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Acer Ferrari One: Overview

Ferrari. The name itself evokes images of supercars and racecars bearing the famed prancing horse logo, of glorious V12 exhaust notes, and red. Oh yes, Rosso Scuderia, quite possibly the most instantly recognizable color in the automotive world.

So when Acer set out to create its latest Ferrari-branded laptop, it naturally decided to make the lid bright red, with the iconic prancing horse shield right in the middle. As with the rest of the Ferrari line, the 11.6" Ferrari One ultraportable has an AMD processor; in this case, it's a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 L310 clocked at a very un-Ferrari-like 1.2GHz. Beyond that, we've got 3GB of RAM, a 250GB 5400RPM hard drive, ATI's Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics chip, Windows 7 Home Premium, a bunch of red accents to match the lid, a faux carbon-fibre palm rest, and a nice Scuderia Ferrari logo under the keyboard.

Acer Ferrari One Specifications
Processor AMD Athlon 64 X2 L310
(1.20GHz, 65nm, 2x512KB L2, 800FSB, 13W)
Chipset AMD M780G
Memory 1x2048MB+1x1024MB DDR2-800
Running @ DDR2-480, 3-4-4-12 Timings
Graphics Integrated ATI Radeon HD 3200
Display 11.6" LED Glossy 16:9 WXGA (1366x768)
Hard Drive 2.5" 250GB 5400RPM (Toshiba MK2555GSX)
Networking Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet
Atheros AR5B93 802.11a/g/n WiFi
Audio Realtek AL269 2-Channel HD Audio
(2.0 Speakers with headphone/microphone jacks)
Battery 6-Cell, 10.8V, 4400mAh, 48Wh
Front Side None
Left Side 1 x USB 2.0
VGA
ATI XGP Connector
Right Side SD/MMC reader
Microphone/Headphone Jacks
2 x USB 2.0
AC Power Connection
Kensington Lock
Gigabit Ethernet
Back Side None
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium
Dimensions 11.22" x 8.03" x 1.03" (WxDxH)
Weight 3.31 lbs (with 6-cell battery)
Extras 1.3MP Webcam
Warranty 1-year standard Acer warranty (USA)
Price Red 4GB Ferrari One FO200-1799 at $569

Ignoring the Ferrari branding, this ultraportable is basically the AMD version of the Aspire 1410/1810T that we have come to know and love. The Athlon 64 X2 L310 is one AMD alternative to Intel’s CULV platform (though other 45nm models would likely improve the overall picture). Beyond the 1.20 GHz clock speed, there’s a 333MHz DDR2 on-die memory controller, 800MHz HyperTransport link, and 2 x 512KB L2 cache. It’s manufactured on a 65nm process, and has a power envelope of 13 watts. The closest competitor to it in Intel’s CULV processor lineup is the 1.30 GHz Pentium SU4100, which is built on a 45nm manufacturing process and has a TDP of 10W. Of course, the AMD thin and light platform contains the aforementioned Radeon HD 3200 IGP, which should be faster than the CULV-standard GMA 4500 MHD.

Of note is that our test system is an older model equipped with a 1GB and 2GB SO-DIMM, which means the memory runs in single-channel mode and performance is somewhat lower than the FO200 model with 4GB RAM. The MSRP on this particular model was $549, but it's no longer available online.

In and Around the Acer Ferrari One
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  • marraco - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    Mock iZombies here:
    "My fruit is more expensive because is Ferrari, and your PC is a bug"
    http://joehung.netfirms.com/bug_car.jpg
    Reply
  • Edgar_Wibeau - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    Previous year's product, previous year's platform.

    Why don't you review one of the _current_ AMD mobile thin-and-light platform based notebooks? Like eg. from Acer the Aspire 1551 (not on sale in the EU yet, but preorder)? Or the ones maniac5999 posted?

    Here's a roadmap from 10/2009:
    http://www.planet3dnow.de/photoplog/file.php?n=923...

    Ferrari One is "Congo" based (the roadmap uses the funny name "2nd Gen UT" ), current is the "Nile" platform, introduced in May 2010.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_mobile_platform

    The current platform is based on the 45nm Athlon IIs and Turion IIs which have higher clock at same TDP, higher performance per clock and lower wattage when idle, because they are K10.5 based, not K8 like the Ferrari One's. And their graphics (Radeon HD 4225) are R700 based, not the aging RS780 which is on the level of what? R600? R500? Either way, one or two generations behind.

    You could even have chosen a Ferrari One model with 2G or 4G of ram, so it ran 128bit wide. Can't even buy a 3G ram model in Europe, doesn't make sense anyway.

    I call this a biased review.
    Reply
  • maniac5999 - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    To be fair, there is only ONE Nile notebook on Newegg, and it's 13.3", not exactly netbook size, like the 12" ones I listed. Also, the 42xx is RV620 instead of RV610 for the 3200. The difference? Dx 10.1 and UVD2, which doesn't make a difference to most people. Also, the 4225 is clocked lower than the 3200, 4200 and 4250, which all have the same 40 shaders running at 500mhz.

    Unfortunately, for all these reasons the only big difference between Congo and Nile looks like it's going to be in battery life. (which is much needed btw) There will be an IPC bump going from Athlon (K8) to Athlon II (K10.5), as well, judging from the benches, depending on the application it could be anywhere from 0-30%,which is nice as well, but if it's combined with a lesser IGP like the 4225, would ruin it's use as a nice little portable time waster.
    Reply
  • Edgar_Wibeau - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    Your're probably right, maniac5999

    (Looks like our last two posts were about the same time)

    What bugs me most is that Anand's review the Ferrari One now instead of seven months ago, when it was released. The timing of this review at least smells a bit, wait a month and post reviews of Nile based AMD note/netbooks.

    Also, AnandTech (and DailyTech) are the only sites I know that didn't write about AMDs Computex 2010 Fusion demos, at least I didn't see any RSS headlines.

    Oh, and Athlon (and Turion) II X2 feature 2x "MByte L2 cache vs. half of that for their predecessors.

    To add some infos:
    Athlon 64 X2 L310: 1.2 GHz, 13W TDP
    Athlon II X2 K325: 1.3 GHz, 12W TDP
    The identical Turion II X2s K625 and K665 run with 1.5 and 1.7 GHz respectively, on a 15W TDP.

    Of cause AMDs 2010 mobile offerings don't shine, but they're better than 2009's of course. 2011 will be a lot more interesting on the AMD side because of the two upcoming fusion designs, assumingly both of which (Ontario high end and Llano low end) touching the upper netbook / cheap thin-and-light "CULV" segment.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    FWIW, we received several AMD-based notebooks (including the Ferrari One) in late March. AMD sent them to us direct, as the OEMs just aren't interested in seeding reviewers as far as I can see. As noted in the conclusion, there are 45nm parts that look a lot more interesting, though given my testing of the Turion II M600 it won't make a massive difference in battery life. Also note that we're comparing the AMD "Congo" to the Intel "CULV"; the new competition is going to be "Nile" vs. Arrandale ULV. But in the end, we review what we get.

    Stay tuned for more laptop reviews this week....
    Reply
  • Edgar_Wibeau - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    Ok, thanks!

    One point: in the graphs, I'd find it more informative if only machines were shown that are a bit more similar to the tested one. In many graphs the cheap-and-thin-and-light-class just vanishes because there are machines many times more powerful listed. In some, the numbers of the reviewed machine (and similar ones) are simply not readable, because the bars they are printed on are so short.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    We didn't choose it specifically, we reviewed what AMD gave us (because it doesn't seem like any of the manufacturers want to give us any AMD based systems). AMD apparently thought the Ferrari One was a good representation of their current mobile platform? Otherwise I don't see why they would have sent it to us.

    For the record, I did rerun some benches with dual channel 2x 2GB memory, and got insignificant differences in regular benchmarks and right around 1-2fps difference in most games. While that helps, it doesn't make anything really playable - whether you get 10.6 or 11.6 fps in Crysis, it's still a slideshow either way.
    Reply
  • Edgar_Wibeau - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    looks like I was wrong regarding Ferrari One's graphics, sorry. Same generation as current ist seems. Reply
  • T2k - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    Ferrari One confirmed to be working with Fujitsu's older XGP unit: http://minigaming.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/acer-fe... Reply
  • T2k - Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - link

    Prices can be found here: http://www.hardware.info/nl-NL/productdb/bGpka5iUm... Reply

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