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2020 Acer Predator Helios 300 review (PH315-53 – Core i7, RTX graphics)

2020 Acer Predator Helios 300 assessment (PH315-53 – Core i7, RTX graphics)

For the final years, Acer’s Predator Helios 300s have been among the many finest promoting and most advisable efficiency/gaming/all-purpose laptops in the marketplace, and for good motive.

We’ve reviewed all of the obtainable Helios 300s over time, and this text gathers our ideas on the latest 2020 mannequin, the 15-inch Predator Helios 300 PH315-53. An in depth take a look at the 17-inch variant may even be obtainable quickly, keep tuned for it.

In comparison with the earlier 2019 Helios 300, this era gives the anticipated bump to 2020 , however on a primary look, it in any other case feels and appears very similar to its predecessor. Nonetheless, on nearer inspection, you’ll discover that Acer additionally improved on a couple of different features, such because the show choices or thermal design, amongst others.

We’ve used our assessment unit for the previous couple of weeks, lengthy sufficient to determine its sturdy factors and its quirks, and in addition lengthy sufficient to match it with a number of the different efficiency laptops in its class.

Our configuration is the higher-tier mannequin obtainable, with an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics and a 240 Hz show, however most of this text applies to the opposite configurations as properly. Moreover, we’ll additionally replace the article as soon as we get to check the 2060 / 144 Hz display screen mannequin, which is the best-value choice, presently obtainable for $1200 within the US and below 1400 EUR right here in Europe (observe this hyperlink for up to date pricing data).

The specs sheet as reviewed – Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53

Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53 gaming laptop computer
Display screen 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px decision, IPS, 240 Hz, matte, AU Optronics AUO82ED panel
Processor Intel Comet Lake Core i7-10750H, six-core
Video Intel UHD and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB 90W OC (GeForce 446.14)
Reminiscence 16 GB DDR4 RAM 2933 MHz (2x 16 GB DIMMs)
Storage 1x 1 TB SSD (WDC PC SN730), 2x M.2 slots + 2.5″ bay
Connectivity WiFi 6 (Killer 1650i) with Bluetooth 5.zero, Realtek Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Ports 3x USB-A Three.2 gen2, 1x USB-C gen 2 – information solely, HDMI 2.zero, miniDP, LAN, headphone/mic, Kensington Lock
Battery 58 Wh, 230 W energy adapter
Dimension 363 mm or 14.27” (w) x  255 mm or 10” (d) x  22.9 mm or .9” (h)
Weight 2.2 kg (Four.85 lb), .75 kg (1.65 lbs) energy brick, EU model
Extras RGB backlit keyboard – Four zones, NumPad, 2x stereo audio system, HD webcam

Acer gives the Predator Helios 300 PH315-53 in a bunch of various configurations, with numerous quantities of RAM, forms of storage, and both Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti, RTX 2060 or RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics.

Design and exterior

For probably the most half, the 2020 Helios 300 is constructed on the identical chassis because the 2019 model, however with a couple of tweaks. Amongst them, there’s a brand new set of air consumption grills above the keyboard, which add as much as the present thermal design and additional facilitate fresh-air consumption, and in addition a slight IO rearrangement, with the PSU now conveniently positioned on the again edge, releasing up house on the left the place it was beforehand positioned.

The IO hasn’t virtually modified between the 2 fashions, and the 2020 variant nonetheless gathers the video output ports on the proper aspect, which is able to litter your mouse space when hooking up an exterior display screen. It additionally nonetheless doesn’t embrace a card-reader, and the USB-C port remains to be a gen1 data-only implementation, so you can not use it with a correct USB-C exterior dock or for charging, in contrast to on the upper tier laptops obtainable lately. On prime of all these, I must also add that there are nonetheless no biometrics on this laptop computer, and none of those are uncommon for this phase.

The redesign additionally spurred a less-enjoyable change, the truth that the standing LEDs at the moment are positioned below the display screen and proper in your line of sight when watching a film in a darkish room. Not a fan, particularly once they had been well positioned on the aspect within the earlier era.

Now, it might sound that we’re beginning on the unsuitable foot right here with this 2020 Helios 300, however I simply wished to filter the variations between the 2019 and 2020 variants from the get-go.

Design and construct smart, nothing has modified. This laptop computer is likely one of the nicest crafted in its class, and it’s necessary to remember all through this text that this Helios 300 is definitely some of the inexpensive mid-range gaming/efficiency laptops you should buy proper now. After all, pricing differs between areas, however in most markets, this sells for lower than its piers from Asus, MSI, HP and even Lenovo. We’re going to pitch it in opposition to the competitors on the finish of this assessment, and in a separate article.

With that in thoughts, the Helios 300 feels sturdy and dependable. Aluminum is used for the inside and the lid, in a pleasant trying dark-blue coloration that exhibits fingerprints pretty simply, whereas the underside is created from a rougher black plastic. The lid nonetheless inherits a panel-lit Predator emblem and two ornamental blue bars (these usually are not lit), so this isn’t probably the most delicate when it comes to design and might need a tough time being accepted in stricter work and college environments. Acer are among the many final to stay with this type of accents, and it’s doing them no favor. Moreover, this Helios 300 additionally inherits the sharp entrance inside lip and pointy corners from its predecessor, which may unpleasantly dig into the wrists in sure conditions.

Sure, I’m nitpicking right here, however these are tiny particulars that may affect your life with this laptop computer, and it’s finest you realize what to anticipate before you purchase it. As compared, Acer’s Predator Triton 300 barely addresses each these points, with a friendlier front-lip design, and cleaner exterior, in addition to a extra ample display screen angle. Talking of, two sturdy hinges maintain the display screen properly in place on the Helios 300, however they solely permit it to lean again to about 150 levels, which is okay fort desk use, however may not suffice in some circumstances.

As since we’re speaking about these small practicality particulars, I ought to add that the grippy rubber toes positioned on the underside maintain the laptop computer properly anchored on a desk, and that Acer made positive to not impede the thermal module in any manner, designing enough air-intakes on the underside and above the keyboard, with the new air being pushed out by the again edge. In addition they haven’t skimped on the interior thermal design, and we’ll get to that in a bit. The audio system are, nevertheless, nonetheless firing by these small cuts on the underside, and so they’re nonetheless not a lot when it comes to audio high quality.

Keyboard and trackpad

Inputs haven’t modified between the 2019 and 2020 generations both, so there’s loads of data about them on-line.

For me, it is a nice typer, but not essentially one in all my favorites. I’m seeing a good quantity of inconsistency between these keyboards that Acer placed on their laptops. For example, this one right here appears equivalent to the one on the Trion 300, but it felt completely different, softer and faster to actuate, which for me resulted in the next error price. I keep in mind the identical form of suggestions on the 2019 Helios 300, and I’ll replace this part as soon as I spend extra time with the 2020 17-inch Helios 300 as properly.

Even with the unforgiving suggestions, I really feel that this ought to be a nice keyboard for the typical person and one you can study to dwell with. The softly coated keys really feel very comfy to the contact, the actuations are quiet, and Acer applied 26-key rollover that it is best to discover useful in video games.

The structure is full-size, with a main-deck of 15 x 15 mm keys and a narrower NumPad part on the proper. As much as you if that is your splendid kind of format, it may be a differentiating issue between the choices on this phase, with some fashions providing a centered keyboard and not using a NumPad, and many of the others going with this identical form of full-size keyboard with a NumPad part.

I must also add that it is a backlit RGB keyboard, with Four completely different zones controllable by the devoted tab in Predator Sense. The implementation is equivalent to the one on the Triton 300, so not the brightest or probably the most uniform, but it surely does what it’s alleged to. Nonetheless not a fan of this Acer design and not using a devoted Caps-Lock indicator, although, or the quantity of sunshine that creeps from below the keycaps from sure angles, helped by the clear key-sides.

For mouse, Acer went with a mid-sized clickpad that appears like plastic to me, and never glass as on the Trion lineups. It’s a bit rougher and clunckier with faucets, however nonetheless works alright with on a regular basis use and gestures.

As for biometrics, there aren’t any on this 2020 Acer Predator Helios 300.

Display screen

For the display screen, Acer gives both 144 Hz or 240 Hz panels on the 2020 Predator Helios 300 lineup, each 15.6-inches in measurement, FHD in decision, matte and non-touch.

We received the  240 Hz variant on our test-unit, the one reserved for the higher-tier configurations, and it’s a strong choice for gaming and each day use. In truth, it’s the identical supplied on the upper tier Predator Triton lineups. It’s not very brilliant, however that apart, there’s little to complain about right here.

Right here’s what we received in our exams, with a X-Ceremony i1 Show Professional sensor:

  • Panel HardwareID: Sharp SHP14D3 (LQ156M1JW09);
  • Protection: 98.2% sRGB, 72.7% AdobeRGB, 75.Three% DCI P3;
  • Measured gamma: 2.31;
  • Max brightness in the midst of the display screen: 308.43 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Min brightness in the midst of the display screen: 20.98 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Distinction at max brightness: 1116:1;
  • White level: 7400 Ok;
  • Black on max brightness: zero.27 cd/m2;
  • PWM: No.
  • Response: ~17ms GtG (supply).

Calibration isn’t nice out of the field, with messed upped White Level and Gamma, however as soon as calibrated, the panel turned out to be some of the uniform when it comes to luminosity and coloration I’ve examined shortly, and a nicer implementation that the identical panel examined within the Triton 300.

With this kind of DeltaE coloration accuracy and 72%+ AdobeRGB protection, this isn’t only a strong selection for on a regular basis use, but additionally candidate for infrequent coloration correct work, comparable to modifying images/movies, 3D rendering, and many others.

Nonetheless, most Predator Helios 300 configurations nonetheless ship with the 144 Hz FHD show. That’s the AU Optronics B156HAN08.2 panel additionally obtainable on the 2019 Helios 300 and an in depth match-up for the 240 Hz choice. It’s nonetheless a roughly 300-nits panel with about 1000:1 distinction ratio and 70% AdobeRGB protection, so there’s little or no motive to frat on in case you can solely get this on the Helios 300 configurations that you simply’re .

and efficiency

Our check mannequin is a top-specced configuration of the Acer Predator Helios 300 within the 2020 PH315-53 mannequin, with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 16 GB of DDR4 2933 MHz RAM, 1 TB of storage and twin graphics: the Nvidia RTX 2070 dGPU and the Intel UHD inside the Intel platforms, with Optimus.

Earlier than we proceed, remember the fact that our assessment unit is an early-production mannequin with the software program obtainable as of late-June 2020 (BIOS v0.14, Predator Sense Three.00.3138, GeForce Recreation Prepared 446.14 drivers). Whereas sure features would possibly change with future software program updates, our outcomes ought to be principally what you’ll get with the retail fashions as properly.

Spec-wise, the 2020 Helios 300 tops at a 6Core Intel Comet Lake i7-10750H processor, the one we have now on this pattern, with i5-10300H fashions obtainable on the lower-end specs. Intel 8Core processors are solely an choice on the Triton 500 sequence, whereas AMD is just obtainable on only a few Nitro fashions with this era.

The up to date Intel platform additionally helps as much as 3200 MHz DDR4 reminiscence, however out configurations solely will get 16 GB of DDR4 2933 MHz RAM in dual-channel, and there are two DIMMs obtainable inside.

For the GPU, what we have now right here is the Nvidia 2070 non-Tremendous graphics chip from 2019, in a Max-Q implementation with variable GPU TDP and settings between the a number of efficiency modes obtainable in Predator Sense:

  • Regular – is a balanced on a regular basis profile, with the GPU working at inventory frequencies, roughly 80W of energy and a balanced fan profile;
  • Quick – bumps the GPU to 90W and +50 MHz Core, +30 MHz Reminiscence overclock;
  • Excessive – additional overclocks the GPU at +100 MHz, +60 MHz Reminiscence, and permits the followers to spin sooner.

These are barely completely different overclocking settings than on the Triton 300 that we’ve already examined. The Quick/Excessive profiles are solely allowed whereas the laptop computer is plugged in. There’s additionally a Turbo mode (activated by urgent the Turbo bodily button), which units the Excessive GPU profile and pushes the followers to their max. That helps scale back temperatures, however with vital noise enhance, and it’s not one thing I can see myself utilizing regularly.

As a aspect be aware, these profiles don’t immediately affect the CPU’s TDP, however because of the sooner spinning followers on the Excessive profile, the processor is ready to run at barely increased clocks in sustained masses on this case.

As for the storage, our unit will get a single WDC PC SN730 drive, a middling performer that ought to do nice for the typical person, however which may be upgraded if wanted. There are two M.2 slots on this laptop computer, in addition to a 2.5″ bay. Nonetheless, our unit lacked the required connectivity to hook-up a 2.5″ HDD/SSD, and there’s a good likelihood you’re not getting the connector with the retail mannequin both except you go for a configuration with an included HDD. It’s a typical SATA cable, although, the type you may simply discover on Amazon or eBay.

Accessing the is a straightforward activity and requires eradicating the underside panel. Inside you’ll discover the 2 M.2 SSD slots, the Wi-Fi module and two RAM slots, in addition to the two.5 cage, the thermal module, battery and the small audio system flanking it.

This apart, the Predator Helios 300 is a multi-purpose pocket book, so it could actually take care of demanding masses, but additionally with on a regular basis multitasking, looking, and video content material, whereas working quietly and coolly. It’s by no means fully silent, however the followers spin slowly and are solely audible in a quiet setting.

With that out of the best way, let’s see how this performs in demanding masses. We begin by testing the CPU’s efficiency in taxing chores by working Cinebench R15 benchmark for 15+ occasions in a loop, with 2-Three seconds delay between every run.

On Excessive (with the followers on Auto), the i7-10750H processor settles for clock speeds of three.eight+ GHz, temperatures of round 90-94 levels Celsius, and scores of round 1180+ factors, with a TDP of 70+W in all runs. Energy is the limiting issue right here, however the i7 runs in direction of its most clocks and potential, and at increased energy than on the Nitro 5 or Triton 300 already examined. Moreover, the followers maintain quiet, at solely 42-43 dB at head-level on this check.

Switching over to Regular quiets the followers to barely audible ranges of 37-38 dB. Thermals are the limiting issue on this case, besides, the i7 nonetheless runs at round 70W and practically most clocks.

Switching over to Turbo alleviates the thermal restrictions and permits the laptop computer to run within the mid-80s C, however as soon as extra, with none vital affect over the efficiency.

Undervolting is what usually makes a distinction on Intel processors, though that’s extra restricted with 10th gen platforms. Our unit helps each XTU and Throttlestop, and we had been capable of stably undervolt it at -100 mV (-125mV was additionally attainable, however we dialed again to forestall any stability points). On this case, the CPU stabilizes at its full Turbo velocity of Four.2 GHz and 62W+ TDP on Excessive, in addition to temperatures of 80-83 levels C.

These are wonderful outcomes for the i7-10750H processor on this check, but one way or the other they solely translate in Cinebench scores of round 1200 factors, and never the 1350+ attainable with different unrestrained implementations of this identical processor. I’d reckon that’s a quirk of our early pattern, although, and may change with retail fashions, because the i7-10750H ought to rating increased on this check at this kind of frequencies, energy, and thermals.

Lastly, the efficiency drops on battery, with the CPU being restricted to solely 25W. All these particulars can be found within the following charts and logs.

To place these findings in perspective, this Predator Helios 300 carried out very properly on this check, but it was outscored by a couple of different implementations of the i7-10750H platform that we’ve examined, which I anticipate shouldn’t be the case with the ultimate retail variants. I’ve added the 8Core Intel i7 down beneath, even when that’s solely obtainable in dearer merchandise, but additionally a couple of competing AMD Ryzen 4800H fashions within the chart beneath, choices obtainable on this Helio’s value vary, only for a ballpark comparability of the form of CPU efficiency hole you may get with the AMD platform lately. Sadly, AMD just isn’t obtainable on the Helios 300 chassis presently.

With that out of the best way, we then went forward and additional verified our findings with the longer Cinebench R20 loop check and the ugly Prime 95. The CPU runs at 70+ W on each exams, with pretty quiet followers and excessive temperatures of 90+ levels C.

We additionally ran our mixed CPU+GPU stress exams on this pocket book. 3DMark stress runs the identical check for 20 occasions in a loop and appears for efficiency variation and degradation over time, and this unit handed it nice. Luxmark Three.1 totally masses each the CPU and GPU on the identical time. The CPU stabilizes at round 55W and 90+ levels C, with the GPU working at round 90W and 75+ C.

Subsequent, we ran your complete suite of exams and benchmarks, on the inventory Excessive profile in Predator Sense.

  • 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 16882 (Graphics – 19036, Physics – 17992, Mixed – 8699);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 4234;
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 7178 (Graphics – 7193, CPU – 7096);
  • AIDA64 Reminiscence check: Write: Learn: 40124 MB/s, Learn: 41796 MB/s, Latency: 61.zero ns;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 4424;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 13832;
  • Handbrake 1.Three.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 35.20 common fps;
  • PassMark: Score: 6723 (CPU mark: 15912, 3D Graphics Mark: 11994, Disk Mark: 27526);
  • PCMark 10: 5236 (Necessities – 9482 , Productiveness – 8298 , Digital Content material Creation – 4954);
  • GeekBench Four.Four.2 64-bit: –Single-Core: 5505, Multi-core: 25187;
  • GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: –Single-Core: 1221, Multi-core: 6336;
  • CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 1332 cb, CPU Single Core 188 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 3116 cb, CPU Single Core 455 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Cross 1 – 218.22 fps, Cross 2 – 81.24 fps;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 43.38 s.

We then reran these exams on what we’ll additional name the Excessive UV profile (CPU – undervolted -100 mV, GPU on Excessive in Predator Sense, followers on Auto).

  • 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 16879 (Graphics – 19210, Physics – 18017, Mixed – 8420);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 4257;
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 7173 (Graphics – 7238, CPU – 6831);
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 4422;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 13873;
  • Handbrake 1.Three.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 34.27 common fps;
  • PCMark 10: 5189 (Necessities – 9398 , Productiveness – 8235 , Digital Content material Creation – 4901);
  • GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1217, Multi-core: 6200;
  • CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 1342 cb, CPU Single Core 188 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 3235 cb, CPU Single Core 459 cb;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 43.88 s.

Undervolting interprets in solely a minor 2-5% enhance in CPU scores, with no impact on the GPU aspect. It does have an even bigger affect on longer-duration masses, although.

Talking of, the GPU is already overclocked on the Excessive profile, so we didn’t push it any additional with MSI Afterburner on this case.

We additionally ran some Workstation associated masses, on the Excessive profile:

  • Blender 2.83 – BMW Automobile scene- CPU Compute: 4m 27s (Excessive), 4m 14s (Excessive UV);
  • Blender 2.83 – BMW Automobile scene- GPU Compute: 1m 11s (CUDA), 32s (Optix);
  • Blender 2.83 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 14m 6s (Excessive), 13m 25s (Excessive UV);
  • Blender 2.83 – Classroom scene – GPU Compute: 5m 13s (CUDA), 2m 45s (Optix);
  • Luxmark Three.1 – Luxball HDR – OpenCL CPUs + GPUs rating: 31320 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – 3DSMax: 154.81 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Catia: 109.02 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Creo: 147.25 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Power: 19.29 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Maya: 177.27 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Medical: 49.08 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Showcase: 91.28 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – SNX: 15.76 (Excessive);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – SW: 76.48 (Excessive).

Lastly, right here’s how this Helios 300 configuration compares to a number of the different 15-inch moveable laptops in its class.

— to be up to date

With these out of the best way, let’s take a look at some video games. We ran a few DX11, DX12, and Vulkan titles on inventory Regular/Excessive and Excessive UV profiles, with followers on Auto. Right here’s what we received:

i7-10750H + RTX 2070 Max-Q FHD Excessive UV FHD Excessive inventory FHD Regular inventory  QHD Excessive inventory
Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF) 106 fps (78 fps – 1% low) 98 fps (72 fps – 1% low)
Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing ON, DLSS OFF) 60 fps (Four fps – 1% low) 51 fps (44 fps – 1% low)
Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Extremely Preset, SMAA) 97 fps (71 fps – 1% low) 95 fps (70 fps – 1% low) 92 fps (66 fps – 1% low) 75 fps (60 fps – 1% low)
Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Extremely Preset) 144 fps (89 fps – 1% low) 143 fps (86 fps – 1% low) 133 fps (77 fps – 1% low) 103 fps (79 fps – 1% low)
Pink Useless Redemption 2 (DX 12, Extremely Optimized, TAA) 75 fps (59 fps – 1% low) 76 fps (59 fps – 1% low) 69 fps (54 fps – 1% low) 57 fps (45 fps – 1% low)
Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very Excessive Preset, FXAA) 90 fps (48 fps – 1% low) 89 fps (49 fps – 1% low) 90 fps (52 fps – 1% low) 79 fps (44 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA) 87 fps (59 fps – 1% low) 86 fps (58 fps – 1% low) 79 fps (59 fps – 1% low) 63 fps (48 fps – 1% low)
Unusual Brigade (Vulkan, Extremely Preset) 131 fps (102 fps – 1% low) 131 fps (100 fps – 1% low) 120 fps (92 fps – 1% low) 99 fps (80 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Extremely Preset, Hairworks On Four 90 fps (67 fps – 1% low) 90 fps (67 fps – 1% low) 83 fps (59 fps – 1% low) 63 fps (46 fps – 1% low)
  • Battlefield V, The Witcher Three – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in marketing campaign mode;
  • Far Cry 5, Center Earth, Unusual Brigade, Pink Useless Redemption 2, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
  • Pink Useless Redemption 2 Optimized profile based mostly on these settings.

The HWinfo logs beneath present the CPU and GPU speeds and temperatures in Farcry 5, Pink Useless Redemption 2 and Witcher Three on the inventory Excessive profile.

Each the CPU and GPU run easily and cooly on this laptop computer, averaging temperatures round 70 levels Celsius in most titles, apart from Far Cry 5, during which case the CPU runs at increased energy and thus, increased temperatures within the 80s. Regardless, these are wonderful efficiency and thermal findings, however the followers do run loud on this Excessive profile on Auto, at about 49-50 dB at head-level.

Undervolting has a minor affect over the CPU/GPU temperatures and efficiency, however barely elevating the laptop computer from the desk shaves a couple of extra levels out of these temperatures in our exams.

Switching over to the Turbo profile additionally helps decrease the temperatures, and additional raises the fan noise to 52-53 dB. There’s no want for this profile on this Predator Helios 300.

As a substitute, I’d advocate maintaining this laptop computer on the Regular fan profile. You’d end-up with a roughly 10% hit on efficiency and framerates, because the GPU is restricted at 80W and now not overclocked on this mode, however with nonetheless good thermals (round mid-70s for the CPU and GPU in most titles) and far quieter followers, at solely 41-42 dB at head-level. Moreover, you may manually overclock the GPU on this mode and slim down the efficiency restrict, whereas maintaining the noise at bay.

Lastly, this laptop computer additionally performs properly when related to an exterior monitor, with the principle display screen open or with the lid closed, particularly in case you’ll place it in a vertical stand to facilitate air-intake. I’ve solely examined it with the lid open, although, and on the Excessive profile.

In conclusion, whereas loud on the Excessive profile, the Predator Helios 300 gives a superb steadiness of efficiency/thermals and noise-levels on its Regular profile, making it for some of the comfy gaming laptops I’ve examined in a protracted whereas, even with the power-hungry Intel .

For what’s value, although, the RTX 2060 fashions would possibly run considerably hotter and noisier, since these implement the extra power-hungry 115W “Tremendous” model of that chip. We’ll replace as soon as we get to check that as properly.

Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others

The thermal design hasn’t modified from the 2019 Helios 300, apart from the additional air-intake grills on the inside, above the keyboard. Acer nonetheless implements a cooling resolution with two followers, 4 radiators, three heatpipes, and enough thermal plates unfold on prime of the parts and secondary electronics.

As defined above, this implementation does a superb job of maintaining the parts at bay on the Auto fan profile, and right here’s a recap of what to anticipate when it comes to fan noise, at head-level.

  • Excessive, followers on Turbo – 52-53 dB with video games;
  • Excessive, followers on Auto – 49-50 dB with video games, 42-43 dB with Cinebench loop check;
  • Regular, followers on Auto – 41-42 dB with video games, 38-38 dB with Cinebench loop check, 32-35 dB with Day by day use.

The CPU fan is all the time lively with each day use, and I’d have appreciated passive cooling with video streaming and the likes, however you’ll solely hear it in a really quiet setting when there’s no sound coming from the audio system.

The laptop computer stays quiet with demanding CPU masses, however the followers ramp up on the Exreme and Turbo profile with video games and mixed CPU+GPU masses, that’s why I’d primarily advocate utilizing this Predator Helios 300 on the excellently balanced Regular profile.

With the cool parts and a properly thought air consumption/output, there’s no shock this laptop computer additionally runs pretty cool externally. The inside heats as much as 50+ levels Celsius on the Regular profile, however the generally used areas such because the WASD regional and arrows keys relaxation a lot cooler, below 40 levels Celsius, thus completely comfy with longer gaming periods. Moreover, on Excessive or Turbo, this Predator Helios is likely one of the coolest working efficiency laptops in the marketplace.

*Day by day Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Regular Profile, followers at 32-35 dB
*Gaming  – Regular – enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Regular Profile, followers at 41-42 dB
*Gaming  – Excessive– enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Excessive Profile, followers at 49-50 dB
*Gaming  – Turbo– enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Turbo Profile, followers at 52-53 dB

For connectivity, there’s Gigabit Lan and Wi-fi 6 + Bluetooth by Realtek/Killer chips on this unit. We’ve principally used the laptop computer on wi-fi, and it carried out properly in all our exams, each close to the router and at 30+ toes away with obstacles in between.

The audio system are hearth by cuts on the underbelly and don’t anticipate a lot from them. We measured volumes of round 73-75 dB at head-level, and skilled common to poor sound high quality, with little on the decrease finish (on the Music profile in Nitro Sense). You’ll more than likely need to hook up some headphones with this.

Lastly, the digicam is positioned on prime of the display screen, flanked by microphones. It’s OK for infrequent calls, however once more, don’t anticipate a lot.

Battery life

There’s a 58Wh battery contained in the Acer Predator Helios 300 sequence, which by this time is moderately small for a pocket book in its class.

Right here’s what we received on our assessment unit, with the display screen’s brightness set at round 120 nits (~60 brightness).

  • 15 W (~Three-Four h of use) – textual content modifying in Google Drive, Energy Saver Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 11 W (~5-6 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Energy Saver Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 10.5 W (~5-6 h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Energy Saver Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 22 W (~2-Three h of use) – looking in Edge, Steadiness Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.

This top-tier Helios 300 configuration comes with a compact 230 W power-brick, and lower-tier configurations get a smaller and lighter 180W brick. The battery fills up in about 2 hours and there’s no help to USB-C charging.

Worth and availability

The 2020 Predator Helios 300 is already listed in shops in most areas as of late July 2020.

Nonetheless, you’ll principally discover the mid-range GTX 1660Ti and RTX 2060 fashions with the 144 Hz, and hardly this RTX 2070 / 240 Hz model examined right here. Nonetheless, these mid-tier fashions are the higher worth in your buck anyway.

The i7 + RTX 2060 configuration is listed for 1199 USD within the US and round 1400 EUR on the time of this assessment, making it one of many best-priced RTX 2060 notebooks in the marketplace. These are MSRP costs, not accounting for infrequent reductions.

Comply with this hyperlink for the newest up to date costs and configurations obtainable in your area.

Vs Competitors

I’m going to cowl this extra in-depth in a separate article, however in a couple of phrases, there are two most important forms of efficiency/gaming notebooks you can contemplate as alternate options for this 2020 Acer Predator Helios 300.

On the Intel aspect, which is what I’d stick to if I’d be primarily searching for a gaming pocket book, many of the related tier choices with related specs are dearer than this Helios 300, such because the ROG Strix G15 G512 or the MSI GP65 Leopard, with the closest matches being the Lenovo Legion 5i and the HP Omen 15t in some markets.

On the AMD aspect, which it is best to contemplate in case you’re primarily after a strong work pc and gaming comes as a secondary, there are a handful of choices with 1660Ti/2060 degree graphics proper now, such because the Asus TUF Gaming A15, Lenovo Legion 5, HP Omen 15 and the assorted Tongfang-based fashions offered below completely different manufacturers in numerous areas, comparable to XMG Core 15 in Europe or the Eluktronics RP-15 within the US. There’s an even bigger record of choices on this separate article.

None of those laptops is essentially higher than the Helios 300, however based mostly on the obtainable configurations and pricing in your areas, a few of them could be the smarter buys for you. Simply be sure that to look into detailed critiques earlier than shopping for, we’ve reviewed most of those laptops right here on the location.

Ultimate ideas

Whereas solely a marginal improve of the favored 2019 mannequin, the up to date 2020 Acer Predator Helios 300 stays one the of best-value mid-range efficiency/gaming notebooks of this era.

The strong construct high quality, gaming efficiency, and thermals stay a few of its top-selling factors, corroborated with the aggressive pricing that few different merchandise match on the aggressive markets in North America and Europe.

On the identical time, although, some issues have modified all through this final 12 months. For as soon as, a number of the competing designs supply bigger batteries, improved inputs and higher audio system now, besides, the Helios stays aggressive amongst its Intel-based piers.

Sadly, although, there’s no AMD variant, and which may steer a few of you away. AMD’s Ryzen 4000 is extra highly effective, extra environment friendly, and extra inexpensive than the Intel platform, thus what I’d advocate in a reliable work/college laptop computer, particularly now that uncompromised designs can be found. Intel configurations solely maintain a slight benefit in gaming efficiency, and the entire expertise is enhanced by the correctly cooled implementation and the quiet followers on the balanced Regular profile, so gaming is the place this Helios 300 stays an almost unbeatable choice, whenever you issue all the pieces in. And what we advocate it for.

That just about wraps up our assessment of the 2020 Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-53, however I’d like to listen to what you consider it, so get in contact within the feedback part down beneath.

Disclaimer: Our content material is reader-supported. Should you purchase by a number of the hyperlinks on our website, we could earn an affiliate fee. Study extra.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I have been masking cell computer systems for the reason that 2000s and you may principally discover critiques and thorough guides written by me right here on the location.

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