Jump to content
NotebookTalk

Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-61 - Owner's lounge


deksman2
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey guys... I figured we needed a thread continuation for this late 2018/early 2019 beast of a laptop with desktop grade hw.

https://images.anandtech.com/doci/12844/Acer Predator Helios 500 AMD_575px.png

Specs:

CPU: Ryzen 2700, 8c/16th

GPU: Vega 56, 8GB HBM

RAM: 16GB (stock - preinstalled by Acer just below the keyboard)

Storage: 256/512GB and 1TB HDD

Display: 1080p 144Hz

 

Some things to keep in mind:

RAM slots seem to be limited to certain speeds due to lack of BIOS updates from Acer. Right now, the slots right below the keyboard (the ones housing factory installed RAM) seem to be able to operate at either 2400 to 2666MhZ (I included screenshot of STOCK RAM timings just so you know what is what - I'm excruciatingly bad with RAM timings when it comes to actually setting them up and I need to educate myself better on that front).

The slots which are on the easily accessible side of the laptop seem to only go as high as 2133MhZ (at least on my laptop).

Ryzen Master CAN be used to increase the RAM speeds on the slower slots, however, if you input incorrect timings, or the RAM refuses to run at the newly set speeds, you end up with a massive issue... namely, the laptop will probably refuse to run seeing how Ryzen Master affects the RAM speed on BIOS level - however, setting the RAM timings to factory RAM settings seems to work for most people when all slots are used.

I tried raising this lack of BIOS update issue with Acer on Facebook and Twitter. On FB, they kept saying they are pushing things to the IT teams and that I should get an email back from them, but no one ever contacts me (I'm thinking that even if the guy keeps sending notifications to the IT department, the IT guys just keep ignoring it).

 

I have included CRU utility along with screenshot instructions in the attachment on how to solve the Freesync not working when you do a clean install of GPU drivers (if you are just upgrading the drivers from the older version on which Freesynch worked though then you shouldn't need CRU utility as Freesync should work if you're just upgrading).

 

That pretty much sums it up I think.

I started archiving the old NBR thread for this laptop, but the process is ridiculously slow... plus for some reason, my fibre internet connection is also excrutiatingly slow today and I am also a bit swamped with college work, so I don't think I can maintain archiving the thread as it has over 200 pages.

freesync+repair.jpg

RyzenMasterMem2400MhZ Stock config.jpg

cru-1.4.2.7z

Acer Predator Helios 500 AMD_575px.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All but 4 Acer threads with a minimum of 100 replies (101 total posts) have been backed up; those 4 are partially backed up (97 are entirely backed up).  This thread at NBR in particular is backed up through post 1347, i.e. everything through the day before yesterday.

Threads that are partially backed up in Acer:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/acer-mxm-models-and-cards.396320/

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/the-official-arrandale-timeline-thread.464512/

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/acer-aspire-3820t.479584/

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/acer-timelinex-3830-4830-5830-t-g.553306

At some point I plan to re-run the backup of the 4 that only partially succeeded, and if we have enough time we'll run on some more midsize threads as well.  But getting at least a first pass of all the manufacturer forums is a priority before moving on to smaller threads/fixing ones that have elements that made them problematic to import.

If you really want all of one of those 4, make a note of it; I have one other (HP Business Class) partially-imported high priority one as well.

Desktop: Core i5 2500k "Sandy Bridge" | RX 480 8 GB | 32 GB DDR3 | 850 Evo + HDDs | Seasonic Prime Titanium 650W | 8.1 Pro

Laptop: MSI Alpha 15 | Ryzen 5800H | Radeon 6600M | 16 GB DDR4 | 512 GB SSD | 10 Home

Laptop history: MSI GL63 (2018) | HP EliteBook 8740w (acq. 2014) | Dell Inspiron 1520 (2007)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/26/2022 at 10:09 AM, deksman2 said:

I archived 135 pages of the NBR thread on this laptop.

The other 120 odd pages ceased to exist it seems (on Notebookreview). I don't know if its a bug or something else but 135 pages is what I could salvage.

 

Here's the link

https://archive.ph/1svOY

Do you mean that the thread in the archive you linked to once had 255 pages on NBR?  Or was there a second thread about the same laptop?

If it's the former, then I don't know what went on, by the time either of us got around to it there were 1345-1350 pages (depending on the day last week).  If it's the latter, there's a very good chance it's in the archive, although perhaps not yet fully live.

---------

I actually kind of remember this notebook.  I think it was this Acer and an Asus that had desktop Ryzen 2000 CPUs.  The Asus was cheaper, IIRC, and if one of them, I think the Asus, was at my local Micro Center.  I was sorely tempted to buy it but all reports were that it was louder than a jet engine when it was really ripping through threads and running the GPU.  I couldn't find a good web benchmark to test it with in its showroom status, but in the end passed on it as super noisy fans do tend to bother me; I returned a Radeon 290 (or was it 290X) for that reason.

Still love the idea of a true desktop replacement like this though.  Just not sure I'd be happy with one due to thermals/required fan speeds, in practice.

Desktop: Core i5 2500k "Sandy Bridge" | RX 480 8 GB | 32 GB DDR3 | 850 Evo + HDDs | Seasonic Prime Titanium 650W | 8.1 Pro

Laptop: MSI Alpha 15 | Ryzen 5800H | Radeon 6600M | 16 GB DDR4 | 512 GB SSD | 10 Home

Laptop history: MSI GL63 (2018) | HP EliteBook 8740w (acq. 2014) | Dell Inspiron 1520 (2007)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Sandy Bridge said:

Do you mean that the thread in the archive you linked to once had 255 pages on NBR?  Or was there a second thread about the same laptop?

If it's the former, then I don't know what went on, by the time either of us got around to it there were 1345-1350 pages (depending on the day last week).  If it's the latter, there's a very good chance it's in the archive, although perhaps not yet fully live.

---------

I actually kind of remember this notebook.  I think it was this Acer and an Asus that had desktop Ryzen 2000 CPUs.  The Asus was cheaper, IIRC, and if one of them, I think the Asus, was at my local Micro Center.  I was sorely tempted to buy it but all reports were that it was louder than a jet engine when it was really ripping through threads and running the GPU.  I couldn't find a good web benchmark to test it with in its showroom status, but in the end passed on it as super noisy fans do tend to bother me; I returned a Radeon 290 (or was it 290X) for that reason.

Still love the idea of a true desktop replacement like this though.  Just not sure I'd be happy with one due to thermals/required fan speeds, in practice.

The thread in the archive was the one I was backing up. I was only able to get to page 135... there were no more pages after that on NBR itself... which was odd because that thread indeed went to 256 odd pages.

 

As for the laptop... its a good thing you never got the Asus GL702ZC. I had it and it caused me nothing but problems.

It was indeed extremely loud when fully stressed (like a jet engine) and after about a month of use, the laptop burned itself out. Asus repaired it by replacing the mobo, but then the laptop went and did the same thing again after another month or two... it just burned itself out.

I was sick of that (along with the noise) so I went through a whole debackle with the reseller in UK and managed to get a full refund... and just shortly after that, I got the Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-61 (this one).

The Acer version was SO MUCH better... not to mention the fact it was more powerful. Better CPU (2700), better GPU (Vega 56), and this thing is DEAD QUIET while gaming.

The only problem with the unit is that Acer never released BIOS updates for it which would have allowed us to swap out the 2700 for say 3700 or 5700x and use faster RAM with XMP Profiles... heck, I would have tried to upgrade to the 5900x instead as I think as powerful and quiet as the cooling is, it would have been able to handle a 105W TDP cpu (in fact, people managed to upgrade to 2700x without significant increases to functioning temperatures).

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, deksman2 said:

The thread in the archive was the one I was backing up. I was only able to get to page 135... there were no more pages after that on NBR itself... which was odd because that thread indeed went to 256 odd pages.

 

As for the laptop... its a good thing you never got the Asus GL702ZC. I had it and it caused me nothing but problems.

It was indeed extremely loud when fully stressed (like a jet engine) and after about a month of use, the laptop burned itself out. Asus repaired it by replacing the mobo, but then the laptop went and did the same thing again after another month or two... it just burned itself out.

I was sick of that (along with the noise) so I went through a whole debackle with the reseller in UK and managed to get a full refund... and just shortly after that, I got the Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-61 (this one).

The Acer version was SO MUCH better... not to mention the fact it was more powerful. Better CPU (2700), better GPU (Vega 56), and this thing is DEAD QUIET while gaming.

The only problem with the unit is that Acer never released BIOS updates for it which would have allowed us to swap out the 2700 for say 3700 or 5700x and use faster RAM with XMP Profiles... heck, I would have tried to upgrade to the 5900x instead as I think as powerful and quiet as the cooling is, it would have been able to handle a 105W TDP cpu (in fact, people managed to upgrade to 2700x without significant increases to functioning temperatures).

 

That Asus was indeed the one available locally.  Great information on the two of them.

I'm wondering now why I didn't wind up buying this laptop, rather than my MSI.  Looking at some reviews and the archived thread, it looks like probably the most important reason was that I bought my MSI in November, 2018, and the Helios with the 2700 was juuust starting to arrive around that time.  So I may not have realized that I'd have another Ryzen octo-core option by waiting another couple weeks.  Although I'd already been traveling for work with an 11-year-old laptop for two months at that point, and I recall that I wanted to go AMD but just couldn't find an option with a good CPU (Ryzen-based with > 4 cores, and not jet-engine loud), so I decided to throw in the towel on waiting for AMD to finally get their act together with laptops.

I also preferred to try out the soft aspects of the design in-person; so many laptops have hard edges that bother my wrists these days, or bad keyboard layouts.  My MSI is great in both of these regards, and the Helios looks pretty good too.  Maybe I would have found it and loved it at Micro Center in another couple months, but while I'm sure I'd read about it in the summer of 2018, I couldn't wait forever.  Finally, I was still skeptical of Acer's reputation given what it had been in the late 2000s.  It sounds like they may have turned a corner on that; one of my mates has a 1070 Acer laptop and it's been remarkably reliable.  But if you'd told me in 2017 that Acer would build a Ryzen laptop that was all-around better than Asus, I probably wouldn't have believed you without a lot of data to back it up.

The other weird and unexpected thing is that this Acer may have beat my MSI in mobile battery life, despite its desktop processor.  My MSI can have pretty unimpressive battery life when it's not idle (sometimes only a bit over two hours), and requires disassembly to swap batteries.  From reading the Predator thread, it sounds like its battery is swappable without disassembly, just like my old Dell.  So while the 90-minute battery life is worse, because it's swappable I could effectively have as long or longer battery life while unplugged.

Yeah, I think this would have worked well for my use case - traveling for work by car, mostly using it for web surfing, gaming, or development at the hotel at night, occasionally taking it to a coffee shop in the evening, and taking it to a friend's house for LAN games.  Not that the MSI I bought really wound up being lacking in power for what I need; it's perfectly fine.  But if the timeline had differed by a couple months, I may have actually been able to replace both my laptop and my desktop by buying this laptop.

It is a bummer that it can't be upgraded to newer generations of Ryzens.  Isn't upgrading the CPU half the fun of having a socketed processor in a laptop?  Did it make sense for me to upgrade my Core 2 Duo to a Core 2 Extreme in my old Dell?  Well, not really, it took its battery life from bad to worse, so now I always carry a spare battery to swap in when I take it on the road, the performance increase isn't necessarily worth the battery life hit, and being able to fry an egg on it is a feature I haven't taken advantage of.  But I'm glad I could upgrade it!

Have they come out with a Ryzen 3000/5000 successor?  There's a 50% chance I'll be upgrading my desktop in the second half of this year, and if there is a successor to this laptop, it might be worth considering going that route instead.

Desktop: Core i5 2500k "Sandy Bridge" | RX 480 8 GB | 32 GB DDR3 | 850 Evo + HDDs | Seasonic Prime Titanium 650W | 8.1 Pro

Laptop: MSI Alpha 15 | Ryzen 5800H | Radeon 6600M | 16 GB DDR4 | 512 GB SSD | 10 Home

Laptop history: MSI GL63 (2018) | HP EliteBook 8740w (acq. 2014) | Dell Inspiron 1520 (2007)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Terms of Use