Dell 7577 vs Acer Helios 300? Which best for Gaming? The Dell 7577 and Acer Predator Helios 300 are fairly similarly specced gaming laptops at a similar price point, but which should you buy? Let’s compare the features of the two and run some gaming benchmarks and find out which is worth it.
Let’s start with the specs, both laptops that I’m testing with have the same Intel 7700HQ quad core CPU, and 16GB of DDR4 memory. Both have two RAM slots and can be upgraded to support up to 32GB. Here’s where things start to differ a bit, although both laptops have an M.2 SSD for the primary drive, the Dell’s is NVMe while the Helios is SATA based, so it’s slower.
Although both laptops have Nvidia 1060 graphics, the main difference that will affect gaming is that the Dell 7577 has the Max-Q version which is clocked slower, so in theory it should run cooler and quieter but not perform quite as well. Both laptops have an overall black and red theme, although the Acer laptop looks like a brushed metal, while the Dell is more of a matte. As for the size, both laptops are very close together, there’s no real noticeable difference there, while the Dell weighs slightly more than the Acer, but again it’s not a real noticeable difference. As for the IO, on the left both have a kensington lock, ethernet port, USB 3 Type-A port and full size SD card reader, the Acer also has the HDMI and USB 3.1 Type-C port on the left. Over on the right both have a 3.5mm audio combo jack, two USB type-A ports, however the Acer’s are only USB 2.0 while the Dell’s are 3.1, the Dell also has its HDMI and USB 3.1 Type-C on the right, and the Dell’s supports Thunderbolt while the Acer does not, meaning you could use an external GPU enclosure with the Dell.
Both screens are 15.6 inch 1080p 60Hz IPS panels without G-Sync, and the screen quality between the two was very close, I measured the colours produced by both and the Dell was only just slightly better. Compared to other laptops, these results aren’t as great as other options, but for a gaming laptop I think these are perfectly acceptable, and I had no issues playing on either. In my models the Dell had a little backlight bleed, while the Helios had none that I could notice, however I didn’t notice any under normal lighting conditions from either, although this will of course vary between each laptop. As for screen flex, both were pretty similar, there wasn’t a clear winner.
Keyboard flex was also pretty similar without any major difference, no problems under normal typing conditions in any case. Overall I’d say the build quality of the Dell was a bit better, it just felt more sturdy. I’d rate both keyboards about the same, I had no issues typing with either and both have red backlighting. I personally preferred the touchpad of the Dell, it was easier for me to use as I had to push down fairly hard with the Helios, though that’s not an issue if you’re using a mouse for gaming anyway.
As for the batteries, both are 4 cell however the Dell’s is slightly larger at 56 watt hours, while the Acer is 48. Just watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness and keyboard lighting disabled, the Dell lasted for about an hour longer. In gaming The Witcher 3 at medium settings capped to 30 FPS with the Dell lasted for around 10 minutes longer, so it’s larger battery is definitely helping.
In theory the Dell’s Max-Q 1060 should also use less power, which should also help it last longer in games, but this shouldn’t make a difference outside of gaming as the both laptops swap over to integrated Intel graphics. As for the temperatures I’ve tested full load by running the Heaven benchmark and Aida64 stress test at the same time. The 1060 in the Dell is running slightly cooler under full load as expected, it is Max-Q version after all, however the CPU is a little warmer, although no thermal throttling was observed with either laptop, and they’re about the same at idle.
As for overall system noise, at idle both were around the same, very quiet and I could hardly hear them. With a 100% CPU and GPU load, the Dell peaked at 49 decibels while the Acer went up to 54 decibels, although this increases to 59 if you manually max out the fans, quite a bit louder, so the Dell wins in this regard, but I’ll let you hear them for yourself.
While under full load the keyboard area heats up around the same amount in both laptops in the center towards the back, the Acer was perhaps just slightly warmer. Now let’s check out some benchmarks! In PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds the Acer Helios is coming out ahead at medium settings or above, although the difference isn’t that much. Watchdogs 2 is a pretty resource intensive game, and we’re seeing a bigger difference here with the Helios performing around 21% better than the Dell.
Rise of the Tomb Raider with the built in benchmark tool ran just under 10% better on the Helios, but the results from both were fairly decent. Shadow of War was also tested with the built in benchmark, and again the result was similar with the Helios 300 performing just under 10% better. Ghost Recon was once again tested with the built in benchmark tool, and the Helios 300 came out ahead yet again, but only by around 5% this time. I’ve also tested with the Unigine and 3DMark benchmark tools, just pause the video if you want a detailed look at the results.
As we’ve seen the Acer Helios is slightly ahead in all games, performing just over 10% better than the Dell 7577 on average, as it’s got a regular 1060 compared to the Dell’s Max-Q 1060 which is clocked lower. I’ve got a full video comparing the differences between these two graphics cards if you’re after more detailed information. We’ll just quickly look at the hard drive speeds, as we can see the NVMe SSD in the Dell give it much faster read speeds, but it’s actually slightly behind on the writes. Both have 1TB 5,400 RPM hard drives, and the one in the Acer is slightly better.
Now perhaps the most important difference, the price. Currently on Amazon, The Acer Helios 300 starts at $1,049 USD, while the Dell 7577 with matching specs is $1,199 USD, so depending on sales the Dell 7577 is about $100 to $150 more, although both are also available for even less with the 7300HQ CPU, although I haven’t tested that yet. Considering the Helios performed better in the games due to the regular 1060 rather than Max-Q, and it’s cheaper, I’m going to give it the overall win, as it’s a better bang for the buck option in terms of raw performance.
With that said however, I thought the overall build quality of the Dell was higher, and in general it ran cooler, quieter, and longer thanks to its larger battery. When it comes down to it, it depends on what your priorities are and what you’re going to be using the laptop for, but purely for gaming the Acer Helios 300 gives you around 10% more performance in the games that I’ve tested for a lower price.
So which of these two gaming laptops would you guys pick? The Dell 7577 or Acer Predator Helios 300? Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, and leave a share post if you found the comparison useful.