outside of gaming. Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments and leave a like to. Let me know if you found their view useful thanks for watching and don't forget to subscribe for future tech.