Notebookcheck

Acer Predator 15 (i7-6700HQ, GTX 970M) Notebook Review

Florian Glaser (translated by Martina Osztovits), 05/25/2016

Cool system. While the design of the Predator 15 is controversial, the cooling system is beyond any doubt. After the GTX 980M variant had to prove its capabilities at the end of 2015, we have tested the refresh with GeForce GTX 970M this time.

For the original German review, see here.

Although the first model delivered a USB 3.1 Type C port, Asus has updated the premium notebook. Compared to the Black edition of the V15 Nitro, which is also targeted at gamers, instead of a GTX 960M the significantly more powerful GTX 970M and GTX 980M siblings deal with graphics processing in the Predator 15. The 17-inch counterpart will even be available with Nvidia's top model, the GTX 980, soon.

The Internet shop cyberport.de, which provided us with the test model, offered 3 different variants at the time of testing. The cheapest G9-592-70GD one with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 128 GB SSD, and a 1000 HDD costs 1800 Euros (~$2007). The G9-592-7925, which we have ordered, boasts a significantly bigger storage space. For example, Acer has equipped the 2000-Euro (~$2230) notebook with a total of 2.5 TB (512 GB SSD + 2000 GB HDD). The G9-592-77ZU for 2400 Euros (~$2676) is even more richly equipped. While storage capacity and RAM capacity are the same, it uses a GTX 980M instead of a GTX 970M.

Regardless of the price, each of the mentioned Predator 15 models offers an IPS display with 1920x1080 pixels and a Core i7-6700HQ of Intel's Skylake generation. It is not surprising that Windows 10 Home 64-bit is used as operating system. Bargain hunters should consider that the "old" Predator 15 whose model name ends with "591" only comes with half the VRAM capacity, which makes it less future-proof.

Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925 (Predator 15 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M - 6144 MB, Core: 924 MHz, Memory: 2500 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 359.00, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2x 8 GB DDR4-2133 SO-DIMM, dual-channel, 2 of 4 slots used, max. 64 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, LG Philips LP156WF6-SPP1 (LGD04D5), IPS, Full HD, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH, 512 GB 
, M.2 Type 2280 + Seagate Momentus ST2000LM003, 2.000 GB HDD @ 5400 rpm
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphones, microphone, Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Killer e2400 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 39 x 391 x 300 ( = 1.54 x 15.39 x 11.81 in)
Battery
6000 mAh Lithium-Ion, 8 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: 2.1 (Dolby Audio), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, power adapter: 180 Watt, scope of delivery: auxiliary fan, setup guide, quick start guide, warranty leaflet, Software: CyberLink Power DVD 12, Office 365 Trial, several manufacturer's tools, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
3.52 kg ( = 124.16 oz / 7.76 pounds), Power Supply: 600 g ( = 21.16 oz / 1.32 pounds)
Price
2000 Euro

 

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Changes

Apart from double the VRAM capacity, the backlit touchpad and the revised cooling system (see below), Acer only changed a few aspects. The Predator 15 G9-592 looks exactly like its predecessor. Thus, we will skip case, connectivity, and input devices here and directly continue with the display quality.

A small note to our test procedure: As in the previous article we have removed the optical drive and replaced it with the included FrostCore, a fan, which improves the temperature management, for the benchmarks and emission measurements.

Predator Sense
Predator Sense
Gaming configuration
Gaming configuration
Key assignment
Key assignment
Backlight
Backlight
Dust Defender
Dust Defender
Killer Network Manager
Killer Network Manager
Dolby Audio
Dolby Audio
Care Center
Care Center

In contrast to the Predator 17, which optionally uses a 4K panel, the 15-incher has to do with an FHD panel. Since 3840x2160 pixels requires extremely high performance in gaming and is sometimes even too much for high-end GPUs on par with the GTX 980M, 1920x1080 pixels is the right decision in our opinion. The top model based on Nvidia's next generation GPU architecture Pascal might be the first to bring enough performance for high and maximum settings in almost all games.

282
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 302 cd/m² Average: 287.4 cd/m² Minimum: 19 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 302 cd/m²
Contrast: 839:1 (Black: 0.36 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.93 | 0.8-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 3.47 | 0.64-98 Ø6.6
82% sRGB (Argyll) 54% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.16
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
LG Philips LP156WF6-SPP1 (LGD04D5)
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
LG LP156WF6-SPP1 (LGD04D5)
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Samsung 4NDDJ_156HL (SDC4C48)
Gigabyte P55W v5
LG Philips LP156WF4-SPH1
Schenker XMG A516
LG Philips LP156WF6 (LGD046F)
Response Times
12%
-15%
-8%
3%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
43 (18, 25)
31 (10, 21)
28%
48.8 (15.6, 33.2)
-13%
44 (18, 26)
-2%
41 (15, 26)
5%
Response Time Black / White *
24 (4, 20)
25 (7, 18)
-4%
28 (6.8, 21.2)
-17%
27 (7, 20)
-13%
24 (5, 19)
-0%
PWM Frequency
200 (25)
Screen
7%
-23%
3%
5%
Brightness middle
302
310
3%
180
-40%
254
-16%
312
3%
Brightness
287
287
0%
179
-38%
267
-7%
303
6%
Brightness Distribution
91
86
-5%
83
-9%
89
-2%
92
1%
Black Level *
0.36
0.36
-0%
0.19
47%
0.28
22%
0.3
17%
Contrast
839
861
3%
947
13%
907
8%
1040
24%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.93
3.83
22%
6.74
-37%
4.28
13%
5.11
-4%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.34
10.6
14%
8.96
27%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.47
2.53
27%
6.44
-86%
2.77
20%
4.41
-27%
Gamma
2.16 111%
2.42 99%
2.29 105%
2.28 105%
2.5 96%
CCT
6622 98%
6934 94%
6465 101%
6284 103%
6789 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
54
56
4%
38
-30%
47
-13%
55
2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
82
86
5%
60
-27%
73
-11%
83
1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
10% / 8%
-19% / -22%
-3% / 1%
4% / 5%

* ... smaller is better

Alike our first test model, the new one also comes with a panel from LG Philips. The LP156WF6-SPP1 performs well - as long as you do not expect a big color space. With an average brightness of 287 cd/m² and a contrast of about 840:1 (black value: 0.36 cd/m²), the Predator 15 orients itself towards other 15-inch gamers which use IPS technology including the Gigabyte P55W v5 or the Schenker XMG P506.

CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN: Grayscale (after calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (after calibration)
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps (after calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker (after calibration)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (after calibration)
Acer Predator 15 vs. sRGB (82%)
Acer Predator 15 vs. sRGB (82%)
Acer Predator 15 vs. AdobeRGB (54%)
Acer Predator 15 vs. AdobeRGB (54%)

Advanced tests of the CalMAN tool bring the usual results: Without calibration the color precision is quite poor, which, however, will only discourage professional users from buying. After calibration, the results are significantly better (see screenshots), yet still not perfect.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles
Subpixel
Subpixel

Viewing angles and response time of the Predator 15 are on the usual IPS level. Apparently, the 15-incher does not suffer from screen bleeding. The brightness distribution of the test model was very uniform.

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
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4 ms rise
↘ 20 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 30 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 25 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. » 59 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.7 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: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 10750 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 588200) Hz was measured.

Performance

Thanks to a Solid State Drive and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM (2 of 4 slots used), the system is not only responsive, but it also has proper reserve capacities. Processor and graphics card are also high-end.

Processor

Intel's Core i7-6700HQ is the favorite CPU of manufacturers for gaming notebooks. The Predator 15 is also powered by this Skylake model.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load

Thanks to Turbo Boost, the 14 nm chip reaches up to 3.5 GHz under load. In real-world gaming 3.1 GHz is more realistic, which is still good for a laptop.

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.63 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.41 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
142 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
676 Points
Help

The CPU benchmarks prove that the Core i7-6700HQ performs very well. The devices in our comparison group with the same processor (see table) calculate about as fast as our test model in Cinebench R11.5 and Cinebench R15. More information about different models is available in our tech section.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
148 Points ∼100% +4%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼99% +3%
Gigabyte P55W v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
144 Points ∼97% +1%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
143 Points ∼97% +1%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
142 Points ∼96%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
680 Points ∼100% +1%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
677 Points ∼100% 0%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
676 Points ∼99%
Gigabyte P55W v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
675 Points ∼99% 0%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
659 Points ∼97% -3%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.68 Points ∼100% +3%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.67 Points ∼99% +2%
Gigabyte P55W v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.65 Points ∼98% +1%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.63 Points ∼97%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
1.62 Points ∼96% -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG A516
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.44 Points ∼100% 0%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.43 Points ∼100% 0%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.41 Points ∼100%
Gigabyte P55W v5
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.33 Points ∼99% -1%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
7.27 Points ∼98% -2%

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System Performance

The system performance meets the expectations: With 5974 points, the Predator 15 ranks in mid-way between the Alienware 15 R2 and the Schenker XMG A516 in PCMark7, which both came with a smaller, yet faster SSD.

PCMark 7 Score
5974 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 950 Pro 256GB m.2 NVMe
6085 Points ∼100% +2%
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B256
6021 Points ∼99% +1%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
5974 Points ∼98%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
5846 Points ∼96% -2%
Gigabyte P55W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Samung SM951 MZVPV128 NVMe
5124 Points ∼84% -14%

Storage Device

Some buyers might be upset that Acer has only incorporated a SATA III SSD at a price point of 2000 Euros (~$2230). This technology restricts rates to about 500 MB/s. PCIe and NVMe SSDs like the Samsung 950 Pro or the Samsung PM951/SM951 usually achieve double to triple the transfer rate. However, SATA III SSDs are hardly slower when handling small files. So, the disadvantages are not big in everyday Windows use and the 512 GB variant of the Samsung PM871 can indeed convince.

The same is true for the secondary storage device. Acer has equipped our test model with a 2 TB HDD (Seagate Momentus). Although the 2.5-inch drive only works at 5400 RPM, the performance does not have to hide behind the 7200 RPM competition. It achieved a sequential rate of above 130 MB/s in CrystalDiskMark.

Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Sequential Read: 509.8 MB/s
Sequential Write: 455.3 MB/s
512K Read: 415.9 MB/s
512K Write: 422.3 MB/s
4K Read: 32.46 MB/s
4K Write: 92.53 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 358.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 329.1 MB/s
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
Lite-On CV1-8B256
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZ-VLV256D
Gigabyte P55W v5
Samung SM951 MZVPV128 NVMe
Schenker XMG A516
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 256GB m.2 NVMe
AS SSD
-13%
94%
133%
Score Total
1029
826
-20%
2201
114%
2356
129%
4K Write
79.44
71.49
-10%
112.67
42%
136.79
72%
4K Read
29.54
28.16
-5%
45.15
53%
48.47
64%
Seq Write
447.33
324.1
-28%
535.62
20%
915.91
105%
Seq Read
510.59
512.56
0%
1739.11
241%
2004.93
293%

Graphics Card

In the course of the launch of the PS4 and the Xbox One, the memory demand of new games partly increased heavily. Some titles recommend a minimum of 3 GB of VRAM for maximum settings and/or 4K resolution. Often games hint on the memory capacity in a warning message or in a notification in the options menu (e.g. Rise of the Tomb Raider and Batman Arkham Knight). While the performance of weaker GPUs, like the GeForce GTX 960M, is primarily limited by other factors, as much VRAM as possible pays off in high-end models. Acer has noticed this trend and equips the new Predator 15 with 6 to 8 GB VRAM (vs. 3-4 GB in earlier models) - depending on the graphics card.

3DMark 11 Performance
9543 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
85530 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
21618 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
6719 points
Help

Let's briefly cover the performance in synthetic benchmarks: In the Fire Strike run of 3DMark 13, the tested GTX 970M performs just under 30% better than a GTX 965M, but its score is about 2000 points lower than a GeForce GTX 980M's.

3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9576 Points ∼100% +26%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9293 Points ∼97% +22%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7624 Points ∼80%
Gigabyte P55W v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7450 Points ∼78% -2%
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
6001 Points ∼63% -21%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8306 Points ∼100% +24%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
8107 Points ∼98% +21%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6719 Points ∼81%
Gigabyte P55W v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6565 Points ∼79% -2%
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
5261 Points ∼63% -22%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
12238 Points ∼100% +24%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11509 Points ∼94% +17%
Gigabyte P55W v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9910 Points ∼81% +1%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9845 Points ∼80%
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
8064 Points ∼66% -18%
1280x720 Performance
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
10977 Points ∼100% +15%
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
10623 Points ∼97% +11%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
9543 Points ∼87%
Gigabyte P55W v5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
8932 Points ∼81% -6%
Schenker XMG A516
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
8006 Points ∼73% -16%

Gaming Performance

The gaming table shows that the GeForce GTX 970M is well suitable for gamers who want to play with high to maximum settings and Full HD resolution. Apart from Rainbow Six Siege, the Predator 15 also ran Call of Duty Black Ops 3, FIFA 16 and Mad Max smoothly with maximum details. Only Anno 2205 and Assassin's Creed Syndicate stuttered heavily with ultra settings. Enthusiastic gamers who do not need to max out every option should get their money's worth. In our opinion, the price-performance ratio of the GTX 970M is better than the GTX 965M's and GTX 980M's (not to mention the GTX 980).

low med. high ultra
Crysis 3 (2013) 95.690.472.535.7fps
Mad Max (2015) 16784.477.4fps
FIFA 16 (2015) 241.8223.8172.4fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 122.2111.555.217.8fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015) 136120.661.452.6fps
Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015) 8174.549.521.2fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 235.11719478.6fps

Emissions

System Noise

There is very good news regarding system noise. Although we cannot directly compare the Predator 15 to its predecessor because of different GPUs, 40-47 instead of 47-48 dB in 3D mode indicates a tuned cooling system, since also the temperatures are much lower and the device throttles less (GPU) or even not at all (CPU). It is great that the fans slow down quite quickly after prolonged stress.

System Noise Idle
System Noise Idle
System Noise Load
System Noise Load
Pink & White Noise (speakers)
Pink & White Noise (speakers)

When running idle, you can only hear a quiet noise of 31-32 dB. However, the fans are never completely inactive. During booting, the system sometimes gets louder, but this did not disturb us. The boot sound implemented by Acer is much more annoying, but it can be disabled in the BIOS.

Noise Level

Idle
31 / 32 / 36 dB(A)
HDD
33 dB(A)
Load
40 / 47 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)
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Noise
-7%
-3%
-4%
-0%
off / environment *
Idle Minimum *
31
31
-0%
33.6
-8%
33
-6%
31
-0%
Idle Average *
32
32
-0%
33.8
-6%
34
-6%
32
-0%
Idle Maximum *
36
42
-17%
34
6%
35
3%
38
-6%
Load Average *
40
47
-18%
39.3
2%
43
-8%
40
-0%
Load Maximum *
47
48
-2%
51.4
-9%
49
-4%
45
4%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The Predator 15 performs particularly excellent in temperatures. Regardless whether idle or under high load, neither the case nor the components get above-average warm. After one hour of stress test with the Furmark and Prime95 tools, the top side of the chassis only reaches 43 °C. A maximum of 39 °C on the underside is even a bit better. In comparison: Thinner 15-inch gaming notebooks including the MSI GS60 or the Schenker XMG C506 exceed 60 °C in several spots, which makes gaming on the lap impossible.

Stress test hardware
Stress test hardware
Stress test case (top side)
Stress test case (top side)
Stress test case (underside)
Stress test case (underside)

You do not have to worry about the GPU (which slightly throttles in extreme scenarios), too: Even under full load, the GeForce GTX 970M just reaches 62 °C. The Core i7-6700HQ also does not get critically hot with a maximum of 85 °C. However, the Turbo is hardly active if you stress the system too much.

Max. Load
 41.1 °C42.6 °C38.7 °C 
 28.6 °C37.4 °C36.4 °C 
 25 °C29.8 °C31.6 °C 
Maximum: 42.6 °C
Average: 34.6 °C
36.5 °C34.2 °C38.7 °C
35.3 °C33 °C23.9 °C
25.4 °C25.5 °C22.2 °C
Maximum: 38.7 °C
Average: 30.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  44.6 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Heat
-27%
-31%
-20%
-44%
Maximum Upper Side *
42.6
49.8
-17%
48
-13%
50
-17%
52.4
-23%
Maximum Bottom *
38.7
59.2
-53%
57.3
-48%
57.7
-49%
53.1
-37%
Idle Upper Side *
27.2
32.2
-18%
31.9
-17%
25.7
6%
39.3
-44%
Idle Bottom *
22.8
26.9
-18%
33.4
-46%
27.2
-19%
39.5
-73%

* ... smaller is better

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption is as expected. 12-22 Watt while idle and 96-166 Watt under load are neither high nor extremely low for a high-end gaming notebook. The Predator 15 owes the quite low power consumption when running idle to the Optimus technology. This is an automatic graphics switch from Nvidia.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.8 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 12 / 16 / 22 Watt
Load midlight 96 / 166 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Power Consumption
-0%
-2%
18%
8%
Idle Minimum *
12
12
-0%
11.4
5%
9
25%
11
8%
Idle Average *
16
16
-0%
16.5
-3%
13
19%
15
6%
Idle Maximum *
22
22
-0%
22
-0%
17
23%
22
-0%
Load Average *
96
100
-4%
94.2
2%
81
16%
75
22%
Load Maximum *
166
162
2%
192.2
-16%
152
8%
160
4%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Acer deserves much praise for the battery life. Together with the Optimus technology, the 8-cell battery can achieve very good results. Our test model lasts almost 8 hours in the Wi-Fi test with reduced display brightness (about 150 cd/m²). Other 15-inch gamers run out of steam earlier. For example, the Gigabyte P55W v5 only achieved about 6 hours, which is not poor. Currently, only the Alienware 15 R2 comes close to the Predator 15's battery life.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 56min
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-74ZV
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Alienware 15 R2 (Skylake)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Gigabyte P55W v5
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG A516
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
476
446
-6%
348
-27%

Pros

+ optical drive or auxiliary fan
+ USB 3.1 incl. Thunderbolt 3
+ extensive lighting
+ always cool
+ very good battery life
+ graphics switch
+ much storage space
+ handy tools
+ 6 GB of VRAM
+ high performance
+ Macro keys
+ IPS panel

Cons

- slight GPU throttling in extreme situations
- G-Sync only on external displays
- battery drains under full load (in mains operation)
- chassis is quite thick and heavy
- questionable design elements
- limited maintenance
- touchpad sits too low
- annoying boot sound

Verdict

In review: Acer Predator 15 Refresh. Test model by courtesy of Cyberport.de
In review: Acer Predator 15 Refresh. Test model by courtesy of Cyberport.de

At the first glance, the refresh appears to be simply a new edition with bigger VRAM. Design, connectivity, input devices, and display are almost identical to the first retail version.

The most important change remains unseen at first but impresses all the more after a while: No other 15-inch high-end notebook manages to stay as cool as the Predator 15 according to our measurements. Acer improved the already very good fans of the earlier version even more.

Those who do not want to get distracted by warm hands in the heat of the moment will find a suitable companion here.

The manufacturer also deserves respect for the clever tools, the surprisingly high battery life and the big feature set. Not every gaming notebook features a USB 3.1 port with Thunderbolt 3 support. The replaceable drive bay is another highlight.

Cons are the size (the case is very bulky), the limited maintainability and the touchpad, which sits too low and is separated from the mouse buttons. Moreover, it is a pity that the internal display does not support G-Sync.

Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925 - 05/20/2016 v5.1
Florian Glaser

Chassis
72 / 98 → 73%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
66 / 81 → 81%
Weight
53 / 10-66 → 77%
Battery
90%
Display
86%
Games Performance
90%
Application Performance
90%
Temperature
89 / 95 → 94%
Noise
74 / 90 → 82%
Audio
75%
Average
79%
84%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Predator 15 (i7-6700HQ, GTX 970M) Notebook Review
Florian Glaser, 2016-05-25 (Update: 2018-05-15)