Synthetic 3D Benchmarks, Game Benchmarks – Conclusion

Synthetic 3D Benchmarks

We have already reviewed the Kepler based Nvidia GeForce GT 640M found in this laptop. We have a seperate write-up available, and in it we test the GT 640M against different competition. If you want more information about performance of this new mobile graphics part, go there.

We always begin our look at GPU performance with the synthetic benchmarks, 3DMark 06 and 3DMark 11. Let’s dive right in to the former.

Here we see that 3DMark 06 provides a score of nearly 10000, far higher than what’s available from other systems similar in size and price. It seems that Nvidia’s GT 640M is offering a new class of performance for thin, inexpensive systems.

The gap between the ASUS K53T and the Acer Aspire M3 is closer here, but the ASUS U36S with its older GT 520M is way behind the back. The HP dm4t is missing because, as always, Intel HD 3000 graphics doesn’t support DirectX 11, which means laptops equipped with it can’t properly run 3DMark 11.

Our synthetic benchmark results indicate that the Acer Aspire M3 is faster than other affordable laptops we’ve reviewed, but don’t tell us precisely how much faster. Let’s see what real-world gaming benchmarks have to say. 

Game Benchmarks

We begin by looking at Dawn Of War 2: Retribution. This game is not that demanding for a GPU, and as a result the CPU often becomes the limiting factor. That could be a problem for the Acer despite its fancy new GT 640M.

Here we see that the game is more than playable, but doesn’t run much quicker than it did on the HP dm4t, which is equipped with Intel HD 3000 graphics. The processor in this Acer is simply too slow to give the GT 640M freedom in a title such as this. The ASUS K53T is saddled with an even slower AMD processor, however, so it actually ends up slowest here. It even loses slightly the GT 520M equipped ASUS U36S. 

Let’s move on to something more GPU reliant, such as Just Cause 2.

That’s more like it. In this game we see that the GT 640M, even when paired with a low-voltage processor, is able to roundly trounce every other laptop in our comparison. Even the ASUS K53T with it’s APU/GPU combination is nearly 20 FPS slower. That’s a massive gap.

Now let’s look at a game Nvidia referenced constantly during its Kepler unveil – Battlefield 3. This is among the most demanding games on the market today and even entry-level gaming laptops struggle to run it well. 

We see the ASUS K53T hold up better here, but the GT 640M still defeats it by a margain of 10 FPS, which is quite significant. The older, less powerful GT 520M in the ASUS U36S simply can’t hope to compare – it can’t even offer a playable experience. There’s actually enough headroom in the Acer Aspire M3 to play Battlefield 3 on high detail settings with a framerate that averages over 30. The bump in detail makes the game look much better.

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