The AMD Ryzen 7 4700U arrives at a key moment for laptop CPUs. After AMD launched its 7nm Ryzen 4000 CPU family at CES and dealt a first, crushing blow with the Ryzen 9 4900HS chip in high-end notebook PCs, the company has its eyes on the real prize: U-class laptops. Yes, those sub-three-pound slivers (known in a past life as Ultrabooks) everyone casually carries into meetings or lays on the table in a cafe. 

The vast majority of laptops today fit into this category. Traditionally they’re known to sacrifice performance for lighter weight and thinner design. AMD’s offerings in this area have been weak in the past, so the company focused on optimizing Ryzen 4000 for thinner notebook PCs. Everyone wants to know if AMD’s Ryzen “U” chips finally have what it takes.

Our test subject, the first Ryzen 7 4700U laptop we’ve tested, is Acer’s Swift 3. Yes, don’t rub your eyes, we’re about to put a budget $650 laptop against laptops that cost many times more. To find out which one wins, read on.

swift 3 sf314 42 front facing Acer

The bulk of our testing was done on a “budget” Acer Swift 3 with a 14-inch screen, 512GB SSD, 4GB of LPDDR4X/3733 and Ryzen 7 4700U.

How we tested

When we test a new CPU, we run a lot of extra benchmarks. This review shows a selection of those tests. Click this link to find our full benchmark results for Ryzen 7 4700U.

As you can’t test a laptop CPU by itself, we selected three models to represent their respective CPUs. Acer’s Swift 3 SF314-42 debuts with AMD’s Ryzen 7 4700U, code-named “Renoir.” This budget CPU features 8 cores, but without Symmetrical Multi-Threading (that’s reserved for the Ryzen 7 4800U), so it’s limited to 8 total threads. The Swift 3 comes with 8GB of LPDDR4X/3733 RAM and a 14-inch display.

Representing Intel are Dell’s XPS 13 7390 with Intel’s Comet Lake U 10th-gen Core i7 10710U, and Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 with Intel’s Ice Lake 10th-gen Core i7-1065G7. The top-end Comet Lake U features 6 cores and 12 threads, while the Ice Lake chip features 4 cores with 8 threads. We consider both XPS laptops to be good comparisons, as they usually top the charts in performance over most of the laptops we see. They both have 16GB of RAM compared to the Acer’s 8GB, but the Dell XPS 13 7390 uses slower LPDDR3, while the XPS 13 2-in-1 uses LPDDR4X/3733. The XPS 13’s display is 13.3 inches, and the XPS 13 2-in-1’s screen is 13.4 inches. 

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All three laptops were running the latest public build of Windows 10 (1909 18363.815) and the latest drivers and UEFI, to bring them in line with all of the security mitigations. While the Acer didn’t appear to have any performance settings other than Window 10’s slider (remember, it’s a $650 budget laptop), both Dell XPS laptops were run using their Ultra Performance settings.  

We also want to mention that testing three laptops at home during shelter-in-place required some accommodation. With ambient temperatures always shifting in our test lab-slash-dining room, we stopped testing when the temps got too high. For consistency, all of the results we show are from the laptops running the same tests at the same time.



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