Honor Magicbook 14 Notebook Review: Where Style Paints a Picassoby Dr. Ian Cutress on May 15, 2020 9:00 AM EST
For the gaming tests, mine are a little different to Brett’s, namely because we have access to different systems. For this review, I was able to compare data with the HP Envy (2500U), the ASUS Zephyrus G14 (4900HS), the Razer Blade 15 2019 (i7-9750H), as well as a variety of desktop APUs even though those power budgets are a lot higher. For the testing, I’ve gone for four different games.
Counter Strike Source
CSS was always a favorite growing up, and while users might be running on CS:Go these days, Source still has a great benchmarking engine. For this test we run a 75 second timedemo round against 20 bots on de_dust2, with the system processing the frames as fast as possible, at 1080p maximum settings. The output is in Frames Per Second.
The 3500U here sits just above the 2500U, but it can’t match any of the desktop processors. It handily beats the Intel integrated graphics options, and isn’t that far off of the MX150 discrete graphics found in some 2019 notebooks.
With BL3 eventually getting to Steam this year, despite the 68 GB download, it actually runs a nice benchmark mode that can tax a system. One of the good things about Borderlands 3 is that the graphics engine can be scaled from very poor graphics all the way up to taxing the most powerful systems. It can also require a balanced CPU and GPU combo to get the right result.
For this test we run the game in DirectX 11 mode at 1080p with Medium settings.
So while the 3500U here beats the Intel integrated graphics, it loses out to the 2500U in the HP Envy. This is mostly down to the power budget – the HP Envy is a 15-inch device with a larger thermal window, while the 3500U is in a 14-inch device and as we’ve seen it works in the Magicbook in a cTDP down mode. At this frame rate however, we would need to go down to 720p to get something even remotely playable.
Final Fantasy XV
The standalone FF15 benchmark, when not run on extreme settings, is a lengthy test of a graphics setup for a good open world experience. It deals with extensive long range scenary, grass, leaves, mountains, but then also has an in-game fight scene with lots of particle effects and everything going on. It’s a great test that can also tax high-end systems.
For this test, we run at 1080p Standard settings. This is often slightly too much for integrated graphics.
Similar to the Borderlands 3 setup, due to the reduced power budget of the 3500U in the Magicbook, we actually equal to a 2500U system. Intel’s integrated graphics still can’t touch it however.
A popular strategy game, Civilization VI has a lot of settings to improve the visuals, however none of it is actually needed to enjoy the game. That being said, about a week into my testing with this benchmark I found an issue with the settings we had chosen, so instead I decided to re-run our tests at a more integrated graphics friendly setup. Here we run the benchmark mode at 1080p minimum settings, reporting the average frame rate.
There’s a lot of interesting data around the 65 FPS mark, which shows that 1080p is possible on a wide range of APUs. However the 3500U isn’t one of them – but the 44 FPS result is still perfectly playable. This one definitely beats the 2500U, and both of the Intel arrangements.
For this test, we also run the AI turn-time test at 1080p Minimum settings.
The higher frequency desktop APUs have a lead here, but the 15W 3500U does still beat the Core i7-9750H with its integrated graphics despite that processor being a 45W part.