Acer Ferrari One: Gaming and Graphics

The short story is that this really isn't a suitable gaming laptop unless your demands are very light. We tested the Ferrari One in our usual gaming suite, as well as running 3DMark. You can get gaming results for the other laptops elsewhere; here we're going to just show the scores for the Ferrari One. We should note that the combination of a 1GB and 2GB SO-DIMM in our test laptop forces the Ferrari One to run in single-channel memory mode, which reduces graphics performance relative to dual-channel HD 3200 notebooks. We did some quick testing with 2x2GB in dual-channel and found it improved performance by around 5-10%. The memory in the Ferrari One also runs at DDR2-480, further hindering performance—this despite the memory being rated for up to DDR2-800 speeds.

Acer Ferrari One Gaming Performance
Game Title 800x600 1366x768
Batman: Arkham Asylum 23.0 12.0
Crysis: Warhead 21.0 11.5
DiRT 2 20.2 13.1
Empire: Total War 34.5 19.6
Far Cry 2 16.9 11.3
Left 4 Dead 2 20.8 12.9
Mass Effect 2 16.9 7.1
STALKER: Call of Pripyat 49.7 26.8

On the gaming side, things are more encouraging for the Ferrari One. The Radeon HD 3200 is a far better integrated graphics solution than Intel’s GMA 4500MHD. Unfortunately, that doesn't really make most recent games playable, even at 800x600 and minimum details. Of the titles we looked at, only STALKER: Call of Pripyat and Empire: Total War are playable at 800x600, and both frankly look quite poor at minimum detail settings—like games from 2005, which should also run well on the Ferrari One. You’d probably be better off with one of the ION based netbooks, which offer better graphics performance and an HDMI port. With Intel's latest drivers (we'll show this in an upcoming article), the HD Graphics on an i3-330M are actually able to match a higher spec AMD system with HD 4200, and that's the real killer for the graphics equation. Intel still isn't fast by any stretch of the imagination, but on laptops their HD Graphics is now roughly equal to HD 4200 while the CPU performance and battery life are substantially better.

Futuremark 3DMark06

Futuremark 3DMark05

Futuremark 3DMark03

For those that like 3DMark results, you can see where the Ferrari One falls in relation to other laptops. It beats CULV with GMA 4500 and Atom, but that's about it. Atom with ION beats the L310 with HD 3200, and CULV with HD 4330 eclipses the ION laptops.

We also tried the latest Flash 10.1 Release Candidate (RC7 now) and ATI's 10.5 drivers. Unlike earlier releases, initial testing looks like Flash 10.1 is working well with ATI's GPUs now. That's definitely one area where the Ferrari One beats standard Atom netbooks, but then the competition isn't Atom at this price point; CULV and ION are readily available for a similar price. YouTube 720p worked fine with the current Flash 10.1 release and 10.5 drivers, but 1080p was a slideshow with sound dropping out as well. It looks like the L310 just doesn't have quite enough performance to handle 1080p (or the drivers need further optimizations, considering Atom + ION handles 1080p fine). Overall, we'd take any of the new crop of Core i3/i5 laptops with Intel HD Graphics as being a better multimedia solution than the Ferrari One, particularly in light of the missing HDMI port.

Acer Ferrari One: General Performance Acer Ferrari One: Battery Life
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  • taltamir - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link

    Glossy red plastic with a giant logo in the middle...
    this is probably the ugliest looking laptop I have ever seen.
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link

    I agree that it's a bit ostentatious, but I actually like how it looks. Maybe it's the Ferrari fan in me, but still. Compared to the regular version of this chassis (1410 and 1810T), the Ferrari definitely has a lot more character, and personally I prefer it (I say this as the owner of a black AS1410.)
  • Anubis - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link

    its no more ugly then t white plastic laptops with a glowing fruit on them
  • Souka - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link

    +1 for Anubis :)
  • LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - link

    Bashing Apple is like trying to teach a pig to sing.

    It's a waste of your time, and only annoys the pig.

    Plus, other people who see you doing it will wonder why you tried in the first place.
  • KaarlisK - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link

    I had never thought that AMD has no asymmetric dual channel capability... Intel can run different sized memory sticks in dual channel, up to a limit obviously.
    And removing the HDMI port was really unwise.
    But I like the looks :D
    Could you pleease add Starcraft 2 to your tests? It very much is a game I would casually play on a laptop.

    I sure hope that AMD's new 45nm platform has better power consumption :)
  • DJMiggy - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link

    Sure they can. They just need to go into the future and swipe the game so they can test it.
  • therealnickdanger - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link

    I'm always looking for a tiny gaming platform and this particular model (w/4GB RAM) always sticks out as a candidate due to its dual-core CPU and decent 3200 IGP... but your review has swayed me. The last thing I want is hot and loud. I'm just going to stick with my original thought and wait for 12.1-and-under Arrandales. If I can get one with a low-end Optimus part for cheap, I'll be a very happy consumer!
  • classy - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link

    I usually look at the weight of these new laptops. 3.3 lbs is still heavy.
  • maniac5999 - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link

    Hmmm, I guess you have to review what you're sent, but the Ferrari One really looks like it's the overpriced turd of the Congo platform.
    To quote your conclusion:
    "At $449, the Ferrari One would be decent and would at least merit consideration over the 1410 due to the dual-core processor and increased graphics performance. At $499, the proposition gets more questionable, and at anything above that, the math just doesn't add up."
    How about the MSi Wind U230? Same size chassis, slightly bigger screen (12.1") and most importantly, a L335 processor, which runs at 1.6ghz, all for $490. add a 2nd 2gb of memory and you're good to go, or you could go for the Toshiba T115D, with a 1.5ghz x2 for $459.

    Both of those are more powerful than the Acer (the U230 by a full 33%) and cheaper, and would probably be decent buys for someone looking to do casual gaming on the go. (WoW, SC2, etc. I even have BattleForge running pretty decently on my U230)

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