Acer Predator Helios 300 Review

Acer Predator Helios 300 Review: More Power, Faster Performance

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a very underrated mid-range gaming laptop. How does the Helios 300 stack up against other popular gaming laptops like the Dell Inspiron 7567 and the Asus ROG Strix GL502VS? This review will look at the Acer Predator Helios 300 and see how it stacks up against the competition.

With each new generation of notebooks, the competition for the gaming notebook crown gets tougher. With its latest update, Acer is hoping that its Predator Helios 300 can keep up with the competition. The Predator Helios 300 is a well-rounded gaming notebook with a gorgeous display.

Case and connectivity – Slight changes compared to the predecessor

At first glance, this laptop seems similar to the previous generations. However, when comparing them closely it becomes apparent that they are different in many ways; for instance, instead of having its power cord connector in the middle of one side, it now sits right at the back. There has also been an alteration in what sort of ports it will use; while it used to only have USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 1 port (which was not good enough), there is now a much improved USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 port where those were once located (and we all know how great these things can be).

Display – 144 Hz IPS

The Matt screen of the Full HD, the 15.6-inch monitor provides me with a high contrast ratio at 1,450:1 but has low brightness at 294.3 CD/m2 which we find is only just ok for good use – we recommend more than 300 CD/m2 for a satisfactory experience. The 144Hz panel gives me quick response times and accurate colors, so I’m pleased with that! There was no evidence of PWM flickering, which I am also happy about because it means my eyes are safe from this harmful technology.

This is the same panel that was used in the previous model, but nevertheless, the values measured differ slightly. This can sometimes happen if two identical displays are being run simultaneously.

Performance – Predator with automatic GPU overclocking

With the Predator Helios 300, Acer has an affordable yet powerful laptop for gamers. With several configurations, prices vary depending on what you need.

Test conditions

This PC includes the pre-installed Predator Sense software, which can be used to adjust fan speed or turn them off entirely. When you first boot up your computer, it will automatically switch to normal settings if you do not change anything. Benchmarks were also done with this feature turned off in order for us to compare performance speeds between presets.

Acer has strategically placed a Turbo key above the keyboard. When this button is pressed, the fans run at full power, and the Extreme graphics are activated without fail.

Processor

Intel® Core™ i711800H Processor; Total Cores. 8; Total Threads. 16; Cache. 24 MB Intel® Smart Cache; Bus Speed. 8 GT/s; Configurable TDP-up. 45 W.

The processor was able to work quickly while running through the Cine bench R15 benchmark. It ran from speeds of 4.2 GHz (multithread) and 4.2 to 5 GHz (single-thread), respectively, on battery power but only at a slower speed when it was around 2.4 – 3.2 GHz (multithread) and 2.4 – 3.2 GHz (single-thread).

To check if the CPU Turbo is being used, we will be continuously running the Cine bench R15 benchmark’s multithread test for at least 30 minutes. A Turbo usage of 100% has been found over the time period.

System performance

The laptop was quick and responsive. The PCMark results were outstanding. It had just enough processing power for demanding programs such as gaming, video editing, and photo editing for the foreseeable future. If it were able to activate Dual Channel Mode then it could increase its performance slightly, but it would require another memory module to do so; which may not be worth the cost in some cases.

Graphics card

The GeForce RTX 2060 graphic processing unit is an entry-level one among many of its peers. It has 6 GB of speedy memory and offers moderate, yet promising results when tested against other similar models. Additionally, the Extreme Predator Sense GPU profile did not improve performance significantly. The Intel HD Graphics 630 chip that came built into my processor was used alongside Nvidia’s Optimus graphics switching solution.

Nvidia details an acceptable clock range between 1,005 MHz (base) and 1,350 MHz (boost) for this DirectX 12 GPU. Speeds can go higher if the graphics card doesn’t exceed a certain set temperature or power requirement. Maximum is 2,032 MHz – though we tested at an average rate of 1,453MHz and 1,645MHz on The Witcher 3 benchmark test with graphics profile set to Extreme.

Gaming performance

Gamers will love the built-in CPU-GPU combo, which will bring all the latest games smoothly onto your screen at full HD resolution or higher. You can adjust the graphics settings to either produce a high level of detail or max out the quality. However, if you want even higher resolutions – you’ll need an equally powerful computer display. The Extreme graphics mode barely gives any performance improvements over High but might make it easier to distinguish between enemies and allies.

The reason that some video games run slower at low settings than on similarly powered laptops is because of the limited number of system resources allocated for graphics. A second (dual-channel) memory module would improve performance.

Temperature

The stress test consists of running Prime95 and Fur Mark at 3-3.5GHz and 1.2-1.4GHz respectively, which is done by both the CPU and GPU. This process takes about an hour – on batteries, it slows down to 800MHz for the CPU and 1380MHz for the GPU. Running these tests represents a worst-case scenario; the stability of the system under heavy usage can be easily checked with them.

During the stress test, we registered temps in the 40-°C (~104 °F) range at some measuring points. There was less heat development when performing our The Witcher 3 benchmark. For everyday use, these temps were within reasonable ranges.

Energy management – The PH315’s battery life is acceptable

Energy consumption

During idle use, the maximum power consumption was registered at 19.8 watts. The stress test had increased it to 177 watts, whereas our Witcher 3 test pushed it up to 127 watts. Our power adapter’s output was 230 watts max.

Battery life

The Acer laptop reached a runtime of 4:40 hours and 5:38 hours, respectively, in our WLAN test (accessing websites using a script) and video test (the short film Big Buck Bunny (H.264 encoding, Full HD) running in a loop). During both tests, the energy-saving features were turned off; the display was set at about 150 CD/m2. To perform the video test, we also turned off the wireless module.

Verdict

Acer’s latest gaming laptop features the Intel Core i7-10750H and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 for smoother gameplay at full HD resolutions and maxed-out quality settings. CPU power can be increased when needed to maintain high-performance levels for gamers who need it most.

Acer’s Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop is the perfect device to meet all your entertainment needs. Watch movies, play games and also get some work done.

The maximum amount of RAM for this particular laptop is 16 GB (1x16GB, single-channel mode). And as expected, it would perform better if a second memory module was added in order to turn on dual-channel mode. Storage space capacity (512 GB, NVMe SSD) is not all that great and doesn’t leave much room for anything else. Fortunately, though, the Predator supports RAID 0 so another NVMe SSD could be installed right away.

With a Full HD (1080p), IPS display with a 144Hz refresh rate, the Helios isn’t too shabby when it comes to picture quality. It features an average response time and fair color representation; however, its base brightness level could be much better. There are some drawbacks, such as no TB3 port or DP/PD charging support – but these are just minor details.

In theory, the Predator is a good fit for what you need. However, our configuration does not adequately provide for memory and storage space needs. Memory and/or an NVMe SSD may be required additions if this unit will meet your needs. If you intend to purchase the Predator, please consult with us about these specifics first so that we can ensure compatibility.