We all know that the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 is a great processor giving PC gamers a high performance system and with great value.
While the AMD Radeon Vega 56 has the performance to boot but its high price has made it a lesser choice for most gamers.
Not to mention its heat issues and its a power hungry beast!
Now when Acer rolled out its AMD version of the Predator Helios 500 lineup, they didn’t just used an AMD processor. But they also used AMD’s Vega 56 graphics card complete with 8GB HBM2 memory.
So let’s take a look at the beast that Acer created.
Acer Predator Helios 500 w/ Ryzen 7 + Vega 56
So to start it off this version of the Helios 500 is powered by a desktop processor, yes, the AMD Ryzen 7 2700.
Now the Ryzen 7 is a desktop processor crammed into a laptop with a 17″ screen and weighs 8.82 lbs.
So it’s no surprising everyone’s calling this a beast.
Cooling the Helios 500
Now to cool this desktop processor, Acer engineers managed to fit in five heatpipes and two fin stacks, one for each side. Heat from these metal fin stacks will then be cooled off using Acer’s Aeroblade 3D fans.
The Aeroblade fans are an all-metal fan so expect to hear a slightly higher pitch noise when these go full blasts.
This elaborate cooling system not only cools the Ryzen 7 but also cools the hot Vega 56 graphics card.
AMD Radeon Vega 56
The Vega 56 is a very capable graphics card and will just be fine in any type of game in any resolution. But yes, it does come short in terms of gaming performance as compared to the GeForce GTX 1070.
But one thing that the Vega 56 shines and the GTX 1070 doesn’t is in Video rendering, CAD or 3D modeling, and other similar programs.
So the Vega 56 isn’t just for gamers, it is an all-rounder graphics card.
The Vega 56, as the name implies, consist of 56 compute units and 3,584 processors. It has a base frequency of 1,156 Mhz and a boost frequency of 1,471 Mhz.
In terms of power usage, according to the AMD website, the Vega 56 alone will need around 210 watts of power in desktop configuration.
So is the Vega 56 on the Helios 500 a powered down version or will it be the same as the desktop version?
So with both processor and graphics card covered let’s check out the 17″ display panel.
The Helios 500 comes with a 17.3″ 1920×1080 IPS display with a 144Hz refresh rate and comes with FreeSync support.
Aside from the built-in display you will have the option to further add more monitors by using the HDMI 2.0 port, the DisplayPort, and/or the USB Type-C connectors.
Acer made a good decision when it positioned the HDMI and DisplayPort at the rear of the laptop. This allows proper cable management on your desk and not have HDMI cables running at the side of your laptop ruining the smooth and clear looks of your workspace.
For memory the Helios 500 will come pre-installed with 16GB DDR4 memory and is expandable up to 64GB.
For storage Acer opted for a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD with the option to add another SSD or an HDD.
Upgrading will be a lot easier as the bottom cover is easily removable giving you access to the memory and SSD/HDD.
Powering this beast is no small tasks. If this was a desktop typically you’ll probably need a 650 watt or higher power supply.
But since this is a laptop this is powered by a 4-cell Lithium Ion battery with a capacity of 4,810mAh.
Expected battery run time is just 1 and a half hour.
Our thoughts on the Acer Predator Helios 500 (Ryzen 7 + Vega 56)
This is a powerful laptop, I would buy one since I’m always travelling and I need a powerful laptop.
But this is not a “lap” laptop that is light and can carry on for hours without charging.
This is a powerful “desktop” laptop powered by a desktop PC processor and a power hungry graphics card.
This laptop is suitable for people who always travel and needs a laptop that has the performance for gaming and content creation.
At nearly 9 lbs. this is not light. If the airline weighs your carry-on bag this laptop eats away your allowed carry-on bag weight.
So do we recommend this – Research first what you really need.
If the Acer Predator Helios 500 (Ryzen 7 + Vega 56) fits your work and gaming needs then go for it.
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