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Major Problems with Predator Helios 500 AMD

MilesBHuffMilesBHuff Posts: 7Member

Tinkerer

edited November 2018 in Predator Laptops
- One of the M.2 slots doesn't work.  This seems to be a problem for everyone with this model.  I did not fork over $2000 for faulty hardware.  This is a dealbreaker.  I was promised two functioning NVMe M.2 slots when I purchased this machine.
- PredatorSense automatic fan control is irredeemably broken.  My CPU and GPU rise above even 70'C with it on Auto, yet setting it to manual at a little above halfway is enough to get temps down to 40'C.  There is no way to modify curve of the Auto setting, meaning that I have to manually control my fans.  This is a dealbreaker.
- The M.2 slots are always above 55'C.  There are no perforations in the bottom cover to keep them cool.
- The BIOS screen is insultingly simple, and anything I'd want to change is locked down.  Acer, we paid $2000 for a gaming laptop;  we did not pay for a netbook's BIOS.
- This issue is minor, but the keyboard colours are not accurate.
I am *this* close to returning this laptop and leaving horrible reviews anywhere I can.  This product is unacceptable.  And terrible customer support did not help.

Best Answer

  • quadcricketquadcricket Posts: 15

    Tinkerer

    Accepted Answer
    Just posting to say that the second m.2 slot in the AMD Helios 500 is verified as being SATA M.2 ONLY. I currently have a WD 1TB M.2 drive in there now. The laptop does work great gaming in Windows 10 but for whatever reason the GPU performance is very poor in Linux. I use it for work in Linux and I honestly love the performance for work since the AMD CPU is very powerful and my (upgraded to) 48 gigs of RAM is insane for multitasking. If Acer could just give us Linux users a little support I would sing their praises. As of now, however, better to wait for another manufacturer to create a decent AMD notebook and go with them.

FAQ & Answers

  • SfinxSfinx Posts: 11Member

    Tinkerer

    Can add here that Predator Linux community is totally ignored by Acer. No sound, suspend & charging work at P500 AMD with any latest LTS distro. You can't even update BIOS without using windoze. Acer, all modern BIOS'es allow updating just from themselves, no OS needed. Seems like your engineers have to buy any Asus m/b laptop and learn this. This was the last time I've bought anything from Acer - your laptops just do not works for me as for Linux user with exact zero support at the current time.
  • vanadiumvanadium Posts: 68Member Devotee

    No problem with my M2 SSDs (installed Samsung 970 Evo in 2nd slot without any issue), both stay at 35°C under Ubuntu 18.04LTS. CPU stays at 42-45°C when performing light tasks. Not sure if the problem is the laptop in your cases.
  • MilesBHuffMilesBHuff Posts: 7Member

    Tinkerer

    edited November 2018
    Vanadium, it looks like you're on the Intel/Nvidia version, per the link you sent.  The AMD version is the one with a broken M.2 slot.
    My CPU is also around the mid-to-lower 40s when performing light tasks, but it went to 75'C when I played Guild Wars 2.

    Sfinx, at this point I just assume I'm on my own with Linux, with any OEM.
    The latest LTS of Ubuntu doesn't support the WiFi card or audio, but iirc the latest kernel supports at least the former.  Have you tried something more recent?  An always-current rolling-release distro like Arch would be a good way to make sure everything is cutting-edge.

    Oh, and something I forgot to complain about above:  middle-clicking by pressing both the left and right buttons at the same time does not work in Windows, and it looks like the touchpad is generally disabled during typing, which makes gaming awkward, since you can't always move the camera while walking.  (I worked around this with AutoHotKey, but it's not the same, and it shouldn't be necessary.)
  • SfinxSfinx Posts: 11Member

    Tinkerer

    vanadium said:

    No problem with my M2 SSDs (installed Samsung 970 Evo in 2nd slot without any issue), both stay at 35°C under Ubuntu 18.04LTS. CPU stays at 42-45°C when performing light tasks. Not sure if the problem is the laptop in your cases.
    Well, disconnect headset and buy external  CM108 is not proper solution for $2k laptop - it sounds like total fail. So it is not clear if you follow the current thread subject which is about AMD laptop version.
  • SfinxSfinx Posts: 11Member

    Tinkerer


    Sfinx, at this point I just assume I'm on my own with Linux, with any OEM.
    The latest LTS of Ubuntu doesn't support the WiFi card or audio, but iirc the latest kernel supports at least the former.  Have you tried something more recent?  An always-current rolling-release distro like Arch would be a good way to make sure everything is cutting-edge

    Oh, and something I forgot to complain about above:  middle-clicking by pressing both the left and right buttons at the same time does not work in Windows, and it looks like the touchpad is generally disabled during typing, which makes gaming awkward, since you can't always move the camera while walking.  (I worked around this with AutoHotKey, but it's not the same, and it shouldn't be necessary.)

    I do not have problems with wifi - it is working fine at least at Ubuntu 18.04 with latest kernels. The current show stoppers under Linux for me are:

    - charge indication do not works - it is stucked at boot state or shows discharging state always
    - resume after suspend always makes the system unusable due to stuck with garbled screen [reboot needed]
    - any screen blank will make CPU locked at 500Mhz forever (!?) [reboot needed]
    - at BIOS >= v1.06 the Disable Secure boot option is unaccessible [always greyed]

    Are the above is working for you at Arch ? Can you suspend/resume the P500 AMD whithout issues ? Does the charging indicator work for you ?
  • MilesBHuffMilesBHuff Posts: 7Member

    Tinkerer

    edited November 2018
    I've only used live USBs so far -- if I can't RMA the laptop, then I'll be waiting until the other M.2 slot works before I install Linux.  So I'm afraid I don't know.
    I do know, however, that on the stock BIOS, I can disable Secure Boot without issue.
  • MilesBHuffMilesBHuff Posts: 7Member

    Tinkerer

    edited November 2018
    Sfinx, after re-reading Vanadium's post, I think I know why you can't disable Secure Boot -- you need to have an Administrator Password set in the BIOS, for some reason.  I always set one on all of my computers, which is why I never had trouble disabling Secure Boot.
  • SfinxSfinx Posts: 11Member

    Tinkerer

    Sfinx, after re-reading Vanadium's post, I think I know why you can't disable Secure Boot -- you need to have an Administrator Password set in the BIOS, for some reason.  I always set one on all of my computers, which is why I never had trouble disabling Secure Boot.
    Be sure, the Admin password is set. The exact story:

    - laptop came with v1.05 BIOS
    - Admin password was set, Secure Boot can be disabled
    - upgraded to v1.06 BIOS (hoped it fixes suspend issues) and Secure Boot Disable option became inactive
  • vanadiumvanadium Posts: 68Member Devotee
    edited November 2018
    Sfinx said:
    Well, disconnect headset and buy external  CM108 is not proper solution for $2k laptop - it sounds like total fail. So it is not clear if you follow the current thread subject which is about AMD laptop version.
    Not my fault if the sound chip shipped with this laptop is totally *****. Same for the Wifi card (Killer Doubleshot) which is painful to run on Linux. This is usually the case when you buy top of the edge brand new laptops. Linux usually runs well out of the box for laptop at least one year. Complain to Acer if you're not happy, i'm just a customer.

    Should I mention Linux is free and maintained by passionate people who sometimes do this on their free time.
  • strider16strider16 Posts: 64Member Devotee
    I have an helios 300 572, that simple bios left me thinking if this laptop were really designed in this decade.


  • fejermfejerm Posts: 97Member Fixer
    edited November 2018
    That simple BIOS is to make sure idiots dont screw up something and then run to RMA it. 
    If you really want all functions simply unlock the Insyde BIOS and then flash the modded BIOS with an RT809F SPI programmer. 
  • Nalan91Nalan91 Posts: 3Member New User
    Same issue here. Did they solve it ????. With Ubuntu 18.04 with kernel upgrade wifi works fine and with alsamixer sound ok. But the major issue with m2 slot. 
    Please update 
  • ladykterinaladykterina Posts: 1Member New User
    edited February 7
    I recently bought a Predator helios for win, i am having major problems with Guild wars 2, it keeps giving me a black screen or just closing the game. SOmetimes my Chrome shuts down while i am browsing 9gag, like no reason, it just closes. I deleted the Norton trial i had on it. I used the trobleshooting compatibility for the game but it still has problems. Any ideas if this is a software problem or did i get a malfunctioning computer? I payed a lot for this laptop and i have to say i am very diss apointed that there are a lot of problems occuring. I am seriously thinking to take it back and get a refund.
  • MilesBHuffMilesBHuff Posts: 7Member

    Tinkerer

    ladykterina, I had no problems playing Guild Wars 2 on this computer. I think it might just be yours.
  • xapimxapim Posts: 2,475ACE Pathfinder
    I recently bought a Predator helios for win, i am having major problems with Guild wars 2, it keeps giving me a black screen or just closing the game. SOmetimes my Chrome shuts down while i am browsing 9gag, like no reason, it just closes. I deleted the Norton trial i had on it. I used the trobleshooting compatibility for the game but it still has problems. Any ideas if this is a software problem or did i get a malfunctioning computer? I payed a lot for this laptop and i have to say i am very diss apointed that there are a lot of problems occuring. I am seriously thinking to take it back and get a refund.
    First of all what is the exact model and specs as there is no point stating the issues if we do not know the exact specs to be able to help in some way


    https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/11532543

    UserBenchmarks: Game 43%, Desk 61%, Work 40%
    CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ - 63.5%
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050-Ti (Mobile) - 41.9%
    SSD: WDC WDS200T2B0B-00YS70 2TB - 71.4%
    HDD: WD WD10SPZX-00HKTT0 1TB - 93.7%
    RAM: Kingston HyperX DDR4 2666 C15 2x16GB - 76.8%
    MBD: Acer Predator G3-572

    I'm not an Acer employee. (just here to help in the best way i can)
    If my answer fixed you issue please accept it for any other users who search for it would find it quickly thanks :)
    If you want to learn more about undervolting/optimizing windows join the Predator fb group and youtube channel:

    Owner/Admin (HOTEL HERO/Red-Sand/Opoka Opoka)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1969145569968592/
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNJwGUHxSJ8FKqAhnOqQuAw
    Acer support:
    https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/service-contact
    http://www.acer.com/worldwide/support/  


  • quadcricketquadcricket Posts: 15Member

    Tinkerer

    Accepted Answer
    Just posting to say that the second m.2 slot in the AMD Helios 500 is verified as being SATA M.2 ONLY. I currently have a WD 1TB M.2 drive in there now. The laptop does work great gaming in Windows 10 but for whatever reason the GPU performance is very poor in Linux. I use it for work in Linux and I honestly love the performance for work since the AMD CPU is very powerful and my (upgraded to) 48 gigs of RAM is insane for multitasking. If Acer could just give us Linux users a little support I would sing their praises. As of now, however, better to wait for another manufacturer to create a decent AMD notebook and go with them.
  • fireedofireedo Posts: 2Member New User
    same here, with the latest kernel using Arch linux as a rolling release distro still problem with helios 500 (AMD) exist.
    I have to re-plugging power cord to the laptop to avoid stuck at 500 MHz, WiFi and sound work OOTB. Seems like linux distro (I also try using Ubuntu 19.04) recognize this laptop when power plugging as powered by battery so the clock speed stay at 500Mhz all the time but when I unplugging the cable than the clock speed working normal. Solution for now is plug and un-plug power cord solve the clock speed problem, but still linux system doesnt recognize charging and discharging.
    About the second M.2 slot is a SATA if you already use NVMe drive in another slot.
  • redyoshi49qredyoshi49q Posts: 1Member New User
    Sfinx said:

    - charge indication do not works - it is stucked at boot state or shows discharging state always
    - resume after suspend always makes the system unusable due to stuck with garbled screen [reboot needed]
    - any screen blank will make CPU locked at 500Mhz forever (!?) [reboot needed]

    I am able to confirm both of these issues on Linux Mint 19.1, with a note that the charge indicator seems to sometimes work correctly for a period of time after booting. I am also able to confirm that an updated kernel will allow the built in speakers and wifi to work correctly (I'm using linux kernel version 5.0.0-23-generic).

    In the case that these two issues are software/firmware related rather than hardware related, I'd be willing to provide diagnostic information relating to the issues outlined in the quoted post.
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