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Acer Nitro 5 2020 review (AN515-55 model – i7, RTX 2060, 144 Hz screen)

Acer Nitro 5 2020 evaluation (AN515-55 mannequin – i7, RTX 2060, 144 Hz display screen)

The Nitro 5s are Acer’s entry-level gaming notebooks, their most reasonably priced choices meant for consumers on a finances.

Nevertheless, Acer does supply the Nitro 5s in a large number of configurations. This text is in regards to the up to date 2020 15-inch Nitro 5, code-name Nitro 5 AN515-55, in its higher-tier model with the 10th gen Intel i7 processor, RTX 2060 graphics and a FHD 144 Hz show with 100% sRGB coloration protection.

I’ve gathered all my ideas and impressions on this product down beneath, nonetheless, remember the fact that most of our findings apply to the opposite 2020 Nitro 5 variants as properly, with some variations within the efficiency, thermals, and noise for the decrease tier configurations. That signifies that you’ll discover most of this text helpful irrespective of the Nitro 5 mannequin you’re particularly , and we’ll replace with hyperlinks in direction of our different critiques as soon as we get to check these as properly.

The specs sheet as reviewed – Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55 2020 gaming laptop computer
Display screen 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px decision, IPS, 144 Hz, matte, LG Philips LP156WFG-SPF3 panel
Processor Intel Comet Lake Core i7-10750H, 6C/12T
Video Intel UHD and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 80W (GeForce 451.67)
Reminiscence 16 GB DDR4 RAM 3200 MHz (2x 16 GB DIMMs)
Storage 1x 1 TB SSD (WDC PC SN530), 2x M.2 slots + 2.5″ bay
Connectivity WiFi 6 (Intel AX201) with Bluetooth 5.zero, Realtek Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Ports 3x USB-A Three.zero gen1, 1x USB-C Three.1 gen2 – information solely, HDMI 2.0b, LAN, headphone/mic, Kensington Lock
Battery 58 Wh, 180 W energy adapter
Dimension 363 mm or 14.Three” (w) x 255 mm or 10” (d) x 23.9 mm or .94” (h)
Weight 2.22 kg (Four.9 lb), .58 kg (1.28 lbs) energy brick, EU model
Extras RGB backlit keyboard – Four zones, NumPad, 2x stereo audio system, HD webcam

Design and exterior

Very similar to the earlier generations, this 2020 Nitro 5 is fully made out of plastic. It doesn’t really feel low-cost, however it’s additionally not as good because the metallic Acer Predator choices, beginning with the Nitro 7.

I admire that Acer ditched the fake carbon-fiber patterns and crimson accents on the lid used on a few of their earlier Nitros, in addition to the truth that they implement muted Acer branding components on this era. Nevertheless, these black easy surfaces are extremely susceptible to exhibiting fingerprints and smudges, each on the lid and on the arm-rest, and also you’ll continually must rub this laptop computer clear if you happen to care about these features.

Regardless of the all-plastic construct, this Nitro 5 feels sturdy, with a powerful display screen and little flex within the lid or keyboard deck. It’s additionally pretty compact and light-weight, at a bit over 5 lbs on this variant.

So far as the sensible features go, I’ll complain about a number of particulars, comparable to the truth that the standing LEDs are annoyingly positioned simply beneath the display screen and the entrance lip and corners are too sharp for my liking. For probably the most half, although, this can be a superb laptop computer. Acer put grippy toes on the underside, carried out a hinge that enables one-hand operation and may get the display screen to about 160 levels on the again, and positioned a good number of ports on the perimeters.

There’s nonetheless no card-reader or biometrics right here, and the USB-C port is information solely. Not an enormous fan of the HDMI being positioned on the proper both, as it’s going to litter your mouse space.

Keyboard and trackpad

Acer gives this Nitro 5 sequence with both a crimson or an RGB keyboard, and we have now this latter variant right here, usually reserved for the higher-tier configurations.

This appears and feels quite a bit just like the keyboard carried out on the Helios 300 sequence, with Four-zone RGB backlighting, uniform LEDs, however not very vibrant.

It’s additionally an excellent typer that ought to enchantment to most of you. The suggestions is a bit stiffer than I’m used to and never as mushy as I remembered from the earlier Nitros, and that’s an excellent factor.

The structure is fairly normal,  with a full-set of main-keys, full-size arrows, and a narrower NumPad part on the proper, plus the Energy button/key within the nook.

The clickpad is a mid-sized plastic floor with this sparkly ending and a easy floor. It’s not as good because the glass clickpads within the Predator fashions, however it’s superb for day by day use. It’s additionally sturdier than I anticipated and doesn’t rattle with faucets, and the precise clicks are easy and quiet.

As for biometrics, there aren’t any on this laptop computer.

Display screen

Acer gives a few totally different display screen choices for the Nitro 5 sequence. As soon as extra, our pattern will get the higher-tier variant, which is a superb IPS FHD panel with 144 Hz refresh price and pretty good response instances.

It is a stable alternative for gaming and day by day use, with 100% sRGB coloration protection, huge viewing angles and nearly 400-nits of brightness at its highest setting. Blacks are pretty washed out, although, and that additionally impacts the general distinction.

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

  • Panel HardwareID: LG Philips LGD061E (LP156WFG-SPF3);
  • Protection: 92.eight% sRGB, 64.Three% AdobeRGB, 66.5% DCI P3;
  • Measured gamma: 2.19;
  • Max brightness in the course of the display screen: 383.02 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Min brightness in the course of the display screen: 25.65 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Distinction at max brightness: 766:1;
  • White level: 7000 Ok;
  • Black on max brightness: zero.49 cd/m2;
  • PWM: No.
  • Response: tbd.

The panel is properly calibrated out of the field, and we haven’t observed important gentle bleeding and luminosity/coloration uniformity points.

and efficiency

Our take a look at mannequin is a top-specced configuration of the Acer Nitro 5 within the 2020 AN515-55 mannequin, with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 32 GB of DDR4 3200 MHz RAM, 1 TB of storage and twin graphics: the Nvidia RTX 2060 dGPU and the Intel UHD inside the Intel platforms, with Optimus.

Earlier than we proceed, remember the fact that our evaluation unit is an early-production mannequin with the software program accessible as of late-July 2020 (BIOS v0.14, Nitro Sense Three.00.3138, GeForce Recreation Prepared 451.67 drivers). Whereas sure features may change with future software program updates, our outcomes must be principally what you’ll get with the retail fashions as properly.

Spec-wise, the 2020 Nitro 5 tops at a 6Core Intel Comet Lake i7-10750H processor accessible on this pattern, with i5 fashions provided on the lower-end fashions. AMD Ryzen configurations are additionally accessible in some markets, however we’ll cowl these in a separate article.

The up to date Intel platform helps as much as 3200 MHz DDR4 reminiscence. Our configuration will get 16 GB of RAM in dual-channel, and there are two DIMMs accessible inside. As for the storage, our unit will get a single WDC PC SN530 drive. There are two M.2 slots on this laptop computer, in addition to a 2.5″ bay.

For the GPU, what we have now right here is the usual Nvidia RTX 2060 non-Tremendous graphics chip from 2019, within the 80W variant. I might have anticipated some energy variation between the efficiency modes accessible within the Nitro Sense management app, however switching between Steadiness or Excessive Efficiency doesn’t appear to vary something on our pattern. In each circumstances, the CPU stabilizes at 45W in demanding masses, and the GPU runs at its inventory 80W settings.

Each the CPU and GPU are soldered on the motherboard, however the reminiscence, storage models, and wi-fi chip are accessible inside for upgrades. For that, you’ll have to take out the underside panel, maintain in place by a few Philips screws. I’ve so as to add that the two.5″ bay lacks the required connector on our unit, and there’s an excellent chance that Acer won’t embody it if you happen to go for a configuration with out an put in HDD. Seems to be like an ordinary connector which you could simply discover on-line, although.

Earlier than we discuss actual efficiency in demanding masses, I do have to say that this Nitro 5 is a superb on a regular basis laptop computer for multitasking, searching, and video.

On to extra demanding masses, we begin by testing the CPU’s efficiency by working the Cinebench R15 take a look at for 15+ instances in a loop, with 2-Three seconds delay between every run.

The i7 processor rapidly stabilizes at round 45+W on the Excessive Efficiency setting, which interprets in frequencies of three.5+ GHz and temperatures of 95+ C, with scores of 1070+ factors, and quiet followers at solely 40-41 dB at head-level. There’s loads of headroom on this implementation, and Acer might resolve to permit it to run at greater energy on this profile, the identical method they permit it on their Helios and Triton lineups that we’ve examined.

Undervolting is disabled on this pattern, and I couldn’t work out the best way to allow it in BIOS. That’s unlucky, as undervolting would have certainly helped right here, based mostly on our expertise with different Acer 10th gen notebooks.

Switching over to the Steadiness profile energy doesn’t have any impression on the efficiency and thermals on this pattern, which is another reason why I’d anticipate the retail models to carry out a bit bit otherwise. The CPU is nonetheless energy restricted at 25+W on battery, with matching scores. Particulars beneath.

To place these findings in perspective, this Nitro 5 carried out poorer than the opposite 15-inch implementations of the i7-10750H platform that we’ve examined, and that’s as a result of inventory 45W power-limit and lack of undervolting help. I’ve additionally added two competing AMD Ryzen 4800H fashions within the chart beneath, choices accessible on this Nitro’s value vary, only for a ballpark comparability of the form of CPU efficiency hole you may get with the AMD platform lately at round $1000.

With that out of the way in which, we then went forward and additional verified our findings with the longer Cinebench R20 loop take a look at and the grotesque Prime 95, on the Excessive Efficiency profile. The CPU runs at 45+ W on each exams, with pretty quiet followers and stable temperatures of round 75-80 levels C.

We additionally ran our mixed CPU+GPU stress exams on this pocket book. 3DMark stress runs the identical take a look at for 20 instances in a loop and appears for efficiency variation and degradation over time, and this unit handed it superb. Luxmark Three.1 absolutely masses each the CPU and GPU on the identical time. The CPU stabilizes at round 45W and 90+ levels C, with the GPU working at round 80W and 82+ C.

Subsequent, we ran your entire suite of exams and benchmarks, on the inventory Excessive Efficiency profile in Nitro Sense.

  • 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 13817 (Graphics – 15428, Physics – 15038, Mixed – 7255);
  • 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3321;
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 5883 (Graphics – 5861, CPU – 6014);
  • AIDA64 Reminiscence take a look at: Write: Learn: 36711 MB/s, Learn: 38746 MB/s, Latency: 75.5 ns;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 3537;
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 11476;
  • Handbrake 1.Three.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 32.48 common fps;
  • PassMark: Score: 6517 (CPU mark: 15445, 3D Graphics Mark: 11050, Disk Mark: 17060);
  • PCMark 10: 5315 (Necessities – 9819 , Productiveness – 8698 , Digital Content material Creation – 4771);
  • GeekBench Four.Four.2 64-bit: Single-Core: 5576, Multi-core: 25390;
  • GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1233, Multi-core: 6285;
  • CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 1344 cb, CPU Single Core 193 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 3027 cb, CPU Single Core 459 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.

With undervolting not an possibility on this laptop computer and with none default GPU overclocking utilized by the Excessive Efficiency energy profile, we went forward and Overclocked the GPU in MSI Afterburner at +120 MHz Core and +200 MHz Reminiscence, after which reran a number of the exams. Right here’s what we obtained on this case.

  • 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 14393 (Graphics – 16169, Physics – 15052, Mixed – 7618);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 5999 (Graphics – 6022, CPU – 5874);
  • Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 11773.

We’re a 2-5% improve in GPU scores, and a minor lower in a number of the CPU scores, brought on by the shared thermal design.

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

  • Blender 2.83 – BMW Automobile scene- CPU Compute: 5m 31s (Excessive Perf);
  • Blender 2.83 – BMW Automobile scene- GPU Compute: 1m 35s (CUDA), 46s (Optix);
  • Blender 2.83 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 17m 15s (Excessive Perf);
  • Blender 2.83 – Classroom scene – GPU Compute: 5m 39s (CUDA), 3m 3s (Optix);
  • Luxmark Three.1 – Luxball HDR – OpenCL CPUs + GPUs rating: 20976 (Excessive Perf);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – 3DSMax: 148.91 (Excessive Perf);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Catia: 96.04 (Excessive Perf);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Creo: 146.7 (Excessive Perf);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Vitality: 14.16 (Excessive Perf);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Maya: 184.6 (Excessive Perf);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Medical: 42.23 (Excessive Perf);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – Showcase: 75.82 (Excessive Perf);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – SNX: 14.43 (Excessive Perf);
  • SPECviewerf 13 – SW: 79.24 (Excessive Perf).

Lastly, right here’s how this Nitro 5 configuration compares to a number of the different 15-inch laptops in its class.

— to be up to date

With these out of the way in which, let’s take a look at some video games. We ran a few DX11, DX12, and Vulkan titles on inventory Excessive Efficiency and the Excessive Efficiency OC (Overclocked) profile, with followers on Auto, on FHD (on the laptop computer’s display screen) or QHD decision (on ane exterior monitor related by way of USB-C). Right here’s what we obtained:

i7-10750H + RTX 2060 80W FHD Excessive Perf inventory FHD Excessive Perf OC QHD Excessive Perf OC
Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Extremely Preset, SMAA) 87 fps (70 fps – 1% low) 88 fps (70 fps – 1% low) 63 fps (55 fps – 1% low)
Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Extremely Preset) 150 fps (91 fps – 1% low) 155 fps (94 fps – 1% low) 95 fps (72 fps – 1% low)
Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2 (DX 12, Extremely Optimized, TAA) 66 fps (53 fps – 1% low) 68 fps (54 fps – 1% low) 47 fps (38 fps – 1% low)
Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very Excessive Preset, FXAA) 86 fps (40 fps – 1% low) 87 fps (41 fps – 1% low) 67 fps (46 fps – 1% low)
Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA) 76 fps (39 fps – 1% low) 77 fps (40 fps – 1% low) 49 fps (39 fps – 1% low)
Unusual Brigade (Vulkan, Extremely Preset) 111 fps (85 fps – 1% low) 114 fps (88 fps – 1% low) 82 fps (67 fps – 1% low)
The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Extremely Preset, Hairworks On Four 79 fps (57 fps – 1% low) 83 fps (60 fps – 1% low) 58 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, Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
  • Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2 Optimized profile based mostly on these settings.

The HWinfo logs beneath present the CPU and GPU speeds and temperatures in Witcher Three and Far Cry 5 on the Excessive Efficiency energy profile, with the laptop computer sitting on the desk.

By default, each the CPU and the GPU run at excessive temperatures right here, averaging 90+ levels for the CPU and 78-80 levels for the GPU between the examined titles. On the identical time, the followers spin quietly at round 43-44 dB at head-level.

Regardless of these temperatures, the laptop computer performs superb. The CPU is barely thermally throttled, however nonetheless runs at excessive frequencies, and the GPU continually runs at its designed energy of 80W.

Undervolting the CPU would have helped decrease the CPU and GPU temperatures, however that’s not an possibility on this laptop computer, so we needed to observe different routes to attain safer temperatures.

Elevating the laptop computer from the desk has a slight impression over the GPU temperatures and frequencies, and permits the CPU to run at greater clocks, however nonetheless 90+ C temperatures.

Switching over to the followers Max profile whereas the laptop computer sits on the desks has an excellent higher impression over the CPU and GPU, each working at barely greater clocks. Nevertheless, whereas the GPU drops to about 72-74 C on this mode, the CPU nonetheless averages 90+ C, however this time it runs near its Turbo max frequencies. Even elevating the laptop computer from the desk and switching the followers to Max is just not sufficient to correctly tame-down the CPU, which retains working at excessive temperatures on this unit.

Nevertheless, the cooler GPU permits some headroom for overclocking and a 2-5% improve in framerates in video games.

You can too manually regulate the fan’s pace within the Nitro Sense app, if you happen to’re trying to higher stability thermals and noise. Nevertheless, with out undervolting help or the chance to cap the CPU in Throttlestop, I don’t suppose you’ll get it to run at decrease than high-80s based mostly on our expertise with this pattern, at the least not within the newest era AAA titles. Repasting may assist, although, however that’s not for everybody

Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others

Acer didn’t skimp on the thermal design of this 2020 Nitro 5 configuration, implementing a cooling resolution with two followers, 4 radiators, three heatpipes, and ample thermal plates unfold on high of the elements and secondary electronics. That’s a step-up from the design on the earlier 2019 Nitro 5 lineups, and far nearer to the form of cooling usually carried out on higher-tier merchandise, comparable to their Predator Helios 300 lineup.

With this type of thermal design, I’m considerably stunned by these excessive CPU temperatures on this chassis. Be certain to look into a number of different critiques, perhaps there’s one thing incorrect with our pattern. I’ll replace this part as soon as we get to evaluation a number of extra Nitro 5 configurations.

The 2 followers are lively with day by day gentle use, however just about inaudible even in a quiet room whereas utilizing the laptop computer on battery, and I haven’t observed any coil profitable or different digital noises both. You’ll discover the followers’ noise with the laptop computer plugged in, although.

With video games, the followers ramp as much as 43-44 dB on Auto, or 49-50 dB on their Max setting accessible within the Nitro Sense management app. Right here’s a fast abstract, at head-level.

  • Excessive Efficiency, followers on Max – 49-50 dB with video games;
  • Excessive Efficiency, followers on Auto – 43-44 dB with video games, 40-41 dB with Cinebench loop take a look at;
  • Steadiness, followers on Auto – 43-44 dB with video games, 40-41 dB with Cinebench loop take a look at, 33-37 dB with Every day use.

So far as outer shell temperatures go, this Nitro runs cooly with day by day use, however heats up a good bit with gaming. With the followers on Auto, we measured temperatures within the excessive 40s across the arrow keys, and mid 50s in the proper facet of the keyboard, however the WASD area stays cool at mid to excessive 30s. Switching over to the Max fan profile shaves a number of levels of the most popular areas, however doesn’t drastically change issues.

Be mindful we run our measurements in a managed atmosphere with the AC set on 24C, and the outcomes would change in a hotter room.

*Every day Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Steadiness Profile, followers at 33-37 dB
*Gaming  – Excessive Efficiency – Auto followers – enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, followers at 43-44 dB
*Gaming  – Excessive Efficiency – Max followers – enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, followers at 49-50 dB

For connectivity, there’s Gigabit Lan and Wi-fi 6 + Bluetooth via Realtek/Intel 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 via 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 most probably wish to hook up some headphones with this.

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

Battery life

There’s a 58Wh battery contained in the Acer Nitro 5 sequence, just about the usual lately for a pocket book in its class.

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

  • 15 W (~Three-Four h of use) – textual content enhancing in Google Drive, Energy Saver Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 9.5 W (~5- h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Energy Saver Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 9.eight W (~5- h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Energy Saver Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 24 W (~2-Three h of use) – searching in Edge, Steadiness Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.

For some motive the CPU didn’t clock down the way in which it ought to on our pattern, thus I’d anticipate the retail variations to run extra effectively and supply round Three-Four hours of day by day multitasking, Four-5 hours of sunshine use and 5-6 hours of video on a cost.

This Nitro 5 configuration comes with a compact 180W power-brick, and that’s what you’ll additionally get with the GTX 1660Ti fashions. The battery fills up in about 2 hours and USB-C charging is just not supported.

Worth and availability

The 2020 Nitro 5 is already listed in shops in most areas as of late July 2020.

This top-end configuration with the 144 Hz display screen, the i7 processor and the RTX 2060 graphics chip goes for round 1350 EUR in Germany and 1150 GBP within the UK, however I couldn’t discover it within the US simply but.

Nevertheless, Acer gives this in a large number of different variations, ranging from 899 EUR/799 GBP for the i5 mannequin with GTX 1650Ti graphics, whereas the i7 mannequin with 1660Ti graphics is accessible for 1199 EUR/999 GBP. Cautious about these display screen choices, although. If attainable, I’d positively pay further for the 144 Hz 100% sRGB panel on this pattern.

Observe this hyperlink for the newest up to date costs and configurations accessible in your area.

Last ideas

The up to date 2020 Nitro 5 sequence is a step-up from the earlier generations and an much more aggressive finances and mid-range gaming laptop computer.

The RTX 2060 variant examined right here may not be the preferred model of this laptop computer, because it’s practically as costly because the 2060 variant of the upper tier Predator Helios 300, however the 1660Ti and 1650Ti fashions are price greater than a glance. Acer cleaned-up the design, upgraded the thermal module, keyboard and display screen choices, and likewise up to date the specs with these Nitros.

However, the excessive CPU temperatures with video games, corroborated with solely restricted efficiency in CPU-heavy masses, plus the poor audio system and smudge-prone black plastic construct are a number of the features that would lead you in direction of one thing else. Besides, the 2020 Nitro 5 lineup is aggressive in its section, the place some compromises must be made to hit the cheaper price tag.

That wraps up our evaluation of the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55, however I’d love to listen to your ideas on it, so get in contact down beneath.

Disclaimer: Our content material is reader-supported. If you happen to purchase via a number of the hyperlinks on our web site, we could earn an affiliate fee. Study extra.

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

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