The Best (?) Budget Gaming Laptop

– Hey guys, this is Austin Usually when you're talking about a gaming laptop, you're pretty much in the $1,000-plus budget

Now there's nothing wrong with high-end gaming laptops Not only do you get all the fun toys like, you know, high-end displays with high refresh rates and RTX graphics, but you also get some of the nicest designs out there However, not everyone wants to spend 1,000, 2,000, even $3,000 when it comes to a gaming laptop, and that is where Acer's Nitro 5 comes in There's definitely something to a laptop that you can take to work or school all day and yet still come home and play some games without breaking the bank Now specifically what I have here is the all-AMD version, so it's got a Ryzen processor as well as RX graphics

However, you should definitely keep an eye on those prices So I was able to pick this guy up for $570, and at less than 600 bucks, there's a lot to like What's not so hot, though, is that sometimes this laptop spikes up to around $700, and at that kind of price, it's a little bit of a harder sell, so definitely be sure to keep an eye out for when the sales are, and, well, just don't overpay for the laptop Take a look around the Nitro 5, and it absolutely looks the part of a much more expensive gaming laptop It's all red and black, it's built reasonably well, and you even have a back-lit keyboard which is a nice touch at the price

Now the bezels definitely are on the larger side, and the screen isn't anything all that special So it is a 156-inch 1080p IPS panel, so it's good, it's decent, but it doesn't have any kind of high-end bells and whistles such as that high refresh rate But, I mean, we're talking about less than 600 bucks It is hard to complain about this stuff

This screen is totally fine You also get a solid selection of ports Not only is there USB-C and Ethernet, but you also have plenty of USB-A ports, HDMI There's even an SD card reader Now, at almost six pounds, this is certainly not a thin and light gaming laptop

It's a little bit on the thicker side, and yes, it is made entirely out of plastic, but honestly, it does feel reasonably sturdy I really wouldn't worry about leaving this in my bag all day It's what's inside that's really interesting Now there is a standard Core i5 and GTX 1050 version of this laptop What I have here is the pure AMD version, Ryzen 5 2500U as well as a Radeon RX 560X

This is straight-up not a combo that I've pretty much ever seen before, but you know what, it's actually not bad Sure, the Ryzen 5 does fall behind the higher-wattage Core i5 When you look at the graphics compared to the GTX 1050, it's actually a slight bit faster, which is especially impressive considering we basically never see AMD graphics in laptops Performance-wise, when you get into a game like Overwatch, it's really no problem So right now on 1080p on Medium settings, we're getting a very consistent 60 FPS

This makes sense, right? This is the kind of performance that you would expect out of something that's roughly the equivalent to a GTX 1050 It's not the most powerful thing in the world, you won't be able to play everything on Ultra, but games like this are 100% playable So we were about to start playing Apex Legends until I realized that this was using the integrated GPU instead of the actual RX 560, so I'm gonna try to fix that real quick So this actually does bring me to one of the issues that I found with this system in that the driver situation is all over the place So this does have AMD graphics, it was included with that Ryzen processor as well as the Radeon graphics, but the issue is that even though they're going to be fixing this soon, right now you just can't go to the AMD website and download drivers

You actually have to get them specifically from the OEM, which in this case is Acer Oh, hi, Austin from the future here, back with an important update So of course the day after we filmed that segment, well, AMD dropped that driver update that they have promised, so now you can go straight to the AMD website and download all the drivers you need for the Nitro 5, and importantly, it looks like Apex Legends is now working With everything cranked to 1080p Medium, I can see if we pull up Task Manager that the 560 is running it 80, 90% load It looks like we should be good now

All right, that's definitely better So, yeah, with a mixture of Medium and a couple of Low settings, we're pretty close to a 60 FPS lock now With the driver issue fixed, this is a much more usable laptop, so disregard everything I said earlier, it's fine now So it does look like Fortnite is properly supporting the 560X So I hop into my settings here

I am able to run at 1080p on High, and now let's see how it actually performs Okay Oh, wow (laughing) We just need to make a montage of me dying in Fortnite I mean, this is fine, like, it was running 50 frames per second until I got shot in the face

Upgrading is pretty easy, although it is a little bit on the limited side So with a single screw on the bottom, you can upgrade the RAM, so by default this guy comes with eight gigs, although it's me, I'm definitely gonna upgrade to 16 Not only is that just nice to have, but also considering that we're running a Ryzen processor, having fast dual channel memory can make a big difference Then there's the hard drive So by default, this comes with a one terabyte drive, and that's fine, it's kinda decently quick as far as hard drives go, but it's 2019 and you guys should know my stance on hard drives

Just no Just say no to hard drives Thankfully, upgrading this is also super-easy Again, it's just one screw behind the door on the bottom, and I think it's actually a pretty worthwhile upgrade to go to something like a 500-gig SSD It's not that expensive, and it'll give you a ton of capacity, but importantly, you're gonna get that SSD speed

Now as this is a gaming laptop, battery life isn't exactly the strong suit Now it is actually pretty decent for a gaming laptop like this I was able to get around four to five hours of standard use, but of course you have to keep in mind that you're going to need a charger if you really want to take this out for a full day of proper use, and especially if you're gaming I mean, you're definitely gonna need it So when it comes to the Nitro 5, it is all down to the price

Now at $570, with just a couple of upgrades, this is absolutely my favorite budget gaming laptop that I've taken a look at all year Unfortunately, if you're paying upwards of $600, the value proposition becomes a lot sketchier, so it really does kind of depend on where you're able to find this and how expensive it is Once they get those AMD driver issues sorted out, there's a lot of potential with the Nitro 5 (children cheering)

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