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Acer Swift 3 Intel vs. AMD: Which should you buy?

Acer Swift 3 Intel
Acer Swift 3 Intel (Image credit: Windows Central)

Acer Swift 3 Intel vs. AMD tech specs

Despite sharing the same name, these two laptops differ in hardware, features, and dimensions. Here are the specs available in each model.

Acer Swift 3 (Intel)Acer Swift 3 (AMD)
Processor10th Gen Intel
Core i5-1035G4
Core i7-1065G7
AMD
Ryzen 5 4500U
Ryzen 7 4700U
RAM8GB, 16GB LPDDR4x8GB, 16GB LPDDR4x
GraphicsIntel Iris PlusRadeon Vega 6
Radeon Vega 7
Storage512GB, 1TB
M.2 PCIe SSD
256GB, 512GB, 1TB
M.2 PCIe SSD
Display13.5 inches
2256x1504
3:2 aspect ratio
Non-touch, glossy
IPS
14 inches
1920x1080
16:9 aspect ratio
Non-touch, matte
IPS
PortsThunderbolt 3
USB-A 2.0
USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1)
HDMI
3.5mm audio
USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2)
HDMI
USB-A 2.0
USB-A 3.0
3.5mm audio
AudioDual Stereo speakers
Down-firing
Dual Stereo speakers
Down-firing
WirelessIntel Wi-Fi 6
802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.0
Intel Wi-Fi 6
802.11ax
Bluetooth 5.0
CameraFront-facing 720pFront-facing 720p
SecurityFingerprint reader
Kensington lock slot
Fingerprint reader
Kensington lock slot
Battery56Wh50Wh
Dimensions11.9 x 9.2 x 0.63 inches
(302.25mm x 233.68mm x 16mm)
12.7 x 8.6 x 0.71 inches
(322.6mm x 218.4mm x 18mm)
Weight2.05 pounds (1.2kg)2.65 pounds (1.2kg)

Acer Swift 3 Intel vs. AMD design and features

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Both of these laptops have a magnesium alloy chassis that provides rigidity while remaining light. The silver finish helps reduce fingerprints and smudges, so there's not really any issue with a gross laptop opening up in an office or cafe. The AMD version weighs about a half-pound more than the Intel version, no doubt since the latter is thinner at 0.63 inches (16mm) compared to 0.71 inches (18mm). The footprint of these laptops is also different due to the boxier display on the Intel model. The AMD version is wider and not as deep.

Port selection is decent on both models, though the Intel model includes Thunderbolt 3 instead of regular USB-C. Both have HDMI, multiple USB-A, and 3.5mm audio, and both have Kensington lock slots for some added security. On the palm rest on the two laptops is a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello.

Acer Swift 3 Intel

Source: Windows Central Intel version's Thunderbolt 3 port. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The keyboard is similar on both laptops. Silver keys with a backlight help with working in the dark and both have good travel that makes for a comfortable typing experience. Some might dislike the smaller chiclet keys, but once typing regularly, it only takes a few hours to get used to. As for the touchpad, both are using Precision drivers for the best possible pointing. However, the Intel Swift 3's touchpad is much larger, thanks to the deeper chassis. The AMD model's touchpad isn't necessarily small; it's just undersized compared to its sibling.

Both laptops have average down-firing speakers, and both have an average 720p front-facing webcam. Nothing out of the ordinary here, but don't expect premium sound or picture from budget devices. Also included with both laptops is Wi-Fi 6 for fast, reliable wireless internet.

Acer Swift 3 Intel vs. AMD display

One of the most significant downsides of the AMD Swift 3 is its display. In our testing, it managed just 61% sRGB, 45% AdobeRGB, and 45% DCI-P3 color reproduction, and it hit just 231 nits brightness at maximum. At least it has a matte finish to help counteract glare, but it's still going to struggle in a well-lit space. There's also the 16:9 aspect ratio, which looks outdated, especially compared to the Intel version's 3:2 aspect ratio. It doesn't look bad for daily use thanks to good contrast, but it just doesn't compare overall.

On the other hand, one of the Intel Swift 3's best features is its display. The 3:2 aspect ratio allows for more screen space (83.65% screen-to-body ratio), and it also has a higher resolution. Instead of 1920x1080, it's boosted to 2256x1504, what Acer is calling 2K. It looks fantastic, especially thanks to 100% sRGB, 78% AdobeRGB, and 81% DCI-P3 color reproduction. It does have a glossy finish despite no touch function, but brightness up to 458 nits helps combat glare.

If you're interested in some photo editing or just can't stand a dim display with poor color, the Intel-based Swift 3 should be heavily favored.

Acer Swift 3 Intel vs. AMD performance, and battery

Source: Windows Central AMD version's internals. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Intel-based Swift 3 is part of Intel's Project Athena, meaning certain measures have been taken to ensure long battery life, overall snappy performance, and Instant On. Indeed, the laptop performs well in everyday tasks, and you're greeted with the Windows 10 login screen before you can finish opening the lid. Battery life (56Wh) regularly hit between eight and ten hours depending on the task at hand, with a rating of 12 hours and 12 minutes in PCMark 10's Modern Office rundown test.

The AMD version hit just more than 10 hours in the same rundown test with its 50Wh battery. It's not part of Project Athena, but it still delivered strong raw performance thanks to the AMD Ryzen CPU. If you want stellar performance from your CPU and integrated GPU — Radeon Vega graphics easily outpace Intel Iris Plus — you should lean toward the AMD version. You can see the differences in some synthetic benchmarks.

Geekbench 5

Geekbench 5.0 (CPU) (Higher is better)

DeviceCPUSingle coreMulti core
Acer Swift 3 (Intel)i7-1065G71,3023,891
Acer Swift 3 (AMD)Ryzen 7 4700U1,1314,860

PCMark

PCMark 10

DeviceScore
Acer Swift 3 (Intel)4,135
Acer Swift 3 (AMD)4,861

Cinebench

Cinebench (R20) (Higher is better)

DeviceCPURange
Acer Swift 3 (Intel)Core i7-1065G71,229 to 1,236
Acer Swift 3 (AMD)Ryzen 7 4700U2,391 to 2,428

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

DeviceReadWrite
Acer Swift 3 (Intel)1,641.39 MB/s1,033.82 MB/s
Acer Swift 3 (AMD)2,161.99 MB/s1,214.84 MB/s

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Overall the Intel version is going to offer better battery life and the perks of Project Athena, but the AMD version delivers better overall performance, even in the SSD department. Be sure to check out our collection of the best Windows laptops to see other top-performing devices available now.

Go with the Intel-based Swift 3 for better display and features

The Swift 3 with 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs won't deliver the same performance (processing or GPU) as Ryzen chips, but it does have a far better display with 3:2 aspect ratio and boosted resolution. It also brings better battery life, Instant On, and Thunderbolt 3 to the equation. Just make sure you don't paying more in most cases.

Stick with the AMD-based Swift 3 for better performance

The display is seriously lacking, there's no Thunderbolt 3, and battery life doesn't quite measure up (though you're still getting eight to 10 hours from a charge), but the performance from the Ryzen CPUs easily outmatch those from Intel. If you value CPU and GPU, this should be your first pick. You can also get the AMD version for quite a bit cheaper.

Cale Hunt
Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.