Acer Predator (Vega 56+Ryzen 2) Helios 500

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

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  1. Judge Dredd 3D

    Judge Dredd 3D Notebook Enthusiast

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    Ryzen 5 2600 is happy with 4.0Ghz @ 1.275V, will see if can go lower that 1.275, the issue is with the ram, I set 1333Mhz but when I click Apply/Test the Ram drops to 1200... not sure what is going on.
     
  2. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Glad to hear the 2600 is working out well. The memory issue is likely something that can't be fixed without a bios update or may even be a hardware limitation depending on how the board was engineered.
     
  3. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    I think the BIOS and quad RAM slots could both be the issue.
    But, both can (probably) be circumvented starting with a BIOS update and then, if the Zen 2 CPU works (after the BIOS update), remove the factory pre-installed RAM below the keyboard (by disassembling the unit) and just install high speed/low latency 3600MhZ RAM into 2 readily available slots as one opens the back plate.

    That would probably circumvent the hw limitation of the motherboard if its fundamentally unable to allow 4 RAM slots to operate at high speeds at the same time (which is a problem now, because if you try to populate all 4 RAM slots, the speeds at which the RAM will function will drop from 2400 MhZ to 2100 MhZ). This suggests a hw limitation, but could also just as easily be a BIOS issue.
    I don't know why Acer went with 4 RAM slots on this motherboard and then proceeded to design it in a way by placing 2 RAM slots behind the keyboard which makes it impossible to upgrade unless you disassemble the unit (what were they thinking?).
    But if the mobo IS capable (and technically speaking, it IS based on a desktop mobo, and we know 4 RAM slots ARE capable functioning on high speeds with Ryzen on regular desktops with unlocked BIOSes), then a BIOS update alone would probably do the trick and we could have 4 RAM slots populated with high speed/low latency RAM.

    However, Acer doesn't seem interested in providing a BIOS update.
    If AMD is alerted to this and they initiate talks with Acer, then it could prompt them to supply a BIOS update (or AMD could provide one - they could probably work with Acer to supply them the existing latest BIOS version 1.08 and AMD can then inject microcode updates into it for Zen 2 and of course high speed RAM and of course, unlock the whole BIOS).

    I don't see a problem in Acer providing a BIOS update that gets around this RAM limitation and allowing Zen 2 and higher RAM speeds.
    But I think part of the problem is that Acer as an OEM doesn't seem to create its own dekstop motherboards like other OEM's do.
    Other OEM's could potentially benefit from BIOS updates because consumers could opt in getting a cheaper B450 or X470 mobo with a new BIOS and then get Zen 2 for example - but this doesn't necessarily play a big incentive factor in OEM's updating desktop mobos because there's no guarantee consumers would do this - generally speaking, new mobos are created anyway as new CPU's arrive, so what's driving them to update the BIOS-es?).

    Laptops are generally considered 'second rate' technology/hw which OEM's stop supporting almost immediately, or usually, 6 months down the line.
    Considering the modularity of Helios 500 Ryzen/Vega, its actually downright stupid Acer doesn't want to release an updated and unlocked BIOS for Zen 2 and high speed RAM support.
    Why?
    Because it would allow them to generate brand loyalty for one thing.
    The unit itself is REALLY well designed in regards to cooling and noise (its very quiet and remains cool, even under full load - its one of the quietest laptops available - considering it has desktop grade hw).
    So, I think Acer is actually shooting themselves in the foot by not releasing a BIOS update.

    It could actually drive more sales of the unit in the long run (especially with Zen 2 and potential Zen 3 support - since AMD said they will continue supporting existing AM4 into 2021).

    And Acer could develop a plan where you can pay a small fee for a BIOS update which would give you Zen 2 and high RAM speed support (I wouldn't mind that - provided of course its not expensive).
    They could even develop the BIOS themselves and just send it to you via e-mail or made available via your Acer account on their website - which you'd just integrate via the Windows BIOS updater you already have.
    Any new units they produce and sell would have to come with the new BIOS pre-installed (obviously)... existing users which bought the units before Zen 2 release could pay for this upgrade.

    See? Acer could still benefit from BIOS updates on this unit and would give us a really nice boost in performance with 3700x and high performance RAM (or at the very least, with unlocked BIOS, we could technically overclock the factory installed RAM itself to function on higher frequencies).
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  4. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    My guess is Acer is preparing a Helios 700 AMD which will have Zen 2 support, RX 5700 Mobile, and faster ram speeds. Especially since if you go to the Helios 700 Intel page and download PredatorSense drivers, it clearly has an AMD installer that supports Ryzen Master 2.0. Maybe they will even announce this at their "Next" event on September 4th.

    No idea what they plan to do with the old model in terms of bios updates, but at the $1299 price its still pretty good value for what it has. I am still curious if the memory uses T-Topology or Daisy Chain layout. I am so tempted to take a few high res photos and send them to Buildzoid on youtube to see if he do a special "laptop" VRM review.
     
  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    You replied to the wrong guy. @BurnsXL is the one you are talking smack about, here's his last post:
    @James D - what exactly is "suspicious" about his posts? To me he gave an honest sharing of his experience. He went through the trouble of signing up to share it. He even shared his mistakes with us. But, he hasn't been back yet.

    That's not all that unusual. More unusual would be for someone to take the time to follow through and come back online and let us know what happened even if it wasn't successful.

    It's tough enough to get people to open up without people like you crapping on them. How do you think that move will encourage him to respond here should he make it back here to share his success / failure with us?

    You screwed up by replying to me instead of him, so you're batting average sucks too.

    He isn't obligated to follow up to us, and maybe he's got other things keeping him from going on. Or, Acer hasn't followed through and he's still trying to get action out of them.

    Let's give him a chance to answer before crapping on him again, ok?

    Hey, @BurnsXL - what's up? :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  6. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Well, I spent the afternoon assembling and disassembling the Predator Helios to figure out the ram slots. Channel 1, Dimm 2 is on the back side of the mainboard closest to the processor, and channel 2 Dimm 2 is on the front of the board on the high slot. By using those slots the same HyperX 32gb dual rank kit operated at 1200mhz instead of 1066mhz. I also tried a 16gb kit of single rank ram but still wasn't able to break 1200mhz. Definitely something in the bios limiting the speed.

    Oh, and a new version of PredatorSense was posted to the Helios 500 page that supports Ryzen Master 2. It is even newer than the version posted for the Helios 700.
     
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  7. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Unpacking the new zip dated 8/23/2019:
    https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/7737?b=1
    Acer PredatorSense plugs folder.JPG
    and there are new Predator models such as the Triton 900 and 700, but they are only Intel as listed in their models section, except for 1 listing for the Triton 900 that doesn't show the specs in one entry:
    https://www.acer.com/ac/en/GB/content/predator-models/laptops/predatortriton900
    Acer Triton 900 blank model specs.JPG
    Perhaps that is the Ryzen 3000 model? No such blank holder in the Triton 700 models...
    https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/predator-models/laptops/predatorhelios700
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  8. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    I hope the new Zen2 model ends up being a Helios 500 or 700 with the same starting MSRP of $2199.
     
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  9. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Hm... shouldn't the MSRP be lower than that?
    I mean, Zen 2 has been out for a while now, and 3700x isn't really that expensivs (MSRP to MSRP, aren't 2700 and 3700x very close in pricing?).
    3700x is $329 and 2700 was $300.

    Plus, the MSRP of Radeon 5700 is $350 (whereas Vega 56 was $400).
    So, I'd actually think the MSRP should be about $2180 (which also depends on the type of configuration they go in regards to storage, but prices have been dropping quite nicely on that front too).

    All in all, I would hope the starting price would be well under $2000.
    But if they do a new motherboard, then that will probably drive up the price as the X5... series mobos are more expensive.
     
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  10. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    I doubt it would be priced any less than the Intel Helios 700 base model. It doesn't really matter much anyways because they can always just put it on sale if necessary.
     
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