Battery Life

Despite being a large laptop, weighing almost six pounds and being over 1-inch thick, the Acer Nitro 5 has just a 47 Wh battery inside, which is less than many Ultrabooks. As a gaming laptop though, its primary place of use is going to be on a desk, so this is likely a good place for Acer to save on the bill of materials. However, we’ve already seen a few times that AMD’s Ryzen mobile processor has some issues with high idle power consumption, so coupled with a small battery, expectations for great battery life are low.

2013 Light Battery

Battery Life 2013 - Light

Our oldest test is also the lightest test, and it just consists of opening four web pages per minute. For most modern machines, this is a pretty simple task, and the device sits idle for most of the time. As expected, the Nitro 5 doesn’t fare well here.

2016 Web

Battery Life 2016 - Web

Our newer battery life test is much more demanding, and generally knocks quite a bit of time off the light test. At 4.5 hours, the result isn’t great, but considering this is a gaming laptop, it’s actually pretty good.

Movie Playback

Battery Life Movie Playback

Battery Life Tesseract

One other area AMD needs to work on is their power usage of their media block. This is generally a test that can offload the work to fixed function hardware, allowing the processor to sleep, but as we’ve seen on other Ryzen systems, the movie playback test somehow results in even worse battery life than the Web test.

Normalized Results

Battery Life 2013 - Light Normalized

Battery Life 2016 - Web - Normalized

By removing the battery capacity from the equation, we can see how efficient each device is. It is more or less in-range with other Ryzen systems, which is where you’d expect.

Battery Conclusion

Ryzen needs work in this area more than any other, and hopefully the 2nd generation addresses these shortcomings. Luckily the battery life is probably not that big of a concern for most buyers of a gaming laptop, so despite being less than amazing, it is still acceptable for this type of system.

Charge Time

Acer ships the Nitro 5 with a 135-Watt AC adapter. However, they don’t dedicate much of the power to battery charging.

Battery Charge Time

The laptop is fairly average in terms of charge time, even with the large power source, but since it’ll likely spend most of its life plugged into the wall, this isn’t a huge concern either.

Display Analysis Wireless, Audio, Thermals, and Software
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  • RSAUser - Friday, February 15, 2019 - link

    Did you try and use the wattman auto undervolt for the graphics card?
    Does Radeon Chill work for mobile? Then fan noise should go down and battery should last longer.

    Testing max fps is bad, don't even have minimum fps, let alone frame time plots to know how smooth it is.
    Reply
  • jgraham11 - Friday, February 15, 2019 - link

    Wow, did anyone notice that all the other processors are 45Watt meanwhile the AMD chip is only 15W!!! Holy crap! Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, February 15, 2019 - link

    How can you miss that fact? The differences in TDP were pointed out multiple times in the article. You'd have to be in some serious skim mode to overlook it. Reply
  • cfenton - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    From the article: "Being a U series, the TDP is 15-Watts by default, though AMD offers a range of cTDP modes from 12-25 Watts. This is a rarely tapped feature on most laptops, but in this case it looks like Acer has put the Ryzen in cTDP up mode."

    So the AMD chip is 25w and the Intels are using 35w. It's a difference for sure, but it's not 15w vs 45w.
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    The Intel ones are 45W - the 35W is an optional cTDP down mode. Reply
  • cfenton - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    My mistake. Thanks for the clarification. Reply
  • jgraham11 - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    For sure I believe you are correct, except for the MSI one which is 45watt.

    One thing I did find while looking at these specs for these Laptops:
    Note all Newegg.com prices except the Acer AMD setup, as I could not find it. Prices are as of Feb 16 2019.

    MSI GT75 TITAN GTX 1080 8 GB VRAM i9-8950HK sells for $4958.64
    Huawei MateBook X Pro Intel Core i7 8th Gen 8550U MX150 sells for $1449.00
    Dell XPS 15 core I7-7700HQ GTX 1050 sells for $1849.55
    Microsoft Surface Book 2 Core i7 8650U GTX 1050 sells for $2279.00

    This is not an Apples to Apples comparison in the least!
    Meanwhile they are comparing it to a $699 AMD laptop....

    Do you think that the extra $1k would provide a metal chassis which would result in better overall thermals hence better performance. And a better screen...

    Anandtech please compare this one to another Acer Nitro 5 but with an Intel processor to actually make it a fair comparison.
    Reply
  • Brett Howse - Saturday, February 16, 2019 - link

    I explained why the comparison models were chosen in the review. Reply
  • fmcjw - Sunday, February 17, 2019 - link

    Really? You don't take suggestions really well do you? I second jgraham11's suggestion because the thermal design makes each Intel Core a different beast.

    This is really an amateurish review, you can get as much info from a compact notebookcheck.com analysis. Who needs to be told that "Being a SATA based SSD, peak performance is certainly limited compared to NVMe drives, but it still offers orders of magnitude better performance compared to spinning drives?" Just show it in a table or chart. Are you being paid to hit a certain word count?

    And you're unclear on whether adding a second RAM makes it dual channel, nor have you mentioned that you tried to see if Dual Channel is supported, but rather stuck to whatever configuration the company sent you.
    Reply
  • Calin - Monday, February 18, 2019 - link

    For spinning versus solid state hard drive performance, you have plenty of comparisons - when the transition took place, 5 or so years ago. Today's SATA SSD's aren't so much faster than the champions of 5 years ago (in typical end-user scenarios), but neither have the magnetic hard drive performance improved. Reply

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