The Acer Nitro 5 Review: Renoir And Turing On A Budgetby Brett Howse on October 9, 2020 8:00 AM EST
Acer has had a big year in 2020, thanks to their close relationship with AMD. Acer has long been a strong partner of AMD, through the good times, and the bad, and right now is about as good a time to be an AMD partner as it can be. AMD’s Renoir platform has been a revolution for their mobile device efforts. The company had strong packages for the desktop really ever since they launched the Ryzen platform in 2017, but those successes did not translate over to the laptop space, but with the latest Ryzen 4000 series processors, aka Renoir, all of that has changed.
Earlier this year, we checked out Acer’s Renoir powered Swift 3 featuring the Ryzen 7 4700U processor. As a thin and light device, the eight-core Ryzen 7 demonstrated far more performance than many laptops costing far, far more. Today, we move away from the thin and light form factor to an entry-level gaming system. The Acer Nitro 5 is a 15.6-inch form factor, offering a 45-Watt AMD Ryzen processor coupled with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 in the review unit. As usual, Acer offers a fairly wide range of processor and GPU options, but if you are looking to get into a gaming laptop in a very affordable way, this Acer Nitro 5 spec is a solid start.
The Acer Nitro 5 we are checking out today is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, which is a 6-core, 12-thread processor powered by AMD’s Zen 2 CPU cores. It offers a base frequency of 3.0 GHz, with a peak turbo of 4.0 GHz, in a 45-Watt TDP. Being a Renoir-based processor, it also offers six compute units of Vega graphics, peaking at 1500 MHz, although in this particular model the integrated GPU plays second fiddle to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 which offers 896 CUDA cores, and 4 GB of GDDR6.
The Acer Nitro 5 comes with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM in single-channel RAM. Clearly dual-channel would be preferable, but this does give the benefit to the owner of being able to move to 16 GB by just buying a single stick of RAM. Also, since the device has a discrete GPU, system memory is not as critical as it would otherwise be. Storage is also acceptable, but obviously entry-level, with 256 GB of NVMe storage, but the Nitro 5 supports one additional NVMe drive as well as a 2.5-inch SATA drive.
The 15.6-inch display is an IPS panel with a 1920x1080 resolution, and although Acer offers 144 Hz refresh rates on some of the higher-end Nitro 5 models, the base model we are testing today is just a 60 Hz panel.
|Acer Nitro 5 AMD Lineup
Model Tested: AN515-44-R99Q $669.99
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
3MB L2 8MB L3
Vega 6 / 1500MHz
|AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
4MB L2 8MB L3
Vega 7 / 1600MHz
|Discrete GPU||NVIDIA GTX 1650
896 CUDA Cores
4GB GDDR6 128-bit
|NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti
1024 CUDA Cores
4GB GDDR6 128-bit
|Display||15.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS
|15.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS
|RAM||8GB DDR4-3200 Single Channel
|16GB DDR4-3200 Dual-Channel
2 x M.2 (1 free)
1 x 2.5" SATA (free)
2 x M.2 (1 free)
1 x 2.5" SATA (free)
|Network||Intel AX200 Wi-Fi 6
Killer Gigabit Ethernet
|Left Side||2 x USB 3 Type A
|Right Side||1 x USB 3 Type A
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
|Battery||51Wh Lithium Ion
135W AC Adapter
|Dimensions||363 x 254 x 23.9 mm
14.3 x 10 x 0.94 inches
|Weight||2.4 Kg / 5.29 lbs|
Overall, there is a lot of laptop packed into this Nitro 5, with Wi-Fi 6 included, along with Gigabit Ethernet if you would rather run wired. There is a USB Type-C port with 3.2 Gen 2, and USB charging, and three Type-A ports. There is HDMI, a backlit keyboard, and more. For the entry price of just $669.99 USD, there is a lot of performance without a large investment of money. Let’s check out the design and see how the Acer Nitro 5 fares with its new, tweaked profile.
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Mogvil20 - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - linkDetails About Card activation
Great Article. Thank you for sharing! Really an awesome post for everyone.
Operandi - Friday, October 9, 2020 - linkMidrange AMD notebooks are something we've had forever this is boring. Where are the high-end Renoir based ultrabooks?
vlayceh - Friday, October 9, 2020 - linkAll derivatives of GTX 1650 for laptops have 1024 cores while 1650 desktop has 896 cores. Your article mentions 896 cores which I suppose is an error.
lightningz71 - Friday, October 9, 2020 - linkUnfortunately, the GPU-Z screen capture that is shown on the GPU Performance page clearly indicates only 896 pipelines.
An earlier article near the release of the 1650 mobile indicated that it could be configured with multiple pipeline enablement configurations and multiple power targets, and that few vendors were ever going to note how their particular implementation was done. The only way to absolutely insure that your 1650 was fully enabled, and also equipped with GDDR6, would be to get a 1650TI version.
treecats - Friday, October 9, 2020 - linklol, what a terrible idea. AMD Ryzen 4600H and 4800H already included Vega graphics. Why bother including a discrete graphic card. Get rid of the graphic card and use that money to improve the screen on the base model, and this will make the laptop thinner, lighter and probably cheaper. more attractive to potential buyers. People wants a gaming laptop wouldn't want to buy this, they rather spend more money.
Otritus - Friday, October 9, 2020 - linkThis machine provides adequate 1080p gaming performance. As someone whos gamed on a 750 ti from 2015 to today, this would be an excellent step up in performance. And frankly this is not trying to be a cheap thin and light, but a machine that will give you solid performance at a cheap price. Not everyone can afford $800+ laptops, and the compromises to hit $670 seem fair.
Bobby3244 - Friday, October 9, 2020 - linkAny reason why we don't see the CPU clocks in the Far Cry thermals? I had a friend pick up a gaming laptop with ryzen 4800h and a 5600M (Dell something), and the CPU clocks when playing games was horrible (2500~ Mhz), which was promptly returned. As far as thermals go, this one looks better, but I would still like to see the clock speed of the CPU.
Brett Howse - Friday, October 9, 2020 - linkGPU-Z only grabs the CPU temperatures.
nicolaim - Friday, October 9, 2020 - linkThe port selection is so 2017...
Otritus - Friday, October 9, 2020 - linkI've been noticing the value gaming settings is 13x7. While this seems fine on older integrated gfx solutions, the improved gaming performance of tiger like (and likely cezanne) seems like this resolution could be buffed to 1080p, especially because budget discrete gpus like the 1650 seem like an excellent 1080p medium to high card (and faster budget gpus are coming).
And frankly for the games that I play at 1080p, I can either easily hit 60 fps on a 750 ti, or am fine with reducing the eye candy or sacrificing fps when compared to 720p. So a value 1080p might be better representative for entry-level gaming in 2020.