System Performance

The Intel Core i7-3517U is the second fastest ultrabook processor Intel offers, behind the i7-3667U capable of going all the way to 3.2GHz on a single core. That, coupled with the pair of 128GB SSDs in striped RAID, should allow the Acer Aspire S5 to produce some fairly impressive performance numbers. Intel's HD 4000 graphics are also finally capable of DirectX 11, allowing us to run 3DMark11 and produce comparison results with slightly heavier ultraportable gaming systems.

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

For the most part, the SSD solution in Acer's notebook does indeed seem to be the fastest we've yet tested. That gives it a slight edge against the otherwise comparable ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A. For reference, even in Microsoft's Performance Advisor, the striped SSD maxes out the score at 7.9.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

PCMark Vantage tells the same story, favoring faster SSD solutions against virtually anything else.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

Unfortunately, 3DMark performance remains less than impressive. Pay attention to 3DMarks Vantage and 06 in particular; the faster, standard-voltage CPU in the Sony Vaio Z2 gives the last generation HD 3000 more breathing room and allows it to outperform the otherwise substantially faster HD 4000 graphics core.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

More fundamental CPU performance is about where it ought to be. The S5 and ASUS UX21A tend to trade blows, and I suspect this largely has to do with how each notebook manages its own thermals. For testing, the trap door of the S5 wound up being open the entire time, allowing the S5 to run its processor a little harder.

In and Around the Acer Aspire S5 Battery, Heat, and Screen Performance
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  • Deverix - Sunday, August 12, 2012 - link

    Understandably, most of us in here look at things from a technical perspective that is much more critical than a typical consumer's perspective.

    The reality is, consumers don't notice much difference in laptop & tablet screens beyond a "720p" resolution. You've probably seen the YouTube video where people coming out of an Apple store cannot see the difference between the iPad2 and the iPad3 with the super-high-res "Retina Display". Most content is not super high resolution, so much if it looks exactly the same on 768 and the higher resolution screens.

    All that said, it's fair to bag on a manufacturer for not delivering acceptable specs within a certain price point. At $1,400 - which is a very expensive laptop - we should demand not only high resolution but a touch screen plus the great durability and feel of Corning Gorillas Glass.

    I do like that pop-out section for USB, HDMI, etc. That's nice design touch. But I think at the price point I might look more at Dell for a high-end unit.
  • jasonogn - Saturday, August 18, 2012 - link

    Please do not waste your money. I bought this Acer Aspire S5 and the battery only lasts 1 hour 50mins. Customer service is unresponsive. Save your money on another unit.

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