Notebookcheck

Acer Predator Helios 500 (GTX 1070, i9-8950HK) Laptop Review

Benjamin Herzig, 👁 Andreas Osthoff, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Sabrina Hartmann), 09/06/2018

Ultra HD gaming device. This hunk of a laptop enters the second round: We already reviewed the lower-priced version of the Acer Predator Helios 500 not so long ago - now here comes the sequel. Is the expensive high-end version able to convince us? Find out in this detailed review!

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Several months ago, we reviewed the Acer Predator Helios 500, a brand-new 17-inch gaming laptop by the Taiwanese manufacturer Acer. The laptop had good results, but it also showed room for improvement in some areas, such as the display. For this reason, today's review features the Acer Predator Helios 500 another time but as a more expensive version. The graphics are still processed by the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, but the processor in today's test device is now an Intel Core i9-8950HK instead of a Core i7-8750H. Furthermore, the display now has a 4K resolution (3840x2160) instead of Full HD (1920x1080). This top model of the Acer gaming laptop Predator Helios 500 is currently available at a price of about 3000 Euros (~$3487).

As mentioned previously, we have already reviewed the Acer Predator Helios 500 in detail, so please refer to our first review of this Acer laptop for information about the design, connectivity, and input devices.

Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS (Predator Helios Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1480 - 1695 MHz, Memory: 2002 MHz, GP104, 388.92, Optimus
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4-2666, 2 of 4 slots occupied, maximum 128 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 3840 x 2160 pixel 255 PPI, B173ZAN01.0, IPS LED, G-Sync, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake HM370
Storage
Liteon CA1-8D512, 512 GB 
, m.2 2280 PCIE 512 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD (WDC WD10SPZX-21Z10T0), 432 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 3 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone jack + microphone jack
Networking
Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 38.7 x 428 x 298 ( = 1.52 x 16.85 x 11.73 in)
Battery
74 Wh, 4800 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: stereo + subwoofer, Keyboard: 6 rows chiclet with numpad, Keyboard Light: yes, Acer Collection, Acer Care Center, Acer Documents, Acer Quick Access, Acer User Experience Improvement, Killer Control Center, PredatorSense, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
4 kg ( = 141.1 oz / 8.82 pounds), Power Supply: 1.115 kg ( = 39.33 oz / 2.46 pounds)
Price
3000 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Size Comparison

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
694 MBit/s ∼100% +9%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
692 MBit/s ∼100% +9%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
686 MBit/s ∼99% +8%
Asus G703
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
681 MBit/s ∼98% +7%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
637 MBit/s ∼92%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=175)
595 MBit/s ∼86% -7%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
593 MBit/s ∼85% -7%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
424 MBit/s ∼61% -33%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
681 MBit/s ∼100% +6%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
640 MBit/s ∼94% 0%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
Killer Wireless-AC 1550 Wireless Network Adapter
640 MBit/s ∼94%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
624 MBit/s ∼92% -2%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
604 MBit/s ∼89% -6%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
589 MBit/s ∼86% -8%
Average of class Gaming
  (213 - 697, n=175)
533 MBit/s ∼78% -17%
Asus G703
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
506 MBit/s ∼74% -21%

Display

Pixel grid AUO B173ZAN01.0
Pixel grid AUO B173ZAN01.0

The Acer Predator Helios 500 is offered with two display options. The lower-priced option - a 17.3-inch IPS screen with a Full HD resolution (1920x1080) and a refresh rate of 144 Hz - was the one already tested in our first test device. In contrast, today's test device has the 4K IPS display (3840x2160) at the same size of 17.3 inches. Both display options feature a matte surface and Nvidia G-Sync.

The LCD panel is manufactured by AUO (model number B173ZAN01.0). Overall, the quality of the display is quite high. At an average of 350 cd/m², the display brightness is adequately high, while the color-space coverage is even better with 100% sRGB and 88% AdobeRGB. Few displays manage such high values. Merely the contrast could be a bit higher - at barely 800:1 it is only just acceptable.

344
cd/m²
364
cd/m²
362
cd/m²
363
cd/m²
366
cd/m²
367
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
338
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 367 cd/m² Average: 349.4 cd/m² Minimum: 19.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 370 cd/m²
Contrast: 796:1 (Black: 0.46 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.9 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3, calibrated: 3.1
ΔE Greyscale 3.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
100% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 88.1% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.37
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
B173ZAN01.0, IPS LED, 3840x2160, 17.3
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
AUO_B173HAN03, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
CMN N173HHE-G32 (CMN1747), TN, 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus G703
AUO B173HAN03.0 (AUO309D), IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), IPS, 3840x2160, 17.3
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
AU Optronics B173HW01, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF5 (LGD056D), IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
ID: AUO169D, Name: AU Optronics B173HAN01.6, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Average of class Gaming
 
Screen
-29%
13%
-8%
-1%
1%
-31%
-9%
-44%
Brightness middle
366
335
-8%
240
-34%
274
-25%
343
-6%
343
-6%
365
0%
367.4
0%
284 (118 - 463, n=641)
-22%
Brightness
349
300
-14%
248
-29%
268
-23%
328
-6%
332
-5%
341
-2%
363
4%
Brightness Distribution
86
82
-5%
83
-3%
80
-7%
84
-2%
83
-3%
89
3%
86
0%
Black Level *
0.46
0.7
-52%
0.22
52%
0.29
37%
0.29
37%
0.35
24%
0.32
30%
0.32
30%
0.665 (0.2 - 146, n=663)
-45%
Contrast
796
479
-40%
1091
37%
945
19%
1183
49%
980
23%
1141
43%
1148
44%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.9
4.99
-72%
2.14
26%
3.99
-38%
4.01
-38%
3.35
-16%
6.51
-124%
3.8
-31%
5.66 (1.29 - 12.9, n=384)
-95%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.4
9.32
-73%
5.04
7%
7.33
-36%
6.03
-12%
5.62
-4%
12.32
-128%
10.4
-93%
9.82 (2.04 - 28.7, n=235)
-82%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
3.1
1.93
38%
1.54
50%
1.79
42%
2.5
19%
2.9
6%
2.91 (0.93 - 6.51, n=55)
6%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.5
5.2
-49%
1.62
54%
4.14
-18%
4.7
-34%
2.4
31%
7.65
-119%
3.5
-0%
5.79 (0.64 - 98, n=385)
-65%
Gamma
2.37 93%
2.49 88%
2.28 96%
2.58 85%
2.4 92%
2.35 94%
2.64 83%
2.18 101%
2.36 93% (1.57 - 3.71, n=386)
CCT
6616 98%
7719 84%
6846 95%
7352 88%
6451 101%
6495 100%
8066 81%
6467 101%
8073 81% (1136 - 19530, n=386)
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
88.1
59
-33%
77
-13%
60
-32%
88
0%
57
-35%
56
-36%
58.1
-34%
58.2 (34.3 - 91, n=380)
-34%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
91
-9%
100
0%
92
-8%
100
0%
88
-12%
86
-14%
89.3
-11%
85.9 (54.8 - 100, n=279)
-14%

* ... smaller is better

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Grayscales
Grayscales
Saturation
Saturation
ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscales calibrated
Grayscales calibrated
Saturation calibrated
Saturation calibrated
ColorChecker calibrated
ColorChecker calibrated

Out-of-the-box, the panel is already calibrated decently, getting rather close to the target values. There are a few minor color deviations, but they are barely noticeable while gaming. The grayscale representation can be improved with calibration, but the color deviations actually increase then, leaving not much potential for improvement.

AdobeRGB: 88.1%
AdobeRGB: 88.1%
sRGB: 100%
sRGB: 100%
Outdoors (cloudy)
Outdoors (cloudy)

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
24.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 10.4 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. » 38 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 18 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. » 27 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better 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 8773 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Viewing angle image Acer Predator Helios 500
Viewing angle image Acer Predator Helios 500

Performance

After our first detailed review of an entry-level variant of the Acer Predator Helios 500, today's test device can be found at the other end of the price spectrum. At a price range from 1800 to 3000 Euros (~$2091 to $3487), the Acer Predator laptop Helios 500 is certainly not a low-priced device.

In addition to the display, there are several other features distinguishing the six different Predator configurations. For instance, customers can choose between an Intel Core i7-8750H, an Intel Core i9-8950HK, and an AMD Ryzen 7 2700 as the main processor. The graphics chip is tied to the CPU choice, as the Intel configurations come exclusively with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, whereas the AMD model is equipped with an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56. The storage solution always includes a 1 TB hard drive, supported by an SSD with a capacity of either 256 or 512 GB. RAM options include 16 or 32 GB of RAM with four RAM slots for a maximum of 128 GB of DDR4-2666 memory (two of the four slots are occupied out-of-the-box).

HWiNFO
HWiNFO
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z SPD
CPU-Z SPD
LatencyMon
LatencyMon
 

Processor

The Intel Core i9-8950HK is the most powerful mobile processor of the "Coffee Lake" generation. It is equipped with six x86 cores with a clock rate of 2.9 to 4.8 GHz. The TDP is typically 45 watts, but this value cannot be kept when aiming for the Turbo clock speed. Comparisons with different CPUs can be found in our CPU benchmark list.

Acer elicits a high performance from the Core i9-8950HK, but the CPU cannot reach its maximum multi-core performance – not even in overclock mode with the fan running permanently. When overclocked, the processor has a maximum score of 1160 points in the Cinebench R15 multi-core test. The significantly thicker laptop MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan has about 20% higher multi-core performance with the same CPU.

At least the Acer Predator Helios 500 is able to sustain its CPU performance constantly. Under continuous load, the Helios 500 achieved about 1130 points in the Cinebench loop with only some minor fluctuations. However, the CPU performance decreases significantly in battery mode.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Intel Core i9-8950HK
205 Points ∼96% +4%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
Intel Core i9-8950HK
198 Points ∼93%
Asus G703
Intel Core i7-7820HK
185 Points ∼87% -7%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
Intel Core i7-8750H
173 Points ∼81% -13%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
Intel Core i5-8300H
173 Points ∼81% -13%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
  (130 - 202, n=56)
164 Points ∼77% -17%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
Intel Core i7-7820HK
162 Points ∼76% -18%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼75% -19%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
157 Points ∼74% -21%
Average of class Gaming
  (79 - 209, n=413)
151 Points ∼71% -24%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1378 Points ∼44% +20%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1148 Points ∼37%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
Intel Core i7-8750H
1007 Points ∼32% -12%
Asus G703
Intel Core i7-7820HK
932 Points ∼30% -19%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
  (635 - 1265, n=57)
836 Points ∼27% -27%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
Intel Core i5-8300H
807 Points ∼26% -30%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
Intel Core i7-7820HK
770 Points ∼25% -33%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 1865, n=414)
744 Points ∼24% -35%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼24% -36%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
732 Points ∼24% -36%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
41678 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6836 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
7460
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
32438
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6838
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
9576 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
2.24 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 32Bit
87.14 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 32Bit
11.37 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
12.37 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
88.04 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 32Bit
1.99 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
198 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1148 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
135.51 fps
Help

System Performance

As was to be expected with such powerful components, the Acer Predator Helios 500 has a really good system performance. The Predator Helios 500 with Core i7-8750H actually did slightly better in the benchmarks, but this can be ascribed to the higher display resolution of today's test device.

PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus G703
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP NVMe (RAID 0)
5944 Points ∼100% +22%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP (RAID 0)
5720 Points ∼96% +17%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256GD9MNE-6200A
5431 Points ∼91% +11%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5221 Points ∼88% +7%
Average Intel Core i9-8950HK, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
  (4882 - 5541, n=3)
5178 Points ∼87% +6%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8950HK, Liteon CA1-8D512
4882 Points ∼82%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
4395 Points ∼74% -10%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 8300H, Hynix HFS128G39TND
4253 Points ∼72% -13%
Average of class Gaming
  (2554 - 6093, n=328)
4218 Points ∼71% -14%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
4207 Points ∼71% -14%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4882 points
Help

Storage Devices

In spite of the Predator Helios 500's high price, Acer cut the budget on storage. While our test device has an NVMe SSD with a capacity of 512 GB in addition to the 1 TB HDD, the flash storage by LiteOn is an NVMe SSD of the slower kind. This should not be very noticeable in everyday use, but it is a bit disappointing, considering this laptop's price range.

Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8950HK, Liteon CA1-8D512
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8950HK, 2x Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP (RAID 0)
Asus G703
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, 2x Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP NVMe (RAID 0)
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 8300H, Hynix HFS128G39TND
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD PM951 MZVLV256HCHP
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, SK hynix SSD Canvas SC300 HFS256GD9MNE-6200A
Average Liteon CA1-8D512
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
146%
211%
82%
-53%
13%
17%
0%
Write 4K
95
111.8
18%
160.7
69%
148.8
57%
61.88
-35%
155.1
63%
79.18
-17%
95
0%
Read 4K
37.56
42.09
12%
54.82
46%
46.64
24%
22.78
-39%
44.22
18%
39.69
6%
37.6
0%
Write Seq
484.1
2288
373%
2738
466%
1216
151%
136.1
-72%
311.2
-36%
949.6
96%
484
0%
Read Seq
1001
3321
232%
3346
234%
1461
46%
490.1
-51%
1247
25%
1087
9%
1001
0%
Write 4K Q32T1
278.2
308.3
11%
612.4
120%
444
60%
136.2
-51%
310.3
12%
189.6
-32%
278
0%
Read 4K Q32T1
346.3
364.9
5%
708.7
105%
535
54%
208.4
-40%
551.2
59%
304
-12%
346
0%
Write Seq Q32T1
489
2440
399%
3082
530%
1210
147%
136
-72%
311.5
-36%
947.7
94%
489
0%
Read Seq Q32T1
1586
3485
120%
3505
121%
3450
118%
553.1
-65%
1560
-2%
1488
-6%
1586
0%
Liteon CA1-8D512
Sequential Read: 990.5 MB/s
Sequential Write: 490.9 MB/s
512K Read: 865.5 MB/s
512K Write: 447.2 MB/s
4K Read: 35.77 MB/s
4K Write: 90.06 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 418.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 299.1 MB/s

Graphics

GPU-Z Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
GPU-Z Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070

Our test device is equipped with exactly the same graphics card as the already previewed Acer Predator Helios 500 model: An Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, the second-fastest mobile GeForce GPU belonging to the most recent generation. It serves as the sole GPU in this system, as the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 is deactivated and cannot be activated by the user. The performance of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 in the Acer Predator 500 is on the same level as in the first test device, in line with the average values for this graphics chip. As was the case with the main processor, the graphics chip throttles in battery mode. Instead of 18,687 points, the Predator Helios 500 achieved only 6,786 points in the 3DMark11 test.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus G703
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7820HK
29109 Points ∼100% +32%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-8950HK
28918 Points ∼99% +31%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7820HK
27109 Points ∼93% +23%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22510 Points ∼77% +2%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
  (13760 - 25604, n=58)
22405 Points ∼77% +2%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-8950HK
22017 Points ∼76%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
13668 Points ∼47% -38%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=515)
11872 Points ∼41% -46%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i5-8300H
9147 Points ∼31% -58%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus G703
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7820HK
22160 Points ∼100% +31%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-8950HK
21422 Points ∼97% +27%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7820HK
20307 Points ∼92% +20%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
17649 Points ∼80% +5%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
  (15718 - 19059, n=56)
17228 Points ∼78% +2%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-8950HK
16873 Points ∼76%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
16847 Points ∼76% 0%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11049 Points ∼50% -35%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=441)
10260 Points ∼46% -39%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i5-8300H
7610 Points ∼34% -55%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Asus G703
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7820HK
143992 Points ∼100% +45%
MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-8950HK
140768 Points ∼98% +41%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-8950HK
99587 Points ∼69%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
  (64973 - 125922, n=51)
99208 Points ∼69% 0%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
94246 Points ∼65% -5%
HP Omen X 17-ap0xx
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7820HK
88432 Points ∼61% -11%
Razer Blade Pro RZ09-0220
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
77354 Points ∼54% -22%
Average of class Gaming
  (5761 - 184578, n=432)
62056 Points ∼43% -38%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), Intel Core i5-8300H
51038 Points ∼35% -49%
3DMark 06 Standard
40048 points
3DMark 11 Performance
18687 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
34455 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
14734 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The Acer Predator Helios 500 was designed for gaming and that fact is noticeable in the results of the gaming tests. The Acer laptop is able to display even the most recent games in Ultra HD / 4K resolution (3840x2160) on highest details.

low med. high ultra4K
The Witcher 3 (2015) 259185.5111.26340.4fps
Doom (2016) 147.4143.2126.8121.355.9fps
Civilization VI (2016) 128.8106.991.389.380fps
Rocket League (2017) 202.8fps
Call of Duty WWII (2017) 248.7214.6136.9111.847.8fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 179.5157.2134.898.531.6fps

Emissions & Energy

Noise Emissions

The Acer Predator Helios 500 is not silent in idle mode, with the fan running most of the time, but it is still relatively quiet. However, the fan is not the only noise source, as the laptop also includes a mechanical hard drive which is also active from time to time. Under load, the fan is clearly audible at a maximum of over 40 dB(A). At least the noise frequency is not very high, so the fan noise remains at a tolerable level.

The overclocking of both main components also causes significantly more fan noise. At maximum overclock level for CPU and GPU, we measured 48.4 dB(A) under load, which rose to 51 dB(A) with the CoolerBoost setting (maximum fan speed).

Noise Level

Idle
29.4 / 29.4 / 30.1 dB(A)
HDD
30.3 dB(A)
Load
36 / 42.2 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: 29.4 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.726.728.726.929.126.92527.428.125.327.427.427.23126.52627.728.326.327.44026.325.728.525.725.625.85026.728.726.825.22525.26324.524.322.524.625.524.7802424.524.522.623.42510026.224.824.523.323.125.312525.223.322.423.321.123.816024.826.222.42220.923.820025.926.122.922.620.325.325025.925.925.320.719.926.13152724.822.220.719.725.240028.12623.120.219.726.250032.330.325.920.319.730.363031.729.324.920.219.530.48003027.723.420.219.628.3100029.127.323.819.719.129125033.430.725.419.517.931.2160032.730.325.318.917.731.2200031.629.124.618.117.130.5250031.228.723.217.216.530.6315031.228.121.616.616.430.3400028.824.619.615.915.626.950002723.819.215.515.425.8630024.821.21715.315.122.8800023.219.8161515.221.1100002017.215.214.714.818.31250016.715.514.814.514.515.9160001615.515.514.314.215.6SPL42.239.634.830.129.440.9N3.93.22.11.31.23.5median 27median 26median 22.9median 19.5median 17.9median 26.1Delta33.12.62.51.93.237.339.736.336.437.437.335.136.234.333.635.335.134.233.232313134.23233.432.73229.53232.332.630.931.331.132.332.633.131.93335.932.630.730.829.930.629.330.735.538.430.831.227.835.527.930.426.628.625.127.929.631.126.92625.829.63031.426.726.326.73032.133.326.824.42332.133.934.827.123.723.933.932.233.425.922.22132.230.631.624.42221.230.63131.92421.220.43132.633.224.420.719.432.634.735.226.219.518.334.735.836.22718.817.935.834.835.826.218.317.134.834.835.524.917.917.334.833.834.322.417.71733.832.233.520.517.616.932.229.430.619.317.616.929.427.929.318.617.616.727.925.126.717.917.516.825.122.523.817.617.616.822.520.82217.617.616.720.819.22017.617.616.919.218.819.61817.81718.844.445.235.631.230.444.44.54.82.11.41.34.5median 31median 31.9median 24.4median 18.8median 17.9median 313.83.33.73.43.13.8hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAcer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LSAcer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY

Temperature

Stress test: Prime95 + FurMark
Stress test: Prime95 + FurMark

Because of the powerful components, the case of the Acer Predator Helios 500 never remains entirely cool, not even in idle mode. However, the cooling system is similarly powerful and the case is rather spacious, so the outside temperatures did not rise much in the stress test or under continuous load with the game The Witcher 3. We measured 48.9 °C at a hotspot in the upper left corner of the case during the The Witcher 3 test, so the 50 °C mark is never crossed.

During the stress test with Prime95 and FurMark, the GPU and CPU were simultaneously put under 100% load for one hour. The cooling system dealt well with this exceptional stress. The processor was able to work at 70 watts permanently. The clock rates of the six cores fluctuated between 2.9 and 4 GHz at the beginning of the test, and between 2.9 and 3.6 GHz later on. The temperatures rose slowly throughout the test, with the processor temperatures reaching 94 °C after half an hour. They remained at this level for the rest of the stress test. The temperatures of the graphics chip showed a similar behavior, at first rising slowly, then stabilizing at a lower temperature of 71 °C. The GPU was able to sustain its clock speed of 1.6 GHz throughout the entirety of the test.

Max. Load
 39.6 °C
103 F
41 °C
106 F
36.5 °C
98 F
 
 33.4 °C
92 F
35.4 °C
96 F
34.8 °C
95 F
 
 24.5 °C
76 F
27.3 °C
81 F
26.9 °C
80 F
 
Maximum: 41 °C = 106 F
Average: 33.3 °C = 92 F
45.2 °C
113 F
36.3 °C
97 F
38.8 °C
102 F
38.2 °C
101 F
28.7 °C
84 F
27.7 °C
82 F
25.1 °C
77 F
25.2 °C
77 F
26.4 °C
80 F
Maximum: 45.2 °C = 113 F
Average: 32.4 °C = 90 F
Power Supply (max.)  42 °C = 108 F | Room Temperature 21.6 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 33.3 °C / 92 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 39.2 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The maximum temperature on the bottom side is 45.2 °C / 113 F, compared to the average of 41.6 °C / 107 F, ranging from 21.1 to 78 °C for the class Gaming.
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.3 °C / 87 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 33.8 °C / 93 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 28.5 °C / 83.3 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.7 °C / 83.7 F (+0.2 °C / 0.4 F).
Load (top)
Load (top)
Load (bottom)
Load (bottom)

Speakers

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2041.637.441.6254135.3413141.13141.14041.629.541.65042.631.142.66344.535.944.58045.829.345.810049.727.849.712550.725.150.716052.625.852.620055.726.755.725059.42359.431565.223.965.240062.72162.750061.121.261.163063.820.463.880061.319.461.3100061.518.361.512506117.961160066.317.166.3200063.917.363.9250060.31760.3315057.616.957.6400060.416.960.4500060.416.760.4630066.816.866.8800063.216.863.21000058.916.758.91250054.116.954.11600052.51752.5SPL74.730.474.7N351.335median 60.4median 17.9median 60.4Delta3.23.13.243.442.537.237.3303835.538.427.136.327.338.327.247.328.253.225.154.322.464.223.370.42273.920.676.718.877.919.372.318.363.717.866.918.371.817.681.217.184.417.285.917.183.717.179.517.272.717.180.61779.417.177.117.170.717.26516.966.429.892.71.394.7median 17.6median 72.71.96.5hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BYMSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (65 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 6.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (8.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

MSI GT75 8RG-090 Titan audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (94 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.8% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 21% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 72% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 8% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 89% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Consumption

At 20 watts, our first Acer Predator Helios 500 test device already had extremely high power consumption in idle mode, but today's high-end configuration is able to top this value: The minimum power consumption in idle mode is 24 watts, averaging at 33.1 watts. The higher display resolution is noticeable here.

The power consumption tops out at a maximum of 236.5 watts, which increases to 245 watts when overclocking. This does not pose a problem for the power supply, though, as it can deliver up to 330 watts to the laptop.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.72 / 0.79 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 24.6 / 33.1 / 37.2 Watt
Load midlight 124 / 236.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

Charging time: 142 minutes
Charging time: 142 minutes

Given the extremely high consumption values, the short battery runtime in our Wi-Fi test did not come as a surprise. The battery has a capacity of 74 watt hours, but this seems almost like a mere drop in the ocean. The Predator runs out of steam after barely three hours.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge)
2h 52min

Pros

+ bright Ultra HD display with very good color-space coverage
+ future-proof RAM configuration
+ extensively configurable backlight
+ 2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3
+ convenient port placement
+ great maintenance options
+ decent sound system
+ good input devices
+ comparatively lightweight for its class
+ quiet during office applications, acceptable when gaming
+ macro keys

Cons

- Core i9 unable to reach its full performance potential
- unconventional keyboard layout
- poor battery life
- very high idle power consumption
- material and rigidity too poor for its price
- significantly decreased performance in battery mode

Verdict

Acer Predator Helios 500, courtesy of Acer.
Acer Predator Helios 500, courtesy of Acer.

No surprise: The Acer Predator Helios 500 in the 4K version with Intel Core i9-8950HK is another great device for gaming, as it still offers most benefits of the lower-priced version. However, in our opinion the lower-priced i7 model is the better choice. The Intel Core i9-8950HK is barely able to make use of its higher performance, while at the same time causing higher temperatures under load and – together with the 4K display – higher power consumption. Regarding the display: The Ultra HD screen is definitely a worthwhile upgrade, allowing for 4K gaming with the GeForce GTX 1070. The quality of the display is convincing, especially the high color-space coverage. On the other hand, the Full HD panel has a higher refresh rate, so both display options have pros and cons.

4K top, Core i9 flop: While the 4K LCD offers great advantages to many users, the Core i9 is mostly just a waste of money.

Overall, we can recommend the 4K display, but the Core i9-8950HK is not worth the higher price – it can only really shine with its single-core performance, which is unimportant for gaming.

Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-93LS - 09/03/2018 v6
Benjamin Herzig

Chassis
71 / 98 → 73%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
70 / 81 → 86%
Weight
50 / 10-66 → 71%
Battery
68%
Display
91%
Games Performance
94%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
89 / 95 → 93%
Noise
92 / 90 → 100%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
77%
88%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Predator Helios 500 (GTX 1070, i9-8950HK) Laptop Review
Benjamin Herzig, 2018-09- 6 (Update: 2018-09- 8)