Last week I was invited to AMD here in NYC to take a look at some of their newest laptops and workstations that are right on point and just in time for the upcoming “Back to School” craze. AMD showcased some impressive machines from some of your favorite manufacturers. HP, Dell, Asus and Acer all had variations of the AMD Ryzen CPU’s running Windows 10. AMD looks poised to make more of a mark with lower priced CPU’s that offer similar performance than their Intel counterparts at a significantly lower price.

Since my focus is primarily on gaming, I spent some time with two machines that AMD had exclusively for gaming. Coincidentally, they were both Acer machines. The Acer Nitro 5 and the Acer Predator Helios 500 are two of the newest in the Acer gaming laptop line to sport the Ryzen 5 and 7 processors respectively.

SPECS

The spec rundown on both of these machines goes like this. The Nitro 5 is an affordable mid range gaming laptop that gives you a pretty good gaming experience while being more practical for everyday use and travel which is helpful if you also happen to be a student. The best part? The Nitro 5 is super affordable. The full specs are below:

Windows 10 Home
AMD Ryzen 5/7
15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 IPS
AMD Radeon RX 560X with 4 GB Dedicated Memory
8GB DDR4 RAM Memory (Upgradable to 32GB)
256GB SSD (Upgradable to 512GB SSD, PCIe support, NVMe/SATA)
Acer CoolBoost Technology
Dolby Audio Premium
Red Backlit keyboard
USB 3.1 Type-C

The Acer Predator Helios 500 is another level of PC laptop. This machine is designed to be a desktop replacement. When you take a look at this beast of machine you’ll see why. This machine is geared specifically towards the more hardcore or consistent gamer. Those gamers who play games that require high framerates and screen refresh rates. PUBG, Fortnite and CS:GO players will love this machine. It’s not necessarily what you would call affordable in comparison to the Nitro 5 but it’s competitively priced if not priced better than similar machines in its category thus making this an ideal machine for the student/gamer or just the gamer. Spec wise this machine is loaded and it still has more room for customization and upgrades if you see fit. The full specs for this machine are below:

AMD Ryzen 7
17.3″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 IPS
16GB DDR4 RAM Memory
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 with 8 GB Dedicated Memory
1TB HDD or 256GB SSD
Backlit RGB keyboard with anti-ghosting 18 keys
HDMI 2.0
G-SYNC or FREESYNC
144Hz display or 4K
Overclockable

AMD is here for the student and gamer this coming back to school season. While AMD had quite a few machines with impressive hardware at their showcase, I’m here for the gamer. These two new machines offer a stable and capable processor that can handle your needs as a student while allowing you to be able to seamlessly game with no problem. One machine is far more capable than the other but AMD addresses the casual and hardcore gamer with these two machines. While Intel does a great job with their CPU’s they aren’t always affordable, this is where AMD comes in and competition is good. AMD is here to stay and they’re making an impact with quality and affordable machines.

AMD doesn’t just have their Ryzen 5 and 7 CPUs available for just laptops. If you’re more of a hands on person and you want to build a machine then their CPUs are available for purchase for the desktop/workstation crowd. Hopefully, I’ll have my hands on one of these machines I spoke about or doing an AMD Ryzen build in the near future. I’ll keep you posted. If you want to know more about what AMD has going on, you can check them out on YouTube HERE or if you’re more focused on the Ryzen CPUs then you check them out on their website HERE

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Mike Bitter is a born gadget head and true lover of technology. It all started with computer classes at age 10 and his first PC the Tandy 1000. From then on he found his love and he became a gamer and a PC builder and has not stopped since. He specializes in hardware, troubleshooting and custom PC building. He’s known as the “fixer” amongst his friends whenever there is a problem with a PC or a Mac. He’s also fully immersed in all things that pertain to the world of computers and gaming. He's an 80's baby and he grew up watching technology evolve from the NES to PS4 and from the Commodore 64 to the iMac. He has a unique and minimalist perspective on technology and is here to help the average person to understand technology today.