At Acer’s global press conference today, one of the hot ticket items was the announcement of an upcoming laptop featuring an Intel’s discrete graphics option. The new Intel Xe graphics architecture, which debuted in Intel 11th Gen Tiger Lake notebook processors, is now set to see the launch of an additional higher power discrete graphics option and coming to notebooks first. One of those devices will be the Acer Swift 3X, with both Tiger Lake and discrete Xe MAX inside.

The Swift 3X (SF314-510G) is a notebook with a 14-inch 1080p IPS display, peaking at 300 nits brightness, and will be offered with up to 16 GB of LPDDR4X memory as well as 512 GB of Optane+QLC or up to 1 TB of NVMe storage. The unit will have Wi-Fi 6 support, and is rated for up to 17.5 hours battery life. Weight tips the scales at 3 lbs.

This device seems like a typical Swift 3-esque notebook, with a backlit chicklet keypad, a good sized trackpad, a fingerprint scanner, good bezels, and a webcam up top. The hinge mechanism lifts the laptop up slightly to create some additional airflow. There is a HDMI output, two full sized USB Type-A, and a Type-C that could be Thunderbolt but it is unclear.

Processor options are the top line Intel Core i7-1165G7 or Core i5-1135G7 – there’s no direct indication about what power level these are set to (a drawback of Intel’s non-fixed TDP marketing messaging), so these could very well be 12 W models with 1.2 GHz base frequency.

All that information aside, what you’re really after is the Intel Iris Xe MAX discrete graphics information – core counts, frequencies, power consumption, that sort of thing. Unfortunately Acer hasn’t released any additional information here – the chassis looks sturdy enough that it can handle some extra wattage above the 12 W suggested for Tiger Lake at least.

What you might be shocked to find out is that this model is due for release in China by the end of the month. This might be because entry level discrete graphics options are more favored in the APAC market. We’ve asked Acer if they can expand on reasoning here – it may very well be supply chain oriented due to the pandemic.

Acer plans to launch the unit in China first in October, Europe in November, and North America in December. Prices will start at $900 / €850 / 4999 RMB.

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  • edzieba - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    That, and CPUs by design have (for a good decade now) not even come close to having a 'fixed' power draw. Spec the peak power draw, and you vastly overstate the actual power draw. Spec the average draw, and you have complaining that it peaks to above that. Spec the actual power criteria, and you get complaints that its too complex. Then there's the conflation of power draw with TDP, when the two are different things that both affect the other in an indirect manner (due to the time constant of the thermal solution, available sink mass, time since last saturation, etc).
    There's no win situation, other than to acknowledge that there is no longer a valid single number for CPU power draw. Everyone has manged to wean off of the 'GHz means how fast a CPU is!' idea, so the same can and should happen for power.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    Except that different TDP allowances allow for wildly different performance metrics. "GHz means how fast a CPU is" not only still applies for the vast majority of consumers, but when comparing CPU sof the same arch is also TRUE. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    Because a 4800u with 8w of cooling would be out of spec, duh? Manufacturers can limit turbo but changing base TDP outside of pre defined ranges is out of the question.

    The issue here is intel's defined range now goes everywhere from 12-45 watts with the same chips. AMD has the 4800u and 4800h and 4800hs to denote these ranges, intel previously did as well before making everything confusing.
    Reply
  • Jorgp2 - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    >Because a 4800u with 8w of cooling would be out of spec, duh? Manufacturers can limit turbo but changing base TDP outside of pre defined ranges is out of the question.

    Then why do they do it?

    >The issue here is intel's defined range now goes everywhere from 12-45 watts with the same chips. AMD has the 4800u and 4800h and 4800hs to denote these ranges, intel previously did as well before making everything confusing.

    No.

    The defined range on paper was already 15w, didn't stop manufacturers setting it to 7 or 28w.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 23, 2020 - link

    @Jorgp2 - Because they can. The better question would be, why do CPU manufacturers let them get away with it? Especially Intel, with their various design programs and their vast sums of "Marketing Development Funds".

    You keep responding as if Intel haven't made any meaningful change to their specs. They have.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - link

    If Xe dedicated graphics are priced like better graphics from Nvidia in similar laptops, I don't see the point. It's Intel, so surely they'll do some CPU+GPU bundling deals to OEMs, but...I'm not seeing it yet. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    They'll definitely try to make them cheaper, but even if they succeed, Nvidia will probably hack a few chunks off another higher-performing last-gen GPU and sell it at a knock-down price to regain competitiveness.

    They'd have to be a *lot* cheaper to make up for those drivers, too.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, October 22, 2020 - link

    I've been hearing decent things about Intel drivers lately tbh. Don't really have a modern IGP system to test first hand though. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 23, 2020 - link

    They're not as bad as they were, but they're still fairly terrible. Notebookcheck have a couple of articles on it - games crashing, wildly inconsistent performance and graphical errors appear to be order of the day for a number of fairly high-profile titles.

    That's aside from the fact that in-game performance in no way matches up to their results in synthetic tests.
    Reply
  • Teckk - Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - link

    That's a very decent laptop and config for the price. Is there any guess on what the Xe will match up to, say a GTX 1660 level? Reply

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