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The Acer Predator Helios 500 is a gaming laptop that’s overclockable in all the right places

The Acer Predator Helios 500 is a gaming laptop designed for extreme gamers. Not infinitely wealthy ones, such as the lucky 300 who bought a limited-edition $8,000 Predator 21 X, but reasonably well-financed ones who could instead “settle” for a model that offers an overclockable GPU and a few overclockable CPU options as well.

That’s just the beginning. We saw the Predator Helios 500 on Wednesday, when it was announced at Acer’s [email protected] event in New York. Up close, you can see this beast checks off a lot of boxes. 

Features and specs for serious gaming

acer predator helios 500 rear view Acer

CPU options for the Acer Predator Helios 500 span Intel Core i5-8300H to Core i9+ 8950HK.

The Predator Helios 500 will ship in June with a starting price of $1,999. We already liked the Acer Predator Helios 300, the lower-cost cousin to the Predator Helios 500, which offers impressive bang for buck with a starting price of $1,100. It could only get better as you move up to the Helios 500, so let’s dive straight into the specs and see. 

CPU: Your choice of a four-core Core i5-8300H, a six-core Core i7-8750H; or a Core i9-8950HK or Core i9+ 8950HK. Focusing on the latter two Core i9 chips, both of these are six-core CPUs, overclockable from a base rate of 2.9GHz to 4.8GHz. Even better, the Core i9+ adds Optane Memory to boost the speed of data drives. 

Memory: Up to 16GB of DDR4, upgradeable to 64GB via four soDIMM modules

Display: Your choice of 17.3-inch IPS-technology displays. One is simply high-resolution Ultra HD (3840×2160). The other is Full HD (1920×1080) with support for 144Hz refresh and Nvidia G-sync. The latter option will make a huge difference in your gaming experience, but it will kill your battery life—and it’ll add a fair amount to the total price of your configuration. 

acer predator helios 500 3qtr left Acer

The Acer Predator Helios 500 comes with an Nvidia GTX 1070 discrete GPU.

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, overclockable, with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM. I can hear it now: “What, no GTX 1080?” It’s fair to point out that a laptop rig with a GTX 1080 would need to be a bigger, heavier machine than the Predator Helios 500 (which is already pretty husky—see Dimensions and Weight, below).

Storage: Up to a 2TB HDD, or SSD options including up to 512GB SATA (6 Gbps), up to 512GB NMVe PCIe Gen 3 (8 Gbps) up to 4 lanes, or up to 1TB 2D NVMe in RAID 0. 

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