I can confirm. Here's a screengrab of the result I get in my 2.79 build.
Jul 28 2019
Jul 24 2019
No, my build of 2.79 is older. Splash screen says it was built on 2018-03-22. Guess I forgot to get a newer one.
No, with CPU the result is the same.
I tried it with the newest build as you suggested, but still got the same problem. I'm including a screen grab so you can see what I'm getting.
Jul 21 2019
May 13 2019
2.8 Build from May 12, 2019, Win 64 bit
Dec 7 2018
Nevermind, I found it in the 'clip display' tab at the top of the screen. That'll take a bit of getting used to.
Dec 2 2018
Oct 9 2014
Well yes, that would be an obvious solution....but the point of 'smooth shading' is to make it look smoother without the need for more geometry. Which, again, works perfectly until a normal map is applied. I'm sure I don't need to remind anybody that adding buttloads of faces to a simple object whenever I want to use a normal map is less than ideal. Any other useful advice?
Oct 8 2014
Hmm...apparently the file didn't go through. Let's try this again.
Here's the new .blend. I used the 'pack all into .blend' option...let me know if something didn't go through.
Oct 5 2014
Using GPU. Also, I was able to further refine the circumstances of the problem...apparently it has something to do with using a normal map texture connected to a normal map node connected to a shader node. If the normal map node is disconnected, or its strength set to 0, the visible faces go away.