GPU Performance

Despite the low entry price, the Acer Nitro 5 features a proper GPU in the NVIDIA GTX 1650, and if you opt for the Ryzen 7 version, it ships with the GTX 1650 Ti. Both of these GPUs are part of NVIDIA’s 2020 laptop GPU refresh, and are based on the Turing architecture, sans the tensor cores features on the RTX lineup of Turing cards. Although NVIDIA launched the GTX 1650 as having “up to” 1024 CUDA cores, the Acer Nitro 5 offers 896, with 4 GB of GDDR6 on a 128-bit bus. To get 1024, you would need to step up to the 1650 Ti, and then the 1660 Ti is half-again as big, with 1536 CUDA cores and a 192-bit memory bus, so that last card is a significant performance bump.

For the last several years, laptops have been hovering at or around the 1920x1080 resolution, with high-end GPUs unable to effectively push UHD resolutions in the laptop space, vendors have instead offered higher-refresh displays at 1920x1080 instead. Acer is offering up to 144 Hz, but the base model is a standard 60 Hz display, which, as you will see, is fine.

To see how the Acer Nitro 5 fares in gaming, we have tested it against our gaming laptop suite, starting with a couple of synthetic tests, and then moving on to proper games.

3DMark

Futuremark 3DMark Fire Strike

Futuremark 3DMark Sky Diver

Futuremark 3DMark Cloud Gate

Futuremark 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

Futuremark 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited - Graphics

Futuremark 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited - Physics

UL’s 3DMark offers a variety of workloads, with Fire Strike being the most demanding on the GPU, and moving down from there. As the game is less demanding on the GPU, it becomes more CPU bound. Despite offering the “entry-level” GTX 1650 laptop GPU, there is still a large jump from the integrated GPUs in Ryzen 4000 and Ice Lake, which have both pushed the limits of integrated GPUs significantly in the last year. But a proper GPU, with its own power budget, and its own memory, just puts them to shame. The 1650 almost triples the Fire Strike score of the Ryzen 7 4700U.

GFXBench

GFXBench 5.0 Aztec Ruins Normal 1080p Offscreen

GFXBench 5.0 Aztec Ruins High 1440p Offscreen

With version 5.0 of GFXBench, Kishonti introduced DirectX 12 workloads, which are also the same workloads available in their smartphone app. Although designed for smartphones and low-power PC GPUs, the 1440p Aztec High result especially is very demanding on integrated graphics, but the Acer Nitro 5 has no issues on either workload.

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider - Value

Tomb Raider - Enthusiast

The original Tomb Raider reboot is still quite demanding on laptop-class GPUs, especially at our enthusiast-level settings at 1920x1080. The Acer Nitro 5 is able to handle this game very easily though, averaging almost 90 FPS even at maximum settings.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider - Value

Rise of the Tomb Raider - Enthusiast

The second installment in the Tomb Raider reboot really amped up the graphics, and introduced DirectX 12 support. It can be punishing on mid-tier GPUs, and the Acer Nitro 5 handles the game fairly well, just under the 60 FPS threshold. With only a few minor tweaks with GeForce Experience, this game would also be very smooth.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Value

Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Enthusiast

The most recent installment is also, shockingly, the most demanding on the GPU, with the Acer Nitro 5 definitely playable, but likely with a few settings turned down to ease the burden slightly. This game is an example of where the 1660 Ti really shows its worth.

Strange Brigade

Strange Brigade - Value

Strange Brigade - Enthusiast

Offering both DirectX 12 and Vulcan options, this benchmark was run in the DirextX mode. Although the game scales down to integrated GPUs quite well, at maximum settings it can still cause a lot of stress on a discrete GPU. The Acer Nitro 5 is able to manage the 60 FPS average though.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

Shadow of War - Value

Shadow of War - Enthusiast

Shadow of War is also a game with a wide dynamic range of playability, and the GTX 1650 in the Acer Nitro 5 does struggle here at maximum settings, achieving only 42 FPS average. It can still play at 1920x1080, but some graphical fidelity will have to be sacrificed.

F1 2019

F1 2019 - Value

F1 2019 - Enthusiast

Codemasters has been tweaking the F1 game for quite a few years now, and F1 2019 brought about DirectX 12 support. This racing came, based on the Formula 1 World Championship, has tended to be CPU bound in previous versions of the title, but the DirectX 12 appears to have helped with that somewhat. The Acer Nitro 5 can play this game at maximum settings, although just.

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 - Value

Far Cry 5 - Enthusiast

Ubisoft’s popular Far Cry series is a game that can tend to be CPU bound, but on the entry-level gaming PC level that is not really the case. Acer’s Nitro 5 is easily capable of playing Far Cry, albeit with a few settings dialed back slightly.

Gaming Conclusion: 1080p or Bust

What 2020 has taught us is many things, but on the laptop GPU side, we are at the point where even entry-level gaming systems can do a reasonable job at the 1920x1080 resolution almost all gaming laptops ship at. Acer offers a faster 144 Hz refresh rate on some iterations of the Nitro 5, but the base model ships with a 60 Hz panel, and that seems about right, since the GTX 1650 is not really capable of much more than that on most newer titles at 1920x1080. If you need a bit more grunt, Acer does offer the GTX 1650 Ti, coupled with Ryzen 7, but at a much higher price tag. The sweet spot for 1920x1080 right now is clearly the GTX 1660 Ti, which handled all the games tested without much fuss, but that’s a much larger, more expensive, and more power-hungry GPU.

System Performance: AMD Renoir H Display Analysis
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  • lakedude - Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - link

    On my Nitro 5 there are doors on the back for memory and SSD access but this might have changed. Mine shipped with a m.2 SSD installed, leaving the bay empty for a 2.5 inch. Once again this might have changed by now. Reply
  • Crazyeyeskillah - Sunday, October 11, 2020 - link

    The keys themselves are reasonably, with good resistance and travel.

    Editors: We can do better than this anandtech, really been trying to be loyal despite the drop in quality.
    Reply
  • Calista - Monday, October 12, 2020 - link

    Obviously built to a budget, but for the money few complains can be raised. $700 give us a decent gaming laptop with no fatal flaws. Sure, the screen could have been better. But a lot of people just don't care all that much when it comes to PQ, and even a bad IPS screen tend to be a good enough. Reply
  • AMDSuperFan - Monday, October 12, 2020 - link

    I am not sure if I am still banned. Reply
  • AMDSuperFan - Monday, October 12, 2020 - link

    I was banned for the big AMD announcements. But since I am back for now, I ask that people do not ask that I be banned for opinions and dialogue. You will note that I never curse or harass others. I simply provide noteworthy opinions on the articles, from my personal perspective of a Super Fan of the AMD company. Why would my personal opinions generate such angst from the community while others say curse words upon one another and engage in angry discourse?

    I am not angry. I am happy and go lucky. Allow me to be!

    All that said, I am super excited about this new budget offering from AMD. AMD may not be the fastest but it is good for those of us on a tight budget. Let the rich fat cats buy the Intel products that are faster with better features. AMD fans like me enjoy a bargain and will give up quality in every aspect of a product for a good deal that is almost as good at some things!
    Reply
  • lefty2 - Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - link

    mentions no noise at idle, but says nothing about noise at low load. nor does he mention noise levels when coolboost is turned off Reply
  • Johnstron1980 - Friday, December 4, 2020 - link

    I agree with the other commenters! I was SOO close to buying the Nitro 5 2020 with a Ryzen 4800H but then... the screen is so poor. WHYYY?? It seems like a trend to put crappy panels on great Ryzen machines to save the manufacturer a buck. But it does not make sense. I would gladly pay a bit more for a better screen, but the next step up in screen quality on the market is MUCH more expensive. Surely it does not cost the manufacturer that much more to go to the next step up in screen quality? Reply
  • Rec2020 - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    I got into photography a few months after getting this laptop. I edit photos on it, but something made it feel flat, and other devices always made my photos look more saturated. Despite calibrating the screen with the built in utility + using a few other on-screen gradient charts etc and having fairly accurate looking hues the saturation has always been an issue. Did some digging just to find this thing only has a 61% of sRGB gamut? Jesus! sRGB is the smallest gamut even used for ANYTHING. It's THOROUGHLY outdated, even the old analog NTSC color space from 1953 is larger than sRGB (which came out in 1993 I think). How do you manage to manufacture something in the 2020s that could be outdone by a 1950s high end CRT TV? Absolutely pathetic. Reply
  • Rec2020 - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    Oh, and by the way this laptop's screen also has uneven lighting at the top from the backlights. They point outwards in a ^ shape from the top center. Not sure if it's a widespread issue, but I've seen an in store display for a slightly more recent version of this with that too. Not an issue unless darker content is displayed on screen but worth mentioning. Reply
  • Altuzza - Monday, August 23, 2021 - link

    Even those with a stable income source and are regularly paid salaries can face an emergency when they need cash quickly. I recently used https://oncredit.vn . It literally saved me. There was no money at all. The popularity of payday loans is at its peak today. I don't see anything wrong with that. Reply

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