Acer Swift 3 Laptop Review: Affordable And Accelerated With Optane
Acer Swift 3: Storage, Productivity and Content Creation
To start things off and get a sense for how the Acer Swift 3's storage components perform, we fired-up ATTO for a quick sanity check on sequential disk transfer speeds across various file sizes with both read and write workloads.
ATTO Disk Benchmark, Testing NVMe Solid State Storage
As we mentioned earlier, this machine is outfitted with an Intel Optane Memory drive for accelerating the standard HDD. Right off the bat, the performance differences between Optane Memory acceleration and a more common NVMe SSD are apparent. Even an older model NVMe SSD would be able to outpace Optane in these sequential tests. The biggest discrepancy is in write performance, however, if you understand Optane Memory's strengths it probably won't be a concern. Once data is cached, Optane Memory drives offer exceptional performance at low queue depths, where the majority of desktop workloads reside. When something is installed or accessed for the first time, performance will be limited by the speed of the hard disk drive, but once cached Optane Memory provides strong, snappy performance.
Cinebench R15, Geekbench 4
We kicked off our general-purpose benchmarks with a cross-platform CPU compute benchmark called Geekbench, and then ran Cinebench R15, a 3D rendering benchmark that tests both the CPU and GPU engines in the processor. Cinebench is developed by Maxon, which is better known for its Cinema 4D software employed in professional 3D rendering and animation studios. We use both of Cinebench’s integrated tests for CPU and GPU.
The Acer Swift 3 landed right about in the middle of the pack here, which isn't bad considering its affordable price point. For just $700 USD you get a quad-core processor with hyper-threading, 8GB of memory, and Optane acceleration. This machine can easily handle medium to heavy workloads without breaking the bank.
The machine's performance in Geekbench was also relatively strong. The Intel Core i5-8250U processor was able to hang in there with more powerful parts like the i5-8650U, which costs more and is typically found in much pricier machines.
PCMark 10 Benchmark
Next, we'll move from pure content creation in Cinebench, to productivity and mixed usage with PCMark. We're representing all tests from the PCMark 10 benchmark suite, including the Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation and and total PCMark score. The Essentials test covers workloads like web browsing, video conferencing and app start-up times, while Productivity tests everyday office apps from spreadsheets to word processing. Finally, Digital Content Creation tests performance of a machine with respect to photo and video editing, as well as rendering and visualization workloads.
Just like the performance we saw in Geekbench, PCMark 10 has the Acer Swift 3 nipping at the heals of the more expensive notebooks with higher-end processors. Both of these tests really show the value of the 8250U and that you don't need to spend a fortune in order to get premium performance.