Intel hardware

Acer Nitro 5

AMD hardware

Acer Nitro 5

Though you rarely find models with a Core i7-8750H CPU at varying (often unrealistic) prices, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H CPU models are readily available and priced competitively. Intel models also come with optional NVIDIA GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti GPUs. You're going to get similar or better performance from these GPUs, but you'll likely end up paying more.

$720+ at Best Buy

Pros

  • Better performance than AMD models
  • Works with G-Sync monitors
  • Two GPU options available

Cons

  • Costs more than AMD models

Acer Nitro 5 models with AMD hardware inside, including Ryzen 5 2500U processor (CPU) and Radeon RX 560X graphics card (GPU), can generally be had for less than models with Intel hardware, but you won't quite get the same performance. Aside from that, these laptops are essentially identical when it comes to design and build quality.

$670+ at Best Buy

Pros

  • Cheaper starting price
  • Works with FreeSync monitors
  • HDD and SSD storage available

Cons

  • Not as powerful as Intel models
  • One GPU option available

Both Intel and AMD Nitro 5 laptops are physically the same, with the major differences coming from the CPU and GPU options inside. Let's take a close look at those differences to help you decide which you'd like to buy.

Acer Nitro 5 AMD vs. Intel tech specs

Nitro 5 (AMD) Nitro 5 (Intel)
OS Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Home
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
Up to 3.6 GHz
Four cores
Intel Core i5-8300H
Up to 4.0 GHz
Four cores
Intel Core i7-8750H
Up to 4.10 GHz
Six cores
RAM 8 GB DDR4 8 GB DDR4
12 GB DDR4 (Core i7)
Storage 1 TB SATA 7,200 RPM HDD
256 GB SATA SSD
1 TB SATA 7,200 RPM HDD
256 GB SATA SSD
128 GB SATA SSD (Core i7)
Display 15.6-inch IPS
FHD (1,920 x 1,080)
60 Hz refresh rate
15.6-inch IPS
FHD (1,920 x 1,080)
60 Hz refresh rate
Graphics AMD Radeon RX 560X
4 GB GDDR5 VRAM
NVIDIA GTX 1050
4 GB GDDR5 VRAM
NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti
4 GB GDDR5 VRAM
Ports Two USB-A 2.0
One USB-A 3.0
One USB-C 3.1
HDMI 2.0
RJ45 Ethernet
3.5 mm audio
SD card reader
Two USB-A 2.0
One USB-A 3.0
One USB-C 3.1
HDMI 2.0
RJ45 Ethernet
3.5 mm audio
SD card reader
Camera Front-facing 720p Front-facing 720p
Battery 48 Wh 48 Wh
Dimensions 15.35 inches x 10.47 inches x 1.05 inches
(389.89 mm x 265.94 mm x 26.67 mm)
15.35 inches x 10.47 inches x 1.05 inches
(389.89 mm x 265.94 mm x 26.67 mm)

Acer Nitro 5 AMD vs. Intel design and display

No matter which internal hardware you opt for, you're going to get the same design on the outside. It's not as slim as some of the newer gaming laptops from other manufacturers, but it's certainly not overly aggressive or garish. It has a lid with a brushed metal finish, a red accent along the back, vents along the back edge, and plenty of ports so that you can connect all your favorite gaming peripherals. On the left are Ethernet, USB-C 3.1, HDMI 2.0, USB-A 3.0, and an SD card reader, and on the right are two USB-A 2.0, a 3.5 mm audio jack, and a charging port.

Those hoping to add RAM or more storage after purchase can access the two quick-access panels on the bottom of the laptop with nothing more than a Philips-head screwdriver. Most configurations come with a free RAM slot so that you can slide in another SODIMM stick, and the 2.5-inch hard-disk drive (HDD) can be swapped out for a solid-state drive (SSD). Removing the entire back panel also gives access to an M.2 SSD slot that can be used to complement the larger 2.5-inch storage.

Intel and AMD models both come with a 15.6-inch IPS display with 1920x1080 resolution and a 60 Hz refresh rate. You're going to get the same chunky bezel and color reproduction, which hit 69 percent sRGB and 52 percent AdobeRGB in our testing. It's not the greatest display, but for the price and with the hardware inside it certainly gets the job done.

Acer Nitro 5 AMD vs. Intel performance and price

If you manage to get your hands on a Nitro 5 model with Core i7-8750H that's not ridiculously priced, you'll have the best performing Nitro 5 of the lot. However, the Core i5 and Ryzen 5 models are most likely what you'll be comparing, and between the two, performance is a lot closer. Both CPUs have four cores, but the Intel Core i5 has a higher 2.3 GHz base clock and 4.0 GHz boost clock compared to the Ryzen 5's 2.0 GHz and 3.6 GHz. You'll likely be able to squeeze more performance out of Intel's Core i5, but you'll pay at least $50 more than you would for a model with Ryzen 5.

The real performance difference — SSD, HDD, and RAM are essentially the same across the models — lies with the GPU. AMD's Radeon RX 560X has the power to play most modern AAA games between 30 and 60 frames-per-second (FPS) with lowered in-game settings, and you'll get a smooth 1080p experience from popular esports titles. Considering a Ryzen model starts at about $670 (and can also be often found on sale for cheaper), this performance might be enough if you're just getting into PC gaming or don't plan on playing any modern AAA titles with settings on Ultra.

For best performance, though, you'll no doubt want to check out the Intel model with a NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti GPU. Yes, there are also models available with a plain GTX 1050 that start at about $720, but for $80 more you'll get not just the Ti version of the GPU but a 256 GB SSD instead of a 1 TB HDD, which will boost all-around performance when booting Windows and loading and playing games. If you're worried about needing more storage, don't forget that adding a 2.5-inch drive after purchase is very easy and won't cost you much.

One final thing to consider is the monitor that you'll be using (if at all) with the Nitro 5. The built-in 15.6-inch display is not bad, but a full-sized screen is almost always preferred. If you have a FreeSync monitor lying around, the AMD hardware makes more sense, whereas if you have a G-Sync monitor available, the NVIDIA hardware will be worth the extra money.

Intel hardware

Acer Nitro 5

Superior performance at a higher price

You'll pay more for a Nitro 5 with Intel and NVIDIA hardware inside, but you'll ultimately get better performance when it comes to 1080p gaming. If a price closer to $800 doesn't bother you and you're not particularly partial to AMD hardware, you'll no doubt be happier in the long run here.

AMD hardware

Acer Nitro 5

Cheapest option available

The Nitro 5 with AMD hardware inside can be had for quite a bit less than an identical model with Intel hardware inside, but you won't get quite the same level of performance. If you need a budget gaming laptop, you'll still be able to enjoy most modern games at an acceptable framerate.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.