Acer Predator Helios 300

Discussion in 'Acer' started by sicily428, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. balkeet

    balkeet Notebook Consultant

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  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Every high performance laptop runs "hot and/or loud". Some run hotter, some run louder, but if you want high performance it's going to dissipate a lot of heat, and so the fans are going to have to run fast enough to dump all of that heat outside of the laptop.

    My point is that the Acer factory provided -125mV undervolt out of the box is rare, perhaps even a first, and it does stop thermal throttling without needing to run at 100% loudest fan speeds.

    Here are some key quotes from the review you posted:

    "Acer undervolts the CPU by-default on this laptop at -125 mV, and as a result, it performs better than most standard implementations, settling for speeds of 3.4-3.5 GHz, a TDP of 45 W, temperatures of around 80-82 degrees Celsius, as well as scores of 1100+ points. Power Limit Throttling kicks in and is the limiting factor here, and there’s still some thermal headroom to allow the CPU to run at higher clocks.

    We looked to improve this behavior by further undervolting the CPU to -150 mV, switching the Fans on Turbo Mode and increasing the Turbo Boost Power Max limit to 50W in XTU.

    However, our pre-production sample had a baked-in 45 W TDP limit and ignored the TDP adjustment, still dropping to a 45 W TDP in the Cinebench loop and Power Limit throttling the performance. Final retail modes should perform differently, as on the 17-inch Helios the Turbo mode automatically raises the TDP limit to 56W, and I’d expect a similar implementation on this smaller 15-inch version as well, which would allow the CPU to run at constant Maximum Turbo frequencies at temperatures of around 80 C.

    Back to our sample, thanks to the -150 mV undervolt, the CPU settles at 3.5-3.6 GHz, temperatures of only 73-75 degrees Celsius (due to the faster spinning fans), a TDP of 45 W and Cinebench scores of 1150+ points. It does run significantly louder with the fans on Turbo, at up to 55-56 dB at head-level, while on Auto the fans only ramp up to about 43-44 dB."

    Their testing shows that you can run auto fan's - quieter - and not thermal throttle. Running 100% fans can reduces temps further for even lower temps, but it's up to you to choose whether run it quieter or hotter. It's up to you to tune for your own desired use.

    These are all great results, and given that an additional undervolt to -150mV was possible, it's possible to be done by all owners, I would encourage them to try to tune their specific laptop for best results.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  3. balkeet

    balkeet Notebook Consultant

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    Check in game hwinfo screenshots in review, running on 90°C + temps, that too on turbo Max fan mode 58 decibels sound. So it fails in cooling despite running louder. While other same segment laptops Max fan noise is 50 deicbel and they manage to stay away from 90°C maintaining 3.9ghz in game.
     
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  4. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    You are focusing on the settings where they increased the power draw well past design limits and beyond the capability of the cooling to deal with the thermal output caused by raising the power limits and OC'ing too high. That's a tune too far for that form factor.

    If you run within the designed power you can OC and run the fans under the maximum and not thermal throttle. There are hwinfo images and performance graphs as well as the text in the review I posted to back that up.

    Just because the CPU / GPU can be OC'd past the ability of the cooling design doesn't mean you should run it that way. Unless you have those parts in a full frame laptop you shouldn't OC them that far.

    Part of tuning is tuning within the limits of the components, and that includes within the physical limits of the design to expel the greatly increased thermal output from removing power limits and OC'ing.

    If you want big laptop performance then you should buy a big laptop.

    If you want a smaller form factor thin laptop then you have to realize there are physical limitations to cooling in a small form factor and accept the trade-offs, or buy a larger laptop with more room for better cooling.

    You have to be realistic in your use, otherwise you can tune just about anything for disappointing results. You need to be realistic in your expectations and tune within the limits of the physical form.

    Going back to the review, their conclusion was much more positive:

    "Final thoughts

    Acer did an excellent job with this redesigned Predator Helios 300, pretty much creating a new laptop from scratch, with a smaller form-factor, latest generation hardware and most of the modern features potential buyers expect in a gaming computer in 2019:
    RGB keyboard, plenty of ports, a good-quality 144 Hz 3 ms matte screen and a thermal module that can squeeze the advertised performance out of the hardware inside.

    In fact, this can be one of the better performing compact RTX 2060 notebooks on the market, but you’ll need to turn up the fans in order to keep the components at bay. Out of the box, Acer’s Auto fan profile allows high temperatures in order to keep the noise down, and you just have to switch to the higher-spinning and very loud settings in order to push that RTX 2060 to its Extreme. Once overclocked, this RTX 2060 implementation gets within 5-10% of the performance of the more expensive RTX 2070 Max-Q models, although those are usually quieter.
    ...
    All in all, the 2019 Predator Helios 300 is a much-awaited update of one of the most popular mid-tier gaming devices of the last years. The previous generation has always had a price advantage on its side, though, and if that applies to the updated generation, I would expect the Helios 300 PH315-52 models to become just as popular, if not more."

    You need to have realistic expectations of high end CPU / GPU performance crammed into a too small form factor when deciding whether to get a thin laptop with limited physical space for cooling, or to get a full frame laptop with more physical space for better cooling.

    My overall joy was to point out that this laptop came from the factory with an undervolt out of the box, not that it's a laptop that can magically perform beyond it's design limits when the power limits are removed. That's not a fair measure given that those limits were put in place to keep the thermal output down within the range of the cooling system capability.

    Starting out with a nice -125v undervolt that stops thermal throttling at stock settings is a good start. Many laptops ship with a too high voltage for the CPU and thermal throttle at stock or with only a slight OC. This laptop with an undervolt allows for OC'ing at stock power limits on auto fans and with a higher undervolt, max fans, and unlocked power limits can OC even further, but it can't OC past it's physical capability to cool past it's design limits, like any laptop.

    All laptops can be made to fail if pushed beyond their designed limits, learn to live within the limits of the design or you will always be disappointed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Here's Jarrod's final complete review of the Australian model. Given the pricing and performance, it wouldn't take a big sale to make this very attractive. With Holiday pricing it even lower, if it is still in stock it could be steal. That is as long as there aren't any better performing cheaper AMD and AMD/Nvidia laptops out by then.

    Acer Helios 300 (2019) Gaming Laptop Review
    Jarrod'sTech
    Published on Jun 24, 2019
    The new Acer Predator Helios 300 2019 edition is one of the best gaming laptops I’ve tested for a while, so let’s find out why in this detailed review and help you decide if it’s a laptop you should consider buying. Want to see more game benchmarks with the Acer Helios 300? I’ve tested 20 games here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNoZ5... Check the detailed thermal testing here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cdq0...
     
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