On paper, the Acer Aspire VX 15 has the weakest set of resources of any gaming laptop we've tested, featuring an Intel Core i5-7300HQ, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050, 8GB of DDR4-2400 memory, and a 256GB M.2 SSD for storage. On the other hand, the Aspire VX 15 comes in at $799, making it the most affordable gaming laptop we’ve tested. The Acer Aspire VX 15 also includes a Full HD (1920x1080) matte IPS display, which is impressive at this price point.
The Acer offering's most worthy opponent will undoubtedly be the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 gaming laptop, which shares many attributes, including an i5-7300HQ CPU, 8GB of DDR4 memory, and a 256GB M.2 SSD. The main difference is that Dell uses the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti, which will provide an extra ounce of GPU horsepower. It also doesn’t have an IPS display, and it's priced $100 higher than the Aspire.
Sager offers a GTX 1050 Ti configuration with a few more bells and whistles than the Dell Inspiron. The NP6852 features an i7-7700HQ CPU, an additional 8GB of DDR4-2400 memory (for a total of 16GB), and a 256GB M.2 SSD for storage. Like the Aspire, the NP6852 features an IPS display; this coupled with a stronger CPU and more memory pushes the NP6852’s price above $1,000. Its inclusion in our comparison charts will illustrate what a bit more money can buy.
Finally, we’re throwing in the NP8156, another Sager laptop. The NP8156’s main selling point is its 6GB GTX 1060, which is a staple in most gaming laptops between $1,300 and $2,000. The Sager NP8156 also contains an i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory, and a 256GB M.2 SSD. The NP8156 represents the type of performance you can expect if you doubled your investment (over the Acer VX 15).
3DMark’s benchmarks are useful in approximating a gaming laptop’s graphical performance. The Acer Aspire VX 15 takes last place throughout, which is hardly surprising considering its GPU is the most underpowered. However, both the Dell and the Acer produce similar Physics scores because they use the same CPUs.
In Cinebench, the Aspire VX 15 and the Inspiron 15 7000 CPU scores fall within single digits of each other, while the Sager laptops score about 10% higher in single core performance and 45% higher in multi-core performance due. The NP8156 pulls away in OpenGL shading performance with its GTX 1060, producing about 28% more FPS.
CompuBench draws a nice balance because its benchmarks are more GPU-dependent, especially the Bitcoin Mining test. As such, we find the Acer Aspire falling to last place because of the relatively underpowered GTX 1050. However, neither the Sager NP6852 or Dell Inspiron 15 7000 fare too much better. In the Bitcoin Mining benchmark, the Sager NP8156 outdoes the Acer by more than 120%.
We perform an IOmeter test on each laptop’s primary hard drive to measure random and sequential speeds. All of the systems we're including here feature a 256GB M.2 SSD, but no HDD. The Acer VX 15 features a 256GB LiteOn CV3 SSD, the Sagers contain Sandisk X400 SSDs, and the Dell has another different variant of the X400.
The Acer’s LiteOn CV3 takes first place in 4K random reads, but its random write speeds leave a lot to be desired. On the other hand, the CV3 has the slowest 128K sequential read, but the fastest sequential write speeds.
PCMark 8 features workloads that use the Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative suites to gauge a system’s performance in more office-like workloads. Overall, performance results are platform-based with a slight edge given to systems with powerful CPUs. Once again, our Aspire VX 15 is held back by its measly i5-7300HQ and GTX 1050. The Dell scores a little better because of its GTX 1050 Ti, but we don’t see a large jump in performance until we upgrade to an i7-7700HQ, as evidenced by the Sager systems.
MORE: Best Gaming Laptops
MORE: Gaming Laptop Previews
MORE: All Laptop Content