Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) review

Acer stands a huge chance to become the best brand in the medium-budget gaming laptop segment of the market. Of course, to be the best, you have to offer the most. And the Nitro 5 in 2022 has brought one of the biggest yearly upgrades we’ve ever seen from the company.

We are not only talking about the introduction of 12th Gen Intel processors, which are undoubtedly the crop of the cream in 2022. No, the most important upgrade, which concerns gamers especially, is the bump in the TGP of its graphics cards. Last year, the 17-inch Nitro 5 (AN517-54) could be paired with a 100W version of the RTX 3070. Nowadays, you do not only get the more powerful RTX 3070 Ti, but it also features a 150W TGP.

Yes, this is a 50% increase for just one year. This indicates great efforts in the cooling department. Also, you now get a MUX switch, so you can extract the maximum out of your graphics card.

This alone would be a good reason to buy the Nitro 5. Of course, if it happens to meet the expectations. But another great aspect of this mobile computer is its display, which can go all the way up to 1440p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-nitro-5-an517-55/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) - Specs

  • BOE NE173QHM-NY6
  • Color accuracy  3.0  2.2
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 2x 2280 PCIe NVMe 4.0 x4 RAID  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 323GB
  • OS
  • Windows 11 Home, Windows 10 Home, Windows 11 Pro, Windows 10 Pro, No OS
  • Battery
  • 90Wh, 4-cell
  • Body material
  • Plastic / Polycarbonate
  • Dimensions
  • 400.5 x 294.5 x 27.9 - 28.6 mm (15.77" x 11.59" x 1.10")
  • Weight
  • 3.00 kg (6.6 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Sleep and Charge
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • 2.1
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10, 100, 1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.2
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • optional
  • Microphone
  • Microphone with Acer Purified Voice, support for Cortana
  • Speakers
  • Audio by DTS:X Ultra
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot
  • Kensington Lock

All Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, we found a huge 280W power adapter, which can easily be used to serve charcuterie. In addition, you get the mandatory paperwork, as well as the laptop itself.


Design and construction

You can’t simply make a 150W RTX 3070 Ti “affordable” laptop without making compromises. And one of them is the material of use – plastic. On the bright side, the build itself is pretty solid, with almost no flex in the base, and some marginal flex in the lid.

The laptop also feels pretty good on touch, but you have to keep in mind that fingerprints stick to it the same way Game of Thrones fans stick to south Croatia. You have to keep in mind that this laptop is a bit heavy, standing at 3 kilos, while the thickness is between 27.9 and 28.6mm.

Due to the heft of the machine and the smooth hinges, the lid can be opened with a single hand. The bezels around the screen are pretty thin, except for the bottom one. Respectively, the top one features an HD Web camera.

Moving to the base, we see a vent above the keyboard. Ultimately, the latter sports a NumberPad section, as well as a 4-zone RGB backlight. It has a reasonably long key travel and clicky-enough travel. As you can see, there are a set of highlighted keys – the WASD and the Arrow ones have the same size, which is great. In addition, you get a NitroSense key, which naturally launches the NitroSense app.

Below it, there is a touchpad, which is a bit small for the standards set by other devices in 2022. Other than that, the gliding is smooth, the clicking mechanism is comfortable, and the tracking is super fast and accurate.

On the bottom, you will find two speaker cutouts, as well as the ventilation grill. Hot air, however, is exhausted through four vents – two on the back, and one on each side.

Ports

On the left side, there is a LAN port, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an audio jack. Respectively, on the right, you get two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) ports, while the back houses an HDMI 2.1 connector, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and the power plug.


Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

To take this notebook apart, you need to undo a total of 12 Phillips-head screws. Then, pry the bottom panel with a plastic tool, starting from the front corners.

Here, we see a 90Wh battery pack. It lasts for 8 hours of Web browsing, or more than 7 hours of video playback. To take it out, unplug the battery connector, and remove the two Phillips-head screws that hold it in place.

Memory-wise, you get two SODIMM slots for up to 32GB of DDR4 memory in dual-channel mode. Interestingly, the storage options include two M.2 PCIe x4 slots, both of which work with Gen 4 SSDs, and support RAID mode.

The cooling comprises two heat pipes shared between the CPU and the GPU, one more for each of them, and a fifth one meant for the graphics card. In addition, you get four heat sinks, two fans, and a couple of heat spreaders for the VRMs and the graphics memory.


Display quality

Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) is equipped with a Quad HD 165Hz IPS panel, model number BOE NE173QHM-NY6 (BOE0A13). Its diagonal is 17.3″ (43.94 cm), and the resolution is 2560 x 1440 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 170 ppi, and a pitch of 0.15 х 0.15 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at a distance equal to or greater than 51m (20″) (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.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The measured maximum brightness of 320 nits in the middle of the screen and 302 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 10%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 7560K – colder than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K.
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 – 1160:1.

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 on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. 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 (AN517-55)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers not only 100% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976, but also 99% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. This leads to a very attractive and vibrant image.

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 in factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you see the scores of Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) with the “Gaming and 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 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 = 9 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


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.

The backlight of the Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) doesn’t use PWM to adjust its levels of brightness. This means the display is comfortable for use, without presenting any excessive eye strain in this aspect.

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.

Gloss level measurement

Glossy-coated displays are sometimes inconvenient in high ambient light conditions. We show the level of reflection on the screen for the respective laptop when the display is turned off and the measurement angle is 60° (in this case, the result is 48.3 GU).


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 (AN517-55) configurations with 17.3″ Quad HD IPS BOE NE173QHM-NY6 (BOE0A13).

*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 (AN517-55)’s speakers produce a sound of good quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are clear of deviations.


Drivers

All drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/9248?b=1

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with the 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. The 90Wh battery here lasts for 8 hours of Web browsing, or 7 hours and 11 minutes of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.


CPU options

This device is currently offered with a Core i5-12500H or Core i7-12700H.

Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) CPU variants

Here you can see an approximate comparison between the CPUs that can be found in the Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) models on the market. This way you can decide for yourself which Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) 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 R23 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)

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


GPU options

The graphics options are quite vast – you can pick from the RTX 3050 (95W), RTX 3050 Ti (95W), RTX 3060 (140W), RTX 3070 (150W), or RTX 3070 Ti (150W).


Gaming tests

Metro Exodus Full HD, Low (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Extreme (Check settings)
Average FPS 138 fps 90 fps 49 fps

Borderlands 3 Full HD, Medium (Check settings) Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Badass (Check settings)
Average fps 119 fps 102 fps 88 fps

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Full HD, High (Check settings) Full HD, Very High (Check settings) Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)
Average 130 fps 111 fps 77 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 P-core frequency; Average E-core frequency; CPU temp.; Package Power

Intel Core i7-12700H (45W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) 2.22 GHz @ 3.27 GHz @ 83°C @ 115W 3.43 GHz @ 2.71 GHz @ 82°C @ 100W 1.58 GHz @ 3.27 GHz @ 93°C @ 95W
Dell Vostro 16 7620 2.83 GHz @ 2.38 GHz @ 64°C @ 71W 2.73 GHz @ 2.24 GHz @ 70°C @ 66W 2.42 GHz @ 1.80 GHz @ 72°C @ 52W
Dell XPS 15 9520 3.18 GHz @ 2.56 GHz @ 95°C @ 87W 2.52 GHz @ 2.10 GHz @ 92°C @ 57W 2.11 GHz @ 1.70 GHz @ 81°C @ 45W
Dell Precision 17 5770 3.34 GHz @ 2.69 GHz @ 78°C @ 95W 3.30 GHz @ 2.66 GHz @ 87°C @ 92W 2.54 GHz @ 2.10 GHz @ 75°C @ 55W
MSI Pulse GL76 (12Ux) 3.29 GHz @ 2.76 GHz @ 77°C @ 97W 3.27 GHz @ 2.75 GHz @ 83°C @ 95W 3.14 GHz @ 2.68 GHz @ 86°C @ 85W
MSI Crosshair 15 (B12Ux) 3.27 GHz @ 2.67 GHz @ 84°C @ 97W 3.19 GHz @ 2.65 GHz @ 91°C @ 94W 3.05 GHz @ 2.47 GHz @ 88°C @ 80W
Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH317-56) 3.39 GHz @ 2.84 GHz @ 64°C @ 103W 3.53 GHz @ 2.76 GHz @ 71°C @ 100W 2.66 GHz @ 2.86 GHz @ 87°C @ 102W
MSI Stealth GS66 (12Ux) 3.84 GHz @ 2.82 GHz @ 83°C @ 124W 3.55 GHz @ 2.67 GHz @ 85°C @ 107W 3.19 GHz @ 2.42 GHz @ 83°C @ 85W
MSI Vector GP66 (12Ux) 3.81 GHz @ 2.91 GHz @ 81°C @ 116W 3.54 GHz @ 2.72 GHz @ 83°C @ 98W 3.30 GHz @ 2.57 GHz @ 79°C @ 86W
Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (PT516-52s) 3.25 GHz @ 2.52 GHz @ 89°C @ 80W 3.10 GHz @ 2.46 GHz @ 90°C @ 73W 2.93 GHz @ 2.38 GHz @ 91°C @ 66W

The Nitro 5 (AN517-55) uses a weird pattern with its thermal management. It runs at very low P-core clocks for most of the time, but the E-cores are boosting as high as the heat profile will allow it. Ultimately, this makes the CPU run really hot, while the performance is not that great.

Real-life gaming

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min) GPU frequency/ Core temp (Max Fan)
Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55) 1663 MHz @ 73°C @ 149W 1655 MHz @ 74°C @ 149W
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 15 G533 (2022) 1631 MHz @ 80°C @ 149W 1614 MHz @ 81°C @ 149W
Acer Predator Helios 300 (PH317-56) 1637 MHz @ 70°C @ 149W 1628 MHz @ 72°C @ 149W 1646 MHz @ 67°C @ 150W
MSI Stealth GS66 (12Ux) 1277 MHz @ 71°C @ 92W 1250 MHz @ 75°C @ 91W 1314 MHz @ 64°C @ 92W
Acer Predator Triton 500 SE (PT516-52s) 1270 MHz @ 87°C @ 115W 1200 MHz @ 87°C @ 105W 1320 MHz @ 87°C @ 113W

On the other hand, the GPU performance is astonishing. It puts to shame the ASUS ROG Strix SCAR 15 G533 (2022), which is considerably more expensive.

Gaming comfort

Yes, this happens with the help of the “Performance” preset, through the NitroSense app. This leads to high noise levels, but the highest keyboard temperature never exceeds 40°C.


Verdict

Given the weird cooling behavior in processor loads, we wouldn’t count on the Nitro 5 to be always there for us in CPU-intensive scenarios. On the other hand, the machine is extremely stable during gaming, and when you combine this with the fantastic 1440p display, you will get probably the best gaming experience for the money.

Acer Nitro 5 (AN517-55)’s IPS panel has a QHD resolution, good contrast ratio, and comfortable viewing angles. Furthermore, it covers fully both the sRGB and the DCI-P3 color gamuts. This makes the image appear really attractive. At the same time, our Gaming and Web design profile improves the color accuracy to standard-matching levels. Thankfully, the panel doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment. And gamers will be happy too since it has a 165Hz refresh rate with very quick pixel response times.

Actually, do you really need all that power? Well, if you’re going to invest in a mobile RTX 3070 Ti, you can also check out the Predator Helios 300 (PH317-56). It has a significantly better build quality, but to our surprise, it has basically the same features as the Nitro 5 we had with us today.

This means that the more affordable Nitro 5 supports RAID mode via two M.2 PCIe x4 Gen 4 slots, as well as 32GB of memory in dual-channel. For better or for worse, the RAM here is DDR4, instead of DDR5.

In addition, the I/O is also very competitive, as you get a Thunderbolt 4 port, an HDMI 2.1 connector, a LAN port, three USB Type-A ports, and an Audio jack. Indeed, the only thing missing from it is the SD card reader.

So, would we recommend the Nitro 5 (AN517-55)? Well, yes, we would. There is a couple of stuff we don’t really like, especially the super loud noise coming from the fans. However, it is present mainly when you use the “Performance” preset in the NitroSense app.

And to be honest, if you get an RTX 3070 Ti, you wouldn’t really need to use that mode, because the GPU is still one of the most powerful ones out there. Especially in its 150W iteration.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-nitro-5-an517-55/

Pros

  • Thunderbolt 4 + HDMI 2.1
  • 2x SODIMM, 2x M.2 PCIe x4 Gen 4 slots with RAID support
  • 100% sRGB coverage and accurate color representation with our Gaming and Web design profile (BOE NE173QHM-NY6 (BOE0A1A))
  • Quick pixel response times and G-Sync (BOE NE173QHM-NY6 (BOE0A1A))
  • No PWM (BOE NE173QHM-NY6 (BOE0A1A))
  • Outstanding performance


Cons

  • Weird CPU thermal management
  • Plastic build
  • Lacks an SD card reader

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