Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) review – they swapped Intel for AMD

Today we have one of the most desirable laptops in the budget gaming sphere – the Nitro 5. More precisely, we are talking about the AN515-44 model, which features AMD’s Ryzen 4000H processors, combined with mid-entry level GeForce graphics cards.

Ultimately, Acer is reusing the chassis and the body of the Nitro 5 (AN515-55), which has Intel processors, onboard, by redesigning the motherboard. Interestingly, there are a lot of people that still prefer the Intel CPUs, because of their higher clocks and therefore bigger potential in games.

However, not many realize that even the quad-core Core i5-10300H is more expensive than the six-core Ryzen 5 4600H while providing a fraction of the performance.

Nevertheless, the laptop still features the RAID 0 support via its two M.2 slots, and you can rely on Wi-Fi 6 support, as well as the Gigabit Ethernet connection brought by the Killer E2600 card.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-nitro-5-an515-44/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) review – they swapped Intel for AMD - Specs

  • BOE NV156FHM-N48
  • Color accuracy  4.2  3.9
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 8000GB SSD + up to 2000GB HDD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 2x 2280 M.2 PCIe NVMe 3.0 
  • RAM
  • up to 64GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Home, Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Home, Windows 10 Pro, No OS
  • Battery
  • 57.5Wh, 4-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate
  • Dimensions
  • 363.4 x 255 x 23.9 mm (14.31" x 10.04" x 0.94")
  • Weight
  • 2.40 kg (5.3 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 2x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • HDMI
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10, 100, 1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5 Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Speakers
  • 2 Speakers
  • Optical drive

All Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

Inside the box, Acer has supplied a 135W power brick, as well as some paper manuals and a driver CD… alongside a laptop that doesn’t have an optical drive. Seems a bit pointless to us.


Design and construction

Once again, we are talking about a fully plastic device with a profile of 23.9 mm and a weight of 2.40 kg. Ultimately, this is pretty much the standard for budget gaming notebooks, so we’re not surprised to see these numbers. As of the build quality, it is not bad, but the plastic material is definitely prone to fingerprints.

Thankfully, its lid opens with a single hand, and we see the thin top and side bezels, with a formidable chin below the display. On the backside, the plastic is mainly glossy but is separated from the matte portion via two fang-looking details. Sadly, the lid flexes like warm cheese.

Then, we go to the base, where we see the flexy keyboard deck. Our unit in particular comes with the red backlight, while others will be equipped with customizable RGB. In terms of usability, the keyboard has a rather long key travel and a clicky, yet non-intrusive feedback. All-in-all, it is comfortable for typing and gaming. And while the Arrow keys are big enough, the space around them seems a bit overcrowded. On the other hand, it is good to see a NumberPad there, plus, there is a Nitro Sense shortcut button right next to the NumLock key.

In terms of the touchpad, we have a very accurate and responsive device. Sadly, it is made out of plastic and has a huge tendency to attract fingerprints.

On the bottom panel, you can see the vents, which are placed directly underneath the fans, supplying as much air to them as possible. Additionally, we found that when your keyboard backlight is on, the fans look like they are glowing in Red (or the color you chose, should you have the RGB LEDs). Hot air respectively is driven away from two vents on the back, and one vent on each side of the laptop – not bad. And lastly, you will also find the speaker’s cutouts on the bottom panel.


Ports

On the left side of the notebook, you will find an RJ-45 connector, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, and an audio jack. Then, on the right, there is an HDMI connector, as well as another USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and a USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port. As you can see, there is no power plug on the sides, and this is because Acer has decided to put it on the back.


Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

Taking this device apart is nothing out of the ordinary. Undo all 11 Phillips-head screws, and then pry the bottom panel with a plastic tool, starting from the front corners.

After you get inside, you’ll see a cooling solution that comprises three heat pipes, one of which is common for the CPU and the GPU, and a total of four heat spreaders. Additionally, there are heat sinks on top of the graphics memory and the VRMs, which is a nice touch.

In terms of upgradability, there are two RAM SODIMM slots, which can be fitted with up to 64GB of DDR4 memory in total. And storage-wise, there are two M.2 NVMe SSD slots with RAID 0 support, as well as a single 2.5-inch SATA drive bay.

And when it comes to the battery, Acer has put a 57.5Wh unit in this device.


Display quality

Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) has a Full HD IPS panel with a model number BOE NV156FHM-N48 (BOE0818). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).

Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.

The measured maximum brightness of 266 nits in the middle of the screen and 261 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 16%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6400K – slightly warmer, almost matching the sRGB standard of 6500K, which is great.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.

Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is good – 1190:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to 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.

The yellow dotted line shows Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 51% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

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 “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

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 and Web Design” 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.


Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 31 ms.


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.

Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44)’s display doesn’t use PWM only at maximum brightness. Additionally, the flickerings are with a relatively low frequency – 1000 Hz, which makes the display uncomfortable and possibly harmful for your eyes. Thankfully, our Health-Guard profile fixes that.


Blue light emissions

Installing 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.

Conclusion

Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44)’s 60Hz IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and adequate default settings. However, it uses harmful PWM and it has poor color coverage, only displaying half of the colors found on the Internet, and its pixel response time is very slow – 30ms, which leads to ghosting and not a very pleasant experience for gaming.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) configurations with 15.6″ FHD IPS BOE NV156FHM-N48 (BOE0818).

*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 [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

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

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44)’s speakers are quiet and unimpressive. On the other side, the low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.


Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/8365?b=1

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This laptop’s 57.5Wh battery is good for 6 hours and 35 minutes of Web browsing and 5 hours and 38 minutes of video playback.


CPU options

This model can be purchased either with the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H (6c/12t), or the Ryzen 7 4800H (8c/16t).

Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different CPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / CPU.

Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)

Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)


GPU options

Currently, we’ve only seen versions of this notebook with either the GeForce GTX 1650 or the GTX 1650 Ti.

Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) GPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the GPUs that can be found in the Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) model is the best bang for your buck.

Note: The chart shows the cheapest different GPU configurations so you should check what the other specifications of these laptops are by clicking on the laptop’s name / GPU.


Gaming tests

Far Cry 5 Full HD, Normal (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 65 fps 60 fps 56 fps

rise-of-the-tomb-raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) Full HD, Lowest (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, Very High (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 105 fps 83 fps 35 fps

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) Full HD, Lowest (Check settings) Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 83 fps 57 fps 51 fps

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Very High (Check settings)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 55 fps 52 fps 46 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

AMD Ryzen 5 4600H (45W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) 3.40 GHz (B+13%) @ 86°C 3.22 GHz (B+7%) @ 85°C 3.07 GHz (B+2%) @ 80°C
Lenovo Legion 5 (15) 3.71 GHz (B+24%) @ 86°C 3.55 GHz (B+18%) @ 85°C 3.44 GHz (B+15%) @ 80°C

When it comes to the CPU cooling, we see that the Nitro 5 (AN515-44) lacks behind its Lenovo counterpart, by about 370 MHz at the end of the test.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44) 1711 MHz @ 57°C 1698 MHz @ 60°C
Lenovo Legion 5 (15) 1659 MHz @ 58°C 1671 MHz @ 56°C
Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-52) 1746 MHz @ 65°C 1723 MHz @ 71°C
Dell Inspiron 15 7590 1395 MHz @ 80°C 1395 MHz @ 84°C
Acer Aspire 7 (A715-74G) 1552 MHz @ 70°C 1532 MHz @ 76°C
Dell G3 15 3590 1605 MHz @ 67°C 1566 MHz @ 74°C
ASUS ROG G531 1461 MHz @ 65°C 1408 MHz @ 71°C
ASUS TUF FX705 1566 MHz @ 74°C 1568 MHz @ 74°C
Acer Nitro 7 (AN715-51) 1633 MHz @ 61°C 1599 MHz @ 67°C

Thankfully, the 50W GTX 1650 seems to be really well cooled by this system. We see both high frequencies and very low temperatures, compared to most of the other notebooks we’ve tested with this GPU.

Gaming comfort

Well, after a couple of minutes of gameplay, the fans begin ramping up and the laptop becomes a bit louder than optimal. Also, we measured a temperature of above 52C on the keyboard, which is no ideal, as well.


Verdict

What is the main advantage that should convince you in buying this device? Definitely price. Having a 6-core multithreaded beast like the Ryzen 5 4600H and a GTX 1650 for around 750 bucks is a bargain. Also, you get Wi-Fi 6 support, Killer E2600, and RAID 0 support, which is a gem.

Indeed, the full plastic build brings back down all of the expectations, and the soft lid feels like it can be smeared on a slice of bread.

Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-44)’s 60Hz IPS panel (BOE NV156FHM-N48 (BOE0818)) has a Full HD resolution, comfortable viewing angles, good contrast ratio, and adequate default settings. However, it uses harmful PWM and it has poor color coverage, only displaying half of the colors found on the Internet, and its pixel response time is very slow – 30ms, which leads to ghosting and not a very pleasant experience for gaming. In our opinion, it’s definitely worth spending a bit more on a 144Hz panel if you’re going to be playing on a daily basis.

Also, the battery life is pretty standard for a gaming device – we got about 6 hours and a half of Web browsing and an hour less of video playback, so there’s nothing to write home about. However, the performance seems to be on point. No matter if you’re going to play the latest AAA titles, or you need to render a video or a 3D project, the 6-core (and ultimately the 8-core) configuration would be perfect for the job.

And as we found out in our comparison, there is little point in going for the GTX 1650 Ti, versus the non-Ti version, as the gains are definitely not going to overweight the price difference.

At the end of the day, the Nitro 5 (AN515-44), is pretty much the same machine as the Nitro 5 (AN515-55), bar the processors of choice. So if you have similar configurations on hand, just pick the best deal for you.

Pros

  • Incredible price for what you get
  • Good keyboard with decent travel, clicky feedback, and an optional RGB backlight
  • Two M.2 slots with RAID 0 support
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • 144Hz display option


Cons

  • Lacks an SD card reader and Thunderbolt support
  • Covers only 51% of sRGB (BOE NV156FHM-N48)
  • Uses aggressive PWM for brightness adjustment (our Health-Guard profile fixes the issue) (BOE NV156FHM-N48)

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-nitro-5-an515-44/

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Iyolo
Iyolo
1 year ago

Are you going to test the 144 hz panel

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

As ever,decent choice,ruined by a lacklustre display.Aware its mid market but no,just no.

John
John
1 year ago

Why does GPU-Z state that it’s 896 shaders instead of 1024 shaders that the GTX1650 (Mobile) should have? Is this a desktop version?

Last edited 1 year ago by John
H Jay
H Jay
1 year ago

How do you install a clean windows 10 on an array of NVME drives in RAID 0? Test with 64GB of [email protected]? It would be very informative if you included some more coverage on the RAID 0 with the NVME drives as tests with 64GB of memory.

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