Acer Predator Helios 300 assessment (2019 PH317-53 17-inch mannequin – Core i7, RTX 2060)
There’s little question you thought of getting an Acer’s Predator Helios 300 if looking for a great worth mid-tier gaming laptop computer within the final years, one thing with glorious efficiency, newest era and a great value.
As of 2019, Acer has fully revamped the Helios 300 collection, each the 15-inch mannequin we’ve lined in a earlier article, in addition to the 17-inch variant we’ll speak about in right here.
These are model new units with a brand new inside design and a smaller and sturdier outer chassis, newest generations and high-refresh price screens, an RGB keyboard and a lot of the different essential traits players would anticipate from a $1500 (ish) pocket book lately. They need to even have aggressive costs on their facet, and these mixed ought to make these Predators a few of the hottest choices of their courses, very similar to the earlier Helios 300s had been in 2018 and 2017. Not like these, the 2019 updates are simply higher product throughout the board.
Down under we’ve gathered our impressions on the 17-inch Predator Helios 300 in a best-value configuration with a Core i7 processor and Nvidia’s RTX 2060 graphics, with the robust factors and the quirks, so be sure that to undergo our findings if you happen to’re all for getting this pocket book, and get in contact within the feedback part on the finish if in case you have any questions or have something so as to add to the article.
The specs sheet as reviewed
|Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-53|
|Display screen||17.Three inch, 1920 x 1080 px decision, IPS, 144 HZ, matte, Chi Mei CMN175C panel|
|Processor||Intel Espresso Lake Core i7-8750H, six-core (i7-9750H on retail fashions)|
|Video||Intel HD 630 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 80W (GeForce 419.72)|
|Reminiscence||16 GB DDR4 2666 MHz (2x 16 GB DIMMs)|
|Storage||2x 512 GB SSD in Raid0 (M.2 80 mm NVMe – WD SN720 SDAPNTW-512G) + 1 TB HHD (2.5″ bay – Toshiba MQ04ABF100)|
|Connectivity||Killer 1550i AC WiFi with Bluetooth 5.zero, Killer E2500 Gigabit LAN|
|Ports||3x USB-A Three.1, 1x USB-C gen 2 (?), HDMI 2.zero, miniDP, LAN, headphone/mic, Kensington Lock|
|Battery||58 Wh, 180 W energy adapter|
|Dimension||404 mm or 15.90” (w) x 200 mm or 11.02” (d) x 24.7 mm or .97” (h)|
|Weight||2.94 kg (6.48 lb), .55 kg (1.21 lbs) energy brick, EU model|
|Extras||RGB backlit keyboard – Four zones, NumPad, 2x stereo audio system, HD webcam|
Our assessment unit is a pre-production pattern provided by Acer for the aim of this text, that’s why it comes with an eighth gen Core i7 processor. Retail fashions will likely be obtainable with the ninth gen Core i7-9750H (which we’ve lined on this article), however given the truth that the 9750H is just about a better clocked 8750H, you need to solely anticipate minimal variations between our pattern and the retail fashions.
It’s additionally value including that Acer provides the Predator Helios 300 PH317-53 in a bunch of various configurations, with varied quantities of RAM, forms of storage and both GTX 1660 Ti, RTX 2060 or RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics. One of the best worth remains to be in all probability within the RTX 2060 variant, the one we’re reviewing right here, however in contrast to with the 15-inch variants, this chassis is completely able to maintaining the RTX 2070 chip at bay and squeeze the sort of efficiency and thermals you’re not going to get within the smaller chassis.
Design and exterior
This 17-inch Predator Helios 300 is just about an outsized model of the 15-inch mannequin beforehand reviewed on the channel, so we’ll refer you to that submit for our in-depth impressions on the construct high quality, design strains, practicality and IO.
In only a few phrases, although, you need to know that this can be a sturdily constructed laptop, with finger-resistant black metallic items on the palm-rest and the inside, a well-designed hinge and a good set of ports on the edges, however with out Thunderbolt or a card reader. It’s a bit bigger and heavier than a few of the different 17-inch notebooks in its class, although, and will get bigger bezels than the 15-inch mannequin, in addition to a barely thicker chassis.
That apart, its design remains to be considerably brand-heavy, with a panel-lit Predator brand and branding parts that may not attraction to a few of you, and that may additionally make this a hard-pass in stricter work/college locations. In comparison with the earlier 17-inch Helios 300, this up to date 2019 mannequin is cleaner, smaller and total a a lot nicer system, however as a fan of straightforward, clear designs, I really feel there’s nonetheless room for enchancment.
Keyboard and trackpad
The 17-inch Predator Helios 300 will get the precise keyboard because the 15-inch mannequin, with the identical format, suggestions, and Four-zone RGB illumination system, so we’ll refer you to the earlier assessment for our in-depth impressions.
For the display screen, Acer went with a matte IPS FHD 144 Hz panel made by Chi Mei, the CMN175C additionally utilized in different high-tier gaming laptops just like the MSI GS75 Stealth.
It is a good panel for every day use and an exceptionally good possibility for gaming, as a result of quick response instances and excessive refresh price, even when GSync is just not supported right here (you’re probably not going to want it on a 144 Hz panel and RTX 2060 configuration anyway). It’s additionally barely quicker, brighter, and provides higher blacks, distinction and coloration protection than the AUO panel on the 15-inch Predator Helios 300 mannequin, in addition to the AOU 17-inch panel provided on comparable mid-tier 17-inch gaming laptops, just like the Lenovo Legion Y740, MSI GE75 Raider or the Asus ROG GL704 lineups.
There’s one draw back, and that’s the truth that PWM is used for brightness ranges under 20%, however at a excessive frequency of 25 KHz, so not one thing that can trouble even essentially the most flicker delicate amongst you.
Right here’s what we bought on this implementation, in accordance with our Sypder4 sensor:
- Panel ID: Chi Mei CMN175C (N173HCE-G33);
- Protection: 100% sRGB, 72% NTSC, 77% AdobeRGB;
- Measured gamma: 2.2;
- Max brightness in the midst of the display screen: 306 cd/m2 on energy;
- Distinction at max brightness: 880:1;
- White level: 7300 Ok;
- Black on max brightness: zero.35 cd/m2;
- PWM: 25KHz below 20% brightness;
- Response time: Three ms marketed, ~10 ms BTW.
The panel is well-calibrated out the field, however you may tackle the skewed White Level and gray-level imbalances with this calibrated coloration profile.
I’ll additionally add that we haven’t observed any apparent light-bleeding on our pattern, and each the colour and illumination uniformity got here out fairly good. That also doesn’t imply that is the right selection for coloration correct work, however it’s maybe a greater possibility than a lot of the 17-inch options with AUO panels.
Our take a look at mannequin is a reasonably high-specced configuration of the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-53, with the Core i7-8750H processor, 16 GB of RAM in twin channel, the RTX 2060 80W graphics chip, two M.2 PCIe SSDs attached in Raid0 and an additional HDD for mass-storage.
Earlier than we proceed to speak about its conduct and efficiency you need to know that our assessment unit is a pre-production mannequin with GeForce 419.72 drivers from Nvidia. We couldn’t set up the newest Nvidia drivers variations obtainable on the time of the article (430.64), which had an impression on a few of the gaming outcomes, and we’ll get in-depth as soon as we get to that part. This assessment unit carried out nicely in our different checks, according to what you need to anticipate from the retail fashions.
The ultimate configurations will, nevertheless, ship with the newer Intel Core i7-9750H processor, and you’ll learn what to anticipate from it on this article, as we’ll most definitely not going to get a 9750H assessment unit. The eighth and ninth gen i7s are comparable in most methods, although, that’s why I’d anticipate the 9750H variants to carry out very equally to our assessment unit, with slight Three-5% efficiency features in CPU masses, as a result of the truth that the thermal module would permit it to run at its potential greater Turbo clocks.
So far as the elements go, the CPU and GPU are soldered onto the motherboard, however the RAM, storage and the WiFi module are accessible. To get to them you’ll need to take away the again panel, maintain in place by a handful of Philips screws, which is a reasonably easy process and offers unobstructed entry to all these elements, in addition to the cooling answer, battery, and audio system.
The Predator Helios 300 is primarily marketed as a gaming and efficiency pocket book, and we’ll get to that in a second. A few of you may also need to use it for searching or films, whereas on battery, which it’s completely able to. It runs cool and pretty quiet with every day use, however the followers’ Auto profile doesn’t permit them to fully flip off, so that you’ll nonetheless hear them in quiet environments. On high of that, with Optimus on-board, this laptop computer may run for Three-Four hours of every day use on a cost, and barely longer when streaming video.
On to extra demanding duties, we’ll begin by testing the CPU’s efficiency in 100% masses, and we do this by operating Cinebench R15 for 10+ instances in a loop, with 2-Three seconds delay between every run, with the laptop computer on the Most Efficiency Energy profile in Home windows and out-of-the-box settings. Most implementations of the i7-8750H/i7-9750H CPUs return high-scores for the primary Cinebench runs, after which settle just a little decrease because the CPU heats-up and might not preserve its most Turbo speeds for quite a lot of seconds.
Acer undervolts the CPU by-default on this laptop computer at -125 mV, and because of this, it performs higher than most traditional implementations, settling for speeds of three.5-Three.6 GHz, a TDP of 45 W, temperatures of round 68-70 levels Celsius, in addition to scores of 1150+ factors. Energy Restrict Throttling finally kicks in because the limiting issue right here, as there’s in any other case loads of headroom to permit the CPU to run at greater clocks.
There are two methods to enhance this conduct if you happen to’re seeking to squeeze additional CPU efficiency. The essential methodology is only a button press away, activating the Turbo mode, which on this implementation does three issues: raises the CPU’s TDP restrict to 56W, whereas maintaining the -125 mV undervolt, overclocks the GPU at +160 MHz Core/+320 MHz Reminiscence and raises its TDP to 90 W (from 80W out-of-the-box), in addition to units the fan at most 5500+ rpms.
On this case, the CPU performs flawlessly in our Cinebench loop take a look at, averaging fixed Three.9 GHz clock speeds, a TDP of 55W, temperatures of 72-73 levels Celsius and scores for 1240+ factors. Particulars under.
The followers get very loud on this case, although, at 55+ dB at head-level, that’s why it’s potential to additional enhance the CPU efficiency whereas maintaining them on Auto, which generates noise ranges of round 46-48 dB at head-level. For that, we additional undervolted the CPU at -150 mV and manually raised the TDP restrict to 50 W in XTU, which resulted in just about the identical flawless efficiency, with a slight improve in temperatures to 74-75 levels Celsius. Particulars under.
We favor this strategy over the noisier various, that’s why we’d additional caught with this methodology for many of our checks, as defined within the subsequent paragraphs.
Earlier than we get to that, although, I’ll additionally add that our pattern carried out alright on battery as nicely, however on this case, the CPU is proscribed to 25 W, which interprets in clock speeds of two.9-Three.zero GHz, scores of 920+ factors and temperatures of round 55 levels Celsius, with the followers on Auto.
Subsequent, we’ve included a set of benchmarks, for these of you curious about numbers. We ran a few of them on the Customary profile first, with out-of-the-box settings (which suggest a -125 mV undervolted CPU), the followers on Auto and Most Efficiency mode in Home windows. Right here’s what we bought:
- 3DMark 11: 16960 (Graphics – 19836, Physics – 12084);
- 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 13757 (Graphics – 15217, Physics – 15766);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 5912 (Graphics – 5856, CPU – 6251);
- 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3073;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 3556;
- GeekBench Four.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 5065, Multi-core: 22226;
- CineBench R15 (greatest run): CPU 1226 cb, CPU Single Core 167 cb;
- CineBench R20 (greatest run): CPU 2674 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Go 1 – 205.23 fps, Go 2 – 76.12 fps.
We additionally ran just a few extra checks on what we’ll additional name a Tweaked profile, with the CPU undervolted at -150 mV and Turbo Mode on (CPU’s TDP restrict at 56W, followers on max, GPU on the Excessive setting in Predator Sense, which applies a +160 MHz Core, +320 MHz Reminiscence GPU overclock, in addition to raises its TDP to 90W, ). Right here’s what we bought on this case:
- 3DMark 11: 17850 (Graphics – 22134, Physics – 12184);
- 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 15242 (Graphics – 17023, Physics – 16253);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6616 (Graphics – 6618, CPU – 6608);
- 3DMark 13 – Port Royal: 3470;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 4047;
- PCMark 10: 5444;
- PassMark: Score: 6419, CPU mark: 14192, 3D Graphics Mark: 12921;
- GeekBench Three.Four.2 32-bit: Single-Core: 4178 Multi-core: 22314;
- GeekBench Four 64-bit: Single-Core: 4985, Multi-core: 22244;
- CineBench R15 (greatest run): CPU 1246 cb, CPU Single Core 171 cb;
- CineBench R20 (greatest run): CPU 2914 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Go 1 – 206.28 fps, Go 2 – 76.32 fps.
The Tweaked profile results in minor CPU efficiency features, because the GPU is already undervolted to start with, however the GPU scores improve by about 5-15%, as a result of raised TDP and frequency increase (960 MHz default >> 1120 MHz on Excessive, and the identical +160 MHz OC applies to the Turbo Increase speeds). It’s additionally essential so as to add that the Tweaked profile does result in a reasonably essential lower in CPU and GPU temperatures in demanding masses, as you may see within the following 3Dmark logs, in addition to down under, within the gaming efficiency part.
Additional CPU undervolting and GPU overclocking needs to be potential, however I wouldn’t anticipate vital features over the Tweaked profile above, so we didn’t get the time to pursue any additional tweaking on this pattern.
With that out of the best way, let’s take a look at some gaming outcomes first. We ran a few video games consultant for DX11, DX12 and Vulkan architectures, each on the Customary and the Tweaked profiles. Right here’s what we bought:
|FHD Customary||FHD Tweaked|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing OFF)||76-94 fps||84-100 fps|
|Battlefield V (DX 12, Extremely Preset, Ray-Tracing ON, DLSS Off)||54-62 fps||60-74 fps|
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Extremely Preset, SMAA)||83 fps||93 fps|
|Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Extremely Preset)||146 fps||162 fps|
|Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Very Excessive Preset, FXAA)||76 fps||82 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Highest Preset, TAA)||69 fps||78 fps|
|The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Extremely Preset, Hairworks On Four)||56-70 fps*||62-74 fps*|
- Battlefield V, The Witcher Three – recorded with Fraps/in-game FPS counter in marketing campaign mode;
- Far Cry 5, Center Earth, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities.
*As talked about earlier, our pattern runs on Three-months previous Nvidia drivers, and that had an impression on Witcher Three fps counts, that are a lot decrease than on the equally specced 15-inch Helios with more moderen drivers, even supposing the elements really run at greater clocks.
The HWinfo logs under present the CPU and GPU speeds and temperatures in Farcry 5, Battlefield V and Witcher Three on the Customary profile, with the followers on Auto, which retains them operating at about 3800-4500 rpm (70-80% of max capability) and about 46-48 dB at head stage on our assessment unit. Don’t neglect that the CPU is undervolted at -125 mV by default on this normal profile. It’s attention-grabbing that the followers run quicker than on the 15-inch assessment pattern, which paired with the bigger physique of this 17-inch mannequin permits the elements to run at snug temperatures even in essentially the most demanding titles, of as much as 80 levels C for the CPU and as much as 70 levels C for the GPU.
Then, these footage present what occurs on the Tweaked profile, with the -150 mV undervolted CPU, and Turbo Mode on.
And right here’s what occurs when unplugging the laptop computer: the GPU averages round 1.26 MHz (30 W TDP), however the CPU throttles right down to 900 MHz, which bottlenecks the efficiency in a few of the extra demanding titles.
When you don’t need to dig by the logs, that is what we bought in Witcher Three:
- Customary profile (default -125 mV CPU/ GPU settings, followers on Auto): CPU: ~Three.74 GHz, 76 C; GPU: ~1.38 GHz, 68 C;
- Tweaked profile (-150 mV undervolted CPU, Turbo Mode with GPU +160 MHz Clock/ +320 MHz Reminiscence, followers on Max): CPU: ~Three.9 GHz, 73 C; GPU: ~1.56 GHz, 66 C.
Primarily based on our findings, the fan profile does a greater job on this laptop computer than on the 15-inch mannequin we’ve beforehand examined. Gaming on Auto is feasible this time round, at average temperatures and noise ranges, and you may get 5-15% fps features by switching to the Tweaked profile, which permits the CPU and GPU to run at their most potential and at decrease temperatures. The followers are noisy on Max, although, to the purpose the place you’ll most definitely need to manually modify them to about 4500-5000 rpm, which can guarantee comparable efficiency, barely greater temperatures and noise ranges within the 48-50 dB margins.
Acer may nonetheless implement a better Auto profile or no less than permit higher handbook management over the fan’s velocity, permitting customers to create a fan-curve based mostly on temperatures brackets. This manner you possibly can get a single profile that might maintain then followers down, even fully off, with every day use, after which ramp as much as simply the precise speeds with video games, based mostly on the CPU/GPU temperatures.
All in all, although, the thermal module does a superb job at maintaining the elements at bay inside this 17-inch Predator Helios chassis, with headroom to spare for the higher-tier i7-9750H configuration with RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics.
Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others
The 17-inch 2019 Predator Helios 300 shares its thermal design with the smaller 15-inch model, however with two essential variations: it’s a bigger and barely thicker system and makes use of longer heatpipes on the CPU facet, each permitting warmth to spread-out simply and resulting in the improved CPU/GPU temperatures, in addition to improved outer-case thermals.
The followers nonetheless get very loud (55+ dB at head stage) on the Max settings, with Cool Increase on, however the implementation is completely able to maintaining the elements at bay and so long as you’re prepared to play with the handbook rpm settings within the Predator Sense app, you’re most definitely by no means need to maintain them on Max, however fairly at simpler to just accept noise ranges of as much as 50 dB at head-level, and even decrease in less-demanding video games. Actually, the Auto profile will in all probability just do effective for many of you, even if you happen to flip the GPU to Excessive.
Some warmth remains to be transferred out to the metallic inside shell with the followers on Auto, however even the warmer components don’t go above 45 levels Celsius, and the areas across the WASD/Arrow keys solely hit round 35 levels, which is completely snug to the touch even in hotter environments.
The followers are nonetheless each energetic with every day use on the Auto fan profile, at round 2000-2500 rpm and 38-40 dB at head stage. Theoretically, you may change them off within the Guide fan settings and nonetheless find yourself with alright temperatures, however whereas that labored on the 15-inch mannequin, it didn’t on this 17-inch variant so we will’t let you know what to anticipate by way of temperatures in that case. Nonetheless, I want Acer would permit customers to create a customized fan curve within the Predator Sense app, and hopefully, they’ll hear this and add it in a future software program replace.
*Day by day Use – streaming Netflix on EDGE for 30 minutes, followers on Auto (38-40 dB)
*Load Default – taking part in Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Default Profile, followers on Auto (45-46 dB)
*Load Tweaked – taking part in Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Tweaked profile, followers on Max + CoolBoost (55-56 dB)
For connectivity, there’s a Killer 1550i 2×2 Wi-fi AC implementation inside this laptop computer, with Bluetooth 5.zero, in addition to Gigabit Lan by a Killer E2500module. We’ve largely used our pattern on wi-fi, and it carried out flawlessly each close to the router and at 30+ ft away, with obstacles in between.
So far as the audio system go, there’s a set of them firing by cuts on the lateral sides of the underbelly, and so they’re really nicer than on the 15-inch mannequin. We measured comparable most volumes of about 78-80 dB at head-level, with none distortions, however the sound high quality is considerably richer, with improved lows noticeable from round 90 Hz. Peaking contained in the laptop computer you’ll see that there are literally some bigger audio system on this 17-inch mannequin, which explains the achieve in high quality.
There’s additionally a 720p webcam on the Nitro 7, positioned on the high of the display screen and flanked by microphones. It’s grainy and fairly washed out, however really a bit higher than what most different OEMs placed on their mid-tier laptops lately.
There’s nonetheless solely a 58 Wh battery contained in the Helios 300 PH317-53, similar to on the 15-inch mannequin, which could be very small for a 2019 full-size 17-inch pocket book. Paired with the highly effective , the 144 Hz display screen and Optimus, that may solely translate in roughly Three to Four hours of every day use and just a little bit longer for video streaming.
Right here’s what we bought on our pattern, with the display screen at 30%, which is roughly 120-nits of brightness:
- 15.5 W (~Three 45 min h of use) – textual content modifying in Google Drive, Higher Battery Mode, display screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 13.2 W (~Four h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 13.Three W (~Four h 20 min of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 20 W (~Three- h of use) – searching in Edge, Higher Efficiency Mode, display screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 49 W (~1 h 10 min of use) – Gaming – Witcher Three, Max Efficiency Mode, display screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON, no fps restrict.
I’ll additionally add that Acer bundles this laptop computer with a compact 180 W power-brick, adequately sized for the inside. There’s no fast charging, so the battery fills up in about 2 hours. This laptop computer solely expenses through the proprietary barrel plug charger, and never by USB-C.
Worth and availability
The 17-inch Acer Predator Helios 300 is just not but stocked in shops in most areas on the time of this text, however it’s listed in Europe with a beginning value of round 1600 EUR, which makes it a tad costlier than the 15-inch variant.
We’ll replace this part sooner or later, and within the meantime, you need to observe this hyperlink for up to date configurations and costs on the time you’re studying the article.
Identical to with the 15-inch mannequin, Acer did a superb job with this redesigned 17-inch Predator Helios 300, just about creating a brand new laptop computer from scratch, with a smaller form-factor, newest era and a lot of the fashionable options potential consumers anticipate in a gaming laptop in 2019: RGB keyboard, loads of ports, a good-quality 144 Hz Three ms matte display screen and a thermal module that may squeeze the marketed efficiency out of the inside.
Nonetheless, the 17-inch variant really performs higher and runs cooler than the smaller variant, as anticipated, given its elevated dimension. It additionally will get a barely brighter display screen and extra oomphy audio system, however that apart, the 2 fashions are in any other case very comparable.
Potential consumers would nonetheless have to just accept the controversial design choices with pretty aggressive Predator branding parts, the shortage of Thunderbolt Three or a card reader, and the fairly small 58 Wh battery, as Acer didn’t decide to incorporate an even bigger one inside this 17-inch mannequin.
On the finish of the day, the pricing can be going to be a decisive consider your choices when choosing one in every of these Predators or any of the aggressive options available on the market, every with their very own share of robust factors and quirks. Amongst these, the Asus ROG Scar II and Scar III strains, the MSI GE75 Raider and the Lenovo Legion Y740 needs to be on the high of your lists. Previously, Acer’s Predators had the pricing on their facet, and if that’s nonetheless the case, I anticipate this 2019 replace of the Predator Helios 300 17 to develop into some of the standard choices in its section.
With that in thoughts we’ll wrap up our assessment of the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-53, however the feedback part under awaits your suggestions, impressions, and feedback, so don’t hesitate to get in contact, we’re round to answer and assist out if we will.