The Acer Helios 300 is a popular gaming laptop, but just how well does the latest 10th gen model perform in games? I’ve tested the highest specced configuration in 20 games at all setting levels and compared it with other laptops to show you the differences.
All testing was done with turbo mode enabled, which basically maxes out the fan speed and applies the following GPU overclock. Unlike the 9th gen model from last year though, the processor is not undervolted by default and you can’t do it yourself either, it’s locked with the latest BIOS.
While I personally would have preferred the GTX 1660 Ti model for an easy comparison against the HP Omen 15 or Lenovo Legion 5, the 2070 Max-Q does at least have the option of dynamic boost, though I only found it to get up to 90 watts with this enabled, or 80 watts with it disabled. With all of that in mind let’s first see how the Helios performs in 20 games, then afterwards I’ll compare it with other laptops.
20 games tested
Microsoft Flight Simulator was tested in the Sydney landing challenge. It was still above 30 FPS with all settings maxed out, which I think is still fairly playable, though the low-end preset was needed if you want to push past 60 FPS. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested using the game’s built in benchmark tool, and as another resource heavy game we’re seeing lower frame rates at max settings, though high was still above 60 FPS. Death Stranding wasn’t running all that differently between the different setting levels, it was running fine and above 100 FPS even with the highest setting preset. Battlefield 5 was tested in campaign mode, and the highest ultra setting preset was still just above 100 FPS. I’ll show you how other laptops compare in this game soon, and it was able to beat more powerful options. Control was tested with and without RTX. I’ve got RTX off results in the purple bars, RTX on in the green bars which was much worse comparatively, then RTX on with DLSS enabled in the red bars, which is able to offer a good mixture of looks and performance. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was tested with the built-in benchmark, the high setting preset was just above 100 FPS, and was scoring the same as medium - this is another title I’ll use to compare other laptops with shortly. Apex Legends was tested with either all settings at maximum, or all settings on the lowest possible values, as it doesn’t have predefined setting presets. The average FPS at max settings was right on the screen’s refresh rate, while minimum settings boosted even the 1% low above this which would be useful for competitive players. Call of Duty Modern Warfare was tested in campaign mode with either max or min settings for the same reason. Again no problems at all playing with max settings, though there were less gains to be had with lower setting levels in this one. Fortnite was tested with the replay feature, it generally runs quite well on modern hardware and that was seen here with over 100 FPS even at the highest epic setting preset, while medium settings pushes even the 1% low near the screen’s refresh rate. CS:GO was tested with the ulletical FPS benchmark, and the results were similar to a lot of other gaming laptops tested that make use of Optimus. Generally we see nice performance improvements from laptops that let you disable Optimus as it’s one less bottleneck, unfortunately that’s not possible with the Helios. Dota 2 was tested playing in the middle lane with bots, and like always it’s performing about the same regardless of the hardware, you can easily achieve similar frame rates on much lower specs. Overwatch was tested running through the practice range. Again no problems at all here, even the 1% low result with the highest epic setting preset is above the screen’s refresh rate. Rainbow Six Siege was tested with the built-in benchmark using Vulkan, again no problems here, almost 200 FPS with the three highest setting presets. Metro Exodus was tested using the built-in benchmark, most parts of the game perform a fair bit better than this, so don’t take these results as a good indication of what to expect throughout the entire game, it’s more of a worst case that can be compared against my other data. Monster Hunter World was tested running through the main town. It played well with the highest setting preset, and it was possible to get above 100 FPS with high settings or lower. Borderlands 3 was tested using the game’s built in benchmark, in this more resource demanding test we’re only just able to scrape 60 FPS with max settings, but we can almost double this with very low settings. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is another that was tested with the games benchmark, and we’re just below 60 FPS at max settings in this one, but able to reach up to 90 FPS with low settings. The Witcher 3 was running above 100 FPS with ultra settings, but it was possible to boost this by 30% by stepping down just one level to high settings, while medium was needed to average above the screen’s refresh rate. F1 2020 was tested with the games benchmark tool, the high setting preset allows us to make good use of the 144Hz panel, and we could boost this up to just under 200 FPS with the lower setting preset. Far Cry New Dawn was also tested with the games benchmark, low settings was above 100 FPS while ultra was scoring above 60 FPS for the 1% low.
Compared to other laptops
Now let’s take a look at how the Helios 300 compares against other laptops, use these results as a rough guide only, as they were tested at different times with different drivers. I’ve tested Battlefield 5 in campaign mode at ultra settings, and the Helios 300 is highlighted in red. Interestingly the average frame rate was ahead of the Legion 7i, which has the same GPU but with a higher power limit and better CPU, well at least in terms of average frame rate, the 1% low was lower, but still the Helios is very close to the m15 R2 with 2080 Max-Q, a good result. These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built-in benchmark. The Helios is still beating higher wattage GPU options, but as this test is heavier on the processor an undervolt would have given it an edge. It’s unfortunate to see that Acer have removed the default undervolt that was present previously. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was also tested with the games benchmark tool with the highest setting preset. It’s just 1 FPS behind the 2070 Super Max-Q with same power limit in the Aorus 15G, and like BF5, ahead of the Legion 7i with same GPU but better CPU, so a good result and is probably down to the overclock on the GPU applied by turbo mode.
Gaming performance was decent, but yeah the lack of undervolting is a bit of a downer. My Helios actually shipped to me with single channel memory too, I did all testing here with dual channel for best results, so hopefully single channel isn’t a common configuration, or we’re starting to go backwards on what was the best available option last year.
Screen response time
My Helios 300 has a 1080p 144Hz screen, no FreeeSync or G-Sync, and it’s not possible to disable optimus for a speed boost. The Predator Sense software gives us the option to enable or disable overdrive which affects screen response time. With overdrive off, we’re getting pretty typical results from a 144Hz panel, just under an 8ms average grey-to-grey response time. I’ve got a link in the video description explaining what all these numbers mean. When we enable overdrive, the response time drops to 4.66ms, below the 6.94ms needed for all transitions to occur within the refresh window. This does introduce some overshoot and undershoot though. When we look at how it stacks up against others, well it’s tied with the Legion 5 for fastest 144Hz laptop panel that I’ve tested so far, a great result. your website with a free trial and save 10% off your first website or domain purchase.