System Performance

Acer shipped the Intel Core i7-5500U model, which is a dual-core Broadwell based processor with a base frequency of 2.4 GHz and a turbo frequency of 3 GHz. Being a Broadwell U-series processor, it has a 15 watt TDP. Interestingly the original Acer S7 that we tested was the i7-3517U which also had up to 3 GHz of Turbo frequency. Some of our benchmarks have changed, but I’ll include it where I can just to see what kind of gains we see from Ivy Bridge to Broadwell.

The 8 GB of DDR3L is in dual-channel configuration, and as I have already mentioned the storage is in RAID 0.

This will likely be the last Broadwell based Ultrabook to be tested, since Intel has recently launched Skylake and laptops will soon begin to appear. Broadwell was short lived, with the U series being launched at CES this year. It has done surprisingly well especially with battery life, but also performance, so I am pretty excited to see what the new architecture of Skylake brings to the table.

As usual, the S7 was but through our standard Ultrabook workload. I’ve sampled some similar devices for the graphs, but if you would like to compare the S7 to any other notebook we have tested, please use our Notebook Bench. We have had the pleasure of testing every version of the Acer S7, from the original Ivy Bridge, the second generation Haswell version, and the latest Broadwell one, all with comparable i7 processors and 1080p panels so I have included the older models as well just to see what two generations of CPU gain can do when the rest of the platform stays more or less the same. Since our benchmarks change over time, we don’t have scores for every single test but they are included where we do have scores.

PCMark

PCMark 8 - Home

PCMark 8 - Creative

PCMark 8 - Work

PCMark 8 - Storage

PCMark 7 (2013)

PCMark attempts to replicate real world use cases rather than just max out the CPU and see what it can do. It factors in the entire system including storage, GPU, and even display resolution. The 1080p Acer S7 with it’s Core i7 does very well on these tests. One note though is the storage score. Despite having two SSDs in RAID 0, it actually scores at the bottom of this test and the overall throughput is no better than a single good SSD. I’m not a big fan of RAID 0 and this is one of the reasons why. Real world use does not really show much of a gain. It would be better for Acer to focus on a single, preferably PCIe SSD if they want to push the performance envelope. The target market for an Ultrabook likely doesn’t even know what RAID is.

Cinebench

Cinebench R15 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R15 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench is a purely CPU based benchmark, so the Core i7-5500U scores near the top of this test, being passed by just the X1 Carbon’s Core i7-5600U. In the older R11.5 version of the test you can see the gains made over Haswell, especially on multi-threaded workloads. This is because Broadwell can maintain a higher turbo for longer than Haswell with the lower operating voltage.

x264

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x

Much like Cinebench, this test is mostly a CPU test. The i7 once again comes in just below the slightly higher X1 Carbon’s i7-5600U just like it should. This benchmark can take a very long time to finish so it would also show any throttling, which generally is not an issue on active cooled 15 Watt processors.

Web Benchmarks

This is the first test we’ve done on Windows 10, and since Microsoft’s new browser Edge is now comparable to Chrome for ECMAScript performance Edge will be used, at least for now. Web benchmarks are always a mixed bag because of the JIT compiler optimization by the various browsers.

Mozilla Kraken 1.1

WebXPRT

Google Octane 2.0

Unfortunately, it looks like the Haswell S7 was tested on Internet Explorer 11, and you can clearly see how poor it is for scripting. The Acer S7 scores well in both Kraken and Octane, but stumbles a bit in WebXPRT. The Haswell based S7 even falls behind the Ivy Bridge one here because Haswell was tested on IE. Scores on WebXPRT seem to have dropped off somewhat and it is difficult to explain. I also ran the test on Chrome and got a similar score.

Design GPU Performance
POST A COMMENT

63 Comments

View All Comments

  • Sietse Vliegen - Monday, February 8, 2016 - link

    OK. I've been using one for about a year now. I have the i7 with the 2560x1440 display. Simply a brilliant piece of equipment.

    Unlike some of you, I have no preference for a particular brand. But I needed a sturdy reliable machine as I am on the road most of the time for business. Hence, the price was also not a decisive factor. In the past I have used laptops from Samsung, Toshiba, IBM, Lenovo, Apple. All of them had issues sooner or later. Therefore, I do not believe that any particular brand will guarantee a trouble free laptop future. I'm sure I'll have some issues with Acer too, eventually. But so far so good and boy, I do like this machine, a lot.

    At the time I looked at the HP Spectre . Promising, but sold out pretty much everywhere. Didn't like the rubber surface on the Dell XPS, gets stained after a while. Didn't like the hinges on the Lenovo Yoga 3, looks like a weak point. Not enthusiastic about the Macbook Pro 13 inch either, especially the rough edges. And I need a Windows machine, for business purposes, not a Macbook running Parallels desktop or similar. Looked at the Acer, couldn't figure out why they chose a SSD raid config either. But I did like the look and feel of the machine, and most specs were on par with the other machines.

    Ended up buying the Acer, and I must say I am impressed. Build quality is excellent, sturdy aluminium top, gorilla glass cover. Heck, you can even use it as a whiteboard. In business meetings, everyone wants to know what type of laptop it is, and checks how thin/light it is.

    I use it almost every day and it is 100% silent most of the time, only at full load the fan spins up, but never gets really noisy. The 2560x1440 display is simply gorgeous. Everyone loves it. No problems with scaling of fonts or apps using Windows 8.1 or 10 (never tried Windows 8).

    I have no problem with the flimsy powerplug. In fact, I think it's an advantage that it easily unplug from the laptop when someone trips over the power cord. But obviously, Apple's solution is even better.

    The keyboard is fine. Spacing is ok and I can type really fast without any problems. I would prefer separate function keys, though. The silver color of the keys does not bother me one bit. The only minor niggle I have is that the keyboard backlight makes a slight whining noise at maximum brightness. Throttle down a bit and it's gone.

    I don't understand the issue the reviewer has with *only* two USB ports. I use a Logitech Ultrathin T630 bluetooth mouse, which doesn't need a USB port anyway. Occasionally I use a USB stick. That leaves at least one spare USB port.

    The reviewer states also that the displayport and the mini HDMI port could have been combined. Whereas that may be true, the simple fact remains that in business environments, most projectors/beamers either have an HDMI or VGA connector. DisplayPort is still pretty scarce although I do use it at home. HDMI works 100% of the time. VGA uses a dongle which is not always compatible with old plasma screens, so I found out: the laptop freezes until you unplug it from the screen.

    Finally, the battery lasts about 6-7 hours, depending on what it is I'm doing (mostly office apps and webbrowsing). For business use that is excellent. In fact, I can usually use it for several days without charging. My previous $1500 Samsung notebook lasted only 3 hours or so.

    All in all, I am extremely happy with this machine and I would definitely buy it again.
    Reply
  • maccomb - Saturday, August 20, 2016 - link

    Hi,
    I also bought the Acer S7-392. The looks are amazing but that is subjective.
    What is not subjective is how good the 2560x1440 screen is; the battery time; how thin and light it is. It's now August 2016 and I bought this pc (where I'm typing) long time ago... don't really know 2 years or 3 ago? The gorilla glass cover is great, no scratches, no stains, nothing. It still as nice as when bought. Same for the screen itself. The keyboard: I also feel the lack of the dedicated Function key row, but other than that, it's great and the best compared to other ultrthin I know (asus and lenovo). I also don't understand the complaints on the SSD raid 0. Either I'm ignorant or you are... this provides me with aprox 1GB/s transfer rate. Specially when moving movies around from SSD to 1gbps network or to a fast USB3.0 external disk. As far as a I know, only Sony Vaio had something similar (4xraid0 or someting). It's as ran windows 7.. which I loved, then upgraded to 8.1 which was so-so, and now finally Windows 10 which is a great OS (and I'm a strong linux supporter mind you, for servers).
    I reached to this article just because what I really wanted is to know if there was a newer version to buy, with more memory or more disk. I'm an intensive business pro user with virtualization running Linux, and lots of Office and all day long email and stuff... So you see. It's a light, slim, hardcore machine. I actually think that Acer has a bad trackrecord and must have created this S7 at this price to try to change it's image. It's unfair people look this laptop down without even testing it. My previous machine was a ibm thinkpad and toshibas before that. Oh well I just hope they keep making money from this line so they keep developing it.
    Reply
  • maccomb - Saturday, August 20, 2016 - link

    Hi,
    I also bought the Acer S7-392. The looks are amazing but that is subjective.
    What is not subjective is how good the 2560x1440 screen is; the battery time; how thin and light it is. It's now August 2016 and I bought this pc (where I'm typing) long time ago... don't really know 2 years or 3 ago? The gorilla glass cover is great, no scratches, no stains, nothing. It still as nice as when bought. Same for the screen itself. The keyboard: I also feel the lack of the dedicated Function key row, but other than that, it's great and the best compared to other ultrthin I know (asus and lenovo). I also don't understand the complaints on the SSD raid 0. Either I'm ignorant or you are... this provides me with aprox 1GB/s transfer rate. Specially when moving movies around from SSD to 1gbps network or to a fast USB3.0 external disk. As far as a I know, only Sony Vaio had something similar (4xraid0 or someting). It's as ran windows 7.. which I loved, then upgraded to 8.1 which was so-so, and now finally Windows 10 which is a great OS (and I'm a strong linux supporter mind you, for servers).
    I reached to this article just because what I really wanted is to know if there was a newer version to buy, with more memory or more disk. I'm an intensive business pro user with virtualization running Linux, and lots of Office and all day long email and stuff... So you see. It's a light, slim, hardcore machine. I actually think that Acer has a bad trackrecord and must have created this S7 at this price to try to change it's image. It's unfair people look this laptop down without even testing it. My previous machine was a ibm thinkpad and toshibas before that. Oh well I just hope they keep making money from this line so they keep developing it.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now