We tested and compared the Asus TUF FX505DV vs Acer Nitro 5 in terms of Gaming Performance, Price, Display Quality, Portability, Battery Life and more.
Above you can see the Ranking with the results and below you will find the in-depth reviews of the two Gaming Laptops.
Ranking First: Asus TUF Gaming FX505DV
- Better Gaming Performance in the Mid-range
- Good Battery Life
- More expensive than Acer Nitro 5
Overpriced, heavy and loud, gaming notebooks should be. They were all like that several years ago, but the technical development does not stop there.
At first glance, the Asus TUF Gaming FX505DV appears to be an ideal compromise: For about 1,400 euro, there is a 15 incher with an RTX 2060 – the entry level GPU for raytracing capable high-end graphics. Perfect middle ground or broken
“The Ultimate Force” – TUF for short – is the Asus product series for low-priced models that should rather stand out with a good price-performance ratio instead of high-end performance.
The TUF series is thus located below the ROG (“Republic of Gamers”) product line. This can, but does not have to mean that only low cost gamers are given a nice sounding marketing name here.
We have already noticed with other TUF devices that the affordable and at the same time solid middle class can be found here.
There’s no clear cut between TUF and ROG – at least not in notebooks: We tested the Asus ROG Strix Scar with an RTX 2070 in spring, but the model is now also available with an RTX 2060, at about the same price as the Asus TUF Gaming FX505DV tested here.
It’s a bit cheaper with the same graphics unit, but Asus has saved on the not insignificant equipment: First of all the display: instead of 144 Hz, there is only a common 60 Hz.
And the CPU is the cheaper and weaker AMD quad-core Ryzen 7 3750H instead of the Intel six-core i7-9750H, which is also relevant for the gaming performance, as we will see.
The SSD is a fast PCI Express model, an Intel 660p. But the cheap QLC memory can’t cope with large amounts of data. For example, if you shovel large game folders, you’ll notice that the transfer rate drops to HDD level when the cache is full.
Middle class means compromises in the equipment. Instead of metal surfaces, the case of the TUF-Gaming-Notebooks is exclusively made of plastic.
This is in itself not inferior, even a bit lighter. But you can see the price range of the case. Nevertheless: The brushed look is successful and at least gives the impression of treated metal.
But apart from the keyboard, there are no RGB gimmicks whatsoever, like the ROG Strix Scar II with the illuminated logo or the LED strip on the bottom edge.
Asus does advertise with the US military standard MIL-STD-810G, but it doesn’t have any meaning since the standard doesn’t prescribe any binding characteristics.
Quite the opposite of the IP classes, which clearly define electronic devices as dustproof or waterproof. Wherever you read the military standard for consumer electronics, it is better to ignore such cheap marketing.
The connection equipment is curious: With three USB sockets (two of them USB 3.0), HDMI, Ethernet and an audio jack input, the equipment is not exactly lavish, as expected.
Moreover, all connections are exclusively found on the left side. A USB C socket is actually available everywhere nowadays, even in this price range. Fortunately, most external SSDs nowadays come with a USB-A adapter.
Smaller deductions in the B grade are also available for the somewhat older WLAN module, which only supports the ac standard. 2019 notebooks like to have a newer wireless module, which already offers ax-WLAN (Wi-Fi 6).
The Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 is the most affordable graphics unit that supports raytracing. Nvidia already enabled this on the driver side in spring for older Pascal and weaker Turing chips, but many graphics chips are simply too weak for this.
And even the RTX 2060 still requires large compromises in the graphics details if the frame rate is to reach a playable level.
The 2060 differs from the more potent RTX models not only in the graphics performance, but also the video memory is sometimes a bit tight with 6 GiByte for demanding games, so that the 8 GiByte of the 2070 or 2080 occasionally represents one bottleneck less. The RTX 2060 is altogether closer to the weaker GTX 1660 Ti than to the stronger RTX 2070.
We have already tested several models with an RTX 2060, but all of them exclusively with a significantly stronger i7 six-core. Now the graphics performance already varies depending on the model, as the power limits are adapted to the individual cooling performance.
We tested the Ryzen 7 3750H together with an Nvidia GPU for the first time in the TUF Gaming FX505. The gaming benchmarks show that the performance is limited by the CPU in demanding games, such as Battlefield 5 with DX12 or Assassins Creed Odyssey.
In older games such as Overwatch or The Witcher 3, a stronger Intel processor makes no difference. In Battlefield we can still screw up the 60 fps in Full HD with numerous compromises in the graphic controllers. Assassins Creed, however, remains a jerky game, which our CPU benchmark in 720p already shows.
So you don’t have to give in to the illusion that really every current Triple-A game runs on a notebook with current but too weak hardware.
While AMD’s Ryzen processors are really stirring up the desktop market, the mobile Ryzen APUs seem like a timid attempt to get back into the notebook market.
The quad-core Picasso generation with the spearhead Ryzen 7 3750H is a new release this year. The Intel counterpart would be the i5-9300H, also with four cores and eight threads, but since clock and TDP are a bit higher, this one is also a touch stronger.
Full HD is now the standard resolution for gaming notebooks – in every price range. Optionally, 4K/UHD can be seen here and there in expensive models, but this doesn’t add much value on the small screen diagonal and also requires too much graphics performance.
Furthermore, the display here is a wide-angle IPS. The wheat is separated from the chaff nowadays in the frame rate: 144 Hz is already common in the upper class, even IPS and 240 Hz are available, albeit with a big surcharge.
IPS is always recommended as a panel for image editors, due to its high colour space coverage and colour fidelity. We can see here that the panel technology itself is no guarantee of quality: Subjectively, we do not miss any colours here, but the measurement with the colorimeter proves that the colour space is a little small and only covers 60 percent of the sRGB colour space.
This is irrelevant for the gamer, but for more ambitious demands it is too little.
The maximum brightness with 330 cd/m² is good and also the contrast ratio of about 1.000:1 is not worse than in more expensive models. Contrary to the color space coverage, these readings are not only relevant for “photoshopping”, but for every user.
We always measure the loudness in two scenarios. Once during undemanding surfing on the Windows desktop (2D mode) and once after about 15 minutes at full game load (3D mode, The Witcher 3).
We change the fan profile in each case, just as a user would do, i.e. a quiet and a powerful profile. The device never runs completely passive in 2D mode, and a quiet whistling of a fan can still be heard in absolute silence, but it’s not disturbing.
We measured a good 0.2 sone here. The fans turn up to a maximum of 4.1 sone under gaming load. Thus, the notebook is almost the loudest of our measured models with an RTX 2060 under 3D load.
As expected, the Asus TUF Gaming FX505DV isn’t a price-performance wonder, but a solid midrange device for all those who don’t want to put several monthly salaries into a gaming notebook, don’t have to compulsively turn all graphic controllers to the right in games or play more frugal and older titles anyway.
But the notebook is clearly limited in terms of gaming performance: The RTX 2060 is still a bit too weak for fluent raytracing sessions with its 6 GiByte.
Or the Ryzen CPU is limited if you torture it with a DX12 title that is too demanding. But the notebook isn’t intended for high-end games anyway.
The display is stable in terms of viewing angle, well lit and high-contrast thanks to IPS, but not an insider tip for graphics work.
The comparison of the respective configurations of the TUF Gaming FX505DV is worthwhile, as the price certainly varies with RAM and SSD capacity.
The Gaming Laptop delivers a good compromise for currently around $1280, which is why the ASUS TUF Gaming FX505DV is ranking first versus Acer Nitro 5.
Ranking Second: Acer Nitro 5
- Good balance between Gaming performance and battery life
- Better price than Asus TUF Gaming FX505DV
- Appealing design
- Display only average
The Acer Nitro 5 proves that good gaming laptops don’t have to be enormously expensive. For a device in the beginner’s class, it looks quite good in the test and is also suitable for everyday use.
As you know, you often have to spend a lot of money on gaming laptops. Since the most powerful models quickly cost over 2,000 or 3,000 Dollars and are also quite heavy, they are aimed at a small target group. With the Nitro 5, Acer rather addresses price-conscious gamers and covers the whole spectrum of the entry level class.
The case of the Nitro 5 is made of black plastic with red accents. Part of the lid and the underside have a grooved texture. This laptop is quickly revealed as a gaming device.
A fitting description for the design would be: skilfully striking, but not exaggerated. Incidentally, the laptop closely resembles the more expensive Acer models Nitro 7 and Predator Helios 300 on the outside.
Our test device is really not compact in length and width, which is due to the 17 inch display. With 6.17 lbs and an additional 700 grams for the adapter, the Nitro 5 is also not a lightweight.
But it’s not too thick and can still be transported well enough in a backpack. The 15 inch version weighs about 1.1 lbs less and comes with a smaller power supply.
You have to make concessions in terms of stability due to the material used. The case can be easily twisted in all areas except the bottom. This reduces the feeling of value, but is still halfway tolerable in this price range. The laptop doesn’t look fragile, though.
On the right side there is a USB 2.0 port, a jack plug and the charging socket. On the left side there are more connectors available: HDMI 2.0, Ethernet, 2x USB-3.0 and a USB-C port without Thunderbolt 3. The selection is solid, but we would have liked to see Thunderbolt support or an SD card reader.
The keyboard turns out a bit too small for a 17 inch device, but a number pad is available for this. The arrow keys have a normal size, but this unfortunately doesn’t apply to the Enter key, which has turned out too small.
There is a three-level red backlighting and all keys have red accents. The stroke is relatively long and the keyboard gives a good feedback when typing.
The trackpad relies on Windows Precision drivers, which isn’t a matter of course in this price range, and reacts accordingly precise. However, the gliding characteristics are not optimal due to the plastic surface. It can also be pressed in so easily that key clicks can even be triggered at the upper edge.
Acer has built an IPS display with 60 Hertz and Full HD resolution into each Nitro 5. You can choose between 15.6 or 17.3 inches. Unfortunately, no version with a 144-hertz display is offered, which would make sense for our full configuration. This is only available from Acer for the more expensive gaming laptops.
In comparison to TN displays, which were recently still common in the entry-level class, the contrasts and colors are definitely better. For an IPS panel, however, both the color reproduction and the maximum brightness are in need of improvement.
After all, the screen’s surface is not glossy, but matt. As long as the sun doesn’t shine on the display, it’s generally sufficiently suitable for gaming. By the way, it can be folded back about 160 degrees.
The built-in Intel Core i7-9750H offers a good deal of performance with six cores. Instead, the Intel Core i5-9300H with four cores is represented in the cheaper models.
If you now think that this i5 perhaps offers too little for some games, you’re mistaken. Its specifications are almost identical to those of the i7-7700HQ from 2017, when the older i7 chip was considered the ultimate in gaming laptops.
The GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 Ti belong to Nvidia’s current Turing generation, but technologies like raytracing and DLSS are reserved for the more expensive RTX graphics cards.
Below you can see the results of the synthetic benchmarks of our model with Core i7, GTX 1660 Ti and 16 gigabyte DDR4 memory.
Under sustained load in benchmarks we noticed that the processor had to throttle its performance. This is probably due to the suboptimal cooling, which reaches its limits in our full configuration.
We found maximum temperatures of 96 degrees on the processor in stress tests – the graphic card reached a maximum of 78 degrees. A slight underclocking probably helps in this case. The weaker variants should probably not be affected by the performance throttling.
The NVMe-SSD built into our model achieves read and write speeds of 1.75 and 1.45 gigabytes per second, respectively. These are decent, but not record-breaking rates.
Furthermore, there are two slots for DDR4 memory, space for a mechanical hard disk (2.5 inch) and two NVMe SSDs also fit into the Acer Nitro 5. The device can be opened relatively easily with a Phillips screwdriver. After that you have access to the mentioned memory units, the WLAN card and the battery.
The GTX 1660 Ti’s performance is surprisingly high, as the results in games are almost always on par with an RTX 2060 in the Dell G5 15 we tested. Fortnite and Doom (2016) run on highest settings in Full-HD on average with just over 100 fps.
Rise of the Tomb Rider also scratches the 100 fps mark on Ultra. More values for games like Assassin’s Creed Origins, Metro: Exodus and Rainbow Six: Victories can be seen in the following gallery.
Battery life, Cooling Fans and Multimedia
As already mentioned, the cooling of the laptop is not optimally designed. When the underside is open, it’s noticeable that two fans are installed close together on one side.
From there, heat pipes lead over the processor to the graphics chip, which are both very close together. It would have been better if there was a greater distance between the chips and one fan per side. This way the heat could be dissipated more efficiently.
The wrist-rest and number pad stays cool under load, but the rest of the keyboard (especially on top) makes the notebook very warm. The fans usually remain silent in normal use, but they get quite loud when playing games.
The battery has a capacity of 57 watt hours and is identical to the one in the 15 inch model. There would definitely have been room for a larger battery, but the battery life is still not bad. Acer’s 17 inch gaming laptop managed a total of 6 hours and 45 minutes in the battery test of PCMark 10 (Modern Office).
During the test the brightness was set to 50 percent and the energy saving mode “more battery efficiency” was selected. This should be enough for a working day in the office or at university and the smaller models will probably last a bit longer without a power outlet.
The two downward-facing loudspeakers are quite below average in terms of sound and are identical to those in the 15-inch model.
Due to the fan noise, we recommend using headphones when playing games anyway. Acer’s webcam is built into the upper edge of the screen and is of good quality, but not good. Short video calls are nevertheless possible without any problems.
The Acer Nitro 5 satisfactorily copes with current games with the GTX 1660 Ti, but also gets warm and loud. For a gaming laptop, the models with the current Nvidia graphics cards offer a well-rounded total package for gamers and the costs are still within reason.
However, you have to accept concessions in the workmanship and the loudspeakers and the cooling is still expandable.
We would also have liked Thunderbolt 3 and an optional 144-Hertz display for the more expensive configurations, which is why the Acer Nitro 5 is ranking second versus Asus TUF Gaming FX505DV, but is still a good Gaming Laptop & way cheapher than the Asus TUF Gaming FX505DV. So if you are on a tighter budget, we would recommend you getting the Acer Nitro 5.