|Standing screen display size||17.3 Inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080 Pixels|
|Memory Speed||2666 MHz|
|Graphics Coprocessor||RX Vega 56|
|Graphics Card Ram Size||8 GB|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||5|
|Average Battery Life (in hours)||1.5 Hours|
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-61-R0GX Gaming Laptop, AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Desktop Processor, AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 Graphics, 17.3" Full HD 144Hz Radeon FreeSync Display, 16GB DDR4, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
|Display Size||17.3 Inches|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
About this item
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- AMD Ryzen 7 2700 8-Core Desktop Processor 4.1GHz with Precision Boost up to 4.3GHz (Up to 4MB L2 Cache)
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 with 8 GB of dedicated HBM2 memory
- 17.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS display supporting Radeon FreeSync technology (144Hz Refresh Rate, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC )
- 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory & 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. Maximum Power Supply Wattage - 330 W
- Backlit four-zoned RGB Keyboard |Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AC | Dual All-Metal Aero Blade 3D Fans
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From the manufacturer
Summon Your Strength
Equipped with an impressive 17.3” Full HD screen with Radeon FreeSync technology, 144Hz refresh rate and a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 2700 8-Core Desktop Processor with high-performance AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics that is VR Ready! The Dual-Fan Cooling system features all-metal AeroBlade 3D Fans with 5 Copper Heat Pipes maximizing performance and keeping your rig extra cool under pressure.
Full HD at 144Hz
The 17.3" Radeon FreeSync Full HD IPS display gives you more of what you want in a gaming experience. Smooth, tear-free gameplay at a refresh rate of 144Hz for brilliant performance and responsiveness. Blur-free action, and a whole lot more.
5 Heat Pipes
Five copper heat pipes, yes five, distribute and rid excess heat, while four exhausts and two intakes quickly cycle in cool air and expel the heat. When the going gets hot, just activate CoolBoost to increase fan speed and keep critical areas continually cooled.
RGB Backlit Keyboard
The four-zoned RGB keyboard gives you a plethora of colors to play with as well as five dedicated hotkeys that you can adjust to your needs.
Speakers and Subwoofer
Enhance and empower what you hear! Two speakers, a subwoofer plus Waves MAXXAudio technology deliver an immersive sound effect during gameplay.
Make it Yours
PredatorSense lets you control and customize your gaming experience from one place. Take command over lighting, fan speed, game profiles and more.
3X Monitor Support
Why settle for one display when you can use three. Simply plug them in via the HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort and USB Type C connections and you’re good to go.
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-61-R0GX Gaming Laptop comes with these high level specs: AMD Ryzen 7 2700 8-Core Desktop Processor 4.1GHz with Precision Boost up to 4.3GHz (Up to 4MB L2 Cache), Windows 10 Home, 17.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS display with Radeon FreeSync technology, 144Hz Refresh Rate, 300nit Brightness, 16:9 aspect ratio, 72% NTSC, AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 with 8 GB of dedicated HBM2 memory, 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Waves Maxx Audio sound technology, Acer True Harmony Plus Technology, Two Built-in Stereo Speakers with Subwoofer, Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AC 1550 802.11ac. Wi-Fi featuring 2x2 MU-MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Killer Ethernet E2500 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port), Bluetooth 5.0, HD Webcam (1280 x 720) supporting Super High Dynamic Range (SHDR),2 - USB Type-C ports USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C & USB Charging, 3 - USB 3.0 Ports (one featuring Power-off Charging), 1 - Display Port, 1 - HDMI 2.0 with HDCP support, 4-cell Li-Ion Battery (4810 mAh), Up to 1.5-hours Battery Life, 9.37 lbs. | 4.25 kg (system unit only) (NH.Q3GAA.001)
Top reviews from the United States
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Starting: 3.5 Stars
To start, booting and setting everything was up very easy and straight-forward. However, after all of my updates, the sound went off completely. This ended up being unfixable after many driver uninstallations and reinstallations, and even did a factory reset of the laptop with the pre-installed Windows 10 on it, but the sound still never came back. I popped in a USB with the Windows 10 Fall Creator's update and did a clean install that way. Once I fully updated it from there, the sound came back and I haven't had problems since, but going through those extra steps could've been avoided.
Sound: 5 Stars
Speaking of sound, the laptop has exceptional bass for a laptop. I can hear the explosions and commotion of my games loud and clear that it almost feels like surround sound. Each footstep sounded like a boom and made the immersive experience that much more amazing.
Upgrade Storage Potential: 2 Stars
Taking off the back covers require a pick. You need to be careful around the edges because the laptop chassis is fully plastic, but it's a very TOUGH plastic, so be careful with how much force you're using. Under the hood, I was a bit disappointed to see that there was absolutely NO 2.5" drive bay for a spare drive. There are only two M.2 drives. I also had a spare M.2 laying around, so I thought to use that as well. However, I couldn't secure the drive because the screw and the fastener came stuck together. I have no clue how this happened. I may need to find a replacement screw and fastener, because this defect won't seem to be fixed otherwise. In the end, I'm stuck with a single M.2 drive, and the only way to add storage is to get a bigger M.2. This is a huge bummer because they're very expensive. I had hopes of popping in a spare 500GB 2.5" drive and running StoreMI since the laptop technically has an AM4 board, but those hopes are gone. Ultimately, upgradability is limited. I thought this was like the Intel variant where it would have space for a 2.5 drive but this model clearly doesn't, which is a shame.
Upgrade CPU Potential: 4 Stars
For upgrading the CPU, I took out the 2700 and popped in my 2700x. The installation felt a bit too easy because the entire cooling system (heat pipes, fans, and CPU and GPU plates) are all in one single piece. Each fan has three screws that secure it, and each plate has four. Each fan is attached to a header, but you need to be very careful because the wires of these fans are incredibly thin. Once I unplugged the fans, the entire piece lifted off with complete ease. It has a desktop socket, so the it was simple as lifting the lever, taking out the CPU, putting another one in, and putting down the lever. Piecing everything back together was a breeze because each screw was the exact same, whereas other laptops have specific screws that go in specific places, but that worry isn't here with this laptop. Put any screw anywhere, because it'll fit regardless. Booting up the laptop for the first time with the 2700x in it, I first ran into a TPM screen where it basically asked me to confirm the BitLocker TPM settings. I simply hit yes and was on my way.
Keyboard: 4 Stars
Keyboard travel is great and it's very quiet when you type. It absolutely reminds me of the old-school laptops that had this keyboard design. Older but simpler technology is sometimes better.
Cooling: 5 Stars
If I can give this aspect a 10 then I undoubtedly would. The cooling is like nothing I've ever seen. CPU idle temps on my 2700x is at 29C and my GPU idles at 24-25C. This is when the fans on max settings too! The RPM for the fans spin between 4250-4400 RPM. Games on max settings obviously vary because of shadows and explosions and whatnot, but in Overwatch my FPS has gone up in the 200s easily on max settings. Here's the kicker: My GPU stabilized at 47C while gaming. I'm not kidding. My past GPUs will hit the 70s-80s C in Overwatch, but the Vega 56 with this cooling hovers at 47C. Unheard of! Those are better temps than my water-cooled rig. The metal blade design that Acer used for this laptop is high-end fan cooling. (Watch out Noctua). My CPU temps are typically 49C-52C while gaming.
RAM is 2400Mhz, but there are laptop RAM that can go up to 3200Mhz if you're trying to squeeze every drop of performance from this machine. The BIOS interface is super old-school, like Windows 2000 old-school. Because of this, options to overclock RAM are unavailable. Ryzen Master is absolutely pointless! The idea behind RM is to overclock the CPU and GPU, but if the CPU auto-clocks with its Precision Boost Overdrive and the GPU can't be overclocked at all, then what's the point of it being there? Well, you need RM to work with PredatorSense, a software on the laptop that's used to change RGB, fan speeds, and hotkeys. If you don't have RM, you can't use PS, but if you don't care for either, install neither. Windows still tells me that my CPU is at 3.7Ghz but when I run prime95 my CPU caps at 3.9-4.0Ghz. The Vega 56 GPU inside of it is static at 1301/800 Mhz. I am still yet to find anything to overclock this. The predator sound is cool, but this can be shut off in the BIOS if you eventually get tired of hearing it, which I did.
If cooling is your biggest concern, as it was for mine, sell that desktop and get this laptop. Hands down the best gaming laptop on the market. There is NO contest. It's designed to be a desktop REPLACEMENT, but it obviously comes at a premium. But the money is totally worth it. If anything else comes up, I will surely update this review.
UPDATE1: After testing much software to OC my GPU, it seems that MSI Afterburner with AMD driver version 18.11.2 (the latest one as of this update), is the way to do it. Interesting find on both the core clock (1301 Mhz) and the memory clock (800 Mhz). It seems that the best bang for the buck is OCing the memory clock. This is why. The 1301 Mhz on the core is a ceiling that I haven't been able to hit while gaming. The highest I'd get would be between 1140-1250 Mhz in hectic action scenes. Because I couldn't hit the max stock clock of 1301, I concluded there would be no point in OCing it. It's different for the memory clock though. I OC'd the memory clock from 800 to 830 Mhz, and this is the ceiling I have been able to hit during intense gameplay. I was also able to keep my frames well over 100 fps (max settings while in action scenes), whereas before the OC I would get about 70 fps during action scenes. My temps went from 47C to about 50-51C, leaving me with much more headroom to push this to its brink. If you get this laptop and plan to OC it, only OC the memory clock, which will give you the most performance, and unless you hit the ceiling of 1301 Mhz on the core, then stay away from OCing that because you will never hit the max what it already is at stock.
The clocks and voltage settings need to be manually turned on in MSI Afterburner's settings. Once it is and the laptop reboots, you can start playing around with it. Fan speed option in AB is enabled, but this is pointless since your fans are controlled through PredatorSense and the fans don't respond to the fan speed settings in AB.
I will also retract my statement about the laptop not being able to accommodate a 2.5" drive. I looked back in the box and found a 2.5" bracket that needs to be manually put on your computer. It comes with the SATA connector cable which connects to the board via a very small and very thin connector. However, the bag was missing a screw.
I simply don't understand why this wasn't integrated within the laptop. I never heard such a thing being done, especially on a gaming laptop where gamers will QUICKLY install a 2TB HDD without a second thought because a 256GB drive isn't enough. The 2.5" HDD kit is just giving the customer more work to do.
I'm not entirely sure what exactly happened in quality assurance that my unit got the short end of the stick with a missing a screw and fused screw and fastener in the 2nd M.2 slot which is preventing me from installing one, but despite these shortcomings, I will keep the rating at 4 stars. Have I gotten the laptop with no missing or defected screws, and an integrated 2.5" drive connector, then this would be a 5 stars easily.
UPDATE 2: After much playing around with the GPU and overclocking in MSI Afterburner, I found that the best I can push the GPU to was 980Mhz on the memory (180Mhz from stock) and crank the voltage to +37 then I get a respectably additional 25-30 fps. Temps will increase by an insignificant 3-4C, still keeping the temps below 50C.
UPDATE 3: AMD's Adrenalin 18.2.2 dropped last night, thus making my last update fully obsolete. AMD has fully unlocked overclocking and undervolting, so now that makes it the official software for settings adjustment for AMD GPUs. I've yet to test this out, but update 4 will be coming soon.
UPDATE 4: I finally got my expanded storage dilemma settled. So, the second M.2 slot WILL NOT take a second NVMe. Only ONE NVMe can be read by the laptop and it's the NVMe that was put in its stock slot. This can be swapped out for another NVMe of course, but NVMes with bigger storage can be devastatingly pricey. The second M.2 slot is only for a SATA III drive, and those drives have read and write speeds of 530-590 Mbps (much lower than an NVMe), but I tiered my SATA III with my 2TB Seagate drive, so now I have 2.4TBs with SSD speeds thanks to StoreMI (comes with a free license since it's an AM4 board). This is alright, and games do load much more faster, but some games like Assassin's Creed sometimes STILL feel like they take forever to open. It's such a shame. From an engineering standpoint, I don't see how a second NVMe wouldn't work because it fits right in the M.2 (obviously). It HAS to be software related, more likely within the BIOS. I hope Acer can release some kind of update to unlock a second NVMe, that way loading times for games can be freaking god-tier.
On another subject, the new Adrenalin 2019 is freaking amazing! Auto-overclocking is unbeatable. It's pushing my GPU from 800 Mhz upward to 942 Mhz while keeping my temps under 50c. I didn't even have to change a darn setting. I mean, there just isn't any better laptop on the market. Find me another laptop that supports StoreMI and auto-overclocking on a Vega 56.
I included a comparison with a normal 17.3" laptop (MSI GP73) and it's not that much bigger.
Cinebench r15 Score Multicore of: 1818!! (i9 processor barely hits 1500s and is way more expensive)
You can comfortably push the processor to 4ghz with 1.3375 CPU Voltage (temps stay south of 80 degrees) using RYZEN MASTER
It is absolutely breathtaking. Raw performance.
Windows Precision Touchpad
Runs cool as a cucumber
Laptop just landed (thank God!), raw thoughts:
+ Never going back to anything slimmer than this (closet thick laptop lover coming out!)
+ Comes with Windows 1709
+ Cool acer sound on startup.
+ On the size, I don't find it that heavy. I can easily carry it to work meetings and set the tone against usual slim laptops managers/pms lug around :p
+ Touchpad has Windows Precision!!!!! (awesome when having remote desktops and switching between them without minimizing window)
+ The keyboard has so much TRAVEL!!!!! Won't feel the need to use my mechanical one as much.
+ MSI GP63/GP73 power adapter fits in the power socket, but doesn't charge (it's a 180w brick). I was expecting it would at least charge it (anyone with info why please fill me in!)
- Trounces through video games and benchmarks
- Excellent at rendering CGI for movies and games
- Really good code compilation
- Very fast and efficient at building machine learning models
- Easy to open (2 screws) for quick ram/hdd/ssd and nvme drives
I'm only getting started with this!!
Will update this review after spending more time with my new daily driver beast!
Very Grateful for this machine at a relatively cheap price for the category!!!!!