Tech review: Acer Nitro 5 2022: Affordable option for gamers with limited funds
The Acer Nitro 5 2022 edition is a budget gaming notebook that allows you to enjoy most of the latest games without having to spend extra.
The Nitro 5 2022 edition comes with everything necessary to handle the complexities of today’s graphics-intensive gaming, except for one thing – RAM. The entry-level model just has 8 gigabytes of RAM (random access memory), so it is necessary to spend an extra 1,000 baht or so to add another 8GB. According to an Acer PR officer, an additional RAM module can be bought and installed at any Acer service centre so the notebook's 3-year warranty is not affected.
Apart from this shortcoming, the Nitro 5 2022 is more powerful than its 2021 brother thanks to its 12th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, which performs better than the 11th Generation Core i7 used in the previous edition.
Specifically, the Nitro 5 (Intel Gen 12) is powered by the Intel Core i7-12700H, which comes with 14 cores and 24 threads compared to the 8 cores and 16 threads of the Intel Gen 11 Core i7. A thread is a virtual version of a CPU’s core, which means the more threads a processor has the better it will perform.
Six of the Intel Gen 12’s 14 cores are devoted to performance, which maximises the single-thread performance and responsiveness, while the remaining eight cores focus on efficiency, delivering scalable, multithreaded performance and efficient offloading of background tasks to allow multitasking.
On the graphics side, the Nitro 5 uses an NVIDIA GeForce RTX3050 processing unit that comes with 4GB GDDR6 memory.
Though the RTX3050 is entry level of the RTX30 series, it should be able to handle most games, though you may have to lower the resolution for some.
As for storage, the Nitro 5 comes with a fast M.2 NVMe SSD storage with 512GB capacity, which is enough for general users.
Meanwhile, its 15.6-inch IPS display comes with Full HD resolution and a high refresh rate of 165Hz, which makes the visuals crisp and clear.
The Nitro 5 also provides plenty of room for expansion. Apart from an empty RAM slot, it also has a slot for adding another M.2 SSD storage and a 2.5-inch SATA III slot for adding another SSD or hard-drive storage. Both M.2 slots offer up to 1 terabyte of storage and use fast data-transferring PCIe 4.0 x4 technology.
Compared to the earlier edition, the Nitro 5 (Intel Gen 12) is prettier, has a better design and its body feels sturdier. However, the ventilation system necessary to dissipate the heat created from rendering graphics and gaming makes it quite heavy at 2.5 kilograms. Plus, you will need to carry its half-kilo power adapter because the 58Wh battery only lasts about four hours.
Effective, quiet ventilation
During the test, I found that the ventilation system was effective and the notebook did not get overheated at the peak of the gaming. It uses two fans and four heat pipes, which do not generate much noise. The system takes in air from two directions above and below the keyboard and the heat is expelled via four exhaust outlets.
I used the CPUID HWMonitor software to monitor the CPU’s temperature and found that the internal heat was between 75 and 87 degrees Celsius on average. But it did not heat up thanks to the efficient ventilating system.
While gaming, I found the graphics were rendered smoothly with good frame rates. But if you want to play large, graphic-intensive games like Elden Ring, you will need to lower the resolution to achieve a higher frame rate. After all, the computer comes with 8GB RAM.
Gamers usually enjoy colourful keyboards and the Nitro 5 comes with a 4-zone RGB keyboard, with a light setting that can be adjusted with NitroSense software.
Meanwhile, the arcade racing game – Asphalt 9: Legends – ran smoothly and the graphics were rendered beautifully.
The 3Dmark Time Spy gave the Nitro 5 a score of 5,071 points, meaning the notebook can play full HD games smoothly.
The PCMark 10 gives it 6,151 points for handling business applications, graphics and video editing well.
Benchmarking by Cinebench R15 confirms good graphics performance. Its OpenGL score came in at 141.41 frames per second and the CPU score was 2453 points. The Cinebench R20 gave the Intel Core i7-12700H a score of 6,112 points for its ability to render graphics.
The notebook’s good performance was also attributed to its SSD drive. The benchmarking standard found that the drive achieved a sequential reading speed of 6,600 MB/s and a sequential writing speed of 3,600 MB/s.
Another positive factor is that Nitro 5 comes with fast LAN and wireless connectivity thanks to its Intel Killer Land E2600 and Intel Killer Wi-Fi AX1650i adapters. This fast connectivity ensures that your online games run smoothly.
The Nitro 5 (Intel Gen 12) has all the necessary ports –
power adapter, Thunderbolt 4x1 and HDMI port – and they are placed at the back, so your hands don’t get tangled up with cords.
It has a LAN port, one USB-A 3.2 port and a combo audio connector for headphones and microphone on the left side and two USB-A 3.2 ports on the right side.
The Thunderbolt port comes with all the functions which allow you to connect it to an external display or expand the notebook’s performance with an added device. The port can also be used to recharge the battery.
Its sound system is also good, with speakers placed under the keyboard and a DTS: X system that offers surround sound, which is particularly enjoyable when playing games. The speakers also generated a good bass.
With a suggested retail price of 39,900 baht, the Nitro 5 (Intel Gen 12) is perfect for gamers with a limited budget, students or people who do not have much space. But prepared to pay extra to expand the RAM.
CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H with 14 cores( 6P+8E) at 3.5-4.7GHz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 with 4GB GDDR6
SSD: M.2 NVMe 512GB
RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200MHz
Display: 15.6-inch full HD IPS panel with 165Hz refresh rate
Ports: Thunderbolt 4 x 1, USB-A 3.2 x 3, HDMI x 1, LAN x 1, Audio combo x 1
Wireless: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1
Webcam: 720p HD Camera
Software: Windows 11 Home