Acer Predator Helios 500 review (2021 PH517-52 model – i9-11980HK, RTX 3080, mini LED 4K)

20 Comments

  1. alanyu

    September 18, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    I had expected much better performance on Helios 500 2021 due to its weight and size. However, I'm really disapppinted in this chunky machine after reading this review. No mux/advanced optimus/disable iGPU in bios is stupid for this high-end gaming laptop. CPU reaching 97C at 101W is also not ideal considering the piggy body, which is on par with what X17 can handle. In AAA games, such as BF5, CPU/GPU can reach 97/78C at 67/150W, which is worse than GE76, though GE76 is thinner and lighter. Although it is said that lifting the laptop can enhance the cooling greatly, but all the screenshots in this review shows the temperature at a lower power consumption when it is raised, and thus it's hard to judge how much lifting the laptop can help. You should compare the temperatures under the same load, and the best way is running Furmark+FPU stress. Acer also chose a stupid design of the bottom, adding unnecessary troubles to clean the fans/radiators. No XTU support is within my expectation. Acer never do its BIOS right for core gamers.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 18, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      Don't forget this is a pre-release sample, so you should wait for other reviews as well. CPU + Furmark is not a realistic load, and not something I test.

      • alanyu

        September 18, 2021 at 6:00 pm

        It is indeed not a realistic load, but represents the worst case and shows how much the thermal system can handle. The advantage of this kind of extreme test is that it can control variables. E.g., comparing on desk and raised, with the same power consumption but different temperatures, or the same temperatures (due to throttling) but different power consumption.

      • Andrei Girbea

        September 19, 2021 at 11:05 am

        Fair enough.

        Still, if you've looked at our other reviews, lifting up the laptop doesn't normally cause any difference in CPU/GPU power, and that's why I don't normally find the need to run Furmark + prime. In this case, the early nature of the software caused some inconsistencies in our tests, and unfortunately, I did not spot them in time to rerun the tests before returning the review unit.

  2. Jay

    September 20, 2021 at 5:22 am

    wow this is a shame that a chasis that is this thick will reach over 90C and plus no mux switch this makes no sense to me at all. The primary reason people will buy a laptop that is this thick would be for it to be a Desktop Replacement. Obviously this is no the case here.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 20, 2021 at 9:07 am

      you do understand that farcry and battlefield are usually tricky and don't properly work with Dyna Boost? Plus, on this design, they push the CPU to abnormally high power levels and thus those high temperatures. Red Dead, Witcher, or Red Dead are better balanced and in those cases, the temperatures are much better.

      As far as I can tell, the thermal design in this laptop is solid, one of the better in the business. The lack of a MUX, though, is indeed a potential deal-breaker on this sort of a desktop replacement chassis.

      • Ashwin Valluvan

        December 7, 2021 at 11:40 am

        Mux on a mini led 4k panel is a bit of a Question mark as the 4K mini-LEd is not to be gamed on exactly. The intention is to connect and external monitor through the mini display port or

  3. Lorenzo Piovella

    September 20, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Decent look? It's ugly af, in a 90s way.

  4. Jayanth

    September 24, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Hopefully they will release different variants of this laptop with maybe a mux switch and 1440p panel

  5. Jayanth

    September 25, 2021 at 3:07 am

    WIll there be a video review that will be posted on this laptop?

  6. Piglish

    September 27, 2021 at 7:09 am

    Narrowed bezels, not sure if I like it or not, own a Helios 300 and a Triton 900, also an old Helios 500 is demonstrated at my workspace. I really like wide bezels, making it looks powerful to me, despite additional weight.

    Also, I wonder if there are more details about PowerGem, I don't see any review of this thing since announced, like how much impact on the temperature. Only Acer saying it outmatches even liquid metal.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 27, 2021 at 11:39 am

      Yeah, no way to test that. I'd need to have two identical laptops side by side with our without PowerGem to be able to tell the exact difference.

  7. Jan

    October 3, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Hello, Andrei, thanks for a great review, probably the first and only such detailed review of this laptop at this moment.

    As you reviewed both Helios 500 and Zephyrus S17 I would like to ask which one you find superior in terms of cooling (noise) and audio quality. Theoreticaly cooling and audio should be better in DTR-like design of Helios 500 rather than in slim Asus case but Im not sure so I ask to clear these things.

    Personally Im looking forward to give a try a Helios 500 as after short period with Rog Scar 17 I found optomechanical asus keyboard as dealbreaker (cant get used to it..) and afaik S17 has the same keyboard.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 4, 2021 at 10:45 am

      The Helios should have a slight edge in temperatures and is more capable on the Quiet profile.

  8. Jayanth Potharlanka

    November 3, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    Does anyone know when will this release?

  9. Andy

    December 17, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    I just received the Helios 500 yesterday and am wondering how you were able to change the performance mode to extreme or turbo with only one adapter plugged in. It will not let you change the mode from default with only one adapter connected. If there is a trick to this then please let me know.

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 18, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      well, this unit was a very early sample, and things might have changed with the more recent software updates.

      • Jayanth Potharlanka

        December 19, 2021 at 1:22 am

        That will be in the acer software

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