Notebookcheck

Acer Nitro 5 (Ryzen 7 2700U, Radeon RX 560X, FHD) Laptop Review

Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Mark Riege), 12/01/2018

A rare sight. While Intel and Nvidia still call the shots in the high-end segment, AMD is quite well-positioned in affordable laptops. The best example is the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42 with a Ryzen 7 2700U and Radeon RX 560X, which can be purchased for less than 1000 Euros (~$1132). Do the competitors need to shiver? We will find out!

Acer Nitro 5

In addition to various Intel and Nvidia models, the Nitro 5 also exists in several AMD versions. Depending on the model, either the Ryzen 5 2500U or the more powerful Ryzen 7 2700U is used. The mid-range Radeon RX 560X chip, which is used extremely rarely and celebrates its Notebookcheck premiere in this article, serves as the dedicated graphics card. The size of the DDR4 working memory is 8 or 16 GB, while the storage solution consists of either a 1000-GB HDD or a combination of a 128-GB SSD and 1-TB HDD.

The price of the Nitro 5 starts from 629 Euros (~$715; $699 in the US), with the more affordable versions not being equipped with Windows 10 but only with Linux. The model we tested costs almost 900 Euros (~$1023) and is called AN515-42-R6V0.

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Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0 (Nitro 5 Series)
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX 560X (Laptop) - 4096 MB, Core: 1275 MHz, Memory: 1450 MHz, GDDR5, Crimson 17.7, Enduro
Memory
8192 MB 
, SO-DIMM DDR4-2400, single channel, 1 of 2 slots occupied, 32 GB max.
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, AU Optronics B156HAN06.0 (AUO60ED), IPS, Full-HD, 60 Hz, glossy: no
Mainboard
AMD CZ FCH
Storage
SK Hynix HFS128G39TND, 128 GB 
, SATA-III-SSD + TOSHIBA MQ04ABF100, 1 TB HDD, 5400 rpm; slots: 1x M.2 & 1x 2.5 inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ AMD K17.1 - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio port, Card Reader: SD, SDHC, SDXC
Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4 (a/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 27 x 390 x 266 ( = 1.06 x 15.35 x 10.47 in)
Battery
48 Wh, 3320 mAh Lithium-Ion, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 135-watt power supply, short guide, warranty booklet, various manufacturer tools, Dolby Audio, Mozilla Firefox, Norton Security trial, XSplit Gamecaster trial, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.4 kg ( = 84.66 oz / 5.29 pounds), Power Supply: 480 g ( = 16.93 oz / 1.06 pounds)
Price
900 EUR
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Since with the exception of its surface texture, the case is identical to that of the predecessor, we will not discuss the case, equipment, and input devices again here. You can find the corresponding information in the review of the AN515-51-788E.

Acer Nitro 5

The competitors of the Nitro 5 include other 15-inch laptops from our Budget Top 10, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad 720 (i5-7200U, RX 560), the Xiaomi Mi Pro i5 (i5-8250U, MX150) and the Acer Aspire 5 (i5-8265U, MX150) from the same manufacturer.

Size Comparison

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
80.1 MB/s ∼100% +14%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
70.4 MB/s ∼88% +1%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
70 MB/s ∼87%
Average of class Multimedia
  (11.2 - 190, n=153)
57.2 MB/s ∼71% -18%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
 
21.4 MB/s ∼27% -69%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88.1 MB/s ∼100% +4%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
85 MB/s ∼96%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83 MB/s ∼94% -2%
Average of class Multimedia
  (10.2 - 253, n=150)
74.7 MB/s ∼85% -12%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
 
17.4 MB/s ∼20% -80%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
683 MBit/s ∼100%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
618 (min: 446, max: 680) MBit/s ∼90% -10%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
585 MBit/s ∼86% -14%
Average of class Multimedia
  (44 - 949, n=112)
496 MBit/s ∼73% -27%
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
174 MBit/s ∼25% -75%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
647 (min: 534, max: 664) MBit/s ∼100% +24%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4
520 MBit/s ∼80%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
471 MBit/s ∼73% -9%
Average of class Multimedia
  (46.1 - 949, n=111)
469 MBit/s ∼72% -10%
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
48 MBit/s ∼7% -91%

Display

We got the first surprise with the display. Instead of using the panel from the Intel/Nvidia model (LG Philips LP156WF6-SPK6), Acer has integrated a different Full HD IPS model here (AU Optronics B156HAN06.0). Fortunately this is not a downgrade but more of an upgrade.

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268
cd/m²
283
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
301
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
268
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 305 cd/m² Average: 283.7 cd/m² Minimum: 21 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 299 cd/m²
Contrast: 1246:1 (Black: 0.24 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.98 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 3.7
ΔE Greyscale 4.58 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
87% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 57% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.55
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AU Optronics B156HAN06.0 (AUO60ED), IPS, 1920x1080
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
LG Philips LGD0573 LP156WF9-SPK2, IPS, 1920x1080
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
BOE CQ NV156FHM-N48, IPS, 1920x1080
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
BOE0747 NV156FHM-N61, IPS LED, 1920x1080
Response Times
17%
0%
-1%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
48.4 (24, 24.4)
42 (22, 20)
13%
45 (24, 21)
7%
47.9 (22.4, 25.5)
1%
Response Time Black / White *
32.8 (18, 14.8)
26 (15, 11)
21%
35 (19, 16)
-7%
33.7 (19.2, 14.5)
-3%
PWM Frequency
20000 (90)
21800 (99)
Screen
-14%
-5%
-2%
Brightness middle
299
270
-10%
296
-1%
296
-1%
Brightness
284
250
-12%
268
-6%
288
1%
Brightness Distribution
88
87
-1%
81
-8%
89
1%
Black Level *
0.24
0.25
-4%
0.3
-25%
0.32
-33%
Contrast
1246
1080
-13%
987
-21%
925
-26%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.98
4.79
4%
4.01
19%
4.3
14%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.67
8.83
-15%
8.7
-13%
8.7
-13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
3.7
4
-8%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.58
5.66
-24%
0.98
79%
3
34%
Gamma
2.55 86%
2.64 83%
2.35 94%
2.1 105%
CCT
6397 102%
7179 91%
6408 101%
7100 92%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
57
37
-35%
38
-33%
56.83
0%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
87
59
-32%
58
-33%
86.86
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
2% / -9%
-3% / -4%
-2% / -2%

* ... smaller is better

While the LG Philips did not offer a good color space (59% sRGB), thanks to an sRGB coverage of 87% the colors of the AU Optronics are much more vibrant in parts. In addition, the AMD model can score with a noticeably higher brightness (284 vs. 237 cd/m²), which becomes particularly noticeable outdoors.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: Saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)

The only bad news is the worse response times. Instead of 22-38 ms, it is only 33-48 ms here. In faster games such as "FIFA 19", this can lead to streaking on the screen.

Acer Nitro 5 vs. sRGB (87%)
Acer Nitro 5 vs. sRGB (87%)
Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
Acer Nitro 5 vs. AdobeRGB (57%)
Acer Nitro 5 vs. AdobeRGB (57%)

The rest of the specifications and measured values are hardly any different. Both panels offer a contrast of about 1200:1. The viewing angles, brightness distribution, and black value are also similar.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 14.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 85 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
48.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 24 ms rise
↘ 24.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 81 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8933 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Before we look at the performance, a few words on the preinstalled software: The central point for the management of the 15-incher is the NitroSense tool that not only allows you to adjust the power-saving plan but also the fan control. In addition, it shows the fan speeds, the loads, and the temperatures of CPU and GPU.

Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5
Acer Nitro 5

All our tests were run using the standard settings. In terms of the fan control, this means the "Auto" mode.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
HWiNFO
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
Software
Latencies

Processor

With the Ryzen 7 2700U, AMD offers a power-saving notebook CPU that was designed for energy efficiency. The quad-core model offers 4.5 Billion transistors and a 4 MB L3 cache. Similar to most of Intel's chips, the number of cores is (virtually) doubled via SMT, allowing the 2700U to run up to eight threads simultaneously. At 14 nm, the manufacturing process is also oriented on Intel. It is great that in order to keep the power demands within limits, Acer has equipped the Nitro 5 with graphics switching, which dependent on the load dynamically switches between the graphics chip of the processor (Radeon RX Vega 10) and the dedicated GPU.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
GPU load
GPU load

In terms of its performance capabilities, we would place the Ryzen 7 in the middle of the field. While the performance of the 2700U is not quite able to reach that of Intel's popular Coffee-Lake Core i5-8300H quad-core processor, the latter is also specified with a TDP of 45 instead of 15 watts and correspondingly needs stronger cooling and more energy. In terms of power-saving CPUs, the AMD model has a very good position. In the multi-core test of Cinebench R15, the Ryzen 7 races ahead of the Xiaomi Mi's Core i5-8250U by about 15% and of the Acer Aspire 5's Core i5-8265U by 26%. The difference compared to the old Core i5-7200U that still has to be content with two cores is 100%.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
Intel Core i5-8265U
159 Points ∼100% +6%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
150 Points ∼94%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 (min: 144.66, max: 144.78) Points ∼91% -3%
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Intel Core i5-7200U
129 Points ∼81% -14%
Average of class Multimedia
  (36 - 191, n=337)
124 Points ∼78% -17%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
661 Points ∼100%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
576 (min: 544.28, max: 575.47) Points ∼87% -13%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
Intel Core i5-8265U
524 Points ∼79% -21%
Average of class Multimedia
  (73 - 1550, n=348)
458 Points ∼69% -31%
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Intel Core i5-7200U
331 Points ∼50% -50%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
Intel Core i5-8265U
1.87 Points ∼100% +9%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
1.71 Points ∼91%
Average of class Multimedia
  (0.39 - 2.16, n=410)
1.288 Points ∼69% -25%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
7.53 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
Intel Core i5-8265U
5.52 Points ∼73% -27%
Average of class Multimedia
  (0.59 - 17.6, n=676)
3.7 Points ∼49% -51%

As long as there is only load on the processor, the 2700U is able to use its Turbo to the fullest. Maximums of 3.8 GHz during single-core load and between 2.7 and 3.2 GHz during multi-core load are noticeably above the standard clock speed of 2.2 GHz. However, when there is also a parallel demand on the graphics card, the tools report only 1.5 GHz at times, which would mean throttling. In 3D applications, the clock speed levels out at about 2.9 GHz on average. The fact that the Ryzen 7 delivers a consistent performance also over longer time periods deserves some praise. In contrast to many Coffee-Lake notebooks, there is no massive drop in the overall scores of our Cinebench loop in the long run.

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Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0 AMD Ryzen 7 2700U, AMD Ryzen 7 2700U: Ø658 (642.69-661.47)
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø487 (482.49-523.51)
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5 Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø548 (544.28-575.47)
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.71 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.53 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
150 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
661 Points
Help

System Performance

The system performance ranges on a level that is decent to good. With 3763 points in PCMark 10, the Nitro 5 settles right in the middle of the competitors. In PCMark 8, the situation is similar. Subjectively, the computer primarily benefits from the SSD, which ensures short boot sequences and load times.

PCMark 10 - Score
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
GeForce MX150, 8265U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3960 Points ∼100% +5%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2046 - 5358, n=69)
3820 Points ∼96% +2%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
3763 Points ∼95%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3686 Points ∼93% -2%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
GeForce MX150, 8265U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4924 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Radeon RX 560 (Laptop), 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4882 Points ∼99% +1%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
4810 Points ∼98%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4746 Points ∼96% -1%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2213 - 5651, n=254)
4239 Points ∼86% -12%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Radeon RX 560 (Laptop), 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4464 Points ∼100% +16%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
3860 Points ∼86%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3766 Points ∼84% -2%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
GeForce MX150, 8265U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3725 Points ∼83% -3%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1740 - 4693, n=274)
3352 Points ∼75% -13%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3860 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4810 points
Help

Storage Solution

Nonetheless, there would still be some room for improvement in terms of the storage solution. While the integrated solid state drive from SK Hynix comes close to the SATA-III limits during sequential reads (471 MB/s), the Nitro 5 shows weaknesses during sequential writes. 127 MB/s are rather mediocre and are closer to an HDD. With the Micron SSD of the Aspire 5, Acer proves that things can be done better, and the Xiaomi Mi Pro i5 and the Lenovo IdeaPad 720 play in an even higher league, thanks to PCIe technology. Both competing devices easily crack the 1000 MB mark in the sequential test of the AS SSD benchmark.

SSD
SSD
SSD
SSD
HDD
HDD
HDD
HDD

To prevent users from running out of storage space, the Nitro 5 has an additional HDD on board. This 1-TB drive comes from Toshiba and runs at 5400 RPM. While all the storage slots are occupied, since it is accessible via maintenance cover, you could easily expand the working memory by a second module. In the long run this can be recommended, since the graphics unit of the processor demands 1 GB for itself and some games therefore warn of having too little RAM.

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
AS SSD
386%
57%
353%
Score Total
600
35
-94%
850
42%
2991
399%
Score Write
194
710
266%
388
100%
723
273%
Score Read
274
1881
586%
305
11%
1509
451%
4K-64 Write
127.11
1651.81
1200%
276.74
118%
470.11
270%
4K-64 Read
203.12
485.66
139%
236.2
16%
1311.67
546%
4K Write
54.49
113.93
109%
72.21
33%
144.75
166%
4K Read
23.64
51.42
118%
19.47
-18%
49.82
111%
Seq Write
126.79
1225.8
867%
390.22
208%
1077
749%
Seq Read
470.8
1806.27
284%
490.6
4%
1471
212%
SK Hynix HFS128G39TND
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 511.7 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 135.7 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 215.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 135.4 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 498.5 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 135.9 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 29.16 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 73.01 MB/s

Graphics Card

Even though the Radeon RX Vega 10 delivers significantly more than Intel's HD graphics chips in many cases, gamers will be pleased with the presence of a "real" graphics card. AMD's Radeon RX 560X of the Polaris generation contains 3.0 Billion transistors, 1024 shaders, and 4 GB GDDR5 video storage that is connected via 128-bit pipeline. At 14 nm, the manufacturing process follows the Zen cores of the Ryzen 7 2700U.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Radeon RX 560X (Laptop)
6262 Points ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
AMD Radeon RX 560 (Laptop)
5705 Points ∼91% -9%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
3613 Points ∼58% -42%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
3263 Points ∼52% -48%
Average of class Multimedia
  (337 - 14463, n=381)
2693 Points ∼43% -57%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
AMD Radeon RX 560X (Laptop)
8451 Points ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
AMD Radeon RX 560 (Laptop)
8329 Points ∼99% -1%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
4558 Points ∼54% -46%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
4252 Points ∼50% -50%
Average of class Multimedia
  (352 - 18234, n=605)
2791 Points ∼33% -67%

Considering the price of the notebook, the RX 560X leaves a very good impression in the benchmarks. If we take the Fire-Strike test of 3DMark 13, for example, while the advantage to the regular RX 560 turns out rather low at 10%, Nvidia's low-end GeForce MX150 GPU is beaten by more than 70%. On the other hand, the successful mid-range GeForce GTX 1050 chip performs at the same level.

3DMark 06 Standard
22783 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
19829 points
3DMark 11 Performance
7640 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
56030 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
13326 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
5316 points
Help

The Radeon RX 560X ran through our endurance test with "The Witcher 3" (at least 60 minutes @Full HD/Ultra) at a rather constant speed without larger fluctuations. According to the GPU-Z tool, the core tends to some discrete throttling down to about 1246 MHz. AMD specifies the standard clock speed as 1275 MHz.

051015202530Tooltip
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0 Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U, SK Hynix HFS128G39TND; The Witcher 3: Ø21.3 (17-23)
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB Radeon RX 560 (Laptop), 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP; The Witcher 3: Ø19.6 (16-21)

Gaming Performance

Since there have not been any benchmarks on the Radeon RX 560X yet, the gaming tests became very extensive with a total of 36 games. Apart from extremely demanding or poorly optimized games (Assassin‘s Creed Odyssey, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Monster Hunter World, Final Fantasy 15, The Evil Within 2, Ghost Recon Wildlands, ...) where the performance was only sufficient for minimal settings, the Nitro 5 is almost always able to smoothly reproduce medium to high details in the native Full-HD resolution. However, for the full graphics settings you would often need a GPU from the high-end sector. But for the occasional gamer with a tight budget, the Radeon RX 560X is perfect.

The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U
20.6 fps ∼100%
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Radeon RX 560 (Laptop), 7200U
19.6 fps ∼95% -5%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2.9 - 51.5, n=79)
18.1 fps ∼88% -12%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U
10.9 fps ∼53% -47%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
GeForce MX150, 8265U
10.7 fps ∼52% -48%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Radeon RX 560 (Laptop), 7200U
34.1 fps ∼100% +3%
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 2700U
33.2 fps ∼97%
Average of class Multimedia
  (3.8 - 93.2, n=89)
27 fps ∼79% -19%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U
19.3 fps ∼57% -42%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
GeForce MX150, 8265U
19.3 fps ∼57% -42%

Unfortunately, we had to struggle with the odd problem or two during the course of the test. From time to time we encountered some graphics errors, a crash here and there, stutters or error messages – as is typical for AMD, the driver does not appear to be ideal. In our experience, you get a slightly cleaner gaming experience with Nvidia GPUs – at least on notebooks.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 97.268.433.220.6fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 16614584.176.6fps
The Division (2016) 87.773.136.828.7fps
Doom (2016) 54.853.734.832.8fps
Overwatch (2016) 2051789546.9fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 87.66537.332.8fps
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 62.955.327.813.8fps
Farming Simulator 17 (2016) 133107fps
Dishonored 2 (2016) 59.354.733.829.1fps
Resident Evil 7 (2017) 18486.154.646.2fps
For Honor (2017) 12247.445.334.9fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 62.334.932.115.3fps
Prey (2017) 90.965.351.643.8fps
Rocket League (2017) 18211982.8fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 15783.250.928.6fps
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) (2017) 11050.341.830fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) 84433123fps
The Evil Within 2 (2017) 35.725.423.723fps
ELEX (2017) 49.441.934.225.7fps
Call of Duty WWII (2017) 87.376.750.140.9fps
Need for Speed Payback (2017) 71.552.543.640.8fps
Fortnite (2018) 77.166.443.933fps
Final Fantasy XV Benchmark (2018) 49.627.211.8fps
Kingdom Come: Deliverance (2018) 64.635.32920.7fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 55383532fps
The Crew 2 (2018) 5344.641.637.9fps
Monster Hunter World (2018) 61.232.528.522.4fps
F1 2018 (2018) 94564731fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 54272623fps
FIFA 19 (2018) 127109105100fps
Forza Horizon 4 (2018) 90524938fps
Assassin´s Creed Odyssey (2018) 30252116fps
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 (2018) 8749.14220.3fps
Hitman 2 (2018) 40.135.232.231.4fps
Fallout 76 (2018) 59.438.834.129.9fps
Battlefield V (2018) 95.349.641.336.5fps
Farming Simulator 19 (2018) 86.469.347.427fps

Emissions

Noise Emissions

During idle operation, the fan control is surprisingly good. When the notebook has hardly anything to do, the fans are often silent, so that you can only hear the slight whirring of the HDD, and if that is deactivated, the device is completely silent.

Noise level, idle
Noise level, idle
Noise level, load
Noise level, load
Speaker level
Speaker level

Under load, the Nitro 5 presents a mixed performance. While around 36 dB(A) in 3DMark 06 is relatively little, during current games the 15-incher reaches up to 44 dB(A), which is significantly louder. During the stress test, the system produces up to 46 dB(A), which is also the highest level of our comparison field.

Noise Level

Idle
29 / 31 / 32 dB(A)
HDD
31 dB(A)
Load
36 / 46 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29 dB(A)
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
2700U, Radeon RX 560X (Laptop)
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
7200U, Radeon RX 560 (Laptop)
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
8265U, GeForce MX150
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
8250U, GeForce MX150
Average of class Multimedia
 
Noise
1%
-2%
-3%
-2%
off / environment *
29
30.3
-4%
30.5
-5%
31
-7%
31.7 (22 - 304, n=149)
-9%
Idle Minimum *
29
30.3
-4%
30.5
-5%
31
-7%
31.2 (27.8 - 40.1, n=950)
-8%
Idle Average *
31
30.3
2%
30.5
2%
31
-0%
32 (27.8 - 42.2, n=952)
-3%
Idle Maximum *
32
30.3
5%
30.9
3%
32.6
-2%
32.7 (27.8 - 47, n=952)
-2%
Load Average *
36
39.2
-9%
41.2
-14%
41.6
-16%
36.4 (29 - 51.8, n=952)
-1%
Witcher 3 ultra *
44
41.6
5%
41.6
5%
Load Maximum *
46
39.2
15%
41.9
9%
44.7
3%
42 (32.5 - 62.7, n=952)
9%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The case does not get excessively warm even in extreme situations. A maximum of 47 °C (117 °F) on top and 44 °C (111 °F) on the bottom are moderate results.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
Stress test
Stress test
Full load, top
Full load, top
Full load, bottom
Full load, bottom

The hardware also gives no reason for complaints. In the 60-minute stress test with the FurMark and Prime95 tools, the Ryzen 7 2700U and the Radeon RX 560X only heated up to barely 70 °C (158 °F), while the processor turned off its Turbo and the graphics card was slightly throttled again.

Max. Load
 46 °C
115 F
47 °C
117 F
42 °C
108 F
 
 45 °C
113 F
45 °C
113 F
32 °C
90 F
 
 29 °C
84 F
28 °C
82 F
26 °C
79 F
 
Maximum: 47 °C = 117 F
Average: 37.8 °C = 100 F
44 °C
111 F
44 °C
111 F
39 °C
102 F
29 °C
84 F
37 °C
99 F
37 °C
99 F
25 °C
77 F
25 °C
77 F
24 °C
75 F
Maximum: 44 °C = 111 F
Average: 33.8 °C = 93 F
Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.8 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 30.9 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 47 °C / 117 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 44 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.1 °C / 79 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 37.7 °C / 100 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 29 °C / 84.2 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (+0.1 °C / 0.2 F).
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
2700U, Radeon RX 560X (Laptop)
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
7200U, Radeon RX 560 (Laptop)
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
8265U, GeForce MX150
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
8250U, GeForce MX150
Average of class Multimedia
 
Heat
18%
-8%
6%
-0%
Maximum Upper Side *
47
41.2
12%
52.9
-13%
43.8
7%
41.6 (27.2 - 71, n=906)
11%
Maximum Bottom *
44
36.4
17%
51.5
-17%
44.9
-2%
45 (28.5 - 82, n=906)
-2%
Idle Upper Side *
30
22
27%
28.4
5%
25.9
14%
29.8 (21.1 - 40.2, n=759)
1%
Idle Bottom *
28
23.6
16%
29.7
-6%
26.3
6%
31 (21.5 - 44.4, n=759)
-11%

* ... smaller is better

Speaker

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2029.8342527.431.53127.729.94028.429.85026.726.76325.525.38025.631.410024.943.312521.545.216021.646.620021.354.925020.861.331519.363.840018.464.150018.364.963017.566.980017.571.5100017.870.4125018.368.4160018.367.9200017.168.4250017.466.1315017.758.7400017.863.250001861.6630017.961.8800017.762.31000017.760.61250017.558.21600017.451.1SPL3078.4N1.343.8median 17.9median 62.3Delta1.35.13232.33232.632.732.633.134.333.130.430.230.432.932.732.929.226.229.226.826.926.826.524.526.52525.2252722.72735.422.135.453.32253.360.420.160.463.219.763.261.819.261.861.718.961.768.718.368.768.117.868.164.417.664.466.817.366.864.617.564.66117.76159.217.959.256.817.956.85518.15553.618.453.661.918.561.967.918.567.966.118.466.157.418.557.475.930.375.934.11.234.1median 61median 18.5median 617.21.17.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 10.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.5% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (3.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (13% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 16% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 80% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 9% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 88% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (68.73 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 67% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 26% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 47% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 44% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management

Power Consumption

Considering the offered performance, the power consumption is more than acceptable. While 7-18 watts during idle phases and 79-128 watts in 3D operation are undercut by the competitors, those also deliver a poorer performance in terms of CPU as well as GPU.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7 / 10 / 18 Watt
Load midlight 79 / 128 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
2700U, Radeon RX 560X (Laptop)
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
7200U, Radeon RX 560 (Laptop)
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
8265U, GeForce MX150
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
8250U, GeForce MX150
Average of class Multimedia
 
Power Consumption
12%
41%
45%
-15%
Idle Minimum *
7
9.9
-41%
3.8
46%
3.7
47%
11.7 (2.6 - 101, n=906)
-67%
Idle Average *
10
9.5
5%
6.3
37%
7.5
25%
16.3 (4.2 - 122, n=906)
-63%
Idle Maximum *
18
10.7
41%
9.6
47%
8
56%
19.8 (4.7 - 181, n=906)
-10%
Load Average *
79
62
22%
59.5
25%
49
38%
59.9 (18.5 - 164, n=885)
24%
Load Maximum *
128
86.7
32%
64.4
50%
55.2
57%
77.9 (20.1 - 329, n=890)
39%
Witcher 3 ultra *
98
84
14%
50.6
48%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Even though with 48 Wh, the battery is not abundantly sized, the Nitro 5 achieves a decent battery life. Almost 5.5 hours of Internet surfing on the WLAN at medium brightness should satisfy most buyers.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 40min
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0
2700U, Radeon RX 560X (Laptop), 48 Wh
Lenovo IdeaPad 720-15IKB
7200U, Radeon RX 560 (Laptop), 40 Wh
Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-53PU
8265U, GeForce MX150, 48 Wh
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
8250U, GeForce MX150, 60 Wh
Average of class Multimedia
 
Battery Runtime
25%
32%
76%
3%
Reader / Idle
963
846
393 (73 - 1810, n=867)
WiFi v1.3
340
425
25%
450
32%
597
76%
351 (96 - 942, n=222)
3%
Load
50
101
122
84.8 (32 - 238, n=867)
H.264
552
401
632
346 (114 - 915, n=98)
Witcher 3 ultra
83
75.9 (62 - 94, n=9)

Verdict

Pros

+ decent battery life thanks to efficient hardware
+ convincing price-performance ratio
+ good IPS panel

Cons

- no Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen2
- single-channel RAM only
- weak SSD during writing
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42, test unit provided by notebooksbilliger.de
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42, test unit provided by notebooksbilliger.de

AMD enthusiasts who have been yearning for a suitable multimedia notebook with gaming ambitions are exactly at the right address with the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0.

Okay, you can see various cost-cutting measures (small battery, meager connections, weak SSD during writing, only 8 GB of RAM), but for the price of barely 900 Euros (~$1019), the 15-inch notebook is a great deal.

The combination of the Ryzen 7 2700U and Radeon RX 560X brings sufficient power for most applications, although during gaming, your expectations on the graphics quality and frame rates should not be too high.

In summary, with the AMD version of the Nitro 5, Acer offers a beautiful and successful alternative to established notebooks that are based on Intel/Nvidia. Unfortunately, something like this does not happen very often. After all, competition is good for business.

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-42-R6V0 - 11/30/2018 v6
Florian Glaser

Chassis
75 / 98 → 77%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
53 / 81 → 65%
Weight
60 / 20-67 → 86%
Battery
86%
Display
87%
Games Performance
86 / 85 → 100%
Application Performance
90 / 92 → 97%
Temperature
88%
Noise
86 / 95 → 91%
Audio
75%
Average
78%
85%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Nitro 5 (Ryzen 7 2700U, Radeon RX 560X, FHD) Laptop Review
Florian Glaser, 2018-12- 1 (Update: 2018-12- 2)