Application and Futuremark Performance

When we talk about the performance of the Acer Aspire V5-171, it's the part that I think really matters the most. Vendors weren't really doing with Sandy Bridge (outside of the Sandy Bridge i3) what they're doing with Ivy Bridge now. This is essentially the top end of the netbook form factor; HP's dm1 was available with an i3 or Brazos (only Brazos currently), Lenovo's ThinkPad X100e line has the same thing going on. 11.6" notebooks mean either Brazos or an i3, and even there an i3 is generally going to be superior.

With the V5-171, though, we get an Ivy Bridge i5 that's able to turbo up substantially as well as beefier HD 4000 graphics. While on paper the E2-1800's IGP may be preferable, with superior driver support, the Ivy Bridge CPU cores will make up the deficit in a big way.

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

PCMark punishes the V5-171 for not including an SSD, but SSD prices have come down tremendously and you can always upgrade to one later (as I did). Last I checked, Amazon was selling Samsung's venerable 830 at a 128GB capacity for $80.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

The CPU-specific benchmarks highlight both the performance gulf between Brazos notebooks and the tremendous amount of performance Intel was able to cram into a 17-watt power envelope. Note that the current generation E2-1800 is an incremental improvement on the E-350 we have listed, with a top CPU speed just 100MHz higher and no architectural changes. The i5-3317U isn't the fastest CPU, but it's remarkably powerful and mostly as fast as or faster than last generation's ULV i7s.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

GPU performance isn't groundbreaking by a longshot, but it's a heady improvement on the HD 3000 and soundly ahead of Brazos. In anecdotal use, I found that the difference between the HD 3000 and 4000 in ULV chips was actually enough to make certain games (like Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013) much more playable. The HD 4000 in the V5 is also capable of running Guild Wars 2 at minimum settings and should have no trouble with World of Warcraft.

I remember when integrated graphics were, no matter how powerful the core was (AMD 780G, looking at you), pretty badly handicapped by memory bandwidth. Shared memory wasn't really the issue, it was the low speed of system memory preventing even 1280x800 or 1366x768 from being very playable. Fast DDR3 and efficient memory controllers have largely alleviated that bottleneck, though. I would never recommend the HD 4000 for a gamer, but I've found it's actually passable for casual use and is definitely enough to drive the V5's display.

In and Around the Acer Aspire V5-171 Display, Battery, Noise, and Heat
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  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    Well, me, for one.

    You make it sound like the battery lasts a whole fifteen minutes and the display borders on illegible. Neither of these is the case.

    Four hours of useful running time isn't dire; my X100e ran for less during CES this year and still never ran down completely.

    And yeah, the glossy display kind of sucks, but it still works and gets the job done.

    In exchange, you have a system with a tremendous amount of performance on tap in a very portable form factor, with great thermals and noise and a low price. It's also far more responsive and enjoyable to use than an Atom netbook, and its IGP doesn't have the teething issues Atom's does.

    Note also that this is NOT an ultrabook. It's simply an ultraportable, and for me at least, it's pretty ideal.
    Reply
  • Calin - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    I think the money might buy you dual channel DDR (or interleaved or whatever it's called). If this is the case, there is quite a bit of extra graphic performance to be had, I think. Anyway, $200 is probably overpriced even so Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    The tested version already has dual channel (there are no 6 GB modules..), And most of the price increase is due to the CPU and is directly forwarded to Intel. Reply
  • Anonymous Blowhard - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    So glad that Acer decided to make this easily serviceable. Two DIMM slots, both on the bottom, and an easy-to-access HDD for a quick 7mm SSD upgrade? Love it.

    Battery life is a bit of a shame and the display is the usual budget crock, but like you said w.r.t Brazos laptops, if the price is right, you're willing to overlook some of these faults.
    Reply
  • Matti - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    It's a joke to compare E-350 with i5 3317U (or E1200). Brazos are for Atom to compare with. Why not to include A6 4455M for comparsion, actually the tdp 17 W is just the same. It would be interesting to look at low voltage Trinity to perform against Intel ULV. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    An a6-4455m is a 2 core (1 module) trinity part with 17w tdp, Its base clock is 2.1 ghz and it can turbo to 2.6 ghz. Compare this to an a10-4600m (the best laptop trinity)
    An a10-4600m is a 4 core (2 module) trinity part with a 35w tdp. Its base clock is 2.3 ghz and it can turbo up to 3.2 ghz. Thus the a10 has double the cores, as well as a 9% faster base clock, and a 23% faster turbo clock.

    Well the i5-3317u (17w) is faster than the a10-4600m (35w) in both single and multithreaded tasks (the a10-4600m is faster in gpu). See the anandtech mobile bench.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/727?vs=600

    In Cinebench R11.5 (Single-Threaded Benchmark) the i5-3317u scores 1.08 vs the a10-4600m 0.70 fps which makes the i5-3317u 54% faster in single threaded.
    In Cinebench R11.5 (Multithreaded Benchmark) the i5-3517 scores 2.41 pts vs the a10-4600m 2.05 pts which makes the i5-3317u 17% faster in multithread.

    There is no way a dual core a6 with lower clock speed can keep up with an i5 ivy when the quad core a10 is having problems.

    --------

    Now in graphics the a10 is faster than the i5 ulv ivybridge. But the a6-4455m has a lot less shader power. The a6 has 256 shaders instead of 384 (a10), in other words 66% of the shaders . In addition the a6-4455m has lower clocks 327 mhz instead of 496 mhz (a10), only 66% of the clock speed. Thus if the game is shader limited instead of memory, rop, or cpu limited the worse case scenario for the a6 ulv is that it will perform 43% as well as the a10. (In many games the a6 will perform a lot closer than the 43% since memory, rop, and cpu power does play a factor.)

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    There are very few computers using the a6-4455m. AMD pretty much only got design wins with a couple hp 15.6" sleekbooks and a samsung 13.3" sleekbook. These a6 sleekbooks computers are all priced at 500 or greater. The i5 in this v5 on the other hand occupies a similar price range yet is in a smaller computer.

    AMD just can't seem to gain any traction with the smaller size laptops.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    I like this form factor and the benefits a little more z-height brings over Ultrabooks. Personally I'd want higher quality (and would pay more for this), but may recommend this one to others. Reply
  • jeffkro - Thursday, November 22, 2012 - link

    The best replacement for the netbook is the new chromebook laptops, nice light OS on light hardware. This thing is just a cheaper ultrabook. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    I have the Travelmate 8172 with a Core i3 330UM (Arrandale ULV chips). I was considering buying the 1810 back in the day, but didn't like the glossy all over the place. The battery life with this unit is not as good (Arrandale ULV chips aren't that great at using less energy). But it still lasts me between 4 and 7 hours, depending on what I do with it. Build quality is great apart from one key that always fell off (which I could fix in 30 seconds with some pliers). This unit sounds like a great deal, it has a better chip, more RAM and is cheaper (I paid 650€ for my Travelmate). The downsides are the smaller battery and glossy display. If I had any reason to upgrade (I don't right now, hardly use the notebook these days), I would probably buy it or at least something similar. I don't like the Ultrabooks much, too much emphasise on style/size/weight and not enough on serviceability, price, usefulness. Still, I think Acer has come quite a way since they started out as the ultra-cheap vendor. :) Reply
  • Ignatius - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    I notice the HDD it comes with is only SATA II. Does anyone know if this Acer supports SATA III? It would seem kind of a waste to put an SSD in it to only get half the performance. Reply

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