Gaming laptops continue to be a bright spot in the PC market, and practically every manufacturer offers some sort of system targeted at gamers. Some of them more successfully target the market than others, offering features that improve gameplay and visuals, and others focus more on what I’ll politely call the “gaming laptop aesthetic” which includes a myriad of multi-colored LEDs, and generally angular design cues. Diving head-first into that subject, today we're taking a look at Acer's gaming-focused Predator Triton 500 laptop. Although Acer has touched on a couple of the aesthetic design choices, they’ve kept it subtle, and still offer all of the accoutrements expected in a premium gaming laptop design.

There are two schools of thought for gaming laptops: either you want to be able to move it around, or you don’t. Acer’s Predator Triton 500 is in the former camp, offering an incredibly powerful system, in a thin and light form factor. Thin and light is of course relative, but true desktop replacement laptops can easily tip the scales over ten pounds, making them transportable, but not really portable. Acer’s Triton 500 offers a much more sleek design in its 15.6-inch frame, and weighs in at 4.64 lbs, meaning it really is a laptop you can easily take on the road.

That thin design doesn’t preclude the Triton 500 from offering the latest high-performance silicon inside either. The Predator Triton 500 comes with the hex-core Intel Core i7-8750H, boasting a boost frequency of 4.1 GHz, and either a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 video card, or the highest performance single video available in a laptop, the GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q. This is the exact same Turing-based TU104 found in the desktop GeForce RTX 2080, just clocked down a bit and binned for power. Acer sent us the top model PT515-51-765U for review, featuring the RTX 2080, 32 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of SSD storage.

One of the biggest changes in gaming laptops over the last couple of years has been the introduction of variable refresh displays, namely G-SYNC, and that has been a tremendous help smoothing out the performance from laptop-class GPUs. The new trend is for higher refresh rates, coupled with G-SYNC, and here Acer delivers. Not only is this 15.6-inch panel a G-SYNC display, but it offers a 144 Hz refresh rate, and rather than move to a twisted nematic (TN) transistor layout, Acer is offering an In-Plane Switching (IPS) display, meaning it still offers the exceptional viewing angles that we’ve become accustomed to on quality laptops.

Acer Predator Triton 500
Component PT515-51-71VV PT515-51-75L8 PT515-51-765U
(Model Reviewed)
CPU Intel Core i7-8750H
6 Core, 12 Thread
2.2 GHz - 4.1 GHz
9MB Cache 45W TDP
1920 CUDA Cores, 48 ROPs, 6 GB VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
2944 CUDA Cores, 64 ROPs, 8 GB VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
2944 CUDA Cores, 64 ROPs, 8 GB VRAM
RAM 16 GB Dual-Channel DDR4
2 SODIMM Slots
32 GB Dual-Channel DDR4
2 SODIMM Slots
Display 15.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS
144 Hz Refresh Rate with G-SYNC
Matte coating, no touch support
Storage 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD 2 x 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD in RAID 0 (1TB Logical Drive)
Networking Killer Wireless AC-1550
2x2:2, 160 MHz channel support
MU-MIMO, 1.736 Gbps max connection speed

Killer E300 Gigabit Ethernet
Killer Doubleshot Pro
Audio Stereo Speakers
Waves MaxAudio
Waves Nx
Separate headphone/microphone jacks
Battery 84 Wh
180-Watt AC Adapter
I/O 3 x USB 3.0
1 x USB Type-C Gen 2 w/Thunderbolt 3
HDMI 2.0
mini DisplayPort 1.4
Dimensions 358 x 255 x 17.8 mm
14.11 x 10.04 x 0.7 inches
Weight 2.1 Kg / 4.63 lbs
Extras 1280 x 720 Webcam
No Windows Hello support
Price $1,799.99 $2,499.99 $2999.99

Acer powers the networking with Killer’s DoubleShot Pro, which means you can team up Killer’s Gigabit Ethernet with the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 adapter. I’ll dig into this more in the wireless section, but this is one of the gaming laptop choices which target a demographic rather than actual performance.

There’s plenty of I/O available, with three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and a USB Type-C port which offers Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. For video output, there’s not only DisplayPort but HDMI native, which is a nice touch.

Acer’s Predator Triton is near the top-end of Acer’s Predator product stack, with the good gaming bits inside, but first let’s take a look at the design and build quality.

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  • shabby - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    Is it really a 2080 when the base clock is cut in half?
  • Daeros - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    No, but that's nvida's game - they can honestly say it's the same chip, even though performance is a few steps down in the hierarchy. Just like that 8750h's TDP is nowhere near 45w - probably closer to 120w under load.
  • Opencg - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    you can see in the cpu benchmarks that draw real power for a significant portion of time that it loses a good deal of performance. all in all its about where it should be for a laptop this thin. i would be surprised if it is really designed to handle more than 45w. personally i would bet it can start to throttle on sustained 45w loads
  • philehidiot - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    I saw the 2080 and then the screen resolution. In reality, you'd probably want 4K + gsync for a shortish lifespan machine or 1440P for one with a good few years on it. 1080P says the performance is compromised and they HAD to drop it down. You'd never ever run a desktop on a 2080 with 1080P. I bought a gaming laptop once when I had a real need for it, back in the P4 days. The thing had about 6 fans and chucked out 50C hot air. I required it at the time but I'd never buy one now unless I absolutely needed it. That had 1050 lines, so 1080 isn't really a step up, it's a marketing ploy ("FULL HD!")

    This GPU can not be considered alongside a real 2080 and whilst I appreciate the screen size means resolutions greater that 1440P would be silly (and arguably even that but you must remember you're usually closer to a laptop screen and even a 6" mobile can benefit from the upgrade from 1080 to 1440), to me a gaming laptop generally is 17" anyway. If you go down this path you're rarely looking for real portability but more because you (in my experience) live in two or three different places and want to take a full gaming PC with you with your suitcase and so on.
  • wintermute000 - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    Exactly, a 2060 would have been perfect for 1080p 144hz and then maybe the cooling would have coped.
    Must be a marketing decision to shove the biggest number into the spec sheet....
  • PeachNCream - Friday, May 3, 2019 - link

    I would not mind the slightest pushing 1080p resolutions with a 2080 GPU, but not with this particular laptop given the network adapter selection. It just isn't worth messing with Killer NICs at all when there are other options out there.
  • wintermute000 - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    a.) The TDP as defined by intel (i.e. base clock) IS 45W.
    b.) Power under boost is much higher for sure, but 120W is a total exaggeration. I can get it to run steady on 3.6Ghz (thermal throttling is a different question LOL) on around 60W with an undervolt.
    3.) It would take a mean cooler and power delivery / VRMs on a laptop chassis to let it boost anywhere near its paper specs for long durations. I haven't looked at the built-like-a-tank laptops in depth but none of the mainstream designs have managed it so far.
  • wintermute000 - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    by it I mean the i7-8750H (in an XPS 9570 if that matters)
  • Retycint - Saturday, April 27, 2019 - link

    Intel's definition of TDP is very much meaningless because they can change the base clock to fit in the TDP envelope. The i7-8750H maintained the 45W TDP despite having 2 more cores than the 7700HQ, not because the former has had a huge leap in efficiency, but rather because Intel dropped the base clock from 2.8 to 2.2GHz.

    In other words, Intel can theoretically claim that the 9750H has a 10W TDP, when at the base clock of 0.8 GHz, for instance. Which is why TDP numbers are bull
  • jordanclock - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    Welcome to Max Q! Where the models are made up and the clocks don't matter!

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