Acer E 15 E5-575G Review (GT 940MX, I5-U)

++ Main reason to consider:

Relatively good value/price compared to competition

-- Main reason to avoid:

Going to be absolute in a short time, plus for a little more you can get a lot more 3D performance

Availability

Around $500-$550

Pro : + The display has very good color coverage, better than many IPS displays
+ GT 940MX can run many games pretty well on 768p
+ Can handle most of current games, thermally
+ Very quiet
+ M.2 slot + 2.5" SATA bay
+ USB type-C
+ Good hinges
+ In this specific version - 250GB SSD included
+ You can squeeze close to 9-10 hours of light work
Con : - 3D performance isn't that high and not suitable for high FPS games
- No mDP, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 gen2, Thunderbolt 3, only three USB 3.0 ports
- Display quality isn't good, with mostly high black levels and bad contrast, as well as bad vertical viewing angles (which is less of a problem)
- Cooling system should be better. Can't handle the very high 3D load. CPU can go above 90C easily
- No option to control fan speed, which stays on lower speed most of the time, even when high speed is needed
- The upper surface gets quite warm under high loa, like gaming, including keyboard and palm rests
- M.2 slot won't do PCIe v.3 x4
- Outer lid build quality could be better
- Touchpad is so-so
- Speakers produce fuzzy and confusing

Introduction

Acer E15 E5-575G

The Acer E15 E5-575G-53VG is in for a review! This specific model comes with a GT 940MX 2GB GDDR5, I5-6200U (Skylake), 250GB SSD, 1x8GB DDR4 2133MHZ RAM. It also equipped with an 1080p TN panel (and not the worst I’ve seen). This model goes for around $500-$550 currently, but there are other models with a 1TB 5400RPM for as low as $450, which would be my recommendation is you can install SSD yourselves.

Well, the E5-575G offers a nice combination of performance and features for $550 and though it’s not a lot, it is better than most of the other options for around $500-$550 (at most!). I’d definitely recommend going for $50-$100 and get one of the much faster laptops for gaming, for those who want considerable performance bump.

OK, let’s see how it goes

ComponentDescription
Model NamesAcer E15 E5-575G-53VG
PriceBasic version: $550 (250GB SSD), $450-$500 (1TB 5400RPM)
CPUI5-6200U (2.3GHZ-2.8GHZ, 15W), 2C/4T
MotherboardAcer Ironman_SK / Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
2xPCI Express x1, 1xPCI Express x4
GPUNVIDIA GeForce 940MX 2GB GDDR5, 512 shadars core@860MHZ, GDDR5@1.25GHZ, 64-bit bus
RAMKingston 1x8GB DDR4@2133MHZ ACR21D4S15HAG/8G
2 banks of memory available totally
StorageHDD : 1x2.5" SATA bay, 1xM.2 "M" key (but motherboard has only PCIe v.3 x1 for it)
SSD: KINGSTON RBU-SNS8152S3256GG2 SATA M.2 SSD
LCD PanelIn review: 1080p 15.6", N156HGE-EAL CMN N156HGE-EAL, 30-pin eDP
Weight / Dimensions~2.39kg / 5.27 lbs, PSU 0.1kg
381 x 259.1 x 23.88-30.23 mm
15.0” x 10.2” x 0.94-1.19”
(w x d x h)
Keyboardwhite backlit, on/off
Connection Portsright side: power in, DVDRW, USB 2.0, audio out
Left: Kensington Lock, USB 3.1 gen1 Type-C, RJ-45, VGA, HDMI, 2xUSB 3.0
Rear: none
Front: Card Reader
Camera1280x720@30FPS camera
WiFi / EthernetWiFi: Atheros/Qualcomm QCA9377 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter
Ethernet: RealTek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Speakers2 speakers
Battery6 cell, 59Wh (desgined 62Wh)
Bios / EC version (test unit)V1.12 /
Extra featuresEmbedded TPM 2.0
more details

Build quality, Case, design and looks

Well, compared to the previous generation I’ve tested with GT 840M (this one), the E5-575G build quality is much better. The screen outer lid that protects the screen is relatively firm and can hold its own against some relatively high pressure. The hinges feel relatively well (screen does not wobble), base unit is not easily twisted. However, keyboard surface will yield under not-so-high pressure and I guess some people will feel it. Also, the screen plastic can be twisted (as in many other, much more expensive, laptops). When Opening the laptop, the motherboard could be mistakenly lifted up with the bottom cover (but it’s not likely).

Overall, I’d say that the chassis build quality seems to be at least acceptable for such a laptop.

Looks

Very simple plasticy looks. The keyboard surface and the outer lid have metal finish, which is nice

 

Maintenance and inner parts

Maintenance is a mixed bag. The Maintenance door is held by three screws. The door hides the two DDR4 slots, the SATA M.2 and 2.5″ SATA bays. To open it completely, you’ll have to remove another ~10 screws, use some tool (like a credit card) to take off the bottom cover, and remove another two screws, as well as 3 screws under the DVDRW.

Acer E15 E5-575G motherboard

CPU and GPU are soldered in this machine. They are both cooled by one pipe and one fan.

Keyboard and touchpad

Keyboard. The keyboard can be described as average. Some of the keyboard surface will yield under some pressure and some parts of the keyboard’s surface won’t (but it’s not that bad). The keys are well spaced, travel depth isn’t high enough, feedback a is low, but resistance and reposnse are relatively good. I’d say that’s it’s not horrible, but certainly not a good keyboard – something like an average for such laptops. I didn’t feel it was too annoying to use it, but certainly I could feel the difference from typing on a relatively good keyboard, like the Latitude E7440’s keyboard.

Touchpad. The touchpad is basic, with surface that will make your finger “stuck” sometimes, if you don’t press it right. I’d say it’s average.

Sound & Speakers

Pretty Fuzzy. The 2 speakers of the E5-575G sound pretty fuzzy and sound is all over the place. I did use it for music and I could enjoy it, but it was really an effort, Nothing really to say, Acer saved some bucks on the speakers.

General subjective performance experience

Added CPU-Z and GPU-Z screenshots.

 

Gaming Performance

Test Methods & Drivers

OS : Windows 10, fully updated

Drivers: Nvidia Geforce 372.90

Synthetic 3D benchmarks

3DMark, Time Spy 1.0, CompuBenchCL:

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - 3DMark benchmarks Acer E15 E5-575G-53VG Review - Time Spy 1.0

 

Acer E15 E5-575G-53VG CompuBenchCL GT 940MX

Acer E15 E5-575G-53VG CineBench R15 GT 940MX

 


Summarized gaming performance

The numbers are very low, for almost all games on 1080p. It’snot shown here, but the 768p is enough for low-medium settings gaming, at least in most games.

Acer E15 E5-575G GT 940MX GDDR5 1080p gaming benchmarks

 

Crysis 3

This system can barely scratch a game like Crysis 3, however, for those who really want to play Crysis 3, the I5-U Skylake + the GT 940MX GDDR5 will run it just fine on low settings@768p

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - CPU & GPU clocks, Crysis 3 1080p testAcer E15 E5-575G Review - 3DMark benchmarksAcer E15 E5-575G Review - GT 940MX Crysis 3 768p benchmarkAcer E15 E5-575G Review - GT 940MX Crysis 3 1080p benchmark

Thief

Thief is a problem for the GT 940MX GDDR5. Low settings is probably the highest settings at 1080p

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - Thief GT 940MX 768p benchmarkAcer E15 E5-575G Review - Thief GT 940MX 1080p benchmark

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite will run fine at 768p at normal-high settings, but 1080p could be a problem. However, 30FPS could be enough for many.

Acer E 15 E5-575G Review - Bioshock Infinite GT 940MX GDDR5 benchmark

Civilization : Beyond Earth

Civlization Beyond Earth won’t fly on this machine, but certainly playable, since it’s not really an FPS game.

Acer E 15 E5-575G Review - Civilization Beyond Earth GT 940MX GDDR5 768p benchmarkAcer E 15 E5-575G Review - Civilization Beyond Earth GT 940MX GDDR5 1080p benchmark

Total War : Warhammer

Barely playable at 1080p, even at lowest settings, but 768p is, at lowest settings.

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - GT 940MX Totalwar Warhammer 1080p benchmark

Metro : Last Light

Metro Last Light runs strangely well on this machine, relatively speaking, as it is quite a 3D demanding game. Any, as a shooter, more the lowest settings @ 768p would be a problem

Acer E 15 E5-575G Review - Metro Last Light GT 940MX GDDR5 1080p benchmarkAcer E 15 E5-575G Review - Metro Last Light GT 940MX GDDR5 768p benchmark

Battlefield 4 Campaign

BF4 campaign benchmark. BF4 is actually quite playable at medium graphics settings@1080p.

Acer E 15 E5-575G Review - Battlefield 4 GT 940MX GDDR5 1080p benchmark

Alien : Isolation

768p gaming on Alien Isolation is probably the more reasonable option, but one might try lowest settings @ 1080p.

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - Alien Isolation GT 940MX benchmark

World of Tanks

I played and it felt quite good at highest settings @ 1080p, but its better to go with medium settings. The latest patches have improved performance quite a bunch

Acer E 15 E5-575G Review - World Of Tanks GT 940MX GDDR5 benchmarks

Elite : Dangerous / Horizons

Elite Dangerous runs pretty well on 1080p on this system. It felt ok for me,

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - Elite Dangerous GT 940MX benchmark

Shadow Of Mordor

The Acer E5-575G nails Shadow Of Mordor at medium graphics settings @ 1080p! Well, sort of.

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - Shadow Of Mordor GT 940MX 768p benchmark

Ashes Of Singularity

Ashes Of Singularity wasn’t playable even on lowest settings @ 768p

Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is quite a demanding game, and is barely playable at lowest settings @ 1080p. It’s probably better to go 768p, though image will look much more blurred

ARK: Survival Evolved

The new ARK: Survival Evolved is playable at lowest settings @ 1080p, not more than that.

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - Ark Survival GT 940MX benchmark

The Talos Principle

Acer E 15 E5-575G Review - The Talos Principles GT 940MX GDDR5 benchmark

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise Of The Tomb Raider is barely playable at 1080p. It’s better to go 768p, if you really want to play this game (though it’s not very good)

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - Rise Of The Tomb Raider GT 940MX 1080p benchmark

No Man's Sky

No Man’s Sky at 1080p..

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - GT 940MX NMS 1080p benchmark

Star Wars : Battlefront

Star Wars : Battlefront is playable at lowest settings @ 1080p.

Acer E 15 E5-575G Review - Star Wars Battlefront GT 940MX GDDR5 benchmark

Hitman 2016

Forget about it

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - GT 940MX Hitman 2016 1080p benchmark

Thermals, Throttling & Noise handling

The CPU and GPU are both connected via a single heatpipe to a single fan. 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 the left ventilation hole.

Four tests:

1. Idle, power saver mode

2. Gaming : Crysis 3. “Medium” settings, “High performance” power mode.

3. Prime95 torture test. “High performance” power mode.

4. Prime95 + Furmark on 768p test. “High performance” power mode.

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - CPU & GPU temperatures Crysis 3 1080p tests

The Acer E5-575G does well under gaming load, but it can easily reach really high temperatures, well close to 100C, which isn’t good. I haven’t find any way to control the fan speed via software (if anybody knows, please let me know). The fan remains quite quiet and spins slowly. It would have been nice if the fan would spin faster when needed.

Heat

Under high load, like gaming load, all the upper surface becomes pretty warm, including the palm rest. The temps are pretty high.

For the usual common everyday type of work, the chassis temps are ok.

Throttling

As you can see, the clocks remain pretty high even if the CPU and GPU get too hot under Prime95 + Furmark. I’m not sure if it was the intention, but the fan doesn’t spin faster almost at all even when needed. Under gaming load, the temps remain reasonable, while CPU and GPU clocks remain almost maximal.

Throttle CPU average stable CPU MAX GPU
38 42 Idle
2.8 83 86 45 Prime95
2.2 97 98 92 Prime95 + Furmark
2.2 77 80 73 Crysis 3

Noise

One of the Acer E5-575G big advantages is its low noise levels. The fan really spin slowly and doesn’t produce much noise even under the highest system load (which isn’t good, in my opinion).

Screen & Screen quality

The Acer E5-575G comes with the same CMN N156HGE-EAL.This model is a TN 1080p display. The vertical viewing angles are not good, but the problem is the very high blacks and low contrast as a result. The color coverage is actually pretty good, a lot more most of the other displays I’ve tested or saw tests on, with 87% adobeRGB and 100% sRGB, but it’s not useful thanks to the low contrast and problematic viewing angles

 

PWM is detected at all brightness level and the PWM’s frequency is around 1000HZ, which isn’t too bad, so I wouldn’t be afraid from it.

The XRite i1Display reading (different from the Spyder5Elite):

Contrast White Luminence Black Luminence Screen Brightness
375.601926163724 234 0.623 100.00%
374.301675977654 134 0.358 50.00%
361.256544502618 69 0.191 20.00%

Brightness is not bad, but contrast is terrible and it shows.

sRGBadobeRGBNTSC
100 87 82

Battery Performance

The Acer E5-575G has good battery running times, also thanks to the lower power components. It’s certainly not the advertised “12 hrs long battery life”

Acer E15 E5-575G Review - 3DMark benchmarks

 

Issues

Competing gaming laptops / Alternatives

  • That’s the hard part. If you add a little, you can get many models with a GTX 950M and GTX 960M, which will be a lot faster than this machine. Moreover, models with the new 1000 Nvidia series is just around the corner, and I suspect they’ll bring some good performance improvement. An example option is the HP Pavilion 15t with an I5-6300HQ and a GTX 950M DDR3 – link

Conclusion

The E5-575G is a nice machine for $500-$550, but it has some caveats and Acer has obviously saved on features, display and speakers. The 3D performance of the I5-6200U plus the GT 940MX GDDR5 is not bad for a lower end system, but it will become obsolete in few weeks with the new NV/AMD chips. Moreover, there are even now some models with a lot faster 3D performance, for only a little more, and sometimes there are deals for laptops with GTX 950M (Acer VN7-571) or the radeon M385X (Lenovo Y700). Even Acer’s own new lower end machine, the F5 E5-575G, with the Kaby Lake I5-7200U will probably sell for only $50 more.

The E5-575G does have some nice qualities, like the base firmness, low noise, M.2 + 2.5″ SATA storage options and not-that-bad keyboard, but generally, I see no reason to recommend this machine for even $500, right now.

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