Many have anxiously awaited Intel’s Coffee Lake mobile laptops, specifically models equipped with the six-core Core i7-8750H. However, most of them are still a bit pricey. Thankfully, the new Core i5-8300H should service this price range well. The Acer Nitro 5 is one such laptop that features the i5-8300H. It contains an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 16GB of DDR4-2667 memory, a 256GB M.2 SSD and a 15.6” FHD IPS display.
The Nitro 5’s main competitor will be the Sager NP6852, which also shares a GTX 1050 Ti. The Sager features a previous generation Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory, a 256GB M.2 SSD and 15.6” FHD IPS display.
If you were to lower the Nitro 5’s gaming performance while improving its CPU performance, you’ll have a system like the Asus ROG Strix GL503VD. It’s equipped with an i7-7700HQ, a GTX 1050, 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory, a 1TB SSHD and a 15.6” FHD IPS display. Although its components are fairly similar to the systems in this roundup, Asus charges a rather high price for its build quality.
The lowest end system in this comparison will be the Acer Aspire VX 15, which has roughly equivalent CPU power and less GPU power than the Nitro 5. It features an i5-7300HQ, a GTX 1050, 8GB of DDR4-2400 memory, a 256GB M.2 SSD and a 15.6” FHD display. This appears to be the system the Nitro V will be replacing for 2018.
Finally, the highest-end system in this roundup graphics-wise is the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming, which features an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q Design. On top of this, it features an i5-7300HQ, 8GB of DDR4-2400 memory, a 256GB M.2 SSD and a 15.6” FHD IPS display. The Dell represents the type of system you can buy by aiming the majority of your budget towards your GPU.
3DMark’s graphics benchmarks act as a prelude to our gaming benchmarks. The Acer Nitro 5 performs well in GPU-based workloads, especially against the Asus Strix and Aspire VX 15, which both run on a GTX 1050. While it suffers in CPU-based physics workloads, its Coffee Lake architecture allows it to outperform the Aspire and the Inspiron.
If 3DMark’s benchmarks best highlight GPU performance, then Cinebench is its CPU equivalent. As such, the Nitro 5 doesn’t fare well against the i7-equipped systems, especially during multi-core rendering. It underperforms the Asus and Sager by 23% and 24%, respectively. However, the i5-8300H exhibits a notable gain in rendering scores over the Inspiron and Aspire.
CompuBench has a platform-based Video Processing test and a GPU-bound Bitcoin Mining test. In VidProc, the Nitro 5 performs competitively against the Sager, Aspire and Strix thanks to its updated CPU architecture. Furthermore, the GTX 1050 Ti allows the Nitro 5 to go head-to-head with the Sager in Bitcoin Mining, and it is only resoundingly defeated by the Inspiron and its Max-Q GTX 1060.
We perform an IOMeter test on each laptop’s primary drive to measure basic random and sequential read and write speeds. The laptops contain the following storage solutions:
- Acer Aspire VX 15 - LiteOn CV3 256GB
- Acer Nitro 5 - Intel 600p Series 256GB
- Asus ROG Strix GL503VD - Seagate FireCuda 1TB
- Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming - Samsung PM961 256GB
- Sager NP6852 - Sandisk X400 256GB
The Nitro 5’s Intel 600p Series offers competitive 4K random (QD2) speeds in comparison to the Aspire and Sager. However, the 600p delivers far better speeds in 128K sequential speeds, meaning the Nitro V will access large files such as music and video much faster. The only laptop with faster speeds is the Inspiron, who contains the highly rated PM961. It also goes without saying that the Asus’ SSHD doesn’t stack up to any of these systems in terms of speed, but it does offer four times the capacity.
We use PCMark 8’s Microsoft Office and Adobe creative tests to simulate a common workday workload. These tasks are platform-based, so systems with powerful CPUs and fast storage solutions perform best.
One would expect an i7 to outperform an i5 from any generation. This would normally be the case, but keep in mind that storage speeds have an impact on how fast PCMark's test assets load. A combination of the Intel 600p and the updated CPU architecture allows the Acer Nitro 5 to outperform the competition. You'll see a noticeable boost in performance when jumping from an i5-7300HQ to an i5-8300H, especially when using Adobe Creative applications. On the other hand, Microsoft Office scores are significantly higher, but you won't notice much of a difference in real world usage.
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