The Best (?) Budget Gaming Laptop

– Hey guys, this is Austin.
Usually when you’re talking
about a gaming laptop,
you’re pretty much in
the $1,000-plus budget.
Now there’s nothing wrong
with high-end gaming laptops.
Not only do you get all the
fun toys like, you know,
high-end displays with high
refresh rates and RTX graphics,
but you also get some of the
nicest designs out there.
However, not everyone wants
to spend 1,000, 2,000,
even $3,000 when it
comes to a gaming laptop,
and that is where Acer’s Nitro 5 comes in.
There’s definitely something to a laptop
that you can take to
work or school all day
and yet still come home
and play some games
without breaking the bank.
Now specifically what I have
here is the all-AMD version,
so it’s got a Ryzen processor
as well as RX graphics.
However, you should definitely
keep an eye on those prices.
So I was able to pick
this guy up for $570,
and at less than 600 bucks,
there’s a lot to like.
What’s not so hot, though,
is that sometimes this laptop
spikes up to around $700,
and at that kind of price,
it’s a little bit of a harder sell,
so definitely be sure to keep an eye out
for when the sales are,
and, well, just don’t
overpay for the laptop.
Take a look around the Nitro 5,
and it absolutely looks the part
of a much more expensive gaming laptop.
It’s all red and black,
it’s built reasonably well,
and you even have a back-lit keyboard
which is a nice touch at the price.
Now the bezels definitely
are on the larger side,
and the screen isn’t
anything all that special.
So it is a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS panel,
so it’s good, it’s decent,
but it doesn’t have any kind
of high-end bells and whistles
such as that high refresh rate.
But, I mean, we’re talking
about less than 600 bucks.
It is hard to complain about this stuff.
This screen is totally fine.
You also get a solid selection of ports.
Not only is there USB-C and Ethernet,
but you also have plenty
of USB-A ports, HDMI.
There’s even an SD card reader.
Now, at almost six pounds,
this is certainly not a thin
and light gaming laptop.
It’s a little bit on the thicker side,
and yes, it is made
entirely out of plastic,
but honestly, it does
feel reasonably sturdy.
I really wouldn’t worry about
leaving this in my bag all day.
It’s what’s inside that’s
really interesting.
Now there is a standard Core i5
and GTX 1050 version of this laptop.
What I have here is the pure AMD version,
Ryzen 5 2500U as well as a Radeon RX 560X.
This is straight-up not a combo
that I’ve pretty much ever seen before,
but you know what, it’s actually not bad.
Sure, the Ryzen 5 does fall behind
the higher-wattage Core i5.
When you look at the graphics
compared to the GTX 1050,
it’s actually a slight bit faster,
which is especially impressive considering
we basically never see
AMD graphics in laptops.
Performance-wise, when you get
into a game like Overwatch,
it’s really no problem.
So right now on 1080p on Medium settings,
we’re getting a very consistent 60 FPS.
This makes sense, right?
This is the kind of performance
that you would expect out of something
that’s roughly the
equivalent to a GTX 1050.
It’s not the most powerful
thing in the world,
you won’t be able to
play everything on Ultra,
but games like this are 100% playable.
So we were about to start
playing Apex Legends
until I realized that this was using
the integrated GPU instead
of the actual RX 560,
so I’m gonna try to fix that real quick.
So this actually does bring
me to one of the issues
that I found with this system
in that the driver situation
is all over the place.
So this does have AMD graphics,
it was included with that Ryzen processor
as well as the Radeon graphics,
but the issue is that even though
they’re going to be fixing this soon,
right now you just can’t
go to the AMD website
and download drivers.
You actually have to get them
specifically from the OEM,
which in this case is Acer.
Oh, hi, Austin from the future here,
back with an important update.
So of course the day after
we filmed that segment,
well, AMD dropped that driver update
that they have promised,
so now you can go straight
to the AMD website
and download all the drivers
you need for the Nitro 5,
and importantly, it looks like
Apex Legends is now working.
With everything cranked to 1080p Medium,
I can see if we pull up Task Manager
that the 560 is running it 80, 90% load.
It looks like we should be good now.
All right, that’s definitely better.
So, yeah, with a mixture of Medium
and a couple of Low settings,
we’re pretty close to a 60 FPS lock now.
With the driver issue fixed,
this is a much more usable laptop,
so disregard everything I
said earlier, it’s fine now.
So it does look like Fortnite
is properly supporting the 560X.
So I hop into my settings here.
I am able to run at 1080p on High,
and now let’s see how
it actually performs.
Oh, wow (laughing).
We just need to make a montage
of me dying in Fortnite.
I mean, this is fine, like,
it was running 50 frames per second
until I got shot in the face.
Upgrading is pretty easy,
although it is a little
bit on the limited side.
So with a single screw on the bottom,
you can upgrade the RAM,
so by default this guy
comes with eight gigs,
although it’s me, I’m
definitely gonna upgrade to 16.
Not only is that just nice to have,
but also considering that we’re
running a Ryzen processor,
having fast dual channel memory
can make a big difference.
Then there’s the hard drive.
So by default, this comes
with a one terabyte drive,
and that’s fine, it’s kinda decently quick
as far as hard drives go, but it’s 2019
and you guys should know
my stance on hard drives.
Just no.
Just say no to hard drives.
Thankfully, upgrading
this is also super-easy.
Again, it’s just one screw
behind the door on the bottom,
and I think it’s actually
a pretty worthwhile upgrade
to go to something like a 500-gig SSD.
It’s not that expensive,
and it’ll give you a ton of capacity,
but importantly, you’re
gonna get that SSD speed.
Now as this is a gaming laptop,
battery life isn’t
exactly the strong suit.
Now it is actually pretty decent
for a gaming laptop like this.
I was able to get around four
to five hours of standard use,
but of course you have to keep in mind
that you’re going to need a charger
if you really want to take this out
for a full day of proper use,
and especially if you’re gaming.
I mean, you’re definitely gonna need it.
So when it comes to the Nitro 5,
it is all down to the price.
Now at $570, with just
a couple of upgrades,
this is absolutely my
favorite budget gaming laptop
that I’ve taken a look at all year.
Unfortunately, if you’re
paying upwards of $600,
the value proposition
becomes a lot sketchier,
so it really does kind of depend on
where you’re able to find this
and how expensive it is.
Once they get those AMD
driver issues sorted out,
there’s a lot of potential
with the Nitro 5.
(children cheering)


  1. Will this be able to run unity? I'm looking to learn game development, and my current laptop can't even render a cube falling.

  2. Is it worth it????? Because I want to buy fallout 4 for the mods because the only mods I get are on ps4

  3. Hello
    I know nothing about gaming laptops. But i really need one
    Will this be the best option i have?
    My maximum budget is 600 dollars. It's never too late to reply to me. Thank you

  4. Hey Austin I don’t intend to be a ass but every website I visited was selling it for 1000 or just over… (maybe it’s because I’m in Canada I don’t f#*%in know)

  5. I have the newest nitro 5 I’ve had it for a week and It was running fortnite and other games at 60fps but a couple days ago it dropped to 30fps and the other games too but when I plug the charger in it goes back to 60 FPS someone help

  6. Hey Austin… Quick question… I can buy this laptop with everything AMD for €500,- used… What do you think i should do… I am looking for a laptop mainly for school and to play some games i can't play on PS4…

  7. I just bought my Nitro 5 core i5 9th generation two days ago. There a times that when i start the system, tye screen is blank while keyboard is lighting. I can't put my passwords coz the screen is black, is this a problem or i just need to check power setting?

  8. Guys!! Please someone with someone with some knowledge of this laptop help me out! Would this be able to run rainbow six siege and other games like it!? Are there any other recommendations you have? Please help I have no idea lol! <3

  9. I used to play Fortnite and i used custom settings on it, it got 30 fps when not charging, and 100-125 FPS while charging and it never frame dropped

  10. That is a nice laptop but i am going for the Asus version that uses the Ryzen 5 3550H which should be a lot better when gaming.

  11. Is this laptop good for running GTA 5, Rocket League, Minecraft, Fortnite? Also how long will this be a good computer because I need a long term gaming/Hw laptop. any comment pls?

  12. how is that rx560 running 50-60 fps on high setting fortnite, i have a 1050 and it runs 80 fps high settings and 45-55 fps on highest 1080p

  13. I need this i fund best buy sells this to 599 at sales. Im tryna play minecraft on my mac its good but not good for a lite setting shader pack sildurs vibrant shaders lite. Im hoping that this is enough for 60 FPS on it so i have smooth gameplay

  14. I own a nitro 5 (i5 version) and i dont like it bcoz-
    It is quite heavy- 2.8kg where as Asus tuf is cheaper and weight's 2.2kg
    Keyboard- I simply hate it. The keys are quite hard and my fingers start paining when tpying

  15. My uncle bought this laptop for me but he didn't come to my country. So im waiting for this laptop to have

  16. I have it can play fortnite at 160 fps on High settings i hooked it up with a 240hz monitor it is amazin 160 fps is great

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