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Acer Swift 3 SF315 (Ryzen 5 2500U, Vega 8, 256 GB, FHD) Laptop Review

Sebastian Jentsch, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Karim Allaoui), 01/11/2018

The boys are back in town. The mobile version of the Ryzen is here. Is this the first time that AMD is eye to eye with Intel? Overall, the answer is a definite yes, although Acer should not have cut corners with the SSD.

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Acer Swift 3 with AMD Ryzen 5 2500U (Raven Ridge) - equal or even better than current Intel chips?
Acer Swift 3 with AMD Ryzen 5 2500U (Raven Ridge) - equal or even better than current Intel chips?

It was not until December 2017 that Acer announced this: The Swift 3 with AMD Ryzen 5 becomes the company's first laptop with the brand-new AMD platform. We immediately became keen of hearing and eagerly watched the shop listings. As soon as Acer said it was available we promptly got our hands on one of the first Swift 3 SF315 devices.

One reason for the excitement: Raven Ridge, Ryzen's mobile platform, had already impressed our US colleagues in the HP Envy x360 15. The convertible had its rough edges and corners, but from a performance point of view it was flawless. Well, almost flawless. The gaming performance was below expectations, yet higher than that of Iris Pro Graphics.

With the HP Envy, we were annoyed by the lack of system performance, which was primarily caused by the mechanical HDD. Now Ryzen may be able to unleash its full potential, as Acer has opted for a 256 GB SSD (PCIe M.2).

The old 15.6-inch Swift 3 SF315 is a friend of ours: Equipped with Intel internals (Kaby Lake Refresh i5-8250U, Nvidia MX150) we tested it in October 2017. The tester liked the low operating noise, the impressive runtime of 8:31 hours in the Wi-Fi test and the compact dimensions.

However, the screen (color space, brightness, response time), the snail-like card reader, the faulty sound system and the missing Thunderbolt 3 were disappointing. Ultimately, the score was 84%. Will this change when Ryzen comes to play? Well yes. The rating drops to 82%. Why this is - and why this has nothing to do with the performance of the SoC - you will find out in this extensive review.

In terms of pricing, the Ryzen 5 Swift 3 is competing with 15-inch models using Intel IGPs. Most of the time, however, we tested the versions with dedicated GPUs. For a performance comparison with the Intel IGP we refer to the Spin 5 SP513 (Intel UHD Graphics 620).

As an additional competitor, we put the latest Intel version of the Swift 3 SF315 (8250U, MX150) in the arena. We also provide other slim 15-inch models with dedicated entry-level GPUs such as the MX150 and 940MX. The HP Spectre x360 15t, which convinced us with its long runtimes, Thunderbolt 3, a bright 4K screen and good input devices, is at the top of the ranking.

Acer Swift 3 SF315 HP Spectre x360 15t-bl101 Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G Dell Inspiron 15-7570
CPU Intel Core i5-8250U Intel Core i7-8550U Intel Core i5-7200U Intel Core i5-8250U
GPU Nvidia GeForce MX150 Nvidia GeForce MX150 Nvidia GeForce MX150 Nvidia GeForce 940 MX
Display 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 15.6-inch 4K 3840 x 2160 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080
RAM 8 GB DDR4-2400 6 GB DDR4-2400 8 GB DDR4-2400 8 GB DDR4-2400
Memory 128 GB 512 GB 128 GB 512 GB
Rating 84 % 88 % 83 % 83 %
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1 (Swift 3 Series)
Processor
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, Raven Ridge
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 - 256 MB, Core: 837 MHz, Memory: 933 MHz, DDR4, Crimson 17.7
Memory
8192 MB 
, 1x 8GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, BOE CQ NV156FHM-N48, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7, 256 GB 
, 183 GB free
Soundcard
AMD Raven - Audio Processor - HD Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Combo LineOut+Mic, Card Reader: SD, 1 Fingerprint Reader, TPM
Networking
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2 + HS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.9 x 384 x 255 ( = 0.7 x 15.12 x 10.04 in)
Battery
48 Wh, 3220 mAh Lithium-Ion, 4-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, PSU 45 Watt, Acer Care, AMD Software, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.024 kg ( = 71.39 oz / 4.46 pounds), Power Supply: 156 g ( = 5.5 oz / 0.34 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Swift 3 - blue Intel version with identical case
Swift 3 - blue Intel version with identical case

Although Acer uses the same metal casing as the Intel version, the color is steel gray. The upper side of the base and the lid have a brushed metal finish. Fingerprints are left behind much less than on the midnight blue Intel version.

Acer has given the base, touchpad and fingerprint-reader sleek silver edges. In the gray version, however, this is not so obvious. The typical Acer angular hinge and the silver Acer lettering on the back form the visual highlights. Unfortunately, the edge of the base, especially the rounded corners, is characterized by a certain sharp edge. 

This does not result in ergonomic disadvantages though. We do not know how Acer did it, but the base of this AMD version is more torsion-resistant and does not produce any cracking noises during pull and back pull. This was the case with the SF315-51G-55Z9.

Due to the lack of space on the lid, the device is somewhat tricky to open. In addition, the lid comes up too if you do not hold against it with your other hand. In return, it does not vibrate during sudden movements. The lid can only be twisted within tight ranges. If you press around on the back of the lid, you will notice image interference at the front.

Compared to the competitors in the test (all 15.6-inch models) the Swift turns out to be the thinnest device. However, the base area is slightly larger and the weight of two kilograms is average for the class. Here, the HP Pavilion 15cc107ng is lighter, but it is thicker than the Swift.

Size Comparison

Configuration

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Standard USB Type-C, that's all you need to say for the connection. Right-handed users will thank Acer because the only USB 2.0 port, ideal for connecting an external mouse, has ended up in the back right-hand corner. At this location, only the card reader, which swallows approximately 50% of the SD cards, and the Kensington opening are in place. USB 3.0, HDMI and audio can be found at the back of the left side. The positioning of the ports is virtually ideal.

Right side: SD card reader, USB 2.0, Kensington lock slot
Right side: SD card reader, USB 2.0, Kensington lock slot
Left side: power, HDMI, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, audio in/out
Left side: power, HDMI, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, audio in/out

SD Card Reader

We've tested the performance of the card reader with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference SD card. When copying large data blocks the maximum transfer rate is 35 MB/s. This kind of snail-like speed is outdated. Even an internal USB 2.0 connection could have gotten more out of it. Copying image files (about 5 MB each) has a speed of 32 MB/s, which results in long waiting times when copying large amounts of photos to the hard drive. But as the chart shows, most of our competitors are not in a better position.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
157.5 MB/s ∼100% +386%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
80.2 MB/s ∼51% +148%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
64 MB/s ∼41% +98%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
 
32.4 MB/s ∼21%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26.5 MB/s ∼17% -18%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
17.4 MB/s ∼11% -46%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
217.6 MB/s ∼100% +522%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
86.9 MB/s ∼40% +148%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
84.7 MB/s ∼39% +142%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
 
35 MB/s ∼16%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
30.6 MB/s ∼14% -13%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
25.6 MB/s ∼12% -27%

Communication

Thanks to its MIMO 2x2 module Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174 with Bluetooth 4.2, the Acer Swift 3 achieves good average IEEE-802.11ac speeds in both transmission and reception (Linksys EA8500, one-meter distance) in the 5 GHz band.

Comparable devices in the test all rely on Intel modules and are more or less on par with each other when it comes to speed. Its good reception quality as a client is positive, and online games or large data transfers in the home network should not be a problem.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
579 MBit/s ∼100%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
554 MBit/s ∼96% -4%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
541 MBit/s ∼93% -7%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
518 MBit/s ∼89% -11%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
297 MBit/s ∼51% -49%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
62.3 MBit/s ∼11% -89%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
680 MBit/s ∼100% +40%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
664 MBit/s ∼98% +37%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
617 MBit/s ∼91% +27%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
611 MBit/s ∼90% +26%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
484 MBit/s ∼71%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
332 MBit/s ∼49% -31%

Security

A fingerprint-reader on the Swift 3 allows the laptop to be unlocked quickly and reliably via Windows Hello. There is also a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0 on board.

Webcam

Unfortunately, the webcam delivers only a poor performance. What's just good enough for Skype is not acceptable for use as a photo. The sensor produces washed-out spots and rough contours in moderate light. This gets much worse when the light is bad, but it is not really better when the light is good. 

720p webcam: frayed and washed-out colors
720p webcam: frayed and washed-out colors

Accessories

In addition to the tiny 45-watt plug-in power supply unit, the box only contains the usual setup and warranty instructions. Acer does not offer accessories designed specifically for the Swift 3.

Maintenance

At first glance, one might think that maintenance work will be difficult because there is no maintenance hatch and the floor tray is raised to the top of the base. However, anyone who gets past the 12 Torx screws only needs to remove the base plate (without a joint-smoothing trowel or additional tools) to get access to all the internals, including the battery. Unfortunately, the RAM is onboard and there are no RAM banks.

No maintenance hatch. Never mind!
No maintenance hatch. Never mind!
Those who get past the 12 Torx screws (T3)...
Those who get past the 12 Torx screws (T3)...
...can simply remove the base plate.
...can simply remove the base plate.
Heat-pipes of the Raven Ridge SoC.
Heat-pipes of the Raven Ridge SoC.
Onboard memory - two banks and no slot to insert!
Onboard memory - two banks and no slot to insert!
Wireless module (M.2), free slot without SATA port.
Wireless module (M.2), free slot without SATA port.

Warranty

Details of Acer's two-year return policy can be found here. The legal dealer's warranty of two years with reversal of the burden of proof after six months applies.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard has a firm base which leads to a hard, sometimes loud impact. Typing on the smooth, flat keys is short-winded. This is due to the short stroke. Lighting is single-level. The pressure point triggers somewhat uncleanly and is not well defined. All this has a detrimental effect on the writing feedback, but it's not as bad as to discourage prolific writers from using these keys.

The slender numeric keypad and the small arrow keys that were pressed under the Shift key are not as good. The fixed wrist-rest does not give way anywhere and is pleasant when writing.

Touchpad

The large ClickPad with the silver edging has a smooth surface that allows even slightly damp fingers to glide smoothly. Accuracy and responsiveness are flawless and even very fast movements are tracked. Drag & drop by double-tap does not cause any problems. Gestures with up to four fingers can be configured with Windows 10 onboard devices.

The very short-stroke replacement mouse buttons convince with their well-tuned resistance and their crisp pressure point with perfect acoustic feedback. Positive: Whether we click on the top or bottom of the pad, the stroke and pressure point are very similar. As usual, however, you have to press a bit harder at the top.

Keyboard: Sits tightly but typing is quite abrupt
Keyboard: Sits tightly but typing is quite abrupt
Single-stage lighting
Single-stage lighting

Display

Subpixel structure
Subpixel structure

The reflective BOE panel (BOE CQ NV156FHM-N48) is identical to the BOE-TFT of the Intel sister model. Its measured values are quite similar.

To reduce brightness, the panel again uses PWM with a high frequency. Therefore, PWM-related symptoms such as headaches or watery eyes (for sensitive people) should not occur.

The low black level and the not particularly high brightness provide a good contrast of 1,247:1. The effect of bright colors and deep black surfaces is enhanced by the glare type. All Swift 3 devices, whether Intel or AMD-based, are offered with the glare type panel. We only discovered one variant (SF315-51-38U6) with non-glare, which could be an error in the shop description.

244
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
237
cd/m²
223
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
224
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 244 cd/m² Average: 229.4 cd/m² Minimum: 15 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 237 cd/m²
Contrast: 1247:1 (Black: 0.19 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.85 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 3.84 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
58% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.42
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
BOE CQ NV156FHM-N48, , 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
BOE06C3, , 3840x2160, 15.6
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
AU Optronics B156HAN06.1, , 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
AU Optronics, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
BOE06B4, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
BOE NV156FHM-N48, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
-22%
20%
33%
-28%
7%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
46 (25, 21)
41.2 (23.2, 18)
10%
41 (18, 23)
11%
45 (24, 21)
2%
45 (23, 22)
2%
42 (22, 20)
9%
Response Time Black / White *
36 (20, 16)
29.6 (16.4, 13.2)
18%
26 (15, 11)
28%
13 (8, 5)
64%
33 (18, 15)
8%
32 (17, 15)
11%
PWM Frequency
21000 (90)
1000
-95%
996 (90)
-95%
21000 (80)
0%
Screen
11%
3%
-71%
9%
-3%
Brightness middle
237
338.7
43%
235
-1%
234
-1%
255
8%
248
5%
Brightness
229
325
42%
236
3%
230
0%
240
5%
237
3%
Brightness Distribution
88
91
3%
80
-9%
76
-14%
91
3%
79
-10%
Black Level *
0.19
0.28
-47%
0.17
11%
0.34
-79%
0.16
16%
0.21
-11%
Contrast
1247
1210
-3%
1382
11%
688
-45%
1594
28%
1181
-5%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.85
4.9
-1%
4.69
3%
12.19
-151%
4.74
2%
4.98
-3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.34
8.7
-4%
7.9
5%
20.81
-150%
7.68
8%
8.41
-1%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.84
5.5
-43%
3.34
13%
13.99
-264%
3.44
10%
4.26
-11%
Gamma
2.42 91%
2.08 106%
2.63 84%
2.32 95%
2.43 91%
2.37 93%
CCT
6790 96%
7498 87%
6801 96%
15863 41%
7064 92%
7149 91%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37
63.5
72%
36
-3%
36
-3%
38
3%
38
3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58
86.92
50%
57
-2%
56
-3%
60
3%
58
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-6% / 3%
12% / 6%
-19% / -54%
-10% / 0%
2% / -1%

* ... smaller is better

Color space sRGB: 58%
Color space sRGB: 58%
Color space AdobeRGB: 37%
Color space AdobeRGB: 37%

The evenly lit panel results in a value of 88%. Clouding does not occur at the edges. The TFT does not suffer from a blue cast, so the improvements due to our color profile (linked in the box) are marginal. The tight color spectrum cannot be extended anyway. Color accuracy can, at least within a limited color space. Thus, the Swift 3 is not an option for semi-professional image-processing.

The DeltaE score can be reduced to a pleasingly low level of 0.8/4.0 (gray/color) by calibration or the use of our color profile (box). With default settings, the representation at 3.8/4.85 is a little inaccurate but the rivals are not better off.

CalMAN Grayscale precalibration
CalMAN Grayscale precalibration
CalMAN Saturation precalibration
CalMAN Saturation precalibration
CalMAN Colors precalibration
CalMAN Colors precalibration
CalMAN Grayscale post-calibration
CalMAN Grayscale post-calibration
CalMAN Saturation post-calibration
CalMAN Saturation post-calibration
CalMAN Colors post-calibration
CalMAN Colors post-calibration

Outdoors, the Swift 3 can only be used in the shade due to a lack of brightness and the glossy display. Even bright light sources behind the user's back can cause annoying reflections. 

Glare-type panel in outdoor use
Glare-type panel in outdoor use
In heavy cloud cover...
In heavy cloud cover...
...the reflections are just moderate.
...the reflections are just moderate.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20 ms rise
↘ 16 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 91 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 25 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 72 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 21000 Hz ≤ 90 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 21000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 90 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 21000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8933 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The viewing angles are typical for IPS: very wide. Even with extreme lateral viewing, colors do not distort and contours remain clear. Gray haze when viewed sideways on the photos is an effect of the fixed aperture and does not occur in reality. 

Viewing angles of the BOE IPS panel
Viewing angles of the BOE IPS panel

Performance

Raven Ridge with the quad-core Ryzen 5 2500U, 4x 2.00 GHz
Raven Ridge with the quad-core Ryzen 5 2500U, 4x 2.00 GHz

Acer's Swift 3 SF315 is a "bread and butter" machine in the medium price range. The models are available at prices from 650 to 1,200 Euros (~$795 to $1469). For the lowest price you only get an Intel Core i3-7100U but with an IPS FHD and a 128-GB SSD. The maximum configuration comes with a Core i7, 512-GB SSD and GeForce MX150 graphics.

The AMD models are placed in the mid-range. Our gray Swift 3 SF315-41 costs 800 Euros (~$979) and comes with the Ryzen 5 and IGP graphics. The Acer Swift 3 SF315-41G has a Ryzen 7 and a dedicated Radeon RX 540 (2 GB). The latter was not available at the time of the test but we are trying to get our hands on it.

The main memory cannot be expanded or exchanged; Acer has had it soldered directly to the board. Space-saving cannot have been the reason for this in a notebook of this size. Two banks of 4096 MB each are visible on the board. Too bad, because the chipset has 16 GB support.

Systeminfo CPU-Z CPU
Systeminfo CPU-Z Cache
Systeminfo CPU-Z Mainboard
Systeminfo CPU-Z Memory
Systeminfo CPU-Z Graphics
Systeminfo GPU-Z
HWinfo Summary
Latency Monitor

Processor

Cinebench R15 Loop: Clock fluctuates between 1.6 and 1.8 GHz.
Cinebench R15 Loop: Clock fluctuates between 1.6 and 1.8 GHz.

The Ryzen 5 2500U is a quad-core processor with a TDP of 15 watts. This qualifies it for slim laptops. In turbo mode the basic clock rate of 2.0 GHz can be driven to 3.6 GHz (single core). In the test we measured a similarly high clock rate that is also maintained for several minutes (R15 single core test, 74 °C).

Acer has set the configurable TDP to 15 watts, as evidenced by HWinfo's analysis during Cinebench and stress tests and the assignment of Intel's 15-watt chips to the same chassis.

The Cinebench loop shows us a fluctuating clock rate of 1.6 to 1.8 GHz in multi-core use. After the best score of 589 points, the score breaks down to 498 points in the following three rounds and builds up to 520 points over a prolonged period of time. As a result, there is a drop of about 13% compared to the first run.

Acer has set the temperature limit at the SoC to 75 °C. The temperature never exceeds 74 °C.

The computing power is convincing regardless of long-term performance. In the single-core test, the R15 is at eye level with the i5-8250U. For the Multi-Test, the Swift 3 with Ryzen 5 even takes the lead. Even the Intel Core i7-8550U has to give in. In the end, however, we are talking about difference of a few percent, which can already be eliminated by a worse thermal implementation in the next test device. So to be safe: The Ryzen 5 2500U runs on the same level as Intel's Kaby-Lake chips, both with single and multi-core load.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
Intel Core i7-8550U
170 Points ∼100% +21%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
154 Points ∼91% +10%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
Intel Core i5-8250U
146 Points ∼86% +4%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 Points ∼85% +4%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
140 Points ∼82%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
137 Points ∼81% -2%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
Intel Core i5-7200U
129 Points ∼76% -8%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
589 (min: 499, max: 552) Points ∼100%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
574 Points ∼97% -3%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
Intel Core i7-8550U
565 Points ∼96% -4%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Intel Core i5-8250U
560 Points ∼95% -5%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
Intel Core i5-8250U
556 Points ∼94% -6%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
519 Points ∼88% -12%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
Intel Core i5-7200U
330 Points ∼56% -44%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
15307
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4418
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
8169
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.71 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
44.83 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.6 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
46.84 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
140 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
589 Points
Help

System Performance

The Swift 3 with Ryzen 5 cannot score so brilliantly with PCMark 8 and PCMark 10. Here it often takes one of the lowest places with the HP Envy x360 15m (Ryzen 5). Laptops with the MX150 and faster SSDs often get 15 to 100% more points. This is particularly striking in the productivity test of PCMark 10, where the Swift 3 SF315-51G (MX150, 8250U) is far ahead. In the general PCMark 10 score it is still a 52% lead for the Intel version.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
4992 Points ∼100% +31%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
GeForce 940MX, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4987 Points ∼100% +31%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
GeForce 940MX, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
4812 Points ∼96% +27%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
4590 Points ∼92% +21%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4217 Points ∼84% +11%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3797 Points ∼76%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
3935 Points ∼100% +14%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
GeForce 940MX, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3778 Points ∼96% +10%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
GeForce 940MX, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
3683 Points ∼94% +7%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
3650 Points ∼93% +6%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3457 Points ∼88% 0%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3450 Points ∼88%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3385 Points ∼86% -2%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
3135 Points ∼100% +31%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3032 Points ∼97% +26%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
2901 Points ∼93% +21%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
GeForce 940MX, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
2824 Points ∼90% +18%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
GeForce 940MX, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
2783 Points ∼89% +16%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
2397 Points ∼76%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
2298 Points ∼73% -4%
Productivity
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
6300 Points ∼100% +102%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5946 Points ∼94% +91%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
GeForce 940MX, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5718 Points ∼91% +84%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
5506 Points ∼87% +77%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
GeForce 940MX, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
5109 Points ∼81% +64%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3942 Points ∼63% +27%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3113 Points ∼49%
Essentials
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
GeForce 940MX, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
8523 Points ∼100% +50%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
GeForce 940MX, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
8220 Points ∼96% +44%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
7551 Points ∼89% +33%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
7464 Points ∼88% +31%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
6239 Points ∼73% +10%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
5692 Points ∼67%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
5288 Points ∼62% -7%
Score
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
3802 Points ∼100% +52%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
GeForce 940MX, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3701 Points ∼97% +48%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3673 Points ∼97% +47%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
GeForce 940MX, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
3505 Points ∼92% +40%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
3075 Points ∼81% +23%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
2814 Points ∼74% +13%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
2501 Points ∼66%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3450 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3577 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3797 points
Help

Storage

Acer uses an Intel M.2-SSD (600p SSDPEKKW256G7, 2280) connected via PCIe 3.0. It is by no means the fastest model and the read 4K rate of 20 MB/s is the worst in the test field. Here, an Intel 750 or a Samsung PM961 would have been the better choice, especially since it is not a limited SATA port.

A hard drive cannot be retrofitted: There is no free connection for this in the chassis. This must be deliberate, because there is not a single Swift 3 SF315 with a hard drive on the market. In theory, the M.2 WLAN module can be replaced by a second M.2-SSD (long design 2280). However, due to the lack of an Ethernet port, no one will want to give the Qualcomm/Atheros chip away voluntarily.

Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7 (256 GB) as M.2-2280 format
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7 (256 GB) as M.2-2280 format
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
Hynix HFS128G39TND
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-24%
119%
-33%
-21%
96%
Write 4k QD32
155
131.6
-15%
547.1
253%
89.6
-42%
181.8
17%
510
229%
Read 4k QD32
235.5
345
46%
644.9
174%
294.8
25%
250.9
7%
404.2
72%
Write 4k
81.65
84.83
4%
155.2
90%
73.65
-10%
54.17
-34%
135
65%
Read 4k
20.46
30.81
51%
58.85
188%
26.81
31%
27.8
36%
52.08
155%
Write 512
605.6
130.6
-78%
1118
85%
72.65
-88%
299.1
-51%
1038
71%
Read 512
836.5
324.8
-61%
849.1
2%
282.4
-66%
345.2
-59%
1076
29%
Write Seq
601.1
131.5
-78%
1476
146%
283.5
-53%
453.5
-25%
1015
69%
Read Seq
1130
481.5
-57%
1248
10%
407.5
-64%
475.4
-58%
2013
78%
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Sequential Read: 1130 MB/s
Sequential Write: 601.1 MB/s
512K Read: 836.5 MB/s
512K Write: 605.6 MB/s
4K Read: 20.46 MB/s
4K Write: 81.65 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 235.5 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 155 MB/s

Graphics Card

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 is integrated into the Raven Ridge chip. It does not have its own graphics memory and supports DirectX-12, which, according to GPU-Z, is 256 MB of DDR4 main memory. The fast dual-channel operation is supported by the card and is also used in the Swift 3. Because it is also a DDR4-2400 memory (Micron 2,400 MHz), maximum power should be extracted from the Vega 8. 

The Vega 8 is in the same chip (integrated graphics, IGP).
The Vega 8 is in the same chip (integrated graphics, IGP).
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
4742 Points ∼100% +37%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
4575 Points ∼96% +32%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
4564 Points ∼96% +32%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
3602 Points ∼76% +4%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
3457 Points ∼73%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i7-8550U
2802 Points ∼59% -19%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-8250U
2471 Points ∼52% -29%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1607 Points ∼34% -54%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
3688 Points ∼100% +75%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
3576 Points ∼97% +70%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
3563 Points ∼97% +69%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
2460 Points ∼67% +17%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
2109 Points ∼57%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i7-8550U
1996 Points ∼54% -5%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-8250U
1720 Points ∼47% -18%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1049 Points ∼28% -50%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-8250U
21666 Points ∼100% +51%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i7-8550U
20470 Points ∼94% +43%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Intel Core i5-7200U
19333 Points ∼89% +35%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
16285 Points ∼75% +14%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
14338 Points ∼66%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i7-8550U
11973 Points ∼55% -16%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-8250U
9012 Points ∼42% -37%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
8654 Points ∼40% -40%
3DMark 06 Standard
12775 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
9555 points
3DMark 11 Performance
3521 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
60920 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
10542 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1928 points
Help

Gaming Performance

In the face of real games, the Vega 8 suddenly does not shine any longer. Against the 940MX it can hold its own, but the newer MX150 defeats the Vega. A glance at the sparse green carpet in the table provides an impression. We could not test the setting 1366x768 in some games due to lack of support.

Of course, users can still play with medium resolution/details. Restricted to 1280x720 or even 1600x900, gives BioShock, Dirt Rally and Metal Gear Solid V smooth results in the mid-range and somewhat expands the green carpet.

Current big titles, like Middle-earth: Shadow of War, are less fun. AF and AA have to be turned off completely and a low resolution has to be set. Games which are only a few years old are often playable in medium settings but rarely in the native FHD resolution.

Gaming in Full HD with high details should work with modest titles like Farming Simulator 17 or the FIFA series. We were pleased overall with the down-to-earth gaming power, which was also due to the SSD's fast installation and startup processes.

However, ambitious gamers will not be happy with the integrated Vega 8 and should use the MX150 or, depending on the available budget, the GTX 1050. MX150 multimedia laptops are available in the same price range (800 Euros / ~$979), e.g. the Swift 3 SF315-51G, HP Pavilion 15-ck or the Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G.

Alternatively, there is the Swift 3 SF315-41G with the Ryzen 7 and the Radeon RX 540 (2 GB). We currently cannot evaluate the performance of this dedicated GPU but we're getting our hands on a test sample.

Note: We will evaluate the games shown here extensively within the next few days and will test all current or a few years old games on the Vega 8.

Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1024x768 Lowest Preset
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
72.3 fps ∼100% +87%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
51.3 fps ∼71% +33%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
49.3 fps ∼68% +27%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
38.7 fps ∼54%
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
GeForce 940MX, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
35.9 fps ∼50% -7%
Deus Ex Mankind Divided - 1280x720 Low Preset AF:1x
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
40.8 fps ∼100% +58%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
25.8 fps ∼63%
F1 2017 - 1920x1080 Medium Preset AF:4x
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
27 fps ∼100% +17%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
23 fps ∼85%
Middle-earth: Shadow of War - 1280x720 Lowest Preset
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
33 fps ∼100%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
20 fps ∼61% -39%
BioShock Infinite - 1280x720 Very Low Preset
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
201 fps ∼100% +99%
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
GeForce MX150, 7200U, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH
160.5 fps ∼80% +59%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
139.6 fps ∼69% +38%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
114.4 fps ∼57% +13%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
101 fps ∼50%
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
GeForce 940MX, 8250U, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
89.2 fps ∼44% -12%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
56.1 fps ∼28% -44%
Metal Gear Solid V - 1920x1080 High / On
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
31 fps ∼100% +50%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
20.6 fps ∼66%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
12.1 fps ∼39% -41%
Dirt Rally - 1920x1080 High Preset
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
52.2 fps ∼100% +66%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Vega 8, 2500U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
31.4 fps ∼60%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
13.7 fps ∼26% -56%
low med. high ultra
StarCraft 2 (2010) 183.668.247.530.3fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 6049.135.821fps
Diablo III (2012) 104.98777.747.2fps
Counter-Strike: GO (2012) 120.795.867.341.9fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 12261.150.326.8fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 10117.6fps
X-Plane 10.25 (2013) 40.222.810.3fps
Sims 4 (2014) 15057.931.527.7fps
Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) 35.627.512.8fps
GTA V (2015) 65.557.815.7fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 59.131.414.7fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 37.32412.5fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 59.820.616fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 56.246.82927.3fps
World of Warships (2015) 78.658.838.429.1fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 51.328.113.26.2fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 82.55228.322.4fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 38.713.6fps
XCOM 2 (2016) 31.110.67.2fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 321614fps
The Division (2016) 40.826.519.98.5fps
Hitman 2016 (2016) 25.426.717.9fps
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 25.811.6fps
Battlefield 1 (2016) 47.229.814.413fps
Civilization VI (2016) 65.130.615.511.5fps
Farming Simulator 17 (2016) 102.580.337.315.6fps
Titanfall 2 (2016) 65.146.917.515.7fps
Resident Evil 7 (2017) 67.627.817.311.2fps
For Honor (2017) 4917.61713.4fps
Rocket League (2017) 99.742.728.2fps
Team Fortress 2 (2017) 67.363.450.537.5fps
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) (2017) 331412.3fps
F1 2017 (2017) 502323fps
Ark Survival Evolved (2017) 21.86.8fps
FIFA 18 (2017) 125.969.857.353.4fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2017) 331410fps
The Evil Within 2 (2017) 17.79.98.9fps
Destiny 2 (2017) 41.223.52118.2fps
Assassin´s Creed Origins (2017) 12fps
Call of Duty WWII (2017) 61.456.118fps
Need for Speed Payback (2017) 30.616.312.8fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 33.710.39.3fps

Emissions

System Noise

Sound-characteristic
Sound-characteristic

Our Swift 3 rarely switches off its fan when it is idling. The energy mode is irrelevant, since Acer only installs one balanced profile as default. When used in offices for web-surfing with plenty of pauses to think, the single fan purrs with 32.3 dB(A). This is audible, but it is so smooth that it does not disturb.

However, more is also possible in three stages of 33, 35 and just under 38 dB(A). The former is a simple load by a 3DMark run. When playing, this quiet fan will probably suffice. If you challenge the processor cores to the fullest extent, the noise will become much more noticeable. The system reduces the clock rate of the CPU and GPU cores in the stress test, which is why only 34.8 dB(A) is achieved here. 

Noise Level

Idle
31.8 / 32.1 / 32.1 dB(A)
Load
33 / 34.8 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 31.8 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs203940.341.641.14240.62535.837.335.438.237.837.6313332.532.533.434.334.1403333.333.433.632325033.432.133.232.331.8316330.832.132.836.532.633.88028.831.831.330.729.530.410028.829.929.831.129.632.112526.727.427.329.127.530.816026.927.127.427.227.727.820025.426.926.427.826.326.625024.825.725.425.225.426.131524.125.624.725.324.524.940023.324.724.12423.424.35002224.523.922.622.322.863021.22524.722.721.922.380020.629.424.622.221.121.4100020.128.525.32221.420.8125019.52924.121.219.820.4160019.22623.320.519.619.7200019.126.723.720.219.119.4250018.925.822.519.619.419.3315018.925.421.419.51919400018.622.520.119.318.918.9500018.822.119.919.318.919630018.720.719.319.21918.9800018.819.418.918.918.9191000018.718.918.819.218.818.81250018.61918.819.218.718.81600018.719.118.919.819.818.8SPL31.937.734.83332.332.6N1.72.82.221.81.9median 19.5median 25.6median 23.9median 21.2median 19.8median 20.4Delta2.32.42.42.73334.13233.333.234.131.529.631.332.531.534.133.63134.334.130.232.129.330.230.230.329.928.731.230.328.929.228.728.728.927.23127.426.727.226.125.72625.926.124.52525.82424.523.825.823.423.923.823.124.322.923.823.12322.721.621.72322.922.321.221.122.923.522.620.320.223.522.322.519.619.222.324.223.818.618.824.223.723.918.318.123.724.824.717.717.624.825.925.817.817.625.924.924.817.817.824.92524.717.517.62524.424.317.717.824.42525.117.717.92521.821.818.218.121.822.422.518.218.322.420.820.718.618.420.819.719.618.718.719.719.11918.818.919.119.219.118.918.819.219.419.319.11919.435.735.730.530.535.72.32.31.41.42.3median 23.5median 23.8median 18.7median 18.8median 23.51.51.71.81.91.5hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAcer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5

Temperature

The system protects itself from overheating beyond 75 °C during the stress test and reduces the clock rate to 1.66 GHz or 230 MHz (Vega 8). This ensures low energy absorption of 42 watts. Prime95 by itself starts with 45 watts, i.e. the full load of the 45-watt power supply. The battery is not discharged and there is no obvious deficit. The power supply, however, heats up to 61 °C. 

Due to the strict limitation, the surfaces always remain pleasantly tempered. 41 °C was not exceeded at the top or bottom during the stress test.

Stress test: Prime95 & Furmark simultaneously
Stress test: Prime95 & Furmark simultaneously
Stress test: GPU clock at only 230 MHz
Stress test: GPU clock at only 230 MHz
Stress test: stable at 1.6 GHz and 74 °C
Stress test: stable at 1.6 GHz and 74 °C
Max. Load
 38 °C
100 F
41 °C
106 F
39.7 °C
103 F
 
 36.7 °C
98 F
39.7 °C
103 F
29 °C
84 F
 
 28.6 °C
83 F
37.3 °C
99 F
26.6 °C
80 F
 
Maximum: 41 °C = 106 F
Average: 35.2 °C = 95 F
32 °C
90 F
41.1 °C
106 F
38.4 °C
101 F
28.5 °C
83 F
35.6 °C
96 F
33.8 °C
93 F
27.2 °C
81 F
29.2 °C
85 F
29.6 °C
85 F
Maximum: 41.1 °C = 106 F
Average: 32.8 °C = 91 F
Power Supply (max.)  61 °C = 142 F | Room Temperature 22.5 °C = 73 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.2 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 30.9 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 41.1 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.7 °C / 82 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 37.3 °C / 99.1 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (-8.2 °C / -14.7 F).
Waste heat idle, top
Waste heat idle, top
Waste heat Idle, bottom
Waste heat Idle, bottom
Waste heat load (stress test), top
Waste heat load (stress test), top
Waste heat load (stress test), bottom
Waste heat load (stress test), bottom

Speakers

Characteristic Pink Noise
Characteristic Pink Noise

The loudspeakers only reproduce a thin, mid-range spectrum. Basses or balanced highs are lost. The speakers are located at the front under the palm rest.

The voice-recording capability of the Swift 3 is quite good: no noise, no metallic distortion and no distorted voice. A speaker can stand directly in front of the Swift or walk around the room turned away from the laptop.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2044.23944.2254335.843314233424044.13344.15045.333.445.36345.530.845.58046.328.846.310047.628.847.612548.526.748.516050.326.950.320053.525.453.525055.924.855.931558.824.158.84006123.36150064.72264.763071.921.271.980072.420.672.410006920.169125073.119.573.1160074.719.274.7200075.919.175.9250075.818.975.8315076.318.976.3400076.318.676.350007418.874630067.918.767.9800063.318.863.31000065.618.765.61250064.118.664.1160006318.763SPL85.631.985.6N62.71.762.7median 65.6median 19.5median 65.6Delta8.12.38.132.534.532.531.733.231.736.93836.932.632.532.635.733.535.729.33029.328.226.928.227.126.427.129.22629.229.224.129.237.322.937.353.722.553.756.420.956.457.420.257.457.419.757.460.61960.667.418.267.464.317.964.359.617.859.656.717.456.760.117.560.156.517.556.555.317.755.353.117.853.160.117.960.157185759.81859.852.718.152.761186159.318.159.372.130.372.129.91.429.9median 57median 18.1median 575.62.15.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1Dell Inspiron 15-7570
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 13.2% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.1% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.4% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 34% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 59% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 23% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 71% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Dell Inspiron 15-7570 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (67.44 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.5% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 28% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 63% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 30% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 63% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The small plug-in power supply delivers only 45 watts.
The small plug-in power supply delivers only 45 watts.

The above-average energy consumption in idle mode is remarkable in all three states. 10.8 watts is consumed without key illumination, 13 watts with the included light. The other test devices were - if available - also measured with key illumination. A Swift 3 with Intel requires 35-40% less energy on average in idle mode, which is why the runtime in the Wi-Fi test is considerably better. 

On the other hand, the Ryzen device is very economical when compared to laptops with dedicated GPUs. Under load, laptops with Intel IGP are even more economical though (30-35 watts, Acer Spin 5).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.19 / 0.31 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7.3 / 9.7 / 13 Watt
Load midlight 40.4 / 42.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
2500U, Vega 8, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
2500U, Vega 8, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
8250U, GeForce MX150, Hynix HFS128G39TND, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
8550U, GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
7200U, GeForce MX150, Kingston RBUSNS8180DS3128GH, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
8250U, GeForce 940MX, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006, TN LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
8550U, GeForce 940MX, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Power Consumption
4%
9%
-52%
12%
15%
6%
30%
Idle Minimum *
7.3
5.9
19%
3.8
48%
11.6
-59%
2.9
60%
2.8
62%
3.6
51%
3.9
47%
Idle Average *
9.7
8.7
10%
6.5
33%
13.8
-42%
5.9
39%
5.8
40%
6.7
31%
8.2
15%
Idle Maximum *
13
10.5
19%
9.1
30%
14.2
-9%
6.4
51%
7.5
42%
9.2
29%
8.8
32%
Load Average *
40.4
45.7
-13%
53.4
-32%
67.9
-68%
54
-34%
54
-34%
59
-46%
28.5
29%
Load Maximum *
42.2
49.4
-17%
55.6
-32%
76.9
-82%
66
-56%
56
-33%
58
-37%
30.7
27%
Witcher 3 ultra *
45.8
59.04
51

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Battery with 48 Wh
Battery with 48 Wh

By reducing the production process from 28 nm to 14 nm and including further efficiency improvements, the runtime of Raven Ridge is expected to be significantly longer than that of Bristol Ridge. Acer's 48 watt-hours makes a good specification. It's almost the same capacity as the Intel model.

Nevertheless, the Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G (Intel) lasts three hours longer in operation when not plugged in. The gathered Intel competition is more efficient as far as runtime is concerned, whether in idle, Wi-Fi or load testing. This matches the HP Envy x360 15m (Ryzen 5), which lasts only 1.5 hours longer with 8 watt-hours more (Wi-Fi test).

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
12h 10min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 10min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 21min
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
2500U, Vega 8, 48 Wh
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
8250U, GeForce MX150, 49.7 Wh
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
2500U, Vega 8, 55.8 Wh
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
8550U, GeForce MX150, 79.2 Wh
Acer Aspire 5 A515-51G-51RL
7200U, GeForce MX150, 48 Wh
HP Pavilion 15-cc107ng
8250U, GeForce 940MX, 41.7 Wh
Dell Inspiron 15-7570
8550U, GeForce 940MX, 42 Wh
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 53.9 Wh
Battery Runtime
65%
4%
54%
71%
27%
-43%
61%
Reader / Idle
730
655
-10%
934
28%
1253
72%
280
-62%
WiFi v1.3
310
511
65%
398
28%
511
65%
517
67%
395
27%
105
-66%
500
61%
Load
81
77
-5%
136
68%
142
75%
80
-1%
H.264
494
240

Verdict

Pros

+ strong performance at Kaby Lake Refresh level
+ Vega 8 IGP beats Intel UHD Graphics significantly
+ thin, light and compact
+ properly processed
+ ports are well positioned
+ TPM 2.0, fingerprint-reader
+ very nice ClickPad
+ very good contrast ratio
+ quiet and cool
+ maintenance is possible
+ good color reproduction after calibration

Cons

- short runtimes
- no Thunderbolt 3
- cf. slow PCIe-SSD
- slow card reader
- narrow number pad
- screen too dark
- low color-space coverage
- unsatisfactory sound
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1

With Ryzen 5 Mobile, AMD clearly sees itself ahead of Intel's Kaby Lake Refresh chips, a statement that we can agree with if we remove "clearly" from it. In the case of the 2500U, the general computing power is at eye level with the Core i5-8250U or just below the Core i7-8550U. In Multi-Core, Ryzen 5 seems to have an advantage (+5%), but this high Cinebench score cannot be maintained at permanent performance. Let's be fair though: Many Intel devices show such a turbo drop too. How long the turbo is fully powered up still depends heavily on the manufacturer's implementation (capacity of the cooling system). 

In recent years, AMD implementations have very often suffered from poor accompanying hardware, most recently Bristol Ridge. In order to meet the price level, bad TN panels, HDD memory, single-channel RAM or slow WLAN chips were used. As a whole, a pile of misery was left behind, which in addition was clearly weaker than the Intel alternatives. 

With the Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1, Acer does not make such major mistakes - at least not as many. The 15-incher has fast DDR4 memory (dual-channel enabled), a good WLAN module (2x2 AC, BT 4.2) and it offers a balanced display (colors calibrated) as well as proper input devices. The Ryzen 5 can furthermore keep up with current Skylake and Skylake refresh hardware, while the Vega 8 graphics card is faster than an Intel UHD Graphics 620 (Skylake Refresh).

Overall, the device is appropriately priced at 800 Euros (~$979) and we can give a limited recommendation to buy. Real drawbacks are the slow Intel SSD, which apparently spoils the PCMark scores, and the weak runtimes (5 hours instead of 8 hours), caused by high idle energy consumption.

The Radeon Vega 8 will only satisfy gamers to a limited extent (940MX standard). It remains to be seen how the Radeon RX 540 (2 GB) will perform in the near future. If it performs well above an MX150, then the price of just under 1,000 Euros (~$1224) for its sister model with Ryzen 7 (Swift 3 SF315-41G) would also be justified.

Acer Swift 3 SF315-41-R4W1 - 01/06/2018 v6
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
76 / 98 → 77%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
48 / 81 → 60%
Weight
63 / 20-67 → 91%
Battery
83%
Display
82%
Games Performance
67 / 85 → 78%
Application Performance
82 / 92 → 89%
Temperature
91%
Noise
91 / 95 → 95%
Audio
71%
Camera
35 / 85 → 42%
Average
74%
82%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Swift 3 SF315 (Ryzen 5 2500U, Vega 8, 256 GB, FHD) Laptop Review
Sebastian Jentsch, 2018-01-11 (Update: 2018-01-23)