Rare Ryzen and Polaris gaming laptop shows how far behind AMD is against Nvidia
For every 20 or 30 gaming laptops we review, we may get one or two from AMD if we're lucky. This year, we have checked out the Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC and the recently released Acer Nitro 5 both equipped with AMD hardware. These two gaming laptops are notable for carrying AMD mainboards and dedicated AMD GPUs whereas nearly all other alternatives have Intel processors or Nvidia graphics.
The problems with the aforementioned laptops are classic AMD. The Radeon RX 560X in the Nitro 5, for example, is comparable to the GeForce GTX 1050 in 3DMark benchmarks but real-world gaming performance is about 15 percent slower. Furthermore, we encountered a handful of crashes, errors, stutters, and other driver-related issues when trying out different games. The gaming experience continues to be smoother and much less of a headache on Intel and Nvidia hardware.
All these disadvantages wouldn't have been a big deal for AMD had the Acer Nitro 5 retailed for much cheaper than an Intel and Nvidia equivalent. The Nitro 5 with AMD Ryzen 7 2700U CPU and Radeon RX 560X retails for about $640 USD while the Nitro 5 with Intel Core i5-7300HQ CPU and GeForce GTX 1050 retails for about $650 USD in the United States. AMD would typically have superior performance-per-dollar as its biggest advantage against Nvidia, but this is all but missing in the world of gaming laptops.
AMD recently hinted at a return to the high-end gaming sector by 2019 and the leaked Navi RX 3060/3070/3080 specifications and prices show that the red chipmaker has yet to reveal all its cards to the public. Until then, however, we recommend avoiding Polaris-based gaming laptops especially since there are Intel and Nvidia equivalents for about the same price.
Acer Nitro 5 with Intel/Nvidia hardware: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-nitro-5-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1050-1tb-hard-drive-black/6204549.p?skuId=6204549