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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    Do you mean that if they were to release a refreshed Helios 500 AMD with a 3700X but keeping the Vega 56 and B450 chipset? I think if they did do a refresh it would be far more likely they would try to upgrade the GPU to a RX 5700 along with using the B550 chipset. The previous track record with other Acer models tends to be no bios updates or driver updates at all after the first year or so, but I guess this is a pretty special model so maybe it will be an exception. Hopefully the sales of the Helios 500 AMD were good enough that they will release a refreshed model - we need more AMD options in an Intel / Nvidia dominated market.

    That being said unlocking the bios to gain access to better memory timings should certainly be possible. I will try to dump mine and get it modded soon.
     
  2. ubersonic

    ubersonic Notebook Enthusiast

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    I suppose it depends how much work they want to put into it. Changing the motherboard and/or GPU would be a lot of work, but adding some microcode to the BIOS and telling the production line to start installing 3700X CPUs and 266/2933MHz RAM would require hardly any and would still give a benchmark-able/marketable performance boost they could put on adverts.

    I mean lets be honest here, the entire GeForce 300 and Radeon HD 8000 series of GPUs were designed specifically so companies like Acer could market machines with new component names without actually changing anything, it's not like they're above making an inconsequential change to try and boost sales so a change that delivers results for almost zero work should appeal to them lol.
     
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  3. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Ubersonic does make a compelling point.
    Its a lot easier for Acer to simply upgrade the BIOS in Helios 500 to include support for Zen 2 and high speed/low latency RAM (that works in all 4 slots) than it is to change the entire motherboard and GPU on top of that (which would require a lot more time and effort).
    Its an extra expense, so it makes more sense (from a cost efficiency point of view) to just repurpose what's already there (since its capable) with a simple BIOS upgrade and switching out the slower RAM for 3200MhZ low latency one.

    But, that's an optimistic scenario.

    It wouldn't be surprising to see Acer make an update with say B550 chipset and RX 5700 as you said.

    After all, we hadn't seen Asus upgrading its GL702ZC to Zen+ (Asus focused on mobility Ryzen 12nm parts instead).

    Someone on Acer's forums did mention that a BIOS update for Helios 500 is very possible/likely.
    Though admittedly, the reasoning behind this is in a youtube video which I hadn't had an opportunity to watch (Computex).
    Here's the video:
     
  4. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    I am just thinking in terms of the fact that the Predator line is primarily marketed as a gaming product. The GPU should always be the priority.

    Another thought is maybe they intend to kill the Helios 500 off entirely and if a new AMD model is made it will either be a Triton with the Ryzen mobile chips, or a Helios 700 with full 3900X and RX 5700.
     
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  5. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    3xxx and lower latency would be a compelling buy, Im just sad that nothing exists that can rival my Ranger in storage capacity. Ill probably just have to compromise but for the time being Im still happy with my Ranger for my use cases

    Helios 700 that is unlocked would be a guilty pleasure at that point.
     
  6. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    I dumped the bios this afternoon with my Skypro since there has been interest in this. Its a MCIX 25U12835F 128MB chip. I am not sure about an AGESA update but unlocking all advanced options should be possible. Looking at the bios itself there is probably about 40% or so that is just padding so additional microcode may be possible.
     

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  7. sniffin

    sniffin Notebook Evangelist

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    In that case you guys should relentlessly bug Acer about releasing the latest AGESA ;). Zen 2 looks beastly.
     
  8. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Well in the course of dumping the bios somehow I bricked my machine. When booting it now just lights up the keyboard but otherwise just displays a black screen. The Acer Community forums seem to indicate that this issue is a corrupt EC, but trying to do a crisis mode recovery didn't work nor did simply writing the bios via the Skypro. For some reason the bios file stored in Acer's update is larger than 16,384kb so I am not sure if it is encrypted or signed or can otherwise be written directly with the Skypro.@DRevan any thoughts? I think you had this issue at some point with an Helios 500 Intel.
     
  9. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Ouch... that's no good.
    Did you save the original BIOS prior to dumping it and could you overwrite it or at least reset the CMOS by removing the battery and then re-attaching it (much like we'd do on desktops - that is if we used them)?
    Problem with the battery CMOS removal is that laptop MOBO's are configured differently so they don't exactly have a removable one (I think).

    Question: what are the latest Realtek Drivers for our Helios 500 with Ryzen/Vega? Control Panel is non-descriptive about the proper name of the sound card...
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  10. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    The Ryzen model has a battery reset switch just above the M.2 slots. I tried holding that down with the battery and AC pulled for a few minutes, but it didn't make a difference.

    I did dump the bios, and tried to rewrite it a few times. If the EC is corrupted I am not sure how I can recover that. I can access the EC flash, a GD25D10BT 128KB chip, but I do not have a good backup of its contents and the chip was not listed as a supported target in the Skypro software.
     
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