a notebook with a GTX 1660 Ti to play in 144 Hz?

Image 1: Acer Predator Helios 300 test: a notebook with a GTX 1660 Ti to play at 144 Hz?

Predator Helios 300


144 144 Hz G-Sync compatible display
✅ Full connectivity
✅ The overall performance at stake
✅ The large touchpad
✅ The general design and the materials used
✅ Wi-Fi 6
✅ Autonomy

❌ Noise pollution
❌ The bar of the 144 ips unreachable in certain games

Intel Core i7-9750H
Hexa-core with HT
2.6 GHz (Turbo @ 4.5 GHz)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile
(6 GB GDDR6)
Intel UHD Graphics 630

2 x 8 GB DDR4-2666 (SK Hynix)

256 GB SSD WD SN720 M.2 NVMe 1.3
HDD Seagate 1 TB ST1000LM049 (7200rpm)

15.3 inch, Full HD IPS 144 Hz G-Sync 3ms (Overdrive)

Wi-Fi 6 (Killer WiFi 6 AX1650x)
Bluetooth 5.0
Gigabit Ethernet (Killer E2500)

The Acer Predator line consists exclusively of products for gamers, and the Predator Helios 300 is no exception to this rule. Several models of notebook gaming adopt this name from the manufacturer, with different configurations. The PH315-52-754M that we are testing today thus embeds a Core i7-9750H, a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile and 16 GB of memory. Storage is entrusted to a 256 GB NVMe SSD and a 1 TB hard drive, so you don’t feel cramped too quickly.

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All the components take place in a semi-plastic, semi-metallic chassis. If the whole thing seems rather robust and rigid, it should be noted above all that the back of the screen and the space serving as a palm rest, that is to say all the metal surfaces, tend to retain fingerprints. On the design side, there is of course the Predator “touch” already present on other products in this range.

Image 2: Acer Predator Helios 300 test: a notebook with a GTX 1660 Ti to play at 144 Hz?

But it’s mostly his 144 Hz and G-Sync compatible IPS display which represents the main attraction of this specific version of the Predator Helios 300. It remains to be seen whether the 1660 Ti Mobile is really sufficient to play at 144 Hz, even if the G-Sync technology should still help if not not the case.

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Yes for the screen

Our test model of the Predator Helios 300 has a 15.6 inch screen with 7.9 mm bezels. Acer uses for this version a IPS panel AUO B156HAN08.2 (AUO82ED) capable of displaying a Full HD definition (1920 × 1080 pixels) with a 144 Hz refresh rate, for a response time of 3 ms (with Overdrive).

Image 3: Acer Predator Helios 300 test: a notebook with a GTX 1660 Ti to play at 144 Hz?

Our Datacolor Spyder 5 Elite probe reports a brightness peaking at 300 cd / m² (outdoor use could therefore be quite difficult) and a maximum contrast ratio of 800: 1. The white point is located at 7400, while the average ∆E is measured at 2.3. In other words, this tile is quite good and the factory setting is satisfactory. The only downside: the uniformity of luminance is relatively average, with differences of up to 10% between different areas of the slab. However, in play these faults are almost invisible.

Yes for connectivity

The Predator Helios 300 is well equipped in terms of connectivity. Acer has indeed equipped its gaming notebook with 3 USB Type-A ports (two on the left, one on the right), a USB Type-C port (on the right), HDMI 2.0 and miniDisplayPort 1.4 outputs (also on the right) as well as ” a Gigabit Ethernet port (left). A headphone output completes the picture. In short, only the memory card reader is missing.

Yes for keyboard and touchpad

Where some competitors offer a back-to-back backlit RGB keyboard, Acer is “content” with a 4-zone RGB backlight that can be configured via dedicated software. But in practice, this 4-zone backlight is largely sufficient. In the end, this chiclet keyboard with rather flexible keys is pleasant to use, as is the large touchpad.


Yes (but) for performance

Who says portable gaming, necessarily says performance in game. The Predator Helios PH315-52-754M seems pretty well off on paper on that side, since it ships as a reminder a Core i7-9750H, a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile and 16 GB of RAM. For testing, we configured the system in ” Fast ” (We will come back later).


Synthetic performances

PCMark 10 and 3D Mark are two widely used benchmarking software, so we can’t miss out. The first is used to measure office performance while the second is dedicated to 3D performance.

Despite a state-of-the-art Core i7-9750H processor, the Acer Predator Helios 300 does not really explode the scores in PC Mark 10: it comes quietly between the Razer Blade 15 and the Asus TUF FX505GM, both equipped with an i7-8750H.

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On the other hand, the Predator Helios 300 is more aggressive in 3D Mark Time Spy: its GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile allows it to climb well above the GTX 1070 Max-Q of the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 and MSI G65 Stealth Thin. In fact, it only needs a few tens of points to match the GTX 2060 Mobile of the MSI GE75 Raider 8SE!

In-game performance (1080p)

For this test, we used four DirectX 12 games and two DirectX 11 games, tested in 1080p with the highest possible settings. However, we have disabled features specific to one of the GPU manufacturers on the market, such as HBAO +, to avoid favoritism. Vsync and, if applicable, IPS limitation have of course also been disabled.

Game settings
Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation Extreme, GPU test
Tom Clancy’s The Division Ultra
Far Cry 5 Ultra, Blur off
Rise of the Tomb Raider Very High, SMAA, HBAO + off
Civilization VI Ultra / Ultra, MSAA 8x, GPU test
Total War: Warhammer II Ultra, Campaign test

With its GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is comfortable with our range of games: this gaming notebook displays a comfortable average of 76.6 frames per second, with our graphics settings however high. That’s good, but not enough to take full advantage of this IPS panel capable of reaching 144 Hz. So, even reducing the graphics settings to a minimum, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation only reaches 74.6 fps. Rise of the Tomb Raider almost reaches this bar, with an average of 138 fps with the lowest possible graphics settings.

Fortunately, G-Sync technology overcomes this problem: the user experience will in any case be better than with a screen limited to 60 Hz. Other less greedy and eSports-oriented games, such as Fortnite, Overwatch or the famous Royal Cuisine, on the other hand, will be able to come and tickle these 144 fateful ips.

Yes for overclocking

Acer Predator Sense control center allows you to overclock the GPU, with three associated ventilation settings (which also benefits the CPU): Normal, Fast and Extreme. It is also possible to modify the behavior of the cooling system and force operation at full speed, to the detriment of course of noise pollution.

Image 4: Acer Predator Helios 300 test: a notebook with a GTX 1660 Ti to play in 144 Hz?

The difference is quite significant between Normal and Fast modes, especially with the x265 1080p encoding test (depending on the processor). More generally, performance increases in all 3D Mark tests, more slightly in PC Mark 10. Noise pollution is acceptable in Fast mode, but becomes annoying in Extreme mode. This is also the reason that prompted us to perform the previous tests in Fast mode.


Yes for autonomy

If the battery of 58.7 Wh lets first fear a bad autonomy, the low consumption of the integrated components finally allows this Predator Helios 300 to last 2h25 in the Basemark Web 3.0 test, when the latter works with the iGP . This is a very honorable result, comparable to the Razer Blade equipped with a GTX 1060 Max-Q.

Yannick Guerrini

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