Acer Nitro 5 vs Acer Aspire 7 (2020)

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Winner
Acer Aspire 7 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS Display, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, GeForce GTX 1050 3GB, 16GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Backlit Keyboard, A715-74G-71WS
Best Price
Acer Nitro 5 AN515 Laptop: Core i5-8300H, 15.6inch Full HD IPS Display, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, NVidia GTX 1050 4GB Graphics
Model
Aspire 7
Nitro 5
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent June 2020
Test Result 9.1/10 Very good June 2020
Manufacturer
Acer
Acer
RAM
16 GB
8GB
CPU
Intel Core i7-9750H
Intel Core i5-8300H
Graphics Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 3GB
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
1TB HDD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
3.31 lbs
5.95 lbs
Pros
  • Better Gaming Performance than Nitro 5
  • Full HD display resolution
  • Much lighter weight than Nitro 5
  • Good Gaming Performance
  • Better Price than Aspire 7
  • Slim Bezel
Cons
  • More expensive than Nitro 5
  • Low color display
Winner
Acer Aspire 7 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS Display, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, GeForce GTX 1050 3GB, 16GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Backlit Keyboard, A715-74G-71WS
Model
Aspire 7
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Excellent June 2020
Manufacturer
Acer
RAM
16 GB
CPU
Intel Core i7-9750H
Graphics Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 3GB
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
3.31 lbs
Pros
  • Better Gaming Performance than Nitro 5
  • Full HD display resolution
  • Much lighter weight than Nitro 5
Cons
  • More expensive than Nitro 5
Best Price
Acer Nitro 5 AN515 Laptop: Core i5-8300H, 15.6inch Full HD IPS Display, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, NVidia GTX 1050 4GB Graphics
Model
Nitro 5
Test Result
Test Result 9.1/10 Very good June 2020
Manufacturer
Acer
RAM
8GB
CPU
Intel Core i5-8300H
Graphics Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
Storage Capacity
1TB HDD
Battery Time
Value for money
Weight
5.95 lbs
Pros
  • Good Gaming Performance
  • Better Price than Aspire 7
  • Slim Bezel
Cons
  • Low color display

We tested and compared the Acer Aspire 7 versus the Acer Nitro 5 in terms of (Gaming) Performance, Display Quality, Price, Battery life, Portability and more.

Above you can see the results of the test in the ranking and below you will find the in-depth reports of each Acer Laptop.

Ranking First: Acer Aspire 7

Acer Aspire 7 review


Pros

  • Better Gaming Performance than Nitro 5
  • Full HD display resolution
  • Much lighter weight than Nitro 5

Cons

  • More expensive than Nitro 5

The 15.6-inch notebook Acer Aspire 7 A715-74G-57L9 offers an Intel Core i5-9300H, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, 8GB RAM and an SSD with 512GB memory. We took a closer look at the notebook and tested it in everyday use as well as in terms of gaming – is it worth its price of $950 and is the power enough for modern games?

In our practical test, we took a closer look at the Acer Aspire 7 A715-74G-57L9, a notebook that has a frequently used combination of CPU and graphic card on the hardware side: an Intel Core i5-9300H and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650.

In our special last weekend on gaming notebooks, we explained, among other things, that above a certain performance class, the surcharges for gaming increase significantly more than those for desktop PCs.

We therefore ask ourselves, using our test notebook as an example: Is the mobile version of the GTX 1650 sufficient to be able to play modern games, so that you don’t have to spend 1200 Dollars or even more even as a gaming fan?

Hardware

Our notebook under the magnifying glass is a model from the current Acer Aspire 7 series. There are currently almost 20 variations of this in the trade.

Acer Aspire 7 test

The 15 in the model abbreviation A715 stands for notebooks with a display diagonal of 15.6 inches, the also available A717 models have a diagonal of 17.3 inches.

In some Acer Aspire 7 notebooks that have been available for a bit longer, there is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 as GPU inside, the newer versions offer a GeForce GTX 1650 or a 1650 Ti (currently only built into notebooks), while individual models rely on an AMD RX Vega GL.

To be precise, our test model is the Acer Aspire 7 A715-74G-57L9, which our author purchased privately. A few days ago the price was $950.

Our practical test is an independent and subjective assessment of the device, which is of course supported by benchmark values for 11 games with measurable values.

Design

Externally, the Acer Aspire 7 A715-G74-57L9 makes a very good impression. The case’s main material is plastic, which is normal for the price range and also for significantly more expensive notebooks. However, it’s not a cheap-looking thin plastic. The case lid (i.e. the back of the display) is made of metal, and some other areas are also partly supported by metal.

Acer Aspire 7 test

The case lid has a small disadvantage, which can be found in many notebooks: Fingerprints are left behind relatively quickly and are easy to see. However, the notebook’s workmanship is generally good overall, we didn’t find any gaps to be criticized.

The keyboard is illuminated in white, whereby the illumination turns off by default after a few seconds when not typing. The typing feel of the flat keys is good, they can be pressed quietly and without much effort.

The keyboard area doesn’t yield when typing, which can happen on very cheap devices. The layout of the touchpad is successful: You can easily place the palms of your hands on the left and right of the touchpad and reach all keys without accidentally getting on the touchpad.

You can also place your hand well for WASD control during games, whereby it can get tight for large hands. When playing games, you can of course turn off the touchpad, which reacts well, but not too sensitively.

With the available connections, there should be enough potential for most users. To the right, directly next to the power connection, there is a USB 2.0 port as well as the audio jack for headphones or headsets with a matching plug. Headsets using a separate plug for the microphone will only fit with an additional adapter.

On the left side of the housing there are two fast USB 3.0 ports as well as a USB C connector. Also on the left is an HDMI and a LAN port as well as a device for a Kensington lock for theft protection.

Upgradability

In order to expand the fixed or main memory in our test notebook, you have to unscrew the notebook. Unfortunately, there is no maintenance flap. However, the procedure isn’t difficult if you know what you have to pay attention to and show a bit of courage.

Acer Aspire 7 back side

You remove the screws on the underside, all of which are clearly visible and not covered – this should be emphasized, as in some notebooks one or more screws are covered with a sticker that serves as a kind of seal and can also make sure that you cause damage when you lift the cover if you are not aware of the hidden screw.

Once the screws are removed on our Acer Aspire 7 A715-G74-57L9, you carefully insert a plastic lifter (a credit card can be used if necessary) between the base plate and the edge of the case to lift the plate and separate it piece by piece from the rest of the notebook.

It can happen that the cover still seems to be screwed down where it is a little bit hooked. With a little careful effort, the cover is unlocked in the end. Nevertheless, the following applies here: In case of a complaint, your own fiddling around with the notebook can be interpreted negatively – so you should be careful and know what you are doing.

Strictly speaking, Acer demands that an expert must lend a hand. If the base plate is removed, then you’ll see an installation location for a 2.5 inch drive in the bottom left corner (if the notebook is still aligned with the touchpad area towards the user).

So a 2.5 inch hard disk or a corresponding SSD can be installed there. The notebook comes with a small adapter cable for the connection. In the center left you can see two M.2 installation locations. In one of them there is the 512GB M.2 SSD, so a second M.2 SSD can be installed in the other one.

Last but not least you can see the two RAM bars. If you want, you can remove them and install two bars with 8GB capacity each, thus increasing the total memory from 8 to 16 GB. Two SO-DIMM bars DDR4-2666 or faster with 8GB capacity.

Everydays use & Gaming + Battery

The booting of Windows happens lightning fast – surely also thanks to the M.2 SSD’s Intel Optane Memory, which keeps frequently used things and also the data important for booting in place – in less than 10 seconds after pressing the power button, you’ll already be on the desktop, including the login via fingerprint sensor, which is located below the number pad area on the right and worked fast and reliable in our test.

Acer Aspire 7 slim design

We’re talking about the startup time after a complete shutdown of the notebook, not a wake-up from an energy savings mode or something similar.

Before that, we of course had to subject the notebook to an initial setup first, since there is no user data in the delivery state yet. The pre-installed Windows is also rarely up to date in notebooks.

Including all updates and drivers this took about 45 minutes in our case. The boot time remained under 10 seconds even after we had installed some more software, which partly also starts together with Windows in the background.

By the way, before the big Windows 10 update, which took place during the initial setup, the fan was blowing at full speed, which made us fear some bad things.

But as soon as everything was updated, the notebook behaved quietly while surfing or working: the fan only rustled discreetly or could not be heard at all.

When playing games (we’ll come to the exact test results in a moment), the notebook naturally turns up a lot, which can be annoying in quiet strategy games.

The fan is less noticeable in action-packed games like Call of Duty or Need for Speed, but also stands out annoyingly in some situations.

However, almost all notebooks with a certain gaming power have this problem – the gaming sound of the Acer Aspire 7 A715-G74-57L9 isn’t particularly loud in parts, so that additional PC boxes or even headphones are definitely recommended as accessories.

However, it’s also true that the problem is relativized if you don’t sit too close to the notebook. Especially if you don’t need the keyboard, so you can also play via gamepad, this is of course possible without problems.

But there is also a clever alternative against a loud ventilation, which applies to all Nvidia graphics cards, no matter if desktop PC or mobile GPU: In the Nvidia drivers, a maximum FPS value (frames per second calculated by the GPU) can be specified for several months, which the graphics card should not exceed.

Acer Aspire 7 display quality

Especially in games where high FPS values don’t bring any advantage, a value of 40 FPS for example can ensure that the GTX 1650 in the Acer Aspire 7 A715-G74-57L9 doesn’t have to be fully loaded, at least if it would normally manage more than 40 FPS in the selected details.

The ventilation then has to do less, the notebook works quieter. The display proves to be very tidy in practice and doesn’t cause any problems in games, movies or everyday office life.

On the basis of loading screens, where often a lot of black is visible, it’s easy to see if the illumination of monitors and displays in general has been successful – if not, you’ll see clear and well visible brighter clouds especially in the corners and at the edges. This wasn’t the case with our test notebook, so we can attest a good illumination.

Software

Acer offers three pre-installed tools for the notebook. What we missed, and didn’t find in the support area, was an application that gave us a more precise setting in terms of the balance between performance, temperature and ventilation, as you know it from many gaming notebooks.

Acer Aspire 7 slim

Acer’s “Care Center” is more about managing programs and storage space, while “Quick Access” has a fan option, but this is only to give you more power.

But we liked the Acer Network Optimizer, with which you can give individual applications priority for downloads and general internet access. For example, you could prioritise a video stream so that it doesn’t stop because of a parallel download.

Battery Life

Before we come to the game benchmarks, we’d also like to mention the battery runtimes. Battery operation is of course less intended for games, but if you just want to surf the net or watch a movie without an annoying cable, you won’t be disappointed:

Acer Aspire 7 design

The Acer Aspire 7 A715-G74-57L9 switched to a more energy-saving mode after about five and a half hours (internet, office and video streaming), and after a bit more than six and a half hours it required a mains plug.

If you want to push it to the limit, you’ll get the seven hours of battery life also stated by Acer.

Gaming Performance

But what does the performance of our test notebook actually look like in games? We tried out a few games and measured the FPS rates, partly through integrated benchmarks, otherwise through free gaming.

Acer Aspire 7 display gaming

What we noticed: the graphics sometimes falters in some faster, current games, despite sufficiently high FPS rates, if the details are set a bit too high. That means: The FPS rates are still very good between the jerking, but then break down briefly.

Maybe this has to do with the only 4GB RAM, which can be a bit too little for some modern games or for some detail levels. Because in other games there were only jerking when you adjusted the details so that the FPS values were not very high between the jerking.

But here are our benchmark results with the detail modes that were playable without jerking – up to and including Total War: Three Kingdoms, these are benchmarks integrated into the game, from Crysis 3 on we determined the values by active playing in Full-HD (1920 by 1080 pixels):

Anno 1800, high details: 65 FPS
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, medium details: 60 FPS
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, high details: 55 FPS
F1 2018, high details: 110 FPS
Hitman 2, medium details: 60 FPS
Middle-earth: Mordor’s shadow, maximum details: 90 FPS
Total War: Three Kingdoms, high details, two benchmarks (campaign and battle): 45 and 39 FPS
Total War: Three Kingdoms, medium details, two benchmarks (campaign and battle): 60 and 64 FPS
Crysis 3, high details: 55 FPS
Devil May Cry 5, high details: 95 FPS
Need for Speed: Heat, low details: 80 FPS
Need for Speed: Heat, medium details: 70 FPS
Star Wars Jedi: The fallen Order, medium details: 60 FPS

Our benchmark tool did not work with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. But we made the following experiences: We played the multiplayer mode with a graphic setting automatically selected by the game and watched the FPS display that could be faded in by the game.

There were mostly values from 90 to 100 FPS, the game feeling was fluid throughout.

Verdict

Equipped with a GTX 1650, you can’t give a notebook the “Gaming” label with a clear conscience. Overall, the Acer Aspire 7 A715-G74-57L9 is a decent office device, but thanks to the Nvidia GPU it also allows games, although this can become borderline especially in modern, fast games.

Acer Aspire 7 keyboard

Even if none of our test titles were unplayable, such a notebook will, in our estimation, fail in not too long a time even in low settings of some newly appearing graphic blockbuster games.

The notebook’s hardware is sufficient for strategy games, role-playing games, older action titles or even multiplayer games optimized for high FPS rates, like Call of Duty, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

In this respect, the Acer Aspire 7 A715-G74-57L9 is very well suited for users who need a notebook, but also want to enjoy a current game every now and then and aren’t angry if this isn’t possible without problems in the end even at lower detail settings.

However, the Acer Aspire 7 A715-G74-57L9 is well made, offers a decent display, a solid keyboard and a strong battery performance.

Add to this the fast booting through Optane Memory, which isn’t a matter of course, as well as good expandability via a 2.5 drive and a second M.2 SSD for users who dare to do their own work.

Which is why the Acer Aspire 7 is ranking first vs the Acer Nitro 5 in our test, due to its awesome performance.

Ranking Second: Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5 review


Pros

  • Good Gaming Performance
  • Better Price than Aspire 7
  • Slim Bezel

Cons

  • More expensive than Aspire 7

Whilst Nvidia’s raytracing GPUs are reserved for more expensive gaming notebooks, Acer equips its Nitro series with the attractively priced Turing chips GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1650. We’ve taken the entry level variant closer to the chest. Update: Cheap i7-9750H variant computes 21% faster

If you want to spend a maximum of $800 for a gaming-capable notebook, Acer’s Nitro range is exactly the right address.

In comparison to the predecessor, there are some innovations, which not only concern the case, but also the hardware. Instead of a Pascal GPU, a Turing chip now takes care of demanding graphics calculations (GTX 1650 or GTX 1660 Ti), as mentioned at the beginning.

Instead of a CPU from Intel’s eighth core generation, a brand new model from the ninth generation is used. Besides the Core i5-9300H with four cores, Acer also offers the Core i7-9750H with six cores.

The main memory ranges from 8 to 16 GB DDR4, whereas the operating system finds room on a 512 GB SSD.

Other budget gamers, such as the Lenovo Y730-15ICH (GTX 1050 Ti), the Dell G5 15 5587 (GTX 1060 Max-Q) and the Medion Erazer X6805 (GTX 1060) are among the Nitro 5’s competitors. The especially cheap AMD version of the Nitro 5 also appears in the comparison tables.

Acer Nitro 5 design

Update 6/13/2020: Due to the great interest, we also took a look at the Core i7 sister of the Nitro 5. With the i7-9750H it costs just $50 more than the i5 model.

Is the small surcharge worth it? Are games faster on the road due to the faster processor? By how many percent does the computing power increase, or how much constant power does the cooling get out of the chip? We have added the test in the respective chapters.

Design

Acer uses the component update to also subject the chassis to a general overhaul. While the old model had to make do with a wide display bezel, the successor is completely in line with the slim bezel trend, which will be one of the keywords in 2019.

The notebook’s base area decreases from formerly 39.0 x 26.6 cm to 36.3 x 25.5 cm due to the shrinking cure. Added to this is a lower weight. At just under 4.85 lbs, the Nitro 5 is pleasantly light for gaming conditions. Most competitors weigh a few lbs more. Overall, the 15 incher can be transported well.

At first glance, hardly anything has changed in terms of design – if you exclude the thin display bezel. Thus, the fresh model also has a red-labeled or illuminated keyboard, a red-edged touchpad and a red-colored hinge strip with nitro lettering.

Acer Nitro 5 design bend up

However, a few differences can be seen in detail. Apart from the differently shaped ventilation slots, the missing texture on the upper side should be mentioned here.

It looks similar with the lid, which only has a pattern in the left and right areas. The new Nitro 5 thus looks a bit more discreet and less playful.

The stability of the plastic case is settled in the midfield. Whilst the basunit only gives way under stronger pressure, the cover turns out to be not very torsionally stiff.

The lid can be noticeably bent with two hands (incl. noises). Meanwhile, there are plus points for the relatively large opening angle of about 150°.

Ports / Interfaces

What a pity: The connection equipment tends to be worse instead of better. Okay, Acer has replaced one of the two USB 2.0 ports with a USB 3.0 port (a total of 4x USB), but in return the card reader has been cancelled. We can’t really understand this decision.

The fact that the Nitro 5 still has only one audio socket and a digital picture output (HDMI 2.0) also has a negative effect on the connectivity rating. Not to mention the missing USB 3.1 Gen2 or Thunderbolt 3 port. At least an RJ45 port is on board despite the fairly thin construction of 2.7 cm.

Acer Nitro 5 gaming benchmarks

The distribution of the interfaces could only convince us to a limited extent. Because the right side now has a ventilation grill, the power input has moved to the middle, which we consider unfavorable – angled cable or not.

The Nitro 5 doesn’t have to listen to any criticism in terms of WLAN performance. Acer uses the popular Intel Wireless-AC 9560 module in the new model, which cuts a very good figure in our range test (1 m distance to the Linksys EA8500 reference router) as usual.

Tuning fans should take a look at the pre-installed NitroSense tool. There you can not only change the energy saving plan, but also the fan control.

Furthermore, the fan speed and the temperature of the CPU and GPU respectively are displayed. The Acer Care Center offers additional functions (e.g. update & restore).

A Quick Start Guide, a warranty booklet and an HDD adapter are included in the box as accessories. With the latter, advanced users can install a 2.5-inch drive. The included power supply comes at 135 watts (the more expensive models may come with a more powerful power supply).

Maintenance turns out a bit more complicated in the new generation, as Acer saves the two small flaps of the predecessor. In order to access the RAM and the mass storage, the complete case bottom has to be removed now, which isn’t witchcraft and only requires a Phillips screwdriver and some muscle power.

As you can see on the photos below, the fans, the radio module and the battery are also accessible after the disassembly. CPU and GPU can’t be exchanged like in most notebooks.

Keyboard / Touchpad

Although Acer has made several adjustments, the keyboard is very similar to the keyboard of the last model and inherits the advantages and disadvantages accordingly. While the typing feel is rather unspectacular and on a decent level, the layout leaves mixed feelings.

Acer Nitro 5 keyboard

The fact that some keys are right next to each other (e.g. # and Enter) despite the chiclet design is a bit unfortunate in our opinion.

Also, the directional arrows protruding into the main block and the number field, which are now framed in red, analogous to the WASD keys, might not appeal to every buyer, even though they have a good size for gaming.

In practice, the power key was the main problem, as it is integrated into the keyboard in such a way that it can be triggered by accident. Acer could also improve the font. The keys are sometimes barely legible without lighting.

The touchpad doesn’t get beyond a “good” either. Although it offers a pleasantly smooth finish, the precision leaves something to be desired.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing to complain about on the multi-touch support. Two-finger gestures like zooming and scrolling usually work perfectly. Dedicated mouse keys are missing in favor of the clickpad mechanism. With a size of 10.5 x 7.5 cm, the surface is sufficiently sized.

Display

In order not to push the price up excessively, Acer doesn’t use a 144 Hz display, but a classic 60 Hz screen. The latter is – the predecessor sends its regards – from LG Philips, although the panel names differ slightly (LP156WFC-SPD1 vs LP156WF6-SPK6).

Acer Nitro 5 gaming benchmakrs

Those who hope for a good picture will be disappointed, though. Apart from the low luminosity (average 226 cd/m²), which makes outdoor use difficult, we also have to criticize the color space coverage. 57% sRGB and 36% AdobeRGB are pretty meager, even for a budget gamer, and provide for quite pale colors.

In return, viewing angle, contrast ratio (about 880:1) and response time prove to be inconspicuous, which is why the screen rating doesn’t slide too much into the basement.

Attention: Our test device had to struggle with a few halos in the edge area, which only became noticeable in certain situations, though.

Performance

In the tested version with Core i5-9300H and GeForce GTX 1650, the Nitro 5 belongs to the middle class. A PCIe SSD with 512 GB capacity is quite opulent in this price segment, especially since there is still a free M.2 slot and a 2.5 inch bay hidden under the hood.

The two RAM banks are already occupied, though. The fact that Acer relies on two 4 GB modules is good in view of the dual channel mode, but you have to change the complete RAM accordingly when upgrading from 8 to 16 or 32 GB (which we would recommend gamers sooner or later).

Acer Nitro 5 ego shooter

With the Core i5-9300H, Intel presents the successor to the (especially in multimedia laptops) very popular Core i5-8300H, although the differences are limited.

Apart from the 100 MHz higher clock speed, the new CPU offers hardly any advantages. Both Coffee Lake chips contain 8 MB L3 cache and can process up to eight threads in parallel via hyper-threading. The TDP is also identical with 45 watts.

To save power, the Nitro 5 doesn’t use the dedicated Nvidia GPU for undemanding tasks like office, video and web, but the processor’s graphics chip instead. The system dynamically switches between the GeForce and the UHD Graphics 630 using Optimus technology.

We checked the Core i5-9300H’s clocking behavior with Cinebench R15. Whilst the quad-core makes good use of its turbo under single-core load and reaches up to 4.1 GHz, the clock rate stays a bit behind the possibilities under multi-core load.

Although the CPU manages 4.0 GHz in places in the first run, the value settles down to around 3.3 GHz after a short time.

Update 6/13/2020: The i7-9750H version of the Nitro 5 is only slightly more expensive than the i5 version. So why not take the i7 right away? We recommend it because the computing power is 10% (single core) or 29% (multicore) higher.

But it gets even better: under constant load, here by a Cinbench R15 loop, the computing power doesn’t go down so quickly and it is still 21% better than the i5-9300H even after a longer period of time. If you don’t take this extra power with you, it’s actually your own fault.

As you can see from the benchmark tables, the Nitro 5 can’t distinguish itself from older notebooks with Core i5-8300H for this reason. In Cinebench R15’s multi-core test, it’s only enough for a place between the Lenovo Y730-15 and the Dell G5 15 5587. The more expensive Core i7-8750H is almost 60% faster here.

Acer Nitro 5 design

The system performance turns out as expected. Windows 10 boots extremely fast thanks to the solid state drive and also otherwise reacts pleasantly fast. The subjective impression is supported by the PCMark 10’s results. A total score of 4.973 points is typical for a modern gaming notebook.

Update 6/13/2020: The i5 and i7 variants don’t take anything away from each other in terms of application performance, 2% difference, whereby the i5 even takes the lead and this with an identically constructed SSD. This 2 % is within the measurement tolerance.

In terms of mass storage, the Nitro 5 can outperform most of its competitors. Acer makes no compromises here and relies on an arrow-fast PCIe SSD in M.2 format.

The 512GB version of the WDC PC SN520 delivers a great performance in both reading and writing. Of the comparable devices, only the Medion Erazer X6805 comes close.

Gaming Performance

One of the most exciting new features is certainly the GPU. With the GeForce GTX 1650, Nvidia inherits the (especially in the midrange segment) very successful GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.

By increasing the number of shaders from 768 to 1,024, the manufacturer was able to create a decent performance boost – even though the clock rates are somewhat lower on paper (1,395 – 1,560 MHz vs. 1,493 – 1,620 MHz).

Acer Nitro 5 gaming benchmakrs

However, the emphasis is on the paper, because depending on the cooling system, the values can vary considerably in practice.

We would describe the Nitro 5’s clocking performance as good. An average of 1,710 MHz in the Unigine Heaven benchmark is just as respectable as 1,650 MHz in The Witcher 3 (Full-HD/Ultra).

Apropos Witcher 3: The 15 incher managed our 60-minute test without any mistakes or blame. The frame rate remained very constant over the whole period.

Update 6/13/2020: Does the higher CPU performance bring better gaming? We start the Witcher 3 test in the setting Ultra/High. The results remain exactly the same, 35 FPS for Ultra and 61 FPS for High.

When it comes to gaming performance, the i7-9750H doesn’t seem worthwhile. The clocking behaviour in the Witcher 3 stress test is identical to that of the i5 model.

The device also doesn’t give itself a raw deal in synthetic benchmarks. According to the GPU score of 3DMark 11, the GTX 1650 sprints past the GTX 1050 Ti by more than 30% and almost makes itself comfortable on the level of the GTX 1060 (Max-Q). The Nitro 5 loses ground in 3DMark 13’s Fire Strike test, but the price-performance ratio is still good.

The GeForce GTX 1650 has enough power to play most current titles smoothly in the native Full HD resolution. 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and (very) high details aren’t a problem, with a few exceptions.

It only gets difficult at higher resolutions. For QHD displays we recommend at least a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (on average 50% more performance), for UHD monitors at least a GeForce RTX 2070. You can find more (gaming) benchmarks for the Geforce GTX 1650 on our GPU page and in the games list.

Noise & Temperature levels

The Nitro 5 offers good fan performance in idle mode. When the notebook isn’t busy, the fans either stand still or run with a very discreet level of 31-33 dB. We couldn’t detect any unnecessary revving up.

Acer Nitro 5 back side

In return, the fan control should be better in 3D mode. Need an example? Although the CPU and GPU only reached 60 to 70 °C, the 15 incher rushed with a clearly audible 46 dB in the Witcher 3 test. A maximum of 49 dB under full load is also quite a lot, whereby some gaming notebooks break the 50 dB mark here.

In opposition to the noise development, the case temperatures remain moderate even under extreme conditions. Although the chassis heats up to 50 °C at one measuring point, the wrist-rest is always cool with a maximum of 27 °C. In idle, the surfaces don’t even exceed 30 °C.

The picture under the hood is ambivalent. Whilst the GeForce GTX 1650 doesn’t reach any borderline regions in view of around 72 °C, the Core i5-9300H gets quite hot with up to 94 °C.

Our stress test, which consists of the Furmark and Prime95 tools, isn’t very practical, though, which is why the rates turn out lower in (gaming) everyday life.

Sound

Like most notebooks, the Nitro 5 is equipped with a 2.0 system. According to our audio analysis, the two loudspeakers can reproduce treble quite precisely. However, there is a need to catch up in the mid and low frequencies.

Acer Nitro 5 advertisement

If you take all aspects together, the sound is neither good nor particularly bad. If you frequently listen to music, watch movies and/or play computer games, you should connect external speakers or a headset if possible.

Battery life

After the energy measurements it should come as no surprise that the running time is at a first-class level. Despite the rather mediocre battery capacity of 57 Wh, the 15 incher manages over 17 hours in the ideal case. Hardly any gaming notebook can last even longer.

Around 8 hours of internet surfing via WLAN (luminosity reduced to around 150 cd/m²) also deserves respect and sets the Nitro 5 apart from the competition.

The system only runs out of breath relatively quickly under heavy load. Top: The 3D performance only drops by about 20% without a power supply.

Verdict

The 2019 version of the Acer Nitro 5 is also aimed at players who are looking for a balanced package at a fair price. The combination of Coffee Lake CPU and Turing GPU fires up almost all applications effortlessly, as long as you don’t overdo it with the resolution and quality settings. We also liked the speedy PCIe SSD.

But by far the biggest highlight is the battery life. Thanks to the moderate power consumption, the laptop has to be plugged in much later than most competitors – perfect for users who are often on the go. So it’s ideal that Acer has optimized the basic dimensions with a slim bezel design.

The case and input devices seem reasonable for the purchase price to us. In order to get an even higher rating, Acer would have to tune the sound and interfaces, though.

Aside from a Tunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1 Gen2 port, we also miss a cardreader. The display could also be better. Color space and brightness are unworthy of a multimedia/gaming product.

Despite the mentioned weaknesses, the test version of the Nitro 5 (AN515-54-53Z2) gets a purchase recommendation. You’ll hardly find more performance in the price range around $800.

Update 6/13/2020: We also looked at the Nitro 5’s Core i7 sister (model: Acer Nitro 5 AN515-54-78TL). With the i7-9750H it costs just $50 more than the i5 model.

The small surcharge is worth it, the computing power increases by 21% (continuous load).

Conclusion: The Acer Nitro 5 is ranking behind versus the Aspire 7, but is cheaper, so if you can’t afford the Aspire 7, go for the Nitro 5, its definitely still a great Gaming Laptop.


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