Acer Predator Triton 500

Aug 11, 2020

Acer's Predator Triton 500 surprised me with its above average build quality and comfortable keyboard. The weight distribution is excellent, making it feel lighter than it is. The specific model I have tested, PT515-52-77P9, does not perform at a level commensurate with the name of the GPU it comes with and it has a price tag of $2,599.99, making it difficult to recommend. But the takeaway from my time with the Predator is that Acer should not take the blame for NVIDIA's issues. And the model equipped with the RTX 2060, which retails for $1699.99, is the one to get for most people. Acer are giving Razer a bang for their buck, but the Triton 500 is not yet ready to take the throne from Razer.

Specs

  • Model: PT515-52-77P9
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB
  • Display: 15.6" Full HD 16:9
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Storage: 1TB SSD

Price as Reviewed

$2,599.99 at Acer.com

 

Build Quality

The Predator Triton 500 is made mostly from aluminum and by elongating the keyboard deck, the weight is distributed in such a way that it’s 4.63 lbs feels more like 3 lbs. The chassis is made of a thin aluminum in mostly black that does attract fingerprints but it is not as peppered as other black laptops. I write mostly because this color of black does show as a deep blue in some lighting, and the hinge is absolutely a different shade than the lid. When you’re paying this kind of money, you should demand attention to detail. The display hinge is not as sturdy as I would expect. My two-year old Razer Blade has a stronger hinge and can stay open even just 1-inch from the keyboard deck, whereas the Predator will buckle within 3 inches.

The design is a classic clamshell without any fancy design choices, such as how Lenovo moved their ports to the rear and displaced the display hinge. Or how some ASUS laptops lift up from the surface its on upon opening the display from the keyboard. It’s unfortunate that Acer did not move at least some of the ports to the rear as that is a better user experience regarding cable management. This classic design feels refined on the Predator, by in large. Although, it’s not perfect. The AC power port is smack-dab in the middle of the left side of the laptop. That position is less flexible for users, but its certainly not a deal breaker. There is one other design choice I do not love: the front corners are not round - they are angled. There is nothing bad about this functionally. But, for me, its less attractive and I think will go out of style more quickly.

Port Selection

  • HDMI
  • Total Number of USB Ports 3
  • USB Type-C
    • USB Type-C port, supporting:
    • USB 3.2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
    • DisplayPort over USB-C
    • Thunderbolt 3
    • USB charging 5 V; 3 A
  • Thunderbolt
  • Network (RJ-45)

Display

The Predator is equipped with a G-Sync compatible, IPS display measuring 15.6″ with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. I found colors to be well represented and the display is bright indoors. The buttery-smooth 300 Hz refresh is simply awesome. For non-gaming, I could not discern between 300 Hz and 144 Hz. Unless you are playing an older shooter and are competitive, you’re not going to take full advantage of the refresh rate. I think 144 Hz is plenty for most people - gamers and non-gamers alike.

Brief commentary: I think 120 Hz should be standard on all laptops now. Reverting to 60 Hz on business laptops is just brutal on the eyes!

Speakers

The speakers are not great. They are bottom-firing, meaning the speakers aim away from the user and bounce off whatever surface the laptop is on. For context, most gaming laptops are bottom-firing and most gaming laptops have subpar speaker quality. You will want to use a headset while gaming for this reason coupled with the loud fans.

Keyboard & Trackpad

For me, this keyboard really shines. The layout makes sense, mostly, and the keyboard feels softer than most. While crunching out a long typing experience, I made very few errors and the keyboard never interrupted my flow. This may be the best keyboard on any gaming laptop.

The trackpad is made of glass and feels great. I had no issues with Windows gestures or standard trackpad use. It is a little on the smaller side but still a step-up from gaming laptops of yesteryear.

Performance and Benchmarks

For a laptop equipped with a laptop-grade NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super, I expected more. The below benchmarks were captured using 3D Mark and a couple of modern, demanding games. In comparison with my 2018 Razer Blade 15 with a GTX 1070 Max Q, a 2-year old laptop, the results of the Predator are not impressive. In 2018, the Blade I purchased was $2599.99; the same price as this Predator Triton 500. In practical terms, the key difference in performance is about 15 FPS or 25%. That’s meaningful, but not enough to justify the loud fan noise.

The Triton 500 also includes a turbo button. Unfortunately, it does not have the impact anyone would desire. While playing Witcher 3, I tested out turbo mode and noticed the fan noise kicked up from 49.9db to 68.1db and I only picked up a couple more FPS. Yikes.

Synthetic Benchmarks

No overclocking.

  • Port Royal: 4579
  • Time Spy: 7175

Gaming Benchmarks

No overclocking. Games have been set to 1080p, high-settings.

  • Far Cry 5: 105-115
  • Witcher 3: 76 - 123

Hot or not

While the cooling fans are loud, they are going to work with positive results. Even after 60+ minutes of gaming, the keyboard deck was never hot. Nor was the upper intake by the display.

Battery life

The Predator lasted 1:21 in our battery stress test, which involves a YouTube stream on fullscreen, Chrome minimized with 4 tabs open, brightness set to medium, speakers at 20/100, and the battery settings set to “better battery life” in Windows.

Who its for

The Triton 500 may be a better fit with an RTX 2060 that would require less cooling and a lower price tag. I love the look and feel - the weight distribution makes for a very comfortable and more portable laptop than the similar-weight Razer Blade (2018+). Unfortunately, this particular model is not worth the price tag, even for a hardcore gamer.

Have you seen this:
Razer Deathadder v2 Mini
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