Review - Acer Nitro 5 Laptop

Hi all, thought I'd leave a quick review of the Acer Nitro 5 laptop from this deal. Hopefully this helps someone :)

Overview

I got the AN515-57-54ZA model for $1,297, instead of the AN515-57-55R8 model for $1,287. I think the difference is that the 54ZA model has Thunderbolt 4 via USB-C, but has a worse stick of RAM (Kingston 8GB 1Rx16 instead of Samsung 8GB 1Rx8). Buying a few discounted eGift cards helped get the price down a little further too.

I purchased two new matching 8GB sticks of RAM in the 1Rx8 configuration to replace the stock RAM - some performance results on this below.

Tech Specs

  • 15.6-inch 1080p IPS Chi Mei CMN1521 N156HRA-EA1 panel
  • CPU: i5-11400H (6 cores)
  • GPU: RTX3060 6GB 95W
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200Mhz 1Rx16 (changed to 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz 1Rx8)
  • SSD: WD SN530 NVMe 512GB

Screen

  • I was expecting it to be bad, but I was pleasantly surprised. At least coming from my ~4-year-old laptop, the screen was an improvement. I can tell that the purple colours aren't quite right, other than that though, it looks great.
  • It is bright enough for indoors - haven't ever needed to use a laptop outdoors so can't comment here.
  • Screen bezels are relatively slim, so it's nice to look at.

Connectivity

  • I am able to plug a Xiaomi 34" ultrawide monitor into the laptop via the USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port and get a full 3440x1440 at 144hz, which is great.
  • Unfortunately there is no internal MUX Switch so USB-C still goes via the integrated graphics with a small performance hit - only the HDMI port is linked straight to the GPU.
  • I haven't checked if the laptop supports HDMI 2.1, but another user suggests it does
  • Getting 50Mbps on NBN50 so Wi-Fi seems to be working well.

Battery life

  • It is fine for a few hours of watching movies/shows/YouTube.
  • I would always bring the charger along with you though.
  • I like the way the charger plugs into the back of the laptop, rather than the left or right side of the laptop.
  • The charger clicks twice when plugging it in, so you can easily be fooled after the first click thinking it is plugged in but it won't actually be charging (thought the laptop was dead on arrival when I tried to turn it on for the very first time). The upside is that it sits securely in place.

Speakers

  • This is probably the biggest negative point of the laptop; the speakers suck. The max volume isn't very loud, so it can be a little annoying to try and listen to something over the top of a bit of noise from a fan, aircon, washing machine, shower, vacuum, etc.
  • Easily overcome by using headphones/airpods or plugging in some form of external speakers though.

Keyboard

  • It's decent enough, tactile feeling at the beginning of a press, typical key-travel distance for a laptop, slight noise but not enough to hear with headphones on.
  • Using a separate, quality mechanical keyboard is still way nicer.
  • Lack of fingerprint sensor, which is slightly inconvenient but not a deal-breaker.
  • I don't like the inclusion of the Acer NitroSense button on the num-pad, because it shifts all the buttons that you're familiar with 1 to the right.
  • It's nice being able to change the key backlight colours - I set them to dim and white :)

Build Quality

  • It's plastic but looks and feels nice. Doesn't scream 'gamer.'
  • Weight approx. 2.29kg (not including power brick) so it's not too heavy. Noticeably lighter coming from my previous gaming laptop.
  • This laptop has really good upgradeability/serviceability. Swapping out the RAM took like two minutes and I was able to get a cat hair out of one of the fans!?

Performance Data

  • I tried to create some reliable performance data with variables controlled as best as I could.
  • Results are averages of 3 runs.
  • Ambient room temp = approx. 23°c (with aircon + fan).
  • Laptop sitting on table for a solid base.
  • Power cable plugged in.
  • Nvidia control panel tells me 'Maximum Graphics Power: 95W'
  • Bios version 1.10
  • 1080p + max settings.
Configuration/Benchmark 3DMark-Timespy Civilization VI Age of Empires IV
Stock 8GB RAM 6751 score 59.69 fps 65.98 fps
New 16GB RAM 7238 score 76.59 fps 113.33 fps
New 16GB RAM + External Screen 7474 score 81.58 fps 122.66 fps
  • Civ VI = built-in 'Gathering Storm Graphics' benchmark ("A heavy benchmark to measure graphics performance on your computer") - DX12
  • AOE IV = 'The Battle of Hastings' campaign mission (~5mins)

Performance Outcomes

  • I have made the full collated data available in Google Sheets
  • The CPU score in 3D Mark Timespy drastically improved with the new RAM, dragging the overall score up. The graphics score didn't change too much.
  • The stock 8GB of RAM was definitely bottlenecking AOE IV — GPU was only ~60% utilised. Steam would give a warning about not having enough RAM available when launching AOE IV.
  • Interestingly, the 1% low fps had nearly a 200% boost in AOE IV compared to original.
  • I was able to improve the Timespy scores to 7643 overall (7581 GPU / 8019 CPU) by switching power options to high performance and enabling the Nitro CoolBoost (to make fans spin faster), but did not bother to document and run multiple tests to average out as I don't intend on leaving it like this.
  • I didn't test how much of the performance improvements were coming from 'single channel vs dual channel RAM' or '1Rx16 vs 1Rx8 RAM'. But in theory, it should make a difference.

Score

8 Jimmy's out of 10

Final Thoughts

  • The Acer Nitro 5 performs well in the most important areas. There are obviously a few compromises to help make it as cheap as it is. These compromises are in areas that can be fixed via external solutions though, which you'd probably be wanting to use regardless of how good the laptop is. So they're not much of a bother, to me at least.
  • Overall it's a great laptop, especially for the price. Usually, the next cheapest 3060 laptops start at about $1.6k, so ~$350 extra. But these are the cheaper variants too that come with their own compromises.
  • If you want the best of the best, obviously look elsewhere. It is a 95W RTX 3060, so higher powered variants should perform better, but would also cost more.
  • I think the Acer Nitro 5 strikes a great balance between price vs performance. Savings can be used to upgrade to a newer and better laptop sooner :)

Best Alternative

Comments

  • +1

    Thanks for this and putting the effort in sharing this information with us. Most appreciated.

    • +3

      No worries :) I must admit it was kinda fun feeding my curiosity with all the performance testing. Didn't realise how much difference a stick of RAM could make!

  • +2

    8 Jimmy's out of 10

    I concur!

    • +2

      Haha! JimmyApproved™

  • +1

    Good review, I'm pretty happy with this laptop, but it's been a bit of a fight to get the system stable so far (currently running it with a fresh windows install and 0 acer software for best results on my system). Seen any weird issues like whats described in this thread (https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/675238#comment-11578924)? FPS/CPU throttling and battery drain on power are the key ones.

    Did you run passmark on it by any chance (3DG Mark Score)? My 95w RTX3060 managed to score >14k which was phenomenal since thats getting into low power mobile 3070 scores.

    The 50Mbps on NBN50 comment made me laugh a bit - is a very low standard becuase Australian wifi is so slow, seeing what it gets on gigabit or 250Mbps would be more interesting.

    • +1

      Thanks Lukas :) I'm very happy with mine too thus far!

      Temps seem to be pretty reasonable to me, or at least for my expectations of this laptop (being a budget-concious gaming laptop). Obviously they're not icy cool, but that doesn't seem to impact the performance much. And laptops are never going to be as cool as desktop PC's anyway. Another plus is that it's not too noisy either, so I suppose you could set the fans to max or a custom number that is higher via the NitroSense app to brute force some cooler temps.

      I have all of the average temps listed in the Google Sheets link. Under load in AOE IV, the CPU & GPU both averaged around 80°c, which seems fine to me. This info was taken via HWinfo64. There are times where 'Core Thermal Throttling' says 'Yes' in red text. I took a screenshot at the end of each test I did, so here is one example illustrating this.

      Haven't noticed any stuttering whatsoever. Out of curiosity, I checked precisely 4,289 lines of data in excel (using the MIN function) across 6 runs of AOE IV (New RAM; 3 on laptop screen, 3 on external screen via HDMI). My lowest FPS drop was to 79fps. Although it is probably important to point out that the CPU was only ~30% utilised in AOE IV, whilst the GPU was ~100% utilised. The person in the thread you linked is trying to get hundreds of frames per second in CS-GO at 1080p — my understanding is that the performance would start encountering CPU bottlenecks at that point, rather than being GPU limited with an under-utilised CPU. That could be the source of the problem, as the CPU seems to warm up relatively easily on this laptop, and could start thermal throttling really bad?

      I have not run passmark on it - I don't really know much about it or where to get it; I had a quick google, and it seems there's a general consensus that passmark is not that useful/reliable for benchmarking? All I could say is, if you want to check your performance relative to other laptops, perhaps try running a game and compare the FPS - it'll probably give more of a real world comparison. Or you could compare yours to my exact tests?

      Haha, you're absolutely right about Aussie Wi-Fi. I didn't even realise how silly it would sound lol. I mainly added that point in because my friend had been getting 25mbps and complaining about their internet, then when I investigated, they actually had NBN50 too and I was able to get 50mbps on their Wi-Fi. Turns out they just had a crappy Wi-Fi card in their PC (even though it was rated at '300Mbps').

  • +1

    Agreed on the temps and fan noise, this laptop does it extremely well - the best I've personally observed in a laptop and much better than the $1.6k Lenovo RTX 3050, and a $3k RTX3080 Razer Blade I had to return.

    Passmark can be downloaded here (https://www.passmark.com/products/performancetest/download.p...) and will run benchmarks for all components - it has a free 30 days so I usually only use it on a fresh PC to check everything and then delete. All benchmark software suffer from the similar issues, they will be bias towards certain hardware and they can't control the system part of the test. The data spread gets worse with purchased benchmarks since only enthusiast overclockers will pay and benchmark their systems. Passmark is quick and easy to use though and has a large data pool online you can check against. FPS in game comparison is a system comparison as it has GPU, CPU, HDD, RAM, power management and their integration as factors. I would do it but I don't have either of those games or own 3DMark.

    What is the best of the best? The Lenovo referenced above shipped with a faulty (lots of disconnects) wifi card as have many of their Legion series in 2021, and the Razer had an unbelieably loud fan/coil whine along with terrible thermals. More money does not seem to get you a better laptop right now and manufacturers are struggling to get their systems together with the same high quality components. Assuming my Nitro continues to run stable I'm planning to purchase a MBA with the $'s saved for on the go use since that is one thing the Nitro can't do well.

    • What is the best of the best?

      Good question. No idea. I assumed Lenovo and Razer would've had better performance (with thermals & noise in check), considering the asking prices, but I guess that isn't always true! I think one would need to spend a few hours searching the internet for benchmarks/comparisons to find the answer. Personally, ~$1,200 was such a hard price to ignore for the Acer Nitro 5 so, once I discovered it was apparently half-decent, I didn't bother investigating the more expensive options much further.

      Thanks for the link! I ran a quick test on Passmark 3D Graphics - here's a screenshot - Score of 16,312 which apparently sits relatively high compared to other 3060 laptops. The room was relatively warm with no aircon or fan on for this, so it might even go up a little higher!
      - Used external screen via HDMI (1080p)
      - Laptop sitting on table for a solid base.
      - Power cable plugged in.
      - Used the stock Acer power mode and default fan speed (no SpeedBoost)
      - And of course I still have the new RAM installed :)

      You can get 3D Mark Timespy for free via Steam - just click the 'Download Demo' button on the right. Give it a go :)

      And I totally agree with you about synthetic benchmarking software, which is why I do like the idea of testing the system as a whole with in-game FPS, because that is what really matters, as opposed to an isolated synthetic score. For example, that Passmark score of mine would probably lead one to believe this laptop to be one of the best performers in-game, but it's more middle of the pack as a system overall, especially with the stock RAM. However, with the upgrade RAM & External screen connected via HDMI, the Acer Nitro 5 shoots up to be in line with the Lenovo Legion 5 (as seen in Jarrod's Tech video).

      Lastly, I'm not advocating piracy, but that's one way to get AOE IV or Civ VI if you're just curious to cross-check your fps/performance. 'Fit girl' has them. I do own both games via Steam personally :)

  • +1

    thanks for sharing. It's great. Can you share which specific 8g RAM did you buy to expand it to 16g Ram ? I bought the AN515-57-55R8 model and I want to extend it to 16g ram.
    thanks

    • Glad to help :)

      It was a very difficult mission to find the right RAM because, unfortunately, not many manufacturers provide the information about their RAM being 1Rx8 or 1Rx16. Thankfully, Kingston provide this information.

      I got two of the Kingston KVR32S22S8/8 via Amazon.

      Before this, I had to return two sets of Crucial RAM because it was falsely advertised with 8 chips (4 bank groups) in the photos, whilst the RAM they sent actually only had 4 chips (2 bank groups) on them. Honestly it's super confusing and I'm still not sure I've got it right, I just know that 8 black chips on the RAM should be better than 4. The best simple explanation I found was via Linus Tech Tips — basically, the analogy is that half of the chips is like having half the amount of librarians taking care of the same amount of books, so in some cases it takes longer to retrieve data. I checked this via HWinfo64 - my stock RAM said 2 bank groups, whilst my new RAM says 4 bank groups. This press release by Asus was also helpful in gaining understanding.

      Importantly, I think your -55R8 model laptop may already have a good stick of Samsung 1Rx8 RAM (M471A1K43EB1-CWE) as pointed out by this user. You should check this via HWinfo64. Reason being you probably won't need to replace it with two new sticks of RAM. Although it is generally best to match sticks of RAM with the exact same model, because in some cases they aren't stable at their maximum rated speeds, which means you could end up with your 16GB of RAM running at 2933Mhz instead of 3200Mhz. Unfortunately the Samsung RAM doesn't seem easy to find - closest match I could see is this via Ubuy. You could perhaps try contacting Samsung. Or you could just try your luck with the Kingston stick via Amazon, and if you're not happy, you might be able to return it. With any luck, it will run just fine at 3200Mhz, otherwise, 2933Mhz isn't really that bad :)

      Note: I replaced my original stick of RAM with two new ones because it wasn't the good Samsung 1Rx8 type, it was the slow 1Rx16 type. I sold the original stick of RAM on Gumtree.

      • +1

        Great! thanks for the excellent detailed explanation. I'm planning to upgrade my laptop based on your suggestions.

        • Awesome! Let me know how it goes :) Hopefully I've saved you the hours of research I had to do lol

  • Hey Jimmy,

    Nitro turned up today, this is what CPUZ is saying

    https://imgur.com/a/kotAUuK

    I am a novice when it comes to reading these, any insights before I end up taking the bottom off for a squizz?

    • Hey tyronne, how are you liking it so far?

      I'm not too familiar with CPU-Z. Perhaps try downloading HWinfo64? I think it's a lot clearer with information.

      As an example, check out this screenshot from this Reddit comment/post. You can see it says 'Number of Bank Groups: 4'

      HWinfo64:
      https://www.hwinfo.com/download/ (Installer or Portable - doesn't matter!)

      Also not 100% sure why your DRAM frequency is saying ~800Mhz. My understanding is that it should say 1600Mhz, and the Double Data Rate (i.e., DDR from DDR4) means that 1600Mhz is actually 3200Mhz. Perhaps open Task Manager and click on the Performance tab to check what your Memory speed says.

  • It looks like you have the same stock RAM that I had too, being a less-good stick of Kingston 8GB 1Rx16 RAM (ACR32D4S2S1ME-8). Although I can't see the full digits in your screenshot, so just double check this.

    If you open HWinfo64 and click run (without ticking 'sensors-only' or 'summary-only'), another window opens at the back with more detailed info. You can click the drop down arrow next to Memory to see your RAM, and clicking it will bring up more info on the side (where it will probably say "Number of Bank Groups: 2").

    Ultimately it's up to you, but I'd suggest replacing it with two new sticks of the Kingston KVR32S22S8/8 via Amazon and selling that original stick on Gumtree, etc. It only takes 1 screwdriver and 2 minutes of effort to do :) This video helps

    Interestingly, it looks like your BIOS version is a little older. I wonder if your GPU is only operating at 80W instead of 95W? If you go to your system tray by clicking the little up arrow at the bottom right of your screen, then right click the Nvidia logo, you can open 'Nvidia Control Panel'. Once open, click the 'Help' tab at the top, then click 'System Information' — mine looks like this "Maximum Graphics Power: 95W" — you may be able to update your BIOS to get your GPU up to 95W for better performance.

    • See below

      https://imgur.com/a/aDPgNxY

      i did a bios update yesterday after i took that screenshot and checked nvidia and its showing 95w

      I was thinking about getting one of these first, then eventually replacing the 8gb with another 16

      https://www.centrecom.com.au/kingston-kvr32s22d816-16gb-1x16...

      • Ah yep, can see that it says "Number of Bank Groups: 2"

        Glad to hear the BIOS update went well and you've got 95w now!

        Don't quote me on this, but I've hear that all 16GB RAM is 4 bank groups, so that should be fine! Makes sense if you need the extra RAM. If not, may as well save your money and get two 8GB sticks.

  • I have exactly the same model as you.

    I had severe FPS drops and CPU throttling when "High Performance" was selected in Nitro Sense's Power Plan. But all this was solved with setting it back to "Balance [Acer Optimized]". I set it to "High Performance" when I was doing initial benchmarking (Cinebench, Far Cry 6, Shadow of the Tomb Raider). PS I now hate benchmarking.

    Also, I had (known) issues with installing a Crucial MX500. The laptop is very picky with it.

    I'm running a pair of Crucial Vengeance 32gb 2xr8. They're only 2666MHz but the timings are good at 18-18-18-43.

    Also, check this post. Apparently can update the vbios to make it run at 130W!

    • Interesting, the power profile must've been messing with it somehow.

      I understand your pain with the benchmarking. I wish there was a quicker and easier way.

      Glad you discovered those storage upgrade problems, I'll keep it in mind if I ever need to upgrade!

      I'm super curious about the 130w - did you manage to try it out and/or get it working/stable? If so, did it improve your FPS/benchmark scores by much?

  • +1

    Excellent review Jimmy, I had an older Acer Nitro 5 I just returned due to hinge/screen issues and got some store credit at JB Hi-Fi. Was thinking of getting another one but I'm worried about the same issue popping up again. (Just checked and JB Hi-Fi doesn't even sell Acer any more?)

    Glad to hear that you're liking it and that they moved the charging port to the back rather than the side 'cos that was one thing I always hated

    • +1

      Thanks! Glad it was helpful :)

      Sucks that your old laptop started having problems. But I suppose that's the thing with laptops - they will never last as long, because you can't replace the key components. You have to be prepared to upgrade it every few years or endure with the wear & tear / outdated components for as long as you can.

      I am still loving my version of the Acer Nitro 5. I could've spent ~$500+ extra and gotten a laptop with a nicer screen and speakers (but ultimately the same level of performance). However, I am much happier with ~$500+ in my pocket for use towards upgrading to a new laptop in 1-2 years (with an Nvidia 4000 series GPU - rumoured to be nearly double the performance of current counterparts). Plus, I use an external monitor, keyboard and mouse anyway, as well as headphones/airpods, so it's been totally fine!

      The only bad thing I've noticed so far is that my USB ports seem to make a funny buzzing noise sometimes. It is a very faint noise and seems to be related to the charging brick. I will have to investigate further later…

      I suppose you need to buy something pretty soon considering you've already returned yours? It's a shame the laptop didn't hang on for another few months for the Nvidia 4000 series!

      I am having a look at the JB Hi Fi website now and the deals are crap - the cheapest 3060 laptop is $2,200 :(
      How much is the credit? If you can use it on something else, you may be better off buying a laptop elsewhere.

      Do you use your laptop for gaming? What kind of games?
      Do you have an external monitor? What are it's specs?
      I am trying to figure out whether you actually need a 3060 GPU. For gaming, it is so much better than a 3050.

      This Gigabyte G5 laptop for $1,569 seems to be the cheapest 3060 laptop I can find at the moment.

      The value proposition is certainly worse at the moment, as desktop GPU prices have come down a lot. At the time I wrote the review, a desktop 3060 cost the same as the entire Acer Nitro laptop itself, so it was incredible value for money. Now you can get a full pre-built desktop with a 3060ti for the same price. Not sure why laptop pricing sucks at the moment.

      • +1

        You're right with your first paragraph but I do feel the body of the Acer Nitro being mainly plastic invites these problems. Next time I might have to get some peripherals to keep it plugged in to instead

        It's always tempting to think "What if I anchored how much I'm willing to pay at $500 more than the laptops I'm currently looking at because they have X" but that's a slippery slope to buying a $4000 laptop

        That NVIDIA 4000 series sounds real nice but I don't know if I'll be able to afford a new, top-of-the-line graphics card when they release it </3 Luckily it should bring down the prices of what they sell at the moment

        Good luck figuring out the source of the buzzing, that sounds a bit spooky and hopefully there's no wayward electricity trying to fly out the sockets

        I wouldn't say I need the laptop urgently, I've been in the process of returning it for about a year because they keep asking for different parts/information and closing the case so I have to reopen it

        I was planning on waiting for the EOFY sales to snag a bargain but JB Hi-Fi certainly isn't impressing me with their current offerings. The credit's for about $1100 dollars and I believe it can be used on anything I want in store

        I do use it for gaming and I also have literally hundreds of tabs open sometimes. The games I play are: rogue-likes like Enter the Gungeon and Binding of Isaac; CCGs like Magic (which is horribly coded/optimised); driving games like TrackMania or Rocket League and whatever else I've downloaded to try out. I know most of these games aren't very resource intensive but that's because the desktop I've got available isn't powerful enough to run much

        The external monitor is my dad's, not sure on the make/model but it has a curved screen and the brand is LG or Dell I think. If the 3060's that much better it'll have to go on my "Must have" list

        Thanks for the recommendation, my only reservation is when I had my friend over the other day Gigabyte came up. He said they weren't the best in terms of part quality and if it fails I don't know if there customer service would be much better than Acer's

        Laptop pricing is terrible at JB and it's rarer I see them here on OzBargain than a pre-built. I thought it was just down to low popularity but laptops may be more popular with people working between home and the office much more now. Thanks for listening to my ramblings and trying to help

        • Hmm, yeah, I have often read about metal-bodied laptops being more premium. My previous laptop was a higher end Acer laptop with a metal body and really nice speakers. The speakers on this new laptop were a shock to me - I guess I didn't realise how good and loud my previous ones were, but I've adjusted and use airpods more often so it's okay. However, I definitely don't miss the metal body - it got very hot to touch, and uncomfortably hot while gaming. It also probably made it heavier - this new laptop is lighter and it feels so nice having a few hundred grams shaved off. In the end, my charging port started to play up on the higher end Acer laptop, so even with a premium model there are still problems that can happen and you can't easily fix them. I haven't gone down the path of having a desktop PC yet because laptops are just so convenient and I'm always moving around. I am okay with having more frequent upgrades as a result. Once I'm settled down I might get a desktop PC. If you're not fussed about laptops you could consider a desktop PC for better value and longevity.

          With the 4000 series, theoretically, they shouldn't be more expensive than what is on offer now. They should just slot in at the same price, but with extra performance due to innovation. But you're right, it should lead to clearance on some current models that will become outdated. I suppose we'll only know just how much better they are when reviewers get their hands on them. But the rumours have them tipped to be quite good.

          Having hundreds of tabs open is one of my favourite hobbies too lol. I suppose RAM is the consideration there. If you want to have them all open while playing games too, and numerous other apps open simultaneously, then 32GB of RAM would be the goal. I don't mind closing my browser while playing a heavy game and just restoring the tabs afterwards, so 16GB of RAM is plenty still - luckily that's an easy upgrade you can make yourself with most laptops these days :)

          Like you noted, the games you listed are relatively light to run so I suppose a 3060 is not necessary. But I suppose that doesn't mean you aren't interested in checking out heavier games if you had the abilities to run them. This video shows that the 3060 is about 54% better on average than the 3050ti, which is about 9% better than a standard 3050. It notes that the 4GB of VRAM is a major limitation for newer titles, especially if wanting to play at higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K. It's honestly just been really nice to turn the settings up to max and have games run well.

          Gigabyte has a bad name at the moment (and rightfully so) due to their bad handling of a particular model of power supplies. You can see Gigabyte being exposed with clear faults, and their unwillingess to admit any responsibility, in these videos on the Gamers Nexus YouTube channel. They're quite funny actually. But yes, I too would avoid buying their stuff simply for their anti-consumer behaviour of late. But aside from that particular model of power supply, they should be fine. If it means saving hundreds on a laptop I'd still buy it. But if you're not in a rush, just keep your eyes peeled for a good deal! (The Statice website can really help)

          Always happy to listen to the ramblings :)

          • @JimmyLmao: G'day Jimmy, I'm back after my hiatus. Unfortunately I can no longer + your comment or I would

            I think most of my laptops in the past have been pretty sturdy but other issues would always arise (charging port not working, screen just turns black one day). The problem with heavier laptops is they feel much more likely to break internally in a small drop or other mishap. My Acer Nitro would have heat issues where it would get too hot but that's just what happens when you game in bed I s'pose

            The 4000 series has me excited but I still haven't seen anything with it and the prices are dipping pretty low on laptops as it's EOFY. I saw this HP Victus pop up in a thread and people are saying it's good for the price https://www.jbhifi.com.au/products/hp-victus-16-d0224tx-16-1...

            I'm about to look in to potential issues with it now. Main one I can see is that it's a 3050Ti and the 54% increase in performance is a big number for a 3060. Honestly I just like the idea of putting it to max settings and having it run well too

            I looked in to the 4000 series a bit more as well, it says it's going to have around double the power draw for its performance. Do you think modern laptops at this price range are going to be able to offer that? I suspect they'll need beefier PSUs if they want to put a 40xx in there

            After dealing with Acer's customer service I don't really want to go through anything more difficult like Gigabyte but thanks for sharing the corporate drama, you gave great context

            I'm somewhat considering the Nitro again too https://www.harveynorman.com.au/acer-nitro-5-15-6-inch-fhd-i...

            Seems like it'd be easier upgrading the RAM than it would replacing the graphics card

            • +1

              @SpainKing: That StaticIce site seems sick for bargain hunting too, thank you

            • @SpainKing: Hey, welcome back :)

              Haha oh yes the old gaming in bed on a laptop - I used to do it religiously. I much prefer sitting at a desk and using a keyboard and mouse now. Depending on what type of game you're playing, you could also try using a controller and have the laptop sitting on a stand to keep it cool (or plugged into a TV like a gaming console setup). I've got a cheap aluminum stand off ebay to keep the laptop sitting up high with plenty of airflow under it.

              Regarding the 4000 series in laptops, it does seem like they're going to be power-hungry so laptops may fall behind the desktop equivalents by a higher margin than usual. For reference, my Acer Nitro 5 laptop (with 3060) gets a Timespy score of ~7,700 on average (with the added RAM and external monitor via HDMI), compared to a desktop 3060 equivalent Timespy score of about ~8,900. So that's ~85% of the performance, which is great!

              Regardless, I suspect the 4000 series will bring a significant bump in performance in laptops despite the higher power draw. Even if that drops to 70% of desktop equivalent, 70% of double the performance is still a lot! Also AMD 7000 series might be worthy to keep an eye on, particularly for laptops, as they are focusing on keeping power draw low/efficient and still coming very close to Nvidia in performance - good news for laptops.

              Between the two links you shared, the HP 3050ti @ $1k -vs- the Acer 3060 @ $1.1k, I'd still go the Acer with the 3060 if it were me choosing. The 54% better gaming performance is too hard to ignore. But if a highly colour-accurate screen or loud speakers are something that is important to you, then the Acer might not be the best pick. If you can live with slightly off purple colours (or simply use external monitor instead) and use earbuds/headphones for when you need louder audio, then the Acer is a great pick! (I often use wireless airpods with mine in bed for watching YouTube and it works great)

              And yep, like you said, a RAM upgrade is a million times easier, because replacing a graphics card in a laptop is probably impossible. They're built-in as part of the chassis - not something designed with the intention to ever be replaced. It might technically be possible with a lot of knowledge, tools and experience - but way more trouble than it'd ever be worth. Adding a stick of RAM was a 5-minute job.

  • +1

    Awesome review. I just grabbed one from the most recent HN deal (https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/704961) and am massively impressed by the bang for buck. Highly recommended.

    • Thanks! Enjoy :)

      It's miles ahead in performance compared to anything you can get at the same price; $1,095 after the bonus gift card is highway robbery!

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