Acer Predator (Vega 56+Ryzen 2) Helios 500

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

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  1. Megol

    Megol Notebook Evangelist

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    A modified desktop BIOS is a long shot (and of course illegal too) but with so much functionality integrated in a modern CPU it could perhaps work. The most critical differences would be the EC and misc. hardware routing, the memory controller is integrated and the GPU is connected as in a normal desktop as long as it have a dedicated ROM chip. The EC firmware is generally co-located with the main BIOS but IIRC win32asmguy confirmed it has a dedicated ROM in this machine?
     
  2. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    EC / BIOS / vBIOS are all on separate SPI flash chips. I doubt a desktop bios would work but you can always try. Just keep in mind that if the board gets bricked and is unrecoverable then you are looking at a 3 week RMA time. I am not even sure how much the repair would cost if they charged you for it, or if the motherboard can even be purchased as a spare part. It may be cheaper and easier to just sell it and get a Clevo or something else that can use a 9900k to hit similar performance levels.
     
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  3. Megol

    Megol Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes as I wrote it's a longshot. If the schematics were available as it is for the Intel version one could verify how each chip is connected and find potential gotchas that need patching - sadly my regular scan of the standard schematics sites haven't produced a positive result yet.
    I choose this machine paying more for worse performance as it didn't have the Intel Nvidia combination. Why support a company that lies and redirect rather than admitting their mistakes?
     
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  4. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Your last line is a bit odd.
    The Helios 500 AMD/Vega isn't more expensive and it doesn't give worse performance. If anything, performance is on par or better than on Intel/NV (especially in multithreaded tasks) and its actually cheaper.
    The performance would have been even better if Acer didn't mess up the RAM support and created 4 RAM slots on the mobo (2 of which are inaccessible without complete disassembly)... because otherwise, it would have been a simple matter to upgrade the RAM with 2 high frequency/low latency sticks that would improve performance by quite a lot in memory depended software.

    If we can get Zen 2 BIOS support, it would also include support for faster RAM at lower latencies... but again, we'd be a bit stuck with having to disassemble the machine to reach the factory pre-installed RAM.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  5. Megol

    Megol Notebook Evangelist

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    Speed isn't an absolute, for the tasks I have Intel is faster even with all patches. And for the graphics card again for my tasks the alternative (Nvidia GTX 1080) was faster. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying that this is in any way a slow computer, it's extremely fast and the Rx Vega is something that will probably be more powerful than the 1080 if I get the time to play with GPU compute.
    Of course on tasks that parallelize well this was(is?) faster than the Intel alternative.

    Yeah. I'll never understand that notebook manufacturers fit slow memory especially in enthusiast machines.

    A PITA but not that complicated. The real problem is getting that Zen 2 support!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  6. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Oh, I can definitely appreciate the idea of choosing an AMD system over Intel + Nvidia due to business practices. I wish I had the willpower to do the same!
    I think I was reading on the Acer Community forums that there is potentially a hard 1200MHz memory speed limit and using Ryzen Master to go beyond that was unsuccessful. I am not sure if the motherboard is using daisy chain or t-topology, but if it is daisy chain then there would likely be favored slots that would only be capable of hitting higher speeds. I never tried my 16GB HyperX sticks in the easy access memory slots but it would definitely explain why the bios chose 1066MHz speed when I replaced the 8GB sticks in the back side slots.
     
  7. Judge Dredd 3D

    Judge Dredd 3D Notebook Enthusiast

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    I successfully installed a Ryzen 5 2600 with Thermalgrizzly Kryonaut on the CPU and Conductonaut on the Vega 56, also replaced the 2400mhz ram with HyperX 2666 Mhz ram. The 2700 us going to my desktop on a X470 Taichi.

    Waiting for a Zen 2 Bios compatible i the meantime.
     
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  8. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Is the ram capped at 2400mhz? Also, is the HyperX kit you purchased single rank or dual rank sticks? I have heard that dual rank can limit speeds in Ryzen setups. Also did you install both sticks on the same side of the mainboard? I am wondering if the primary slots for each channels is on different sides of the motherboard from what hwinfo64 shows.
     
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  9. BurnsXL

    BurnsXL Newbie

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    @BurnsXL - Once you have AMD actively working to help you upgrade your CPU in the Helios 500 you could loop in Acer to provide the updated BIOS - cc / include all of your AMD email contacts in that request and followup's with Acer along the way such that Acer's lack of interest in updating the BIOS is made visible to AMD and ask for AMD's help to convince Acer to do the BIOS update to allow Ryzen 3 CPU's to be upgraded in the laptop.

    Even if there isn't an actual BIOS update in the AMD upgrade package, you can use the pressure from AMD to at least get Acer thinking about updating the BIOS - since everyone else's motherboard is allowing Ryzen 3 upgrades with a BIOS update - probably other Acer motherboards as well.

    Which is something else to consider, are there any desktop motherboards that the Helios Ryzen motherboard share design? Sometimes the laptop motherboard will be a modified desktop motherboard - IDK if it will be close enough to flash the desktop BIOS, but it is something to know and quote to Acer to "make their job" easier - and their excuses have less weight.

    @BurnsXL - thanks for keeping us up to date - try to stay positive and look for all avenues to get Acer to update the BIOS as needed with AMD's help. :)


    This is exactly my thinking...the first boot kit was just thrown over a fence by FedEx and I didn't even realize it was sitting outside for a week. Needless to say another one is en route. I suspect you're right, but my thinking is that AMD and Acer will start a dialogue about this and that's by far the best chance of something happening.

    It's a low % chance but it's better than anything else I'm aware of at the moment...given that it's no money or sweat off my back I figure why not. I'll let you all know later tonight what exactly it is.
     
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  10. Judge Dredd 3D

    Judge Dredd 3D Notebook Enthusiast

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    So according to HWINFO and CPUID the memory is running in Dual Channel (both slots populated on back of the board) at 1197.4Mhz CL14, so no full speed 1333Mhz, but the funny thing is Predator Sense shows 2666Mhz.

    Also regarding Predator Sense not working with latest Ryzen Master, the version 3.00.3126 found under PH-717-17 works just fine with the latest Ryzen Master 2.0.1.1233, not sure if anyone knew about it, you can find it here https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/8042?b=1
     
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