System Performance: AMD Renoir H

AMD’s Renoir platform has been a game-changer in the laptop space for the Santa Clara company. With the previous laptop platform, Picasso, AMD offered competitive,, but not class-leading performance, especially on their integrated GPU, but were let down by high platform power draw, which was a major hurdle to overcome in a battery-powered device. Also, Picasso featured the AMD Zen CPU cores, whereas AMD’s desktop platform had moved to Zen 2. With the introduction of the AMD 4000 series laptop platform known as Renoir, AMD really delivered a triple-punch, moving to their newest 7 nm Zen 2 cores, as well as addressing their high idle power draw, and offering up to eight cores and sixteen threads in both their U-Series 15-Watt designs, and H / HS series 45-Watt / 35-Watt laptop processors. AMD went from “competitive, but” to class-leading overnight.

For a full deep-dive into the AMD 4000 platform, please check out Ian’s launch-day review featuring the AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS.

Moving back to the Acer Nitro 5, Acer is offering two Renoir-based options, with the entry-level design featuring an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, and the upgraded model moving to the Ryzen 7 4800H. Both are nominal 45-Watt TDP parts, with the Ryzen 5 offering six cores and twelve threads, from 3.0 to 4.0 GHz. The 4800H offers eight cores and sixteen threads, from 2.9 to 4.2 GHz. In our Ryzen 5 powered review unit, the processor is paired with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM in a single-channel configuration, which will somewhat impact CPU performance, but offers the owner an easier, less expensive option to upgrade to 16 GB in the future.

To see how the Acer Nitro 5 performs, it was run through our laptop benchmark suite. To compare the results to any device we have tested, please use our online Bench. As an interesting comparison we have included the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M15, powered by a six-core i7-10750H, with the same TDP and core count as the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H in the Acer Nitro 5, as well as the eight-core Ryzen 7 4700U powered Acer Swift 3, and some quad-core Ice Lake platforms with and without dedicated graphics. The comparison systems are not based on price – the Acer Nitro 5 is easily the most inexpensive device here with a dGPU – but on platforms, so please keep that in mind. Where possible, the ASUS Zephyrus G14, which was the launch platform for the Ryzen 4000 series, is also included, however Ian’s CPU testing suite does not perfectly match the Laptop suite, so data is not available for all tests.

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 - Essentials

PCMark 10 - Productivity

PCMark 10 - Digital Content Creation

PCMark 10 - Overall

Offering a range of sub-tests, UL’s PCMark 10 simulates real-world tasks for office productivity, digital content creation, and typical tasks a home-user may do such as web and video chats. The Acer Nitro 5 does very well here, although it can not quite match the 8-core Ryzen 7 4700U in many of the tests. The included GTX 1650 does propel it ahead in content creation, however. The ASUS M17, with a 5.0 GHz maximum frequency, does edge the Ryzen 5 4600H, and the large GTX 1660 Ti GPU also helps. However the ASUS Zephyrus G14 with the “35-Watt” Ryzen 9 4900HS and RTX 2060 is able to outshine the rest of the systems.

Cinebench R20

Cinebench R20 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R20 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench is a pure compute workload, testing a CPU’s execution resources without much else getting in the way, like memory. It favors fast frequencies, high IPC, and more cores on the multi-threaded version of the test. The slightly lower boost frequency of the Ryzen 5 4600H, peaking at only 4.0 GHz, holds the system back on the single-threaded results, but with six cores and twelve total threads, the Ryzen 5 competes well with the Core i7-10750H, and stretches its legs on the U-Series processors. The Ryzen 9 4900HS, with 8 cores, 16 threads, and a 4.3 GHz maximum turbo, easily outclasses other processors here.

Handbrake

Handbrake Transcoding (Software)

Handbrake Transcoding (Hardware)

The newly added Handbrake benchmark leverages the CPU, integrated GPU, and discrete GPU if available to transcode video using likely the most popular transcoding tool around. As a much longer test, the TDP plays more of a factor here than on some of the previous results, and the Acer Nitro 5 does very well on this assessment. On pure CPU encoding, the Zen 2 cores can almost keep up with the much higher frequency Core i7-10750H. When using the integrated GPU built into Ryzen, performance is good, although not quite matching the Ryzen 7 4700U we tested in the Acer Swift 3, which despite the smaller TPD, offers a slightly larger iGPU. The GeForce GTX 1650 is faster again, if you need to transcode video in a hurry. Generally, the dedicated media blocks perform the job quicker, but not necessarily with the same quality as the software based encoder, which may factor into your decision on which one to leverage for a transcode job.

7-Zip

7-Zip Compression

7-Zip Decompression

The very popular open-source file compression utility 7-Zip includes a built-in benchmark, showing the compression and decompression rates in MIPS. The Ryzen 5 can’t quite hang with the Ryzen 7 4700U in compression, but the Zen 2 cores do very well in the decompression result.

Web Workloads

Measuring web performance is a factor of both the underlying hardware, as well as the browser, since most web workloads leverage scripting which is compiled just-in-time, so the browser plays a big factor in overall performance. To lock the systems to an even playing field, we have moved to the latest Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser, and will be utilizing it going forward. We took the opportunity to move away from some of the older, outdated web tests, and are focusing on Speedometer 2.0, which is a DOM performance measurement from the Webkit team, and WebXPRT which is developed by Principled Technologies.

Speedometer 2.0

WebXPRT 3

 

Interestingly, the 6-core, 12-thread Acer Nitro 5 was able to surpass the 8-core, 8-thread Ryzen 4700U in Speedometer, even with a small frequency deficit. WebXPRT, which really favors higher turbos and fast turbo activation, did not do as well on this system.

Storage Performance

The Acer Nitro 5 review unit shipped with a 256 GB Western Digital SN530 drive, which is a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe drive. The Acer also offers an additional M.2 port, as well as a 2.5-inch SATA slot for additional expansion. As a low-cost device, the 256 GB drive is small, but adequate when you consider the rest of the internals, and expansion is possible, either via internal drives, or of course USB-based storage to hold a gaming library.

The PCMark 10 storage test uses traces of actual workloads to provide an overall resulting score, and is more useful than a straight up bandwidth test of the drive.

PCMark 10 System Drive Benchmark Bandwidth

PCMark 10 System Drive Benchmark Average Access Time

PCMark 10 System Drive Benchmark Score

The drive itself, despite being installed in a low-cost device, holds up well against other devices we have tested that cost much more. A larger drive in a gaming system would be nice, due to the massive size of game installs in 2020, but a 256 GB system drive is still welcome since it is pure NVMe SSD.

Design GPU Performance
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  • lakedude - Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - link

    On my Nitro 5 there are doors on the back for memory and SSD access but this might have changed. Mine shipped with a m.2 SSD installed, leaving the bay empty for a 2.5 inch. Once again this might have changed by now. Reply
  • Crazyeyeskillah - Sunday, October 11, 2020 - link

    The keys themselves are reasonably, with good resistance and travel.

    Editors: We can do better than this anandtech, really been trying to be loyal despite the drop in quality.
    Reply
  • Calista - Monday, October 12, 2020 - link

    Obviously built to a budget, but for the money few complains can be raised. $700 give us a decent gaming laptop with no fatal flaws. Sure, the screen could have been better. But a lot of people just don't care all that much when it comes to PQ, and even a bad IPS screen tend to be a good enough. Reply
  • AMDSuperFan - Monday, October 12, 2020 - link

    I am not sure if I am still banned. Reply
  • AMDSuperFan - Monday, October 12, 2020 - link

    I was banned for the big AMD announcements. But since I am back for now, I ask that people do not ask that I be banned for opinions and dialogue. You will note that I never curse or harass others. I simply provide noteworthy opinions on the articles, from my personal perspective of a Super Fan of the AMD company. Why would my personal opinions generate such angst from the community while others say curse words upon one another and engage in angry discourse?

    I am not angry. I am happy and go lucky. Allow me to be!

    All that said, I am super excited about this new budget offering from AMD. AMD may not be the fastest but it is good for those of us on a tight budget. Let the rich fat cats buy the Intel products that are faster with better features. AMD fans like me enjoy a bargain and will give up quality in every aspect of a product for a good deal that is almost as good at some things!
    Reply
  • lefty2 - Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - link

    mentions no noise at idle, but says nothing about noise at low load. nor does he mention noise levels when coolboost is turned off Reply
  • Johnstron1980 - Friday, December 4, 2020 - link

    I agree with the other commenters! I was SOO close to buying the Nitro 5 2020 with a Ryzen 4800H but then... the screen is so poor. WHYYY?? It seems like a trend to put crappy panels on great Ryzen machines to save the manufacturer a buck. But it does not make sense. I would gladly pay a bit more for a better screen, but the next step up in screen quality on the market is MUCH more expensive. Surely it does not cost the manufacturer that much more to go to the next step up in screen quality? Reply
  • Rec2020 - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    I got into photography a few months after getting this laptop. I edit photos on it, but something made it feel flat, and other devices always made my photos look more saturated. Despite calibrating the screen with the built in utility + using a few other on-screen gradient charts etc and having fairly accurate looking hues the saturation has always been an issue. Did some digging just to find this thing only has a 61% of sRGB gamut? Jesus! sRGB is the smallest gamut even used for ANYTHING. It's THOROUGHLY outdated, even the old analog NTSC color space from 1953 is larger than sRGB (which came out in 1993 I think). How do you manage to manufacture something in the 2020s that could be outdone by a 1950s high end CRT TV? Absolutely pathetic. Reply
  • Rec2020 - Monday, July 19, 2021 - link

    Oh, and by the way this laptop's screen also has uneven lighting at the top from the backlights. They point outwards in a ^ shape from the top center. Not sure if it's a widespread issue, but I've seen an in store display for a slightly more recent version of this with that too. Not an issue unless darker content is displayed on screen but worth mentioning. Reply
  • Altuzza - Monday, August 23, 2021 - link

    Even those with a stable income source and are regularly paid salaries can face an emergency when they need cash quickly. I recently used https://oncredit.vn . It literally saved me. There was no money at all. The popularity of payday loans is at its peak today. I don't see anything wrong with that. Reply

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