System Performance

One of the key selling points to the Helios 300 is its standard gaming-grade hardware for its budget price. The laptop packs an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU, a combination that is used in a wide variety of gaming laptops. It's nothing new or special, but a really solid duo for near $1,000.

The i7-7700HQ is Intel's standard quad-core 45W Kaby Lake CPU that's used in most gaming laptops. It has four cores, eight threads clocked at 2.8 GHz with a maximum boost frequency of 3.8 GHz. The GTX 1060 for laptops is basically the same as the GPU used in desktops, with 1280 CUDA cores and a rated boost frequency of 1670 MHz. To go with the GPU is 6GB of GDDR5 at 8000 MHz.

The rest of the hardware is also typical for a gaming laptop. There's 16GB of DDR4 as standard, in the form of a single DIMM. As for storage, there's a range of options, the default being a 256GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive. My review unit came with slightly less SSD storage than the default, at 128GB, but for most people buying this laptop in North America, you'll get a 256GB SSD instead.

These benchmark results are not surprising whatsoever. The Acer Predator Helios 300 performs within a few percent of other laptops that use the same hardware. So yes, you are getting the same performance as a lot of other, more expensive devices.

The only real performance difference between the Helios and other gaming laptops is in storage. The Helios 300, at least in the case of my review unit, used a Toshiba SSDNow SATA M.2 SSD, which only delivered sequential read/write performance around the 360 MB/s mark. Many other laptops opt for faster PCIe NVMe drives instead, which leads to vastly superior storage performance. Acer is on a tight budget with the Helios, so they've used a slower SATA SSD instead. The good news, however, is that having an SSD is still a lot better for general OS operations than not having one, so it's great that Acer could fit one in this laptop despite its price.

As for the hard drive, it's a Toshiba 1TB 5,400 RPM drive, which again is a budget piece of hardware. A number of more expensive gaming laptops use 7,200 RPM drives instead, but the Helios' tight budget has led to a slower drive being used here.