- Build quality, Case and design and looks
- Keyboard and Trackpad
- Sound and Speakers
- General subjective performance experience
- Gaming Performance
- Test methods and drivers
- Synthetic 3D benchmarks
- Summarized gaming performance
- Crysis 3
- Bioshock Infinite
- Civilization : Beyond Earth
- Total War : Attila
- Metro : Last Light
- Battlefield 4 Campaign
- Alien : Isolation
- World of Warships
- World of Tanks
- Shadow Of Mordor
- Dragon Age : Inquisition
- Ashes Of Singularity
- Anno 2205
- Fallout 4
- Thermals, Throttling & Noise handling
- Screen / Screen quality
- Competing gaming laptops / alternatives
++ Main reason to consider:
Excellent value and gaming performance for the price ratio, compared to the competitors
-- Main reason to avoid:
Thermals and cooling system aren’t great + PWM (could result in eyes ache)
+ The chassis does not get hot almost at all (though the CPU does heat up)
+ Very good 1080p IPS display (LG LP156WF6-SPB1)
+ Relatively low weight at 2.3kg
+ Keyboard is good (but not great) with good combination of resistance, feedback and travel depth. Touchpad is good enough.
+ Satisfying 4.0 speakers with pleasant sound for music
+ M.2 PCIe storage option
+ Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port
+ Good looks
- Screen's outer lid is not rigid enough and one should make sure it is padded when carried in a beg, say
- Only 3 USB ports (except a TB3 port)
- Fans audible even under light load with "balanced" or "High performance" mode, if the CPU works a bit
- Electrical noises from within the laptop, maybe components and build quality isn't good enough (but that's not unique to this laptop)
- Basic version comes with a 5400RPM HDD, no SSHD or SSD
- Maintenance complexity is above average
- PWM mechanism is in use for brightness control which could result in eyes ache
- Audible noise with "High Performance" power mode, even on low load
- Battery running times aren't great at around 4-5 hours for normal use
- Thunderbolt 3 top speed is unknown
- Fixed by bios updated : M.2 NVMe speed is capped at 1.5GB/s
|Model||Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro - Black Edition, VN7-592G|
|Price||As tested, $950|
|CPU||Intel Skylake I7-6700HQ, 4C/8T, 2.6-3.5GHZ, 6MB cache|
|GPU||Nvidia Geforce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5, GM107 (Maxwell I), 640 shaders, core@1097-1200MHZ, GDDR5@1252MHZ, 128-bit bus|
|Motherboard / Chipset||Acer Aspire VN7-592G / Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
2xPCI Express x1, 1xPCI Express x4, 1xPCI Express x16
|RAM||Hynix 1x8GB DDR4@2133MHZ HMA41GS6AFR8N-TF|
|Storage||HDD : Seagate ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
M.2 : total 1xNVMe PCIe x4
|LCD Panel||In review: 1080p IPS LG LP156WF6-SPB1|
|Weight / Dimensions||2.3kg (~5.07 Lbs.)
391.16 x 261.62 x 22.86 mm
15.4" x 10.3" x 0.9"
(w x d x h)
|Keyboard||Red backlit (on/off)|
|Connection Ports||right side: 1xUSB 3.0, 1xThunderbolt 3 USB-C, 1xUSB 3.0, 1xHDMI, RJ-45, power
Left: audio out/microphone, card reader, 1xUSB3.0, 1xLexington key
|WiFi / Ethernet||WiFi: Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 802.11ac
Ethernet: RealTek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC
|Speakers / Audio||4.0 speakers
Intel Skylake PCH-H - High Definition Audio Controller. Realtek?
|Bios / EC version (test unit)||1.0.1 / 1.0|
The new Acer Aspire V 15 Nitro Black Edition or VN7-592G is Acer’s new midrange gaming laptop and the successor of the VN7-591G. The VN7-591G was a good gaming laptop with good combination of feature set and gaming performance and the VN7-592G builds upon it with a new Skylake CPU, better IPS display (compared to the first version of the VN7-591G), slightly lower weight, M.2 PCIe slot and Thunderbolt 3 USB-C connection port.
The VN7-591G major problems were in the thermal department, battery performance and touchpad (read the VN7-591G review), the other issues were not so great. We’ll see how well the VN7-592G does and how much it improves over the VN7-591G.
Build quality is good for the chassis and average/mediocre for the outer lid. The base unit can be described as rather firm, but it can be bend with enough pressure – nothing too special. The display panel outer lid is not rigid, just like in the VN7-591G case. It can be bend and twisted and I would suggest making sure it is padded when carried in a beg. The laptop’s surface, including the keyboard’s surrounding surface is rather firm, which is good. Hinges feel ok.
The main unit is composed from two parts – the bottom of the laptop and the upper facing surface including the keyboard, touchpad and palm rests, just like in the VN7-591G. The design is very similar to the VN7-591G in general, but slightly different, with a different keyboard and red light between the screen and the keyboard.
Overall, average build quality for current $900-$1000 gaming laptop, I would say.
The Acer VN7-592G’s height is a little smaller compared to the VN7-591G and the design makes it look slimmer too. The base unit got some more modern design too.
Maintenance and inner parts
Maintenance can be a bit of a deal, as you have to remove the keyboard surface first (after removing the bottom screws) and do it carefully, disconnecting 3-4 small cables. Then, the 2.5″ and M.2 slots are revealed. The two RAM slots are on the other side of the motherboard, which will require removing another 5 screws (2 for expansion board, 1 for motherboard and 2 for fans) to be able to get there.
The cooling system seems to be very similar or identical to the VN7-591G cooling system, which means it’s not the most efficient cooling system, but should do the job mostly. The heatpipes are shared between the CPU and GPU. The 7559 cooling system is much better, in comparison.
Connection ports selection is outstanding compared to the competition, although it’s not extraordinary by itself. The thunderbolt 3.0 USB-C more or less makes the VN7-592G the most interesting in this area compared to the Lenovo Y700 and Dell 7559. The thunderbolt 3 can do DisplayPort, PCIe V.3 x4 and USB 3.1 altogether, so we are good here. HDMI is also included.
The motherboard itself was pretty “Soft” and easily got bent. It is not necessarily bad, but it might suggest building quality that is not meant to prevails traveling through time. There was constant “electrical noise” I was hearing, besides the HDD noise.
Keyboard. The new VN7-592G keyboard doesn’t remind me the previous VN7-591G keyboard. At first, I thought it was bad, but after a short time I got used to it and recognized that it’s actually quite nice. Feedback (knowing when you’ve clicked enough) is good and clear and resistance is good (but I’d like it to be higher), travel depth is acceptable (should have been a little better in my taste) and keys are well spaced and well textured. They’ve fixed the space bar issue of not having clear pressure point. There is a variance in experience over the keys, not all of them act the same. Response is good and typing rapidly is a no issue for me (and I’m not an expert).
The power button is now the most east-northern button, which might cause problems when people will mistakenly click it, but that shouldn’t be too big problem.
Overall, I can say that the keyboard is reaching the “good” levels and certainly above average for this segment of laptops and price (mostly because the competition is weak). The Inspiron 7559 has a lousy keyboard compared to the VN7-592G one
Touchpad. Big, pleasant textures, no problems with clicking and moving at the same time. The surface still makes problem when moving the finger forward (vs towards yourself) which is annoying, but not a lot. It seems like they’ve improved the touchpad (maybe it’s just the better drivers) and now it is a very usable touchpad. It is a little shaky though, when clicking, but not the worst thing ever.
Above average. The 4.0 speakers are located at the bottom of the VN7-592G, with the two near the rear producing the lows and the two near the front producing mids and highs. The location of the speakers results in a more muffled sound, but generally the speakers sound very nice with good mids or high-mids and the rear speakers provide good support with gentle lows. It’s not that the speakers are great or even very good, but I feel like the combination and configuration is well made, compared for their bottom location and the fact that these are laptop-level speakers. Together, they produce a nice sound, even though it’s not really accurate and obviously lack in clarity. Their location is the biggest problem, and I guess there is not a lot one can do about it, except using a cooling pad or something to elevate the laptop above the surface. Or, you can just position it in a way that lets the speakers breath.
I enjoyed very much, for example, songs like Autumn Leaves by Eva Cassidy:
Couldn’t say that about the Inspiron 15 7559.
The basic VN7-592G comes with a non-SSHD 5400RPM 1TB HDD. It’s not fast, but my experience was good enough for everyday use. Booting up and starting programs is not as fast as one would like. The M.2 slot is waiting to be housed. Acer should have used the usual SSHD for this task.
Added CPU-Z and GPU-Z screenshots.
OS : Windows 10, fully updated
Drivers: Nvidia Geforce 358.91
The new iteration of Total War : Rome II, Attila is a much more demanding game and FPSs are much lower.
Metro : Last Light is a very demanding game with AO and tessellation taking a lot of the GPU juice. It might be a matter of optimization too.
The new title from the series of “World of [some gun]” herladed by the popular World of Tanks.
The new Dota2. The characteristics of CPU and GPU usage are strange. Both are underutilized, so something is bottlenecking. But moreover, it doesn’t seem right that the CPU is so stressed in this game, especially since in many points in the game there isn’t a lot of action/effects. I suspect that the new Dota 2 engine is already being readies to Vulkan API and we are seeing here, actually, the different way things are working with Vulkan. We’ll see how my bet pan out.
The new Ashes of Singularity benchmark. I’m adding this although the game is in pre-beta stage and performance varies between updates (numbers changed even when I run a small update)
Anyway, currently DX12 code path in AoS has no advantage in terms of FPS with Nvidia card. We already know this is not the case with AMD GCN GPUs, though – read. It seems that the game is probably GPU-bound and not CPU-bound too, otherwise we would see probably differences with DX12, even slight, but there are other viable reasons too.
Games’ version: 0.62.14002
The new Fallout 4 is rather demanding, but the benefits of the high graphics presets are not clear to me. I try and test more settings soon.
I guess that the TAA Anti Aliasing and SSAO are largely responsible for the big performance hit. From my tests it seems like these settings impact isn’t that big, somehow (maybe there is a problem).
Stress tests and throttling behavior
As described before, the GPU and CPU both have two connected cooling systems and heatpipes. Cool air sucked from the bottom of the machine (hence, it’s important to keep its bottom above the sitting surface) and is thrown from th rear ventilation holes.
1. Idle, power saver mode
2. Gaming : Crysis 3 gameplay. “very high” settings with SMAAx2 For Crysis 3, “High performance” power mode.
3. Prime95 torture test. “High performance” power mode.
4. Prime95 + Furmark on 1366×768 test, AAx2. “High performance” power mode.
Thermals aren’t great in the VN7-592G, but they are as good as the previous generation VN7-591G, only that the Skylake CPU is more energy efficient. Using ThrottleStop 8.00 can help a lot and also, use of the Intel XTU to downvolt the CPU by 100mV could help the situation a lot. In this graph we see that in the Prime95 + Furmark test, the temperatures were lower than in the same test with 100mV downclock and the reason for it is that the CPU downclocked to much lower levels. Please see the throttling section below.
Throttling is an issue with the VN7-592G, much of it because of the pretty poor cooling system. However, using Intel’s XTU and ThrottleStop can negate much of the downclocking and heat problems. I’ve added the temperatures graph again, but also some screenshots and clocks graph of Crysis 3 with and without the 100mV downvolt.
Under load, the chassis itself remains pretty cool with higher temps around the area between the display and the body. I find the VN7-592G to be a very good laptop in this aspect. The areas around the “F” keys will get much warmer, where the heatpipes are.
The maximal fans speed and noise isn’t very high and even under full loads, while the fans spinning fast, the noise isn’t high or annoying, but it will interfere with the sound from the game, if the it’s not powerful enough. However, under light load, the VN7-592G fans do produce noise, even under moderate load of the CPU.
However, the VN7-592G does produce some kind of electrical noise under light load, which isn’t really a problem, but might suggest some overload of some component in the system.
The Acer VN7-592G comes with the LG LP156WF6-SPB1 1080p IPS display which is nothing new and is known to be a good display. The VN7-571G had it too.
Colors are rather good and so are viewing angles. Contrast could be better, subjectively, a feeling that is backed up by the measurements taken as the black levels are not as good as you’d want.
The screen does use PWM (source) and some people have reported the screen makes their eyes ache, so that’s a minus
The VN7-592G isn’t too efficient in terms of power consumption and tends to have high power consumption even with low system loads. This results in maximal work time of around 5 hours with “power saver” power mode and doing almost nothing (but Chrome is open, which might have effect). However, it should suffice for watching an 1080p movie, even at 60FPS, for around 3-3.5 hours, easily.
Had no big issue beyond the not so great thermals.
- Lenovo Y700 15.6″ – I5/I7 Skylake, 8-16GB DDR4, 1TB SSHD/SSD, 1080p IPS, GTX 960M. Currently overpriced prices at around $850-$950 ($850-$900 for the 250GB SSD version). Connection ports are lacking, 1080p IPS display (not great, but good), PWM for brightness control, relatively ok keyboard, good speakers.
- The Clevo N155RF 15.6″ (review), equipped with the new GTX 965M version (“GTX 965M Ti”) which is a little bit faster than the previous version. Currently priced at around around $930 (8GB RAM) and TN panel. Fans are a little capricious and the laptop generally not the quiet. Good keyboard, good selection of connection ports (no TB3 though)
- MSI PE60 6QE 15.6″ (review), ~$950-$1000 – I7-6700HQ Skylake, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB 7200RPM HDD,
very good 1080p IPS displaynot an IPS display, good keyboard (according to NBC), chassis tends to get hot, but thermals should be good enough to handle the 960M and Skylake I7. Includenots DVDRW, M.2 PCIe + 2.5″ Sata 3 and speakers are not that bad. Read the Haswell version review. Includes 2 year warranty and 1 year global warranty
- Dell Inspiron 15 7559 (review), ~$800 – I5 Skylake (4C/4T) CPU, GTX 960M 4GB, 8GB DDR3L, 1080p IPS, SSD/1TB SSHD. Gaming performance and thermals are good, maintenance is easy. However, IPS display is mediocre in IPS standards, speakers are keyboard are not good and no TB3 and M.2 PCIe.
- For $750, the Toshiba S55 with a Skylake I7, GTX 950M DDR3, 8GB RAM, 1080p display (IPS?). Not in the same gaming performance level.
- Asus GL551JW Zombie with Haswell I7, GTX 960M and IPS display for around $800. No TB3, no USB 3.1, thermals aren’t great nor the keyboard. I would tend to go with the Dell 7559 or VN7-592G instead, for the extra features and qualities.
So, the PE60 6QE and the Dell 7559 are the most interesting competitors currently. The 7559 lacks in display, keyboard and speakers. The Keyboard part is problematic unless you have no problem using an external keyboard. The screen can be replaced, but the price goes up to VN7-592G levels and you still won’t get M.2 PCIe and TB3 and acceptable speakers like in the VN7-592G. Battery performance can be almost as twice as long with the 7559 compared to the VN7-592G, under light load, so that’s a win for the 7559. Also, the 7559 didn’t make the strange noises the VN7-592G and it comes with an SSHD or SSD (both for around the same price)
The MSI PE60 6QE is a rather interesting proposition. It is actually more interesting than the GE62 currently, strangely, as a gaming laptop. The good feature set (keyboard, acceptable speakers, M.2 PCIe), performance and display make it a good option, but it depends on the price really.
So, the Acer Aspire VN7-592G shows good gaming results and displays relatively good feature set including TB3, M.2 PCIe. The 1080p IPS display is good with high brightness, good enough contrast are high color palette coverage. The keyboard, although different from the VN7-591G’s keyboard, is good too if you give it some time. Speakers produce pleasant sound. Chassis doesn’t get hot under full load or gaming load almost at all – not the keyboard surface nor the bottom. The weight is also relatively low at 2.3kg.
The VN7-592G drawbacks are the thermals and build quality maybe. The CPU can get overheated under high CPU + GPU loads, but it can be mended by disabling TurboBoost via ThrottleStop and a little more with downvolting of the CPU (via Intel’s XTU). With “High Performance” Windows power mode, the fans are audible even under light load (like writing this post). The cooling system should have really been more serious, maybe like the 7559 cooling system. In hotter days it might prove more problematic than currently, when it is not as hot here. The build quality is a matter I’m not sure about. I do hear electrical kind noises when the system is loaded, but that’s also true for many other laptops. The 5400RPM HDD is drawback too, but can be replaced or aided by an M.2 drive.
Battery performance isn’t great and the VN7-592G is surpassed easily by the 7559 which also has much higher capacity battery, but also higher efficiency under light load (like reading/writing)
Overall, I find this laptop very compelling a as combination of performance and feature set. I would like to see an I5 version which would be considerably less prone to heat. The competitors, as described in the “alternatives” section are mostly the Dell 7559, MSI PE60 6QE (and GE62), Lenovo Y700 and the old Asus GL551JW that is currently selling for like $800 with a Haswell CPU. I do find the PE60 to be the most interesting, as it also has a good keyboard, good enough thermals, good enough speakers, very good 1080p IPS display and M.2 PCIe. It also has a USB 3.1 Type-C (but no TB3), so you lose the Thunderbolt 3. I don’t know the real qualities yet, so it might be a flop like the PX60. I’m also not sure about the thermals with an I7 CPU. We need to wait for a review, but the VN7-592G doesn’t have real competition here, although you can say they almost match, remembering that the PE60 comes with 2 year warranty and not just 1.
So, bottom line, for the current price of $900 I think this is currently my recommended laptop thanks to the feature set and performance, but open your eyes for new models or good discounts, because the VN7-592G still lacks in the thermals department.
Thinking about it again, it really depends on your preferences. Pasting the 7559 conclusion: “VN7-592G review is here and the conclusion is that it has better display overall, better speakers, better keyboard (all noticeable) and better feature set (M.2 PCIe, Thunderbolt 3 USB-C), but the 7559 is considerably cheaper at $760 (and same gaming performance), has much better thermals and lower noise, much better battery performance and more appealing default storage device (SSHD/SSD vs 5400RPM HDD in the VN7-592G). So, it is really a matter of thinking what you prefer. For some, the keyboard is a no-issue, speakers are not that important (like, for me) and display is also not an issue because they use an external monitor or because it can be replaced.
Weigh the advantages and disadvantages and make a choice.”