Acer Aspire 5 Review: Intel or AMD? Which one is best? (Ryzen 3 3200U Ryzen 5 4500U Core i5-1035G1)

Acer Aspire 5 is consistently ranked at the top of Amazon's bestseller list in the traditional laptop category. So in this video I am going to break down all the available configurations of this laptop and help you decide which one to pick based on your requirements

I am a huge fan of Acer Aspire 5 laptop. This laptop offers an excellent full-HD IPS screen, good build quality, solid keyboard and trackpad, great performance with plenty of upgrade options and a pretty good battery life. But Acer has muddled the water with too many configurations of Aspire 5 laptop making it a nightmare to pick the right one for your needs. 

What I like

Before I take a deeper dive into all the available configurations of Acer Aspire 5, let's first talk about what I like in this laptop. While you are not getting an all metal construction, Acer Aspire 5 feels very solid in hands. This is because the top half of this laptop is built using an aluminum frame. This keeps the weight of the laptop down and gives it a sleek modern look. While most budget laptops sport a cheap plastic logo on their top lid, Acer Aspire 5 has a metallic logo giving it a more premium feel. This laptop has a tapered shell allowing Acer to pack plenty of ports while still keeping the laptop body relatively thin. 

Budget laptops tend to have a crappy hinge, but in my last one year of using this laptop, I have had no issues with its hinge. I love the fact that this hinge allows tilting the screen all the way back past 180 degrees. This offers more flexibility while using the laptop in your couch or bed. Opening the lid reveals a 15.6-inch full-HD IPS screen with thin bezels. This screen offers pleasing colors and about 250 nits of brightness which is good enough for indoor use. I really like this screen, it punches way above its weight. Pictures & videos look bright and colorful and texts look crisp and sharp. Thanks to the anti-reflective matte coating on this screen, there are minimal reflections and glare from ambient lighting.

The silver-colored chassis houses a full size backlit enabled keyboard. It comes with a 10-key numeric keypad for spreadsheet warriors. The keys offer decent travel distance and actuation force resulting in a pleasing typing experience. Acer Aspire 5 also sports a large touchpad which makes using multi-finger gestures like pinch to zoom very easy. You have a choice of Intel or AMD CPU, both 8th and 10th generation Intel configurations along with AMD Ryzen 3000 and 4000 series configurations are available. There is also a skew of Acer Aspire 5 rocking a discrete Nvidia GPU for extra gaming performance.

Budget King

Let's start with the cheapest model and work our way up. So, the budget king is the model with AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU. This configuration is currently the number 1 best selling laptop on Amazon. In my opinion, this configuration of Acer Aspire 5 gives the best bang for bucks. Ryzen 3 3200U CPU along with the integrated Vega 3 graphics provide more than enough horsepower to handle day to day tasks like web surfing, word processing, watching streaming videos and playing basic games.

What I love most about this configuration is the ease of upgrade. There are 2 user upgradeable DIMM slots that can be easily accessed by opening the back of the laptop. This allows you to add up to 32 GB of ram. There is a SATA3 slot for adding an extra SSD drive to increase storage. Please check this video linked in the video description below where I show step by step instructions on how to perform hardware upgrade. Adding more RAM will dramatically increase the performance of Acer Aspire 5. I also encourage everyone buying this laptop to upgrade from artificially handicapped windows 10 “S” mode to a full version of windows 10. This upgrade is completely free and it takes no more than 5 minutes

Mid Tier

At this price point you will get a much faster CPU and double the RAM which will significantly improve the overall performance of this laptop. The two CPU choices are the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 and AMD Ryzen 5 4500U. Ryzen 5 is a hexa core CPU and it offers 2 extra cores over Intel Core i5 which is only quad core. Ryzen 5 also offers higher base clock and turbo clock frequency and comes with 11 MB cache as opposed to 6 MB offered by Core-i5. 

In Passmark CPU benchmark Ryzen 5 wipes the floor with Intel Core-i5 winning by a whopping 41.4%. However, the integrated GPU performance of both Intel and AMD configuration is very similar. 

AMD does nudge out Intel by about 7% in GPU FP32 benchmark, but that small gap in performance is not enough to manifest in any meaningful real life use cases such as gaming and multimedia playback. 

Both these configurations offer identical build quality, port selection and battery life. Both offer a user upgradeable DIMM slot for memory upgrade and a SATA3 slot for adding a 2nd SSD drive. Overall, I would recommend picking Ryzen 5 4500u configuration over Intel because of its superior CPU performance. But note that this configuration is in high demand causing lot of price fluctuation on Amazon. Please checkout the links below to find the latest price and availability of both Ryzen 5 and Core-i5 configuration

Dedicated GPU config

Next up is this configuration which replaces the integrated GPU with a discrete Nvidia or AMD GPU. This configuration is more suitable for folks who want improved gaming performance from their Acer Aspire 5 laptops. You get the 10th generation Intel Core-i5 CPU paired with NVIDIA GeForce MX350 discrete GPU. MX350 doubles the gaming performance when compared to the integrated Intel UHD G1 Graphics. 

Now if you are an AMD fan and prefer Ryzen 4500u CPU, then there is a configuration using this CPU with Radeon RX 640 discrete GPU. But I would not recommend this configuration because it sucks. Radeon RX 640 discrete GPU doesn't really offer any extra graphics performance over the built in Radeon 6 GPU found in Ryzen 4500u chip. In fact GPU benchmarks show that Radeon RX 640 performs worse than Radeon 6 integrated GPU. 

Take a look at this G3D Benchmark. Nvidia MX350 is clearly the top dog offering the best performance, but surprisingly Ryzen 4500u integrated GPU is almost 40% faster than Radeon RX 640 discrete GPU. 

So here is my recommendation. If you want top gaming performance, go with Nvidia MX350 paired with the Intel core-i5 CPU. Else stick with Ryzen 4500u configuration with integrated Radeon 6 graphics for best CPU performance. Honestly I don't understand why Acer would bother selling Ryzen 4500u with Radeon RX 640 discrete GPU, this configuration is not only more expensive, it also offers inferior performance.

Top Tier CPU

And finally, let's talk about the top tier configuration of Acer Aspire 5. This configuration delivers the best CPU performance and it is great for students and working professionals doing software development and running other CPU intensive applications. You have a choice of going with either AMD Ryzen 7 4700U processor or Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor. Here is a chart showing the key differences between these two CPUs. 

The biggest difference is in the core count. Ryzen 7 offers 8-cores which is twice the number of cores found in Core-i7. But Intel Core-i7 supports Hyperthreading which allows it to run 8 execution threads matching Ryzen 7. Ryzen cores are also clocked at higher base and turbo clock frequency. So how does all this translate to real world performance? 

In Passmark CPU benchmark, Ryzen 7 demolishes Core-i7 beating it by 54.1%. So when it comes to raw CPU performance, there is really a no contest. 

Things don't get any better for Intel in the graphics department. In iGPU FP32 benchmark, integrated Radeon 7 graphics found in Ryzen 7 is almost 70% faster than Intel Iris Plus Graphics in Core-i7 chip. 

So here is the bottomline guys, Ryzen 7 4700U is a beast and it can easily handle heavy CPU and GPU intensive tasks like video editing, photoshop, software development and gaming without issues. Now I am not suggesting that Intel core-i7 is a slouch. It will also have no trouble streaming 4K videos, playing casual games and editing pictures and videos. But it won't match the raw horse power of Ryzen 7. BTW, If you are into fortnite, expect around 30 to 40 fps at HD setting on intel core-i7 and closer to 60 fps on AMD configuration.

Purchase Links

👉 Budget King (Ryzen 3 3200U)
👉 Latest Intel Core-i3-1005G1
👉 Top Performance (8-Core Ryzen 7 4700U)
👉 Best bang for bucks (6-Core Ryzen 5 4500U)
👉 Latest Core-i5 with Nvidia GPU
👉 Latest Core-i5 with iGPU
Buy 1080p USB Webcam
👉 Fifine
👉 Victure

Hardware upgrades
👉 Buy recommended RAM upgrades
👉 Buy recommended SATA3 SSD upgrades
👉 Buy recommended PCIe NVMe SSD upgrades

Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases