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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  • Impulses - Sunday, November 25, 2012 - link

    The interface would only bottleneck large sequential transfers (to/from a USB 3.0 drive that's fast enough, for instance), it wouldn't hamper an SSD's biggest strength (random I/O which makes the OS & programs more responsive). Reply
  • PaloAltoWorldView - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    So this is basically the $550 Windows version of Acer's $199 Chromebook. That's almost a 3 for 1. Reply
  • Evil_Sheep - Friday, November 23, 2012 - link

    I'm actually in the market for something exactly like this --- having read this review, this Acer actually ticks a lot of boxes but surely there's something out there from the competition with better than a mediocre 4hrs internet surfing. Doesn't cut it for me when my Asus UL30A from a few years back gets 10hrs...4hrs is so 2005. Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    Yeah, something with a larger battery and a better display wouldn't necessarily have to be much more expensive... Or inversely, aa thicker ultrabook with cheaper build quality but better battery life and a lower price tag. That middle market is vastly undeserved, and I gotta think it'd mostly intentional.

    The whole ultrabook initiative is about pushing brands and the consumer upscale... I'll eventually fall victim to it as my old Acer netbook is getting very long in the tooth but I'd really want something higher res.
    Reply
  • GOMAB357 - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    I am debating between this and the 11.6 inch Asus Vivobook. The Acer has more muscle, but the Asus has a touchscreen, which is great for Windows 8, and a much better design. What do you all think? Reply
  • profdre - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Never buy ASUS, bad quality (had a UX32VD Zenbook with several issues) and almost non-existent service (they couldn't repair the Zenbook) and now I still have to wait for weeks to get my money back. Reply
  • batguiide - Sunday, December 09, 2012 - link

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    Reply
  • dave92029 - Monday, December 10, 2012 - link

    Funny, how reviewers like the $549 Acer and hate the $199 Acer Chromebook that utilizes the same shell and say the Chromebook is cheap looking..

    If the reviewer thinks this is a deal @ $549 then the Chromebook version is a steal @ $199.

    People seem to think that paying more for something makes it better. I'm very happy with my Chromebook and the FEW compromises that I need to endure for only $199. LMAO
    Reply
  • ragefury32 - Wednesday, January 02, 2013 - link

    Actually, the extended battery is available. Considering that Acer used the same chassis design for 4 distinct products (Aspire One AO756, Travelmate B113, Aspire V5-171 and the Chromebook C700/710), some ot the Travelmate B113s (TMB113s) shipped overseas arrive with the 5000 mAH battery to go with their Core i5 based models.

    Google for the Sanyo AL12X32 battery (Acer part ID NP.BTP11.008).
    Acer US won't sell you one, but a certain well known US hardware vendor does have it...and it's not that expensibe)
    Reply
  • noseratio - Sunday, June 23, 2013 - link

    My V5-171-9661 only shows SATA II (3Gb/s) speed with Samsung 840 Pro SSD. Latest BIOS v2.15, AHCI, latest Intel RST drivers. Could someone please confirm or refute? Reply

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