Predator Helios 500 17 AMD know you’re in for some serious gaming when you turn on the ‘big blue Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMD. The 17-inch Helios 500 variant we’re reviewing (PH517-61-R0GX) boasts RGB lighting from the keyboard to the touchpad, and its speakers emit a swooping shriek when powered on to proclaim the Predator’s arrival.
This Predator is the antithesis of sleek Max-Q gaming laptops like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15. It’s huge and heavy, which lets it attain its maximum performance potential with outstanding thermals and full-graphics chips. Its second-gen Ryzen CPU and Vega 56 graphics give good gaming and productivity performance.
Acer Helios 500 17 AMD Specifications
• AMD RX Vega 56 8GB HBM2
• Ryzen 7 2700 (3.20GHz)
• 16GB RAM/256GB SSD
• 17.3″ 1920 x 1080 IPS, FreeSync, 144 Hz, 72% NTSC
• 16.85″ x 11.73″ x 1.52″
• HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort
• 2 Type-C USB 3.1 (up to 10 Gbps, DisplayPort over USB Type-C & USB Charging)
You now have a massive, unique gaming laptop. The Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMD boasts a black chassis with blue accents and AeroBlade 3D cooling fans. Everything appears gaming-standard except for the blue colour.
The plastic chassis is unusual, given that Razer Blade 15 and Asus ROG Zephyrus S have metal bodies. We anticipate anything over $1000 to have an aluminium body, but that’s not the case here.
The Predator Helios 500 PH517-61-R0GX is a 17-inch gaming laptop that measures 1.5 by 16.9 by 11.7 inches (HWD). Alienware 17 R5 (1.18-by-16.7-by-13.1) is thicker and heavier than Helios 500 (8.82 pounds).
If you’re seeking to replace an old gaming setup, the Predator 500’s size and power make it a great pick.
The Helios 500 is a large laptop with several ports. The right side has two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, headphone/microphone jacks, and a Kensington lock slot.
Left side: two USB Type-C 3.1/Thunderbolt 3 ports, Ethernet jack, and USB 3.0 Type-A port. Back of the machine are HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs that let you connect up to three screens via HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB Type-C.
Media professionals who use DSLR cameras and high-end camcorders miss an SD-card slot. Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and Ethernet are wireless options.
The Helios 500’s speakers provide superb, bassy audio distortion-free when cranked up. Above the screen, in the bezel, is a 720p webcam. It’s good for video conferencing but not high-resolution.
Gaming laptops rarely have unique screens; the main variation is the GPU engine (AMD or Nvidia). The Helios 500 has a 17-inch 1080p matte IPS panel. AMD Radeon FreeSync and a 144Hz screen refresh rate are great for high-end gaming.
These capabilities allow the screen to display games and other material at up to 144Hz frames per second (fps), and you won’t experience screen tearing once you activate AMD FreeSync.
In gaming, tearing occurs when a display tries to write a new frame before the preceding one is fully documented, resulting in mismatched halves. AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync allow a screen’s refresh rate to scale with the graphics chip’s frame rate, eliminating tearing.
The directional-arrow and WASD keys are bordered in blue on the keyboard. Upper deck hotkeys can be programmed for any operation, including auto-overclocking.
The keyboard and touchpad have a blue haze backlight by default, as do the six hotkeys and the power button. You may adjust the keyboard’s four-zone RGB backlighting from a palette of 16.8 million colours.
The keyboard feel doesn’t disappoint. Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMD membrane keyboard is deep and comfortable, so you could think the Predator Helios 500 has mechanical switches.
The Predator Helios 500 17 AMD we’re evaluating is the first to ditch Intel and Nvidia. Its high-end AMD components will give Intel a run for its money. It has an AMD Ryzen 7-2700 desktop-level CPU with a 3.7GHz base clock and 4.3GHz Turbo Boost. AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 has 8GB of HBM2 memory and Windows 10 Home.
Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMD setup easily competes with Intel’s Core i7-8700K CPU featured in high-end gaming desktops like the Dell Alienware Aurora and iBUYPOWER Pro Trace 928770.
The Predator Helios 500 is a powerful desktop replacement laptop that can handle media creation, Photoshop, and gaming. The Acer Predator Helios 500 has a 256GB SSD (SSD). 16GB RAM is common for a 2019 midrange or high-end gaming laptop.
Core components and gaming performance both improve. The Helios 500 performs better in contemporary games than its meatier rivals, which have pepper CPUs or GeForce GTX 1080 graphics chips. It averages 122 fps at 1080p, High settings, but 109 fps at Ultra. The Helios 500 averaged 103fps in GTA V at Medium settings and 82fps at High.
On a 60Hz screen, 60fps is the maximum frame rate. The goal of that gaming on a 144Hz screen is to achieve the greatest frame rate possible.
While you can’t overclock the AMD Ryzen 7 CPU (only the Core i9 variant has an unlocked CPU), the Helios 500’s PredatorSense software makes GPU overclocking easy. Normal, Faster, and Turbo overclocks modes boost fps. PredatorSense software enables you to modify lighting, fan speed, and game profiles on this system.
The Helios 500’s 144Hz display rarely wins, even with reasonable frame rates. Most games will run 60-130 fps, while less demanding non-AAA games should be above 144fps.
The Acer Predator Helios 500 is a desktop replacement, as its battery life is limited. It takes 2 hours 46 minutes, versus 3 hours 58 minutes for the Alienware 17 R5. Imagine trying to work from a bar or coffee shop and finding no power outlets. A laptop with a “long battery life” with a battery life under 3 hours is disappointing.
Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMD-powered Acer Predator Helios 500 gaming laptop is great. It’s powerful on the front, has unrivalled multi-threaded productivity thanks to a 16-thread Ryzen 7 CPU, and is surprisingly quiet during gameplay. Its screen is amazing, and AMD’s FreeSync innovation makes it better. If Acer could provide all this and respectable battery life, we’d have a 17-inch Editors’ Choice.
The AMD-powered Acer Predator 500 is a good laptop, but the Intel/Nvidia model is superior. It costs more than our review model, lasts an hour longer when plugged in, and has a larger 256GB SSD + 1TB Hard Drive. In an age of 100GB+ game downloads, this model’s 256GB SSD is small.
Yes. The Acer Predator Helios 500 17 AMD has the highest refresh rate and a unique colour scheme.