This year, the 3DNews lab tested such unique models of Acer notebooks as Predator 21 X and Predator Triton 700 with 64-bit Windows 10 on board. You know, not every day manufacturers produce 21-inch laptops with a curved screen. Still a wonder is considered and laptops with mobile graphics GeForce GTX 1080, sharpened in a case thickness of 18-19 mm. It was these extravagant novelties that Acer remembered in 2017. However, we all perfectly understand that the most popular gaming laptops on the Russian market are completely different models. In this review, one of them is considered – a 17-inch laptop Predator Helios 300 PH317-51-56LG, equipped with a Core i5-7300HQ processor and a mobile version of GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB.
The Predator Helios 300 series includes a large number of modifications. With all versions equipped with both 15- and 17-inch matrices, you can get acquainted on the site of the computer store Delta Game. The main characteristics of laptops are indicated in the table below.
|Acer Predator Helios 300|
|Displaying the display||17.3 ", 1920×1080, IPS|
|15.6 ", 1920×1080, IPS|
|The central processor||Intel Core i5-7300HQ, 4/4 core / stream, 2.5 (3.5) GHz, 45 W|
|Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 4/8 core / threads, 2.8 (3.8) GHz, 45 W|
|Drawing||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 768 CUDA cores, 4 GB GDDR5|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, 1280 CUDA cores, 6 GB of GDDR5|
|Operative memory||Up to 16 GB, DDR4-2400, 2 channels|
|The accumulators||HDD: 1 TB 5400 rpm|
|SSD: 128/256/512 GByte|
|Wireless communication module||Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4A, IEEE 802.11b / g / n / ac, 2.4 and 5 GHz, up to 867 Mbps, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Interfaces|| 1 × USB 3.0 Type-A
1 × USB 3.0 Type-A
1 × USB 3.0 Type-A
1 × 3.5mm Mini Jack speaker / Microphone
1 × HDMI
1 × RJ-45
1 × card reader SD, SDHC, SDXC
|The built in battery||4 cells, 48 W • h|
|External power supply unit||180 W|
|Dimensions||432 × 290 × 29 mm|
|Operating system||Windows 10 x64 Home|
|The warranty||1 year|
|The price in Russia according to the data of "Yandex.Market"||88 000 rubles. for the tested modification|
At the very beginning of the article, I did not hesitate to call the bundle of Core i5-7300HQ and GeForce GTX 1060 6 GBytes the most balanced in 2017. My statement will necessarily be backed up by the results in the games. In the meantime, I add that the Predator Helios 300 with the marking PH317-51-56LG at a price of 88,000 rubles is equipped with 8 GB of DDR4-2400 RAM and a 1 TB hard drive. Exactly the same version, but with a preinstalled Linux operating system costs 8,000 rubles less. A more pumped configuration with identical CPU and GPU, but with installed 16 GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD will cost about 100,000 rubles.
Obviously, users who want to immediately take a full-fledged gaming system out of the box, it makes sense to purchase a laptop version with a pre-installed Windows 10. Because, in fact, today this OS does not have alternative options. Steam, Origin, Uplay, GOG – all these game clients are "sharpened" to work with the Microsoft system. The software interface DirectX 12, used in modern games, is supported only by Windows 10. Drivers of video cards NVIDIA are regularly updated only on PCs and laptops with "ten". And another version of Windows 10 Creators Update is equipped with a game mode that provides running games with the highest priority on the background of other active programs (antivirus, messengers, etc.).
All Predator Helios 300 are equipped with a Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4A wireless module that supports IEEE 802.11b / g / n / ac standards with a frequency of 2.4 and 5 GHz and a maximum bandwidth of up to 867 Mbps and Bluetooth 4.2. The Realtek controller is responsible for the LAN connection.
Included with the laptop is an external power supply with a power of 180 watts and a mass of about 700 grams.
Externally Predator Helios 300 looks like a younger brother Predator 21 X . The laptop turned out to be quite strict in appearance, although the gamer's pedigree of the device is noticeable to the naked eye due to the recognizable logo, red grilles and red strips placed on the lid. The cover of the screen and the bottom are made of a practical and thick matte plastic. The area around the keyboard was decided to be made of glossy plastic. As a result, it is very well visible fingerprints and dust. In general, the assembly of Predator Helios 300, there are no complaints, the device is cut very qualitatively.
I note only one small detail: on the official website of the company it is indicated that some assemblies of Predator Helios 300 are equipped with a metal cover.
The laptop screen is maximized by 135 degrees. Hinges are my homage, they accurately position the heavy cover and do not allow it to hang out during games or typing.
The thickness of Predator Helios 300 is 29 mm, weight – 3 kg. On these parameters, the laptop is located approximately in the middle, if you compare it with other 17-inch models. However, the dimensions and mass are the least important characteristics of a laptop that is purchased as an alternative to a stationary PC.
There are no connectors in front and behind on the Predator Helios 300 case, all the main ports are soldered to the sides of the laptop. The cooling system sucks air through a massive grate on the bottom. The already heated stream leaves the body through the perforation on the back of the device.
On the left are one by one USB 3.0 A-type and C-type, a card reader familiar with SD / SDHC / SDXC formats, HDMI-out and RJ-45. On the right side, Acer engineers placed two more USB 2.0 A-type, a combined 3.5 mm mini jack and a power connector.
The Predator Helios 300 keyboard received a one-level backlight in red. The WASD block and the touch panel are additionally marked with a red edging. The main keys are large enough (15 × 15 mm) and have a small depression in the center. The stroke of the keys is short, but physically felt quite clearly. It's a little inconvenient to use the right Shift – during games I continually missed and pressed the button with the arrow "up". In the rest of the claims to the keyboard Predator Helios 300 I do not have.
There are no additional buttons for which, for example, you can bind macros, as well as additional "freaks" inherent in game models, Predator Helios 300 does not. Well, to get rid of the Nazis in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was no more boring.
The touchpad is small (105 × 78 mm), and it is traditionally displaced closer to the left side of the notebook case. There are no separate keys. Pressing the touchpad is clearly pronounced, with a characteristic click. The touchpad supports multi-touch gestures of Windows, as well as handwriting.
As for the camera, the Predator Helios 300 has a simple "webcam" with HD resolution and a frame rate of 30 Hz. This optic is enough for video calls over Skype, but here for quality streams have to fork out for a separate FHD-camera.
There are two removable hatchways at the bottom of the Predator Helios 300. With their help, the user gets quick access to a 2.5-inch hard drive and RAM modules. To get to the cooling system, you need to remove the whole bottom. To do this, unscrew 15 screws.
You will need to do this procedure if, for example, you want to install an M.2-drive into the laptop. The corresponding slot with a "runway" under SSD format 2280 is located on the motherboard Predator Helios 300 next to the CPU.
The processor and graphics are cooled by a common cooling system consisting of two fans and three heat pipes. True, only two copper elements reach the CPU. A similar design is used in such notebooks as Lenovo Legion Y520 and HP Pavilion Power 15 . If the system had a more powerful Core i7-7700HQ installed, then I would have doubted the efficiency of such a design solution. However, we will talk about the efficiency of the cooling system further.
The main and only drive in the Predator Helios 300 PH317-51-56LG is the terabyte hard drive of the Toshiba MQ01ABD100. Eight gigabytes of RAM is implemented in the form of two 4-gigabyte modules Micron. On the one hand, RAM operates in a two-channel mode, therefore, in terms of performance, the right solution is chosen. On the other hand, using two 4 GB modules is not very promising. Here you want to increase the amount of RAM in the laptop. Then you will have to remove one die and replace it with another board of an unequal volume. So, when you buy a 8 GB module, the total amount in the system is 12 GB. If the notebook originally had a 8GB DDR4-2400 bar, then the total amount of RAM in Predator Helios 300 after a self-upgrade would be 16 GB.
Strictly speaking, the strategy for the subsequent modernization of the Predator Helios 300 PH317-51-56LG looks primitive, but at the same time it is as effective as possible. I recommend not to delay with the increase in the array of RAM – it is worth to increase the volume to at least 12 GB. Then you can safely install NVMe-drive into the system.
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