Last February 15, I got myself a new Acer laptop. It is an Acer Nitro 5 laptop sporting an AMD Ryzen 3550H with RX560X Graphics. This makes my 3rd Acer laptop in a span of 8+ years and my first ever AMD on a laptop (had an AMD Athlon X2 PC before).
This laptop costs Php34,999 and we could not find a promo since every store follows the retail price. Although, the laptop was on promo with having an included a single stick of 8GB DDR4 memory (upgraded from 4GB), 128GB SSD (m.2 SATA) and a 1TB mechanical drive (not SSHD).
The laptop includes a generic-looking backpack - yes, I said generic since I saw somewhere that there is a gaming-accented version of the bag.
- AMD Ryzen 5 3550H Quad-Core with Vega 8 Graphics (which consumes 2GB of RAM)
- AMD Radeon RX560X 4GB DDR4 - Here’s the catch, upon checking CPU-Z the - installed memory stick is rated at 2666MHz but later found out that Ryzen 3550H is limited to 2400MHz, so maybe that is a bummer
- 15.6" FHD 1920x1080p IPS LCD(slim-frame), Red Backlit-keyboard
- Dual M.2 (nVME only + SATA only) + 1 HDD slots
Full specs of the laptop can be found here
Using the laptop
Coming from an Intel i7 laptop, I felt the difference in boot up times, booting on this device is slightly slower - not sure if it’s because of the SSD installed, since I was using a Samsung 860 Evo on my old laptop.
Next is using Visual Studio, rebuilding some of my apps takes a longer time to finish. Also, having only 6GB of memory (since the 2GB is shared for AMD switchable graphics) I can’t stand having my chrome tabs reload after a while.
Before my old laptop broke (which was an Acer Nitro V, with an Intel i7 4th gen + 2GB GTX960M), I was just playing some Minecraft (sometimes with Shaders), some casual Dota 2, and other medium-intensive games.
Of course, I was playing either inside an aircon-ed room or the fan pointing to the laptop.
Meanwhile on this new laptop, launching games, even Dota 2, was a pain. It took too long that sometimes it would just not respond and fails to load at all.
But before even buying this, I said to myself that I can’t game like I did before - long hours, intensive AAA games - so I disregarded this experience, at first.
Overall (System) Experience
Out of habit, I installed the latest drivers including Radeon software (Adrenaline 2020). But the app is laggy as hell and eventually gave me a black screen out of nowhere - which I made a hard boot just to go back seeing things to Windows.
Upon checking, it installed an older driver. (Damn AMD)
Even though I use an external mech keyboard, this keyboard layout is hideous compared to the old Nitro V I had! I am missing the Pause/Break key but I believe it is hidden in F11, I believe.
The ports are ok, but the Type-C is not thunderbolt. The power port is on the middle of the body!!!
Nitro Sense is a great addition that it lets you control the laptop fans manually - they can get loud man! The fan layout is not “optimal” in my opinion though.
Lastly, the speakers on it are s**t 🤮. Apparently this is what we get for this price. 🤷🏽
It took me two weeks to “settle” with this new laptop and sometimes got me thinking of “regrets”. But I actually planned to upgrade memory - I just didn’t have the money 😂.
I got an 8GB TeamGroup stick 2666MHz despite the CPU limit since I can re-use them (on future units or resell them), and the price difference to a 2400MHz is minimal.
The unit has not easy-access so I went to a service center to install the RAM together with my old WD 500GB SSD just to have an “extra” faster storage. The service was free, and it took only 30 minutes because of some papers to fill-out but the service was fast.
The unit was faster, and launching apps and games was indeed faster. I also got extra fps in games, saved seconds to minutes in Visual Studio, and Chrome tabs are saved.
The only problem here now is having an older, OEM-issued drivers for the graphics card.
Replaying some games with higher FPS is also a plus.
Right now, I am thinking of upgrading to nVMe, to a higher 2.5" SSD and 32GB RAM 😳.