Laptops with the word Predator in the name quite often visit our test lab, the class of these devices is confirmed by the high quality of the components used and the same high performance in games. And then the user decides for himself how a particular model suits him.
The manufacturer associates the Predator Triton 500 SE with a new stage in the evolution of gaming laptops. Here we are dealing with a powerful assembly that uses an 8-core Intel Core i9-11900H processor and a mobile version of the GeForce RTX 3080. At the same time, all the hardware is built into a fairly compact case for a 16-inch model. Let’s try to figure out how successful this new stage of evolution turned out to be for Acer.
⇡#Specifications, equipment and software
The Predator Triton 500 SE version arrived at our test lab, the characteristics of this sample are shown in the table below. The company’s website does not yet have a list of various modifications of the novelty, so it is not yet known how many of them there will be and how much they will cost.
|Acer Predator Triton 500 SE|
|Primary Display||16″, 2560 × 1600, IPS, 165Hz|
|CPU||Intel Core i9-11900H|
|Video card||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 8GB GDDR6 110W|
|Install Drives||2 × M.2 in PCI Express x4 4.0 mode (Samsung MZVL21T0HCLR-00B07)|
|Interfaces||2 × USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-A |
2 x Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm mini jack
1 x HDMI
1 x RJ-45
1 × SD 7.0
|Built-in battery||99 Wh|
|External power supply||230W|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home|
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In fact, this is complete stuffing: in addition to the previously mentioned Core i9-11900H and GeForce RTX 3080, the laptop uses 32 GB of RAM and a couple of terabyte SSDs combined into a RAID 0 array.
The Killer AX1650i module, which supports the Wi-Fi 6 standard, is responsible for the wireless connection in the Predator Triton 500 SE. When using a 160 MHz channel, its throughput is up to 2.4 Gbps. The wired connection is provided by the Killer E3100 controller with a throughput of up to 2.5 Gbps. Advanced Stream Detect 2.0 automatically detects apps and popular websites and prioritizes internet traffic.
The laptop comes with a 230W external power supply. Together with all the wires, its weight is 800 grams. Fortunately, the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE supports Power Delivery technology, and therefore the 230-watt power supply can be replaced with a compact and lightweight source of 65 or 100 watts for constant travel.
⇡#Appearance and Input Devices
As already mentioned, the design is an important feature of the Predator Triton 500 SE and emphasizes its status: the laptop looks strict and mature. I would not say that this approach is rare in gaming mobile computers, but this time Acer engineers and designers even abandoned the illuminated Predator series logo, designing it in a pleasant, graphite color.
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The body of the device is almost entirely made of metal, only the side walls are plastic, and the use of a 16-inch matrix with an aspect ratio of 16:10 adds a certain zest. Photographs do not convey this, but laptops with WQXGA matrices do differ in appearance from their narrower (16:9) counterparts.
Against the background of other “fifteen” heroes of the review can be called compact. The display occupies 87% of the area of the back cover – not a record, but a good result, obtained through the use of 5 mm frames on the sides. The width of the upper side of the frame is 8 mm. Would refuse a webcam – the display area would be more than 90%.
The Predator Triton 500 SE is 20mm thick with very little rounding. The mass, measured independently by household electronic scales, was 2,358 grams, that is, we have a fairly standard thin gaming laptop in terms of dimensions and weight.
All I / O ports of the laptop are located on the sides. On the left, the test model has an Ethernet port, one USB 3.2 Gen2 A-type, Thunderbolt 4, and a 3.5mm headset jack. On the right is an HDMI 2.1 output, one more Thunderbolt 4 and USB 3.2 Gen2 each, as well as an SD 7.0 card reader (transfer rate up to 985 MB / s). Just in case, I remind you that Thunderbolt connectors are compatible with USB Type C, mini-DisplayPort output and support Power Delivery technology. HDMI 2.1 allows you to transmit an image in Ultra HD resolution at up to 120 Hz, there is also support for 8K and 10K matrices.
The laptop keyboard received a three-zone RGB backlight, customizable in the PredatorSense application. Available static and dynamic profiles, and using the buttons on the keyboard, you can select one of four levels of brightness. I like the quality of the backlight, I’m sure Russian characters will also be clearly visible on the black keys.
The keyboard is comfortable to work with. As you can see, the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE does not have a digital block, but some of the buttons with numbers can be activated by NumLk. The layout of some keys will obviously take some getting used to: Ctrl, Enter and Shift are smaller than the usual sizes. But in the right extreme row, multimedia buttons are crammed. There is also a key that activates the PredatorSense program. Separately from everyone else is the Turbo button – when you press it, as you might guess, the cooler fans begin to rotate at maximum frequency, and a slight overclocking of the GeForce RTX 3080 is also activated. The keys respond to pressing quite quietly, almost silently.
The touchpad in the Predator Triton 500 SE was not very large – 107 × 79 mm. In conditions close to combat (a batch in Gwent), I had no complaints about it. The fingerprint sensor is located in the upper left corner of the touchpad.
⇡#Internal design and upgrade options
The bottom of the laptop is easy to remove, all you need is a torx screwdriver. True, it makes no sense to dismantle the removable panel in the case of a test sample for two reasons.
Firstly, by dismantling the bottom metal cover, we will not get access to the removable components of the laptop. Drives and RAM are installed on the back of the circuit board. The copper elements of the cooling system are also located there – four heat pipes responsible for removing heat from the processor, graphics and their power piping. It can be seen that three fans and rather large heatsinks are used in the design of the cooler. The fifth generation AeroBlade 3D impellers have been given the so-called bionic design, inspired by the silent and powerful flight dynamics of the animal kingdom. Carlson blades are equipped with serrated edges that capture even more air. Each fan received 89 metal blades with a thickness of only 0.08 mm.
Secondly, in the case of the test sample, we simply do not need an upgrade: 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB of ROM are already installed in the assembly – this is more than enough for a gaming system. But if there are versions on sale, say, with a 512 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM, then the subsequent upgrade of the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE will be complicated: to replace the components, you will have to completely disassemble the laptop.
In the test assembly, by the way, a pair of MZVL21T0HCLR-00B07 is used – this is an OEM version of Samsung drives, similar to the 980 Pro series and using the PCI Express 4.0 interface. So the “brains” in the Predator Triton 500 SE are used as needed.
The methodology for testing gaming laptops assumes the main focus on computer games. Laptop performance was measured using the following software:
Games (Full HD, WQHD and Ultra HD resolution):
- World of Tanks EnCore RT. DirectX 11. Benchmark. Ultra mode, RT off
- Counter Strike: Global Offensive. DirectX 9. FPS Benchmark map. Multi-core processing – incl. Maximum quality.
- The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. DirectX 11. Novigrad and surroundings. Maximum quality.
- GTA V. DirectX 11. Built-in benchmark. Maximum quality, FXAA + 2x MSAA, advanced quality settings – on, 16x AF, image resolution scaling – off. In 4K – no AA.
- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. DirectX 11. Training mode. Ultra Mode
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Maximum quality, DXR – off, TAA.
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Highest mode.
- Battlefield V. DirectX 12. The Last Tiger mission. Ultra Mode, TAA, DXR Off
- Red Dead Redemption 2. Vulkan. Built-in benchmark. Maximum quality (advanced settings – off), TAA.
- Gears 5. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Ultra Mode
- Metro: Exodus. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Ultra Mode
- Horizon Zero Dawn. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Top quality, TAA.
- Death Stranding. DirectX 12 Prologue. Maximum quality.
- A Total War Saga: TROY. DirectX 11. Built-in benchmark. Max mode, 4x AA. In 4K – no AA.
- DOOM Eternal. Vulcan. Beginning of the game. Absolute Nightmare Mode
- Watch Dogs: Legion. DirectX 12. Built-in benchmark. Maximum quality, TAA, DXR off, DLSS off
- Cyberpunk 2077. DirectX 12. City trip. Impressive quality mode, DXR off, DLSS off
Gaming performance was measured using the well-known CapFrameX program. It allows you to get the rendering time of each frame. The use of the 99th percentile instead of the minimum frames per second is due to the desire to clean up the results from random performance fluctuations that were provoked by reasons not directly related to the operation of the main components of the platform.
Testing the laptop in games and applications was carried out with the activation of the fastest mode suitable for these tasks.
- Corona 1.3. Testing rendering speed using the renderer of the same name. Measures the build speed of the standard BTR scene used to measure performance.
- Blender 2.92. Determination of the final rendering speed in one of the popular free packages for creating three-dimensional graphics. The duration of building the final model pavillon_barcelona_v1.2 from Blender Benchmark is measured.
- x265 HD Benchmark. Testing the speed of video transcoding to H.265/HEVC format. The tables and graphs show the average integer value obtained after five runs of the test.
- CINEBENCH R23. Performance measurement of photorealistic 3D rendering in CINEMA 4D animation package, CPU test. The tables and graphs show the average integer value obtained after five runs of the test.
- Adobe Premiere Pro 2020 – Rendering a project in 4K resolution.
- Futuremark PCMARK10 Professional Edition 2.1.2177. Testing in Essentials scenarios (typical work of an average user: launching applications, surfing the Internet, video conferencing), Productivity (office work with a text editor and spreadsheets), Digital Content Creation (creation of digital content: photo editing, non-linear video editing, 3D rendering and visualization-models).
- 3DMark Professional Edition 2.11.6846. Testing in Time Spy and Fire Strike scenes.
- Unigine Superposition Benchmark. 1080p Extreme testing.
Notebook testing in resource-intensive applications was carried out in the default mode without any adjustment of the parameters of the central processor and cooler.
Display testing is performed using the X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter and the DisplayCAL 3 application.
The battery life of the laptop was tested in two modes. The first load option – web surfing – involves alternately opening and closing the tabs of sites, Computeruniverse.ru and Unsplash.com with an interval of 30 seconds. For this test, the current version of the Google Chrome browser at the time of testing is used. In the second mode, video in .mkv format and Full HD resolution is played in the built-in player of Windows OS with the repeat function activated. In all cases, the same display brightness was set – 200 cd / m2, and the keyboard backlight (if any) and the sound were turned off.
In games and other applications, the results of the following laptops are considered:
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 GX703||17.3″, 3840 × 2160||Intel Core i9-11900H, 8/16 cores/threads, 2.5 (4.9) GHz, 45W||32 GB DDR4-3200 Dual Channel||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Notebook 16GB GDDR6||SSD, 3TB||90 Wh|
|ASUS ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition G513QY||15.6″, 1920 × 1080||AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 8/16 cores/threads 3.3 (4.6) GHz 45W||16 GB DDR4-3200 Dual Channel||AMD Radeon RX 6800M 12GB GDDR6||SSD, 1TB||90 Wh|
|Acer Predator Triton 500 SE||16″, 2560 × 1600||Intel Core i9-11900H, 8/16 cores/threads, 2.5 (4.9) GHz, 45W||32 GB DDR4-3200 Dual Channel||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Notebook 8GB GDDR6||2TB SSD||99.9 Wh|
⇡#Display and sound
The use of a WQXGA-display with an aspect ratio of 16:10 is one of the main features of the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE. The manufacturer’s website indicates the use of a 240-Hz matrix, but in our case, a BOE NE160QDM-NY1 IPS panel with a vertical frequency of 165 Hz and a response of 3 ms is installed. In all cases, support for NVIDIA G-SYNC technology is declared.
The matrix, in my opinion, is great for games and content consumption in general. The display has a very high brightness for laptops and good contrast. The Predator Triton 500 SE from Acer is also good for those who work: the color gamut is almost completely consistent with the sRGB standard, and color errors were negligible.
|Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (matrix – BOE NE160QDM-NY1)|
|Minimum brightness||25 cd/m2|
|Maximum brightness||529 cd/m2|
|Color temperature||7500 K|
|Adobe RGB color gamut||68%|
|Grey scale deviation: average (maximum)||1.56 (2.19)|
|Extended test deviation: mean (maximum)||1.43 (4.2)|
|Viewing angles||As advertised|
|PWM||Unseen at all brightness levels|
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The sound quality of the Predator Triton 500 SE speakers seemed rather modest to me: there is bass, but it lacks richness; medium and high frequencies sound dim; The volume margin of the speakers is small. For games and watching movies, I would buy a good headset or Bluetooth speaker in a pair with a laptop.
⇡#Efficiency of the cooling system
In the PredatorSense program, we can set four modes for the laptop: Quiet, Default, Extreme and Turbo. The second preset, as you can easily guess by its name, is used by default. Turbo mode activates the maximum rotational speed of all fans, and also slightly overclocks the GeForce RTX 3080 mobile graphics – from 1245 to 1345 MHz on the chip and from 1468 to 1545 MHz – on the memory. Only in this mode, the laptop will make a lot of noise – from a distance of 30 cm, the measuring device recorded 52 dBA – and it is impossible to use it around the clock in this mode. As a result, it was decided to test the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE with the Default and Extreme profiles enabled.
|Summary of laptop operation and setup|
|Declared GPU Speed (Boost) and Memory Speed||1245 MHz, 11.7 Gbps||1245 MHz, 11.7 Gbps|
|Cyberpunk 2077 real GPU clock: min, max, average, MHz||1280||1305|
|Maximum noise level, dBA||41.6||47.2|
|Average Power Consumption: GPU, CPU W||93||98|
|GPU temperature: average, maximum, °C||72||70|
|CPU temperature: average, maximum, °C||69||69|
|3DMark Time Spy, points||10154||10263|
|3DMark Fire Strike scores||22021||22900|
|Unigine Superposition, 1080p Extreme, points||6304||6324|
In both modes of operation, the laptop can be called cold, since the temperatures of the central processor and graphics chip do not exceed 75 degrees Celsius on average. Yes, in the default mode, the Predator is well audible, but this laptop cannot be called loud, because much noisier models often stay in our laboratory. But in the Extreme mode, the review hero roars much stronger.
We see that the power consumption of the mobile GeForce RTX 3080 does not exceed 100 watts, although the specifications indicate a value of 110 watts in Dynamic Boost mode. However, firstly, such power consumption is achievable in Turbo mode. Secondly, Dynamic Boost does not work always and not everywhere.
We have to admit that Acer engineers have tuned the cooler well, taking into account the energy efficiency of the main components of the laptop: the laptop is cold and – in default mode – not very noisy.
Games are games, but in resource-intensive, processor-intensive tasks, the laptop behaves differently. The power limit of the Core i9-11900H has been noticeably increased – this applies to all modes of the laptop. So, when the Extreme profile is enabled, the cooling system works at the limit of its capabilities in resource-intensive tasks (taking into account the provision of a certain acoustic comfort for the user). The laptop is noisy, but not as loud as in Turbo mode. But in the Default mode, the laptop is noticeably quieter: it is clearly audible, but sitting next to it is quite comfortable.
|Laptop cooling efficiency in Blender 2.93.1|
|CPU frequency, GHz||Medium||3,7||3,9|
|CPU temperature, °C||Maximum||94||100|
|Noise level, dBA||Maximum||39.9||47.3|
|CPU power consumption, W||Average||70||83|
|Time to execute test task victor (less is better)||9 min 33 s||8 min 55 s|
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Laptops with a mobile version of the GeForce RTX 3080 visited us quite often. The laptop gives a fairly predictable performance rating in benchmarks and turns out to be slower than solutions in which the GPU works with more power – everything is logical here.
It is much more interesting to see how the system behaves in games in WQXGA resolution (you can also find the designation 2.5K on the Internet). Here, Predator demonstrates good FPS in most cases: it plays comfortably in almost all cases, only in Cyberpunk 2077 you will have to reduce the resolution or graphics quality.
|Game testing results, FPS (more is better)|
|1920 × 1200||2560 × 1600|
|AVG||1% MIN||AVG||1% MIN|
|World of Tanks||198||118||137||90|
|The Witcher III: Wild Hunt||116||73||87||56|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||114||76||89||68|
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla||72||48||57||38|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||74||60||58||47|
|A Total War Saga: TROY||84||62||60||46|
|Horizon Zero Dawn||99||66||80||53|
|Watch Dogs: Legion||65||46||50||37|
Does not pass Predator Triton 500 SE and when performing resource-intensive tasks. However, we have already found out that the Core i9-11900H works in it in excess of the declared power limit.
Finally, the performance of some tasks is noticeably accelerated by a couple of Samsung SSDs, which are also combined in a RAID array.
The laptop comes with a 99 Wh battery. The manufacturer claims that the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is capable of operating on a single charge for about 12 hours, but stipulates that “battery life may vary depending on product configuration, power settings, usage patterns and other factors“. In our case, with a screen brightness of 200 cd/m2, the laptop worked for just over 6 hours. This is average for laptops in general, but at the same time – not bad if we consider only powerful gaming computers.
|Battery life, screen brightness 200cd/m2|
|Web||6 hours 13 minutes|
|View video||6 hours 02 minutes|
Getting to know the Predator Triton 500 SE from Acer left me with many pleasant impressions. This is a good gaming laptop, which at the same time has a rather strict and mature design. I liked the assembly, because we are talking about a metal case. The laptop turned out to be thin and compact – at least for 16 inches. The screen is great, great for gaming and watching movies. I have repeatedly said that WQHD resolution fits perfectly into modern gaming laptops. And in the case of the Predator Triton 500 SE, a larger WQXGA display is generally used. The hero of the review also has excellent functionality – I have not yet tested laptops with two Thunderbolt 4 at once. Finally, the cooling system fully copes with the hardware with which the laptop was “stuffed”.
Potential disadvantages, more precisely, features of a laptop that will not suit all users, include the impossibility of an upgrade. This point may be relevant for versions with a smaller amount of SSD and RAM. The size and location of some buttons on the keyboard and autonomy also raise questions – nevertheless, there were more tenacious gaming laptops in the test lab.
It remains to wait for November to find out how much the new Acer will cost, and to understand how its price matches the quality.