- Excellent build quality
- Good input devices
- Excellent pre-calibrated IPS panel with 75Hz refresh rate and G-Sync support
- The display doesn’t use PWM
- Outstanding cooling performance
- Hefty and bulky
- Poor battery life
- The right side is overcrowded with ports
Throughout 2016, Acer released a large number of Predator 15 and Predator 17 machines all of them offering various screen options and more importantly – different GPUs. It’s quite normal considering the fact that mid-2016 the company released a desktop-grade GTX 980-powered notebook, which went obsolete in just a few months when the OEM released its GTX 1070 and 1080-powered Predator 17.
However, if all of the above are a little over your pay grade, Acer got you covered. This hefty beast here packs a GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5) and costs way lower than its more powerful siblings. Unfortunately, though, since the notebook was released just before Intel announced its Kaby Lake quad-core CPUs, the G5-793 missed that train. We can expect a refresh in the near future, probably. But in terms of real-life performance, the Core i7-6700HQ will do just fine. But what about the rest – display quality, cooling capabilities? If the more affordable Predator 17 inherits most of its perks from the GTX 1070-powered version that we reviewed, we expect excellence.
Despite the G5-793 being the most affordable Predator packing a Pascal GPU right now, the packaging is still “premium”. It comes in a big black box with all the usual user manuals, DVD with drivers, AC adapter and power cord.
Design and construction
In terms of design, the G5-793 is identical to the previously reviewed G9-793 with GTX 1070 with a small decline in weight and the rear grill for the cooling keeps the old design from the previous generation of Predator 17. This one weighs 4.2 kg opposed to the 4.27 kg G9-793 with GTX 1070. The thickness remains the same – around 40 mm.
Once again, we must address the most annoying issue with this design concept – the overcrowded right side of the laptop. The most commonly used ports like HDMI, DisplayPort, 2x USB 3.0, RJ-45 and USB-C 3.1 are positioned on the right where all the cables might obstruct normal usage of an external mouse when space is scarce.
While on the left, you will see the optical drive, which might be the main limitation of the port placement. Who’s still using that anyway?
Otherwise, the build quality hasn’t changed. Acer still used the polycarbonate matter finish with 40% fiberglass sheets underneath delivering extra stiffness and rigidity. The hinge feels extra solid and since the base is heavy enough, it keeps the laptop in place while opening it with one hand. The single-hinge design stretches across the whole width of the base assuring stability and stealthiness.
As we continue with the interior, we see only one significant change over the GTX 1070 and 1080 version, which isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s a miss nonetheless. We are talking about the keyboard LED backlight. The more powerful variants offer customizable RGB LED illumination through Acer’s Predator Sense app but here, we are stuck with two zones – red for the keyboard and blue for the Numpad area.
If you remember, the first Predator 17 notebook that came out with GTX 980M featured the same LED backlight. Still, this doesn’t take away the comfort and pleasure of typing on this keyboard. The key travel is good, the clickiness of the buttons offer excellent tactile feedback and they don’t seem mushy at all.
Downright one of the best keyboard on a gaming machine we’ve used. In general, the touchpad is the same – responsive, good gliding surface and clicky mouse buttons. If the latter were slightly bigger it would have been much appreciated.
And since the notebook is packing a GTX 1060, which doesn’t require all that cooling power, we can easily say that this 17-incher can’t compete against some more portable alternatives like the ASUS ROG GL702 or Gigabyte’s P57WV6 for example. Nevertheless, we can expect more than excellent cooling performance considering the airflow that this case will provide.
Disassembly, maintenance and upgrade options
Most of the upgrades can be done using the service lid provided on the bottom of the chassis. The disassembly process is identical to the one of the Acer Predator 17 (G9-793) but there are a few key differentiating aspects.
Storage upgrade options – 2.5-inch HDD, M.2 slot
We reviewed the base model, which doesn’t feature an SSD and relies only on the 2.5-inch HDD. We also found out that this alteration of the Predator 17 featues only one M.2 SSD slot supporting PCIe NVMe drives in 2280 size, while the more expensive variants have two slots. However, we really doubt that you will easily find an M.2 22110 SSD, which is the second option on the G9-793, so it’s not that big of a deal anyway.
|2280 M.2 slot||Free||Upgrade options|
|2.5-inch HDD/SSD||HGST 1TB 7200 rpm||Upgrade options|
The motherboard can hold up to 64GB of DDR4-2133 RAM but our unit came with three free slots and only one being taken by an SK Hynix 16GB chip.
|Slot 1||16GB DDR4-2133 RAM||Upgrade options|
|Slot 2||Free||Upgrade options|
|Slot 3||Free||Upgrade options|
|Slot 4||Free||Upgrade options|
The rest of the hardware that’s replaceable is the Wi-Fi card. This time around it’s Killer Wireless 1535.
The battery is pretty easy to change after the whole bottom of the laptop is removed. It’s rated at 88.8Wh – no change over last year’s generation.
The cooling system hasn’t been changed and since the system handles GTX 1070 and 1080 perfectly, we doubt it will have any problems with the GTX 1060.
The notebook’s display features the same panel used in the previous generation Predator 17X – LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF2 offering Full HD (1920×1080) resolution in a 17.3-inch diagonal, which means the pixel density is 127 ppi and the pixel pitch is 0.1995 x 0.1995 mm. The screen can be considered as “Retina” when viewed from a distance equal or greater than 69 cm.
What’s interesting, the panel seems to offer better image quality than what we’ve seen before out of the box and only small are adjustments are needed. Probably Acer did some hardware calibration before using the panel again.
Viewing angles are excellent under a 45-degree incline.
This alteration shows slightly better results when it comes to brightness levels. We recorded a maximum brightness of 374 cd/m2 in the center of the screen and 363 cd/m2 as average across the surface with only -6% deviation. The color temperature is pretty close to the optimal – 6400K and colors will appear slightly warmer but it will be undetectable by most users.
As for dE2000 color deviation, the maximum value that we’ve detected is 1.9 in the lower right corner of the screen. This is an excellent result since values above 4.0 are unwanted.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
Just like before, the screen scored 90% on the sRGB coverage test, which is good enough for good multimedia and gaming experience.
Below you will see practically the same image but with the color circles representing the reference colors and the white circles being the result. You can see main and additional colors with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% saturation inside the sRGB gamut pre and post calibration.
We’ve created a profile with 140 cd/m2 luminance, D65(6500K) white point and 2.2 gamma.
As you can see from the previous tests, the stock calibration of the display is pretty good but gamma levels need a little fixing because dark parts of the image will appear darker. This is easily fixed by installing our Office & Web Design pre-calibrated profile.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the Office & Web Design profile.
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the Gaming & Movie Nights profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle and the surrounding light conditions.
Gaming capabilities (Response time)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and reverse.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 25 ms. A typical result for an IPS panel. Only pretentious gamers will notice the so-called ghosting effect during fast-paced games.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse Width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
As expected, our equipment wasn’t able to detect any pulsations so we consider the panel flicker-free.
Blue light emissions
Installing of our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
You can see the levels of emitted blue light on the spectral power distribution (SDP) graph.
It’s good to see that the lower price hasn’t affected the screen quality of the GTX 1060-powered Predator and uses an excellent IPS panel. In fact, we were surprised by the balanced color temperature and accurate color reproduction out of the box. We think that Acer has taken some time to adjust some of the properties of the display since it differs from the one we’ve tested on the Predator 17X, although, the model is exactly the same. Still, if you want to squeeze out the maximum of the display, we suggest purchasing our custom-tailored display profiles.
Even if not, you still get some of the sweet perks this panel has to offer like 75Hz refresh rate, G-Sync native support and, of course, no PWM across all brightness levels.
Buy our display profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package is meant for Acer Predator 17 (G5-793) configurations with 17.3″ LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF2 (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS screen, which can be found at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2j6eSy8
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia’s products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office work / Web design
If your field is office work or web design, or you just want your monitor’s color set to be as accurate as possible for the Internet color space, this profile will prove to be useful.
Gaming or Movie nights
We developed this profile especially for occasions on which you spend a lot of time in front of your monitor with some games or watching movies – it will be easier for you to discern fine nuances in the dark.
This profile reduces the negative impact of pulsation and the blue spectrum, securing your eyes and body. You still get a pitch-perfect color image, albeit slightly warmer.
We found the sound quality pretty good and couldn’t detect any noticeable sound distortions at low and high frequencies.
The specs sheet provided below is for this model only and may vary depending on your region or configuration.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-core, 2.60-3.50 GHz, 6MB cache)|
|RAM||16GB (1x 16384MB) – DDR4, 2133MHz|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5)|
|HDD/SSD||1TB HDD (5400 rpm)|
|Display||17.3-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS, matte|
|Optical Drive||Super-multi DVD|
|Connectivity||LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Battery||8-cell, 88.8Wh / 6000 mAh|
|Thickness||40 mm (1.57″)|
|Weight||4.27 kg (9.41 lbs) + 931 g (2.05 lbs) charging brick|
The notebook shipped with pre-installed Windows 10 (64-bit) and we used it for our review. If you wish to install the OS on your own, we suggest downloading all the latest drivers from Acer’s official support page.
Since this is a laptop featuring a GPU from NVIDIA’s Pascal generation and supports native G-Sync on the built-in display, the notebook’s battery life is subpar. WHy is that? Because for now, the so-called Optimus feature doesn’t support the current implementation of G-Sync and thus the notebook doesn’t use the iGPU, which in this case is the Intel HD Graphics 530, for the less demanding tasks like video playback and web surfing. And as you can see from the reuslts below, the 88Wh battery just can’t keep up with this energy-sipping hardware. However, the notebook scores slightly better than the GTX 1070-powered variant that we’ve tested since the GTX 1060 has significantly lower power consumption.
All the tests were performed with the usual settings – Wi-Fi turned on, Windows battery saving featur turned on and screen brightness set to 120 cd/m2.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
Not the worst result we’ve seen but it’s definitely less than what we’ve expected from a 88Wh unit – 310 minutes (5 hours and 10 minutes).
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
Significantly lower result than the web browsing test – 262 minutes (4 hours and 22 minutes). That should be more than enough for a full movie.
We recently started using F1 2015’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
It’s quite unlikely that you will start a gaming session without being close to a power source, but it’s good to know that you can play for more an hour – 67 minutes (1 hour and 13 minutes).
CPU – Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Intel Core i7-6700HQ represents the Skylake H family and it’s considered as a high-performance chip with high voltage – 45W TDP. This is a step down from its direct predecessor – Core i7-4700HQ but matches its short-lived predecessor Core i7-5700HQ. The Core i7-6700HQ has four cores ticking at 2.6GHz and can go up to 3.5 GHz for one active core and 3.1 GHz for four active cores. The silicon supports the so-called Hyper-Threading technology that emulates one virtual core for each physical and thus establishing a total of 8 threads.
Furthermore, the chip is manufactured using 14nm FinFET process and integrates Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU with 24 EU (Executable Units) clocked at 350 – 1050 MHz. The memory controller supports up to 64GB of DDR3 or DDR4 RAM at 1600 or 2133 MHz respectively. The CPU is suitable for heavy applications and gaming.
|Acer Predator 17 (G5-793)||7,47|
|Acer Predator 17 (G9-793)||7,49|
|ASUS ROG GL502VS||7,28|
|Acer Predator 17X||7,83|
Results are from the Cinebench 11 test (higher the score, the better)
|Acer Predator 17 (G5-793) Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-cores, 2.6 – 3.5 GHz)||7.47|
|Acer Predator 17 (G9-793) Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-cores, 2.6 – 3.5 GHz)||7.49||+0.27%|
|ASUS ROG GL502VS Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-cores, 2.6 – 3.5 GHz)||7.28||-2.54%|
|Acer Predator 17X Intel Core i7-6820HK (4-cores, 2.7 – 3.6 GHz)||7.83||+4.82%|
Fritz is a chess benchmark that tests the computing capabilities of the CPU with various chess moves. The Intel Core i7-6700HQ managed to get 12.317 million moves per second. For comparison, one of the most powerful PCs, Deep(er) Blue, was able to squeeze out 200 million moves per second. In 1997 Deep(er) Blue even beat the famous Garry Kasparov with 3.5 to 2.5.
GPU – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5)
NIVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 GPU aims to be the mid-tier graphics card from the Pascal generation offering similar or even better performance than last year’s flagship models like the GTX 970M and 980M. However, the GPU will be used in high-end laptop configurations.
The graphics card is based on the GP106 chip built on the 16nm FinFET manufacturing process from TSMC paired with up to 6GB GDDR5 VRAM clocked at 8000 MHz effective on a 192-bit interface. The GPU also features the same amount of CUDA cores as its desktop counterpart (1280) and it’s clocked at the same frequencies – 1506 – 1708 MHz.
Depending on the cooling solution, the GPU can be found in large 17 and 15-inch notebooks but some slimmed-down 14-inch notebooks are also an option. The TDP of the GPU is somewhat lower than the last generation GTX 970M.
|Acer Predator 17 (G5-793)||76.678|
|Acer Predator 17 (G9-793)||84.191|
|ASUS ROG GL502VS||84.437|
|Acer Predator 17X||76.639|
Results are from the 3DMark Cloud Gate (G) test (higher the score, the better)
|Acer Predator 17 (G5-793) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5)||76678|
|Acer Predator 17 (G9-793) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)||84191||+9.8%|
|ASUS ROG GL502VS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5)||84437||+10.12%|
|Acer Predator 17X NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (8GB GDDR5)||76639||-0.05%|
|CS:GO||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Max (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||228 fps||215 fps||174 fps|
|F1 2015||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Max (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||113 fps||99 fps||87 fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Max (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||129 fps||93 fps||38 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Max (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||110 fps||86 fps||35 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s The Division||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Max (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||159 fps||84 fps||19 fps|
This stress test was downright boring but we don’t mean that in a bad way. Since we’ve tested the laptop under extreme conditions with significantly more powerful hardware, we expected more than excellent cooling performance. And here’s where the Predator 17 (G5-793) takes the lead over its more compact direct rivals. The big chassis paid off with some extra airflow and exceptionally low outer temperatures. Of course, the CPU and GPU didn’t throttle as well.
Anyway, we must note that this isn’t a good representation of real-life use because even the most graphically-intense games or apps can’t generate 100% CPU and 100% GPU usage for such long periods of time. However, it’s still a good way to assess the cooling capabilities of the system in the long run.
We started off with 100% CPU load for an hour only to find out that the system was able to utilize the full performance of the chip, which is 3.1 GHz with four active cores, without breaking a sweat. Even temperatures were kind of low.
When we turned on the GPU stress test, things changed but not drastically, The CPU’s temperatures rose but didn’t cause thermal throttling. What’s interesting, the GPU was able to utilize its maximum clock speeds at first but after a while returned to its base clock of 1506 MHz without going over 64 °C, which is extremely low temperature for a GPU in a laptop.
Outer temperatures were also really low even after extremely heavy workload for more than two hours. You can see the heat map below.
Even though the Predator 17 (G5-793) is the most affordable configuration, Acer didn’t cut any corners with it. You still get that premium feel and build with really rigid materials accompanied by the excellent input devices. There’s only one small feature that’s missing compared to the higher-end GTX 1070 and 1080 variants and that’s the customizable LED backlight. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for most users.
In reality, the only difference between the more expensive variants is the GPU. Moreover, the pricing seems right and still plays in the ballpark of one of the most affordable GTX 1060-powered laptops. Then you might ask, what’s the trade-off here?
Well, compared to the ASUS ROG GL702, Gigabyte P57WV6 or one of MSI’s slimmed-down powerhouses, the Predator 17 is quite hefty and bulky. In return, however, you get outstanding cooling performance with really low inner and outer temperatures due to the extra airflow that the chassis provides. And, of course, you get that subpar battery performance that you get with every GTX 1060, 1070 and 1080-equipped laptop due to the missing support for NVIDIA Optimus (switchable graphics).
Finally, a few words for the display. At first, we thought the panel will have the same properties as the one on the Predator 17X with GTX 980 but we were wrong. While both machines share the same IPS panel, the one on the Predator G5-793 seems pre-calibrated and carries almost none of the drawbacks we’ve discovered before. And combined with the fast 75Hz refresh rate and silky-smooth G-Sync technology, this laptop makes no compromise in this regard.