Acer Predator (Vega 56+Ryzen 2) Helios 500

Discussion in 'Acer' started by ThatOldGuy, Jun 3, 2018.

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  1. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    @Deks did you try restoring factory defaults in the bios? It sounds like somehow all of your EFI boot options got wiped from NVRAM. Usually these bios's have a failsafe mode that can look for a Windows Boot Manager in all readable EFI boot partitions if no boot options are present. You may also be able to use something like EasyUEFI from within Windows to add / restore the USB boot option.
     
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  2. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    I think the Win 10 USB key I made wasn't configured properly which prevented the UEFI from detecting it.
    However, I still had to remove Secure Boot to boot from the USB key (as I kept getting Secure Boot error).

    Another problem that popped up was I tried doing a clean Win 10 install on the 500GB m.2. SSD in slot 1, but it said it couldn't detect the partition for some reason (I don't know why this happened though as the m2 SSD was formatted with NTFS in mind. I tried deleting it entirely (so it registers as unallocated space) and then installing Win 10 cleanly on it, but it still didn't work and responded with the same error (if someone can help me understand why this happened, I'd be grateful, as ideally, I'd like to do a CLEAN Win 10 install on the larger SSD).

    Anyway, I ended up cloning the existing/original Win 10 OS from slot 2 SSD (256GB) to the Slot 1 SSD (500GB).
    That worked nicely.
    Now with 2 SSD's inside, the laptop is automatically booting Windows from Slot 1 (of course - as there is no way I can set the BIOS to boot from slot 2 automatically without removing SSD from slot 1).
    And I had to re-allocate the empty/unallocated space on the bigger SSD so the 500 GB has full 500GB to it (because the cloning merely recreated a carbon copy of everything on it).

    Now I'm thinking that I could potentially install Linux Ubuntu on the 256GB SSD and dual boot the system at my convenience as I'm not opposed to using Linux in increasing amount and trying to switch over to open-source entirely at some point (I'd mainly retain Windows for some games and 3d studio Max though).

    Question: would the dual boot option present itself like this, or would one superseed the other and automatically boot from SSD1 ?

    Also, when I get more money, I'll probably install another 16GB stick inside the unit (and max out at 48GB - that's the best I can do short of disassembling the unit and removing factory installed RAM, then leaving those empty and just install higher speed RAM sticks in the easily accessible slots), and replace the 1TB HDD with 2TB Sata SSD.

    P.S. I 'could' try a clean Win 10 install from Win 10 itself. Namely, I could boot from SSD in slot 2 (which still contains original Win 10), and then try running the install from Windows and see if it works.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  3. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Once you have Linux installed you can use a program called efibootmgr to view / add / edit your boot options and their order just like EasyUEFI. Ubuntu should create its own boot option to load its grub boot loader, and make it a higher priority than Windows.

    I completely disassembled my machine and swapped the stock ram with a 32GB kit of Kingston HyperX DDR4-2666. While they do have JEDEC timings for 2666, they also has 2133 and 2400. Unfortunately the bios automatically selected the 2133 timings. It doesn't feel any slower, but I guess you have to have very specific ram to go beyond 2400mhz with the stock bios. I am hoping to unlock the bios once I have some spare time. Supposedly my Skypro II + 1.8v adapter can dump and flash it so it may be possible. I have not done much modding on InsydeH2O though so it may be interesting.
     
  4. User32

    User32 Toughbook Master Race

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    DDR4 is Dual Data Rate, you should multiply that 1200 MHz by 2, which gives you 2400.
     
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  5. sniffin

    sniffin Notebook Evangelist

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    https://www.techpowerup.com/257201/...ail-amds-zen2-backwards-compatibility-promise

    Interesting article about the problems some vendors have had with implementing Zen 2 support on desktop motherboards. If notebook vendors go with the smallest possible ROM size for motherboards to reduce costs, this could potentially be an issue for Zen 2 support. I suppose it depends what the original intent was when Acer first designed the AMD Helios 500. Does anyone have a part number for the ROM chip used?
     
  6. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    So, AMD delivered on their promise, but its the mobo OEM's that messed people up by using small ROM chips.
    Unfortunately, I don't have the part number for the ROM chip on Helios 500.
    Can we check it via software or would we need to open up the laptop?
     
  7. sniffin

    sniffin Notebook Evangelist

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    Hwinfo64 detailed report might give you some information on the chip, but I’m not 100% sure.
     
  8. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    According to prime day this laptop is 1300 USD for those that might be interested.
     
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  9. Megol

    Megol Notebook Evangelist

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    No but the BIOS is 16MB.
     
  10. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Certain mobos can have high capacity BIOS chips with the actual bios taking up 15x less space - but 16MB is not unexpected considering how locked up the BIOS is and the 'non-fancy' UI it uses.

    I can see Acer producing an updated BIOS for Zen 2 if they drop support for Zen 1 in entirety and also enable high speed/low latency RAM support (which would have to function on all 4 RAM slots).

    An unlocked BIOS at the very least would probably allow us to OC the factory pre-installed RAM to 2900MhZ and tighten up the timings somewhat - this would produce better gaming performance at 1080p (native resolution) on 2700.
    But a new BIOS with 3700x for example, unlocked bios and high speed RAM would probably be the biggest possible upgrade one would see in this system due to a combo of IPC, clock and RAM.
     
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