No chance for Intel: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U takes apart the Core i7-1065G7 in our Acer Swift 3 SF314-42 review
The Acer Swift 3 SF314-42 impressed us in many areas, not least its CPU performance. The new Swift 3 retains the stylish and slim metal housing of its predecessor, a design that Acer has refined to make it more compact and lighter. The housing is sturdy too, although we noticed some give in the keyboard deck when we were typing.
Acer sells the new Swift 3 in multiple configurations, including the Ryzen 7 4700U model with 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD that we reviewed. The Ryzen 7 4700U is an eight-core APU that AMD has based on its Renoir and Zen 2 architecture. The Ryzen 7 4700U does not support Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) though, meaning that it can only execute one thread per core. If you want SMT and eight cores on an AMD APU, then you will need to step up to the Ryzen 7 4800U.
Nonetheless, the Ryzen 7 4700U held its own in all the benchmarks that we threw its way. The APU not only outclassed its Zen+ predecessors but also Intel processors like the Core i7-1065G7. The same applies to the integrated Radeon RX Vega 7 GPU. While the GPU has fewer Compute Units (CUs) and shaders than its direct predecessor, its higher clock speed helps it trump older RX Vega GPUs in synthetic benchmarks and when gaming. In short, the Radeon RX Vega 7 in the Ryzen 7 4700U offers almost NVIDIA GeForce MX250 levels of performance.
The Swift 3 has not sacrificed battery life for performance, either. Our review unit lasted between 12 and 16 hours in our practical Wi-Fi tests, putting it well ahead of its predecessor despite having the same battery capacity. When the Swift 3 does need topping up, then you can choose between charging it via USB Type-C or the bundled 65 W barrel connector charger.
The one issue we have with the Swift 3 is its display. On the one hand, the 14-inch IPS panel has stable viewing angles and has a decent contrast ratio. On the other hand, it has poor colour space coverage even after additional calibration, and its peak brightness does not exceed 250 nits. The latter is the real sticking point here as it makes the Swift 3 difficult to use outdoors or even in a brightly lit room.
Please see our Acer Swift 3 SF314-42 review for our full thoughts on the device and our test results for the machine.