Update: Now with AMD Ryzen and Vega 56 | The Predator Helios 500 is Acer's powerful new gaming laptop with an overclockable Intel i9-8950HK CPU
Update: Since the initial announcement, Acer have showcased an AMD variant of the Predator Helios 500. The larger body has allowed them to fit a desktop class Ryzen 7 2700 8C/16T processor and RX Vega 56 inside. Ryzen is efficient for a top-end desktop chip, but Ryzen 56 is a high-TDP graphics card so we wouldn't be surprised if it was a downclocked to fit the cooling system (Max-Q style). The G-Sync panel is replaced with FullHD 144 Hz or 4K 60 Hz Freesync options for this AMD-based model.
Update 2: My German colleagues have completed their review on the Intel version of the Helios 500, which can be viewed here. English translation is being processed.
Original: The Predator Helios 500 is a beast of a laptop, equipped with a 6C/12T Intel i9-8950HK processor that has a 2.9 GHz base clock at 4.8 GHz boost frequency depending on the number of active cores. This is still a 45 W TDP chip, but it can be overclocked using the unlocked multiplier — if your cooling can handle the extra heat.
The graphics card is an Nvidia GTX 1070 which is a bit of a let down considering it is paired with the most powerful mobile CPU. But the GTX 1070 is still a very capable GPU and all but the most discerning high-frame-rate gamers will be happy. We suspect the GTX 1070 was used to reduce the load on the cooling system. Acer says they support overclocking of both the CPU and GPU.
There are two display options, both at 17.3-inches. The first is a FullHD 1920 x 1080 144 Hz panel with Gsync integration that competitive gamers will likely appreciate for the improved fluidity. The second is a UHD/4K 3840 x 2160 display running at 60 Hz and showing 100 percent of the sRGB spectrum. The inclusion of a 144 Hz high-refresh display or a UHD/4K display adds to the feeling that the GTX 1070 is a little out of place here.
There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports and an HDMI 2.0 which provide GSync support on external monitors too. There are slots for two NVMe PCI-E solid state drives running in RAID 0, and up to 64 GB of RAM can be installed. The keyboard has RGB backlighting and has anti-ghosting mechanisms in place.
The Acer Predator Helios 500 is expected to release in mid-June at a retail price of 1899 Euro (US$2220). Note: EU prices include tax. Those interested in 15.6-inch laptops can checkout the Predator Helios 300 Special Edition that was also announced today.
- Processor: Intel i9-8950HK
- Memory: up to 64 GB DDR4 (4 slots)
- Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1070
- Storage: 2 x NVMe PCI-E + 2.5-inch HDD bay
- Wireless: Killer DoubleShot Pro 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5.0
- Battery: 74 Wh
- Power: 330 W
- Dimensions: 428 x 298 x 39 mm (16.85 x 11.73 x 1.53 inches)
- Weight: 4 kg (8.82 pounds)
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