Not always do you bump into a desktop PC that subtly balances affordability and performance, the Acer Aspire AT3-710-UR52 does exactly that. With a speedy sixth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, a bit of room for expansion, and Wi-Fi (a rarity among budget tower PCs). It will appeal to the Facebook and Pinterest faithfuls, the college kid, the basic home/office user, but it still comes in as one of the most affordable. To the low price, the system is awesomely compact, with a small form-factor (SFF) design, that will fit most anywhere – even in a dorm room or office desk.
Design and Features
The Aspire AT3’s midtower chassis measures 15.6 by6.9 by 18.2 inches (HWD), weighs 18.4 pounds and is fashioned from black painted chassis with a hairline finish. The top is molded to conveniently store your smartphone while you charge it and sync it using one of the two front-mounted USB 3.0 ports. You’ll also find headphone and microphone jacks and an SD card reader on the front face of the system. Also hidden in a pop-open door is a DVD burner in case you need to rip some CDs or install programs from DVDs.
On the back of Acer Aspire AT3-710-UR52 you will find audio line in/out ports, an Ethernet port, two HDMI (out) ports, two more USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. For a budget PC, the connectivity options are on point as they allow you to hook multiple peripherals, including that dual-monitor setup when needed. As a bonus, the system comes with 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Obviously, the system comes without a monitor, you’ll have to buy it separately, the 21.5 inch HP Pavilion LED HDMI Monitor won’t be a bad choice, either. Bundled into the package is a wired keyboard and mouse.
Inside, there is enough room, and a few sweet spots for expansion. Here we’re looking at a spare RAM slot if ever you need to expand beyond the included 8GB. The system supports to a maximum of 16GB total, which is a bump from the 4GB found in many budget PCs. There is a free PCIe x1 slot and an available PCIe x16 graphics card slot, but if you’re going to add one, make sure you install a midrange or lower graphics card.
The Acer Aspire AT3-710-UR52 has a 300-watt power supply, which is quite common for the inexpensive desktop category. The internal expansion slots are rounded by a single hard drive bay and a single optical drive. You’ll have to choose between the two., since there is a single SATA bay, but you have one ½ M.2 slot that offers decent expandability.
Thankfully, the system boasts a spacious 2TB, (albeit slow 5400rpm) SATA drive. Lately, we’re seen the snappier SSDs trickle down into the desktop category, but including it in a budget PC will only push the price upwards, so we’re safe with the traditional spinning hard drive. After all, 2TB out of the box is more than enough for downloads and other files.
Acer Aspire AT3-710-UR52 enjoys a decent processor, the Intel Core i5-6400. Better-knowing people can see it’s a 6th generation (2015) model, but still a plenty of performance is present on its four cores. The clock speed starts from a solid 2.7GHz and ends up at 3.3GHz, that is with the help of turbo of course. The score in CPU Mark is around 6600, an average (in the best meaning of the word) amount for desktop processor!
Now the hard drive you’ll get is huge, two gigabytes, but of course it’s not the quickest of models (5400RPM spinning speed). But adding a new drive is effortless since the mainboard comes with M.2 2280 (SATA 3) slot. Put a solid-state drive to that if you want to maximize performance! No extra 3.5″ drives can be added as far as I know.
Installed is 8GB DDR3 1600MHz memory on one stick. One RAM slot is available which means that by installing another 8GB stick you can reach the maximum RAM, 16 gigabytes.
Talking about performance, Acer Aspire AT3-710-UR52 is a mid-range desktop. The Acer Aspire AT3-710-UR52 is a system that offers a real bang for the buck, especially if you’re looking at options to upgrade in your PC in future. It has the same 8GB memory as the Core i5-powered ASUS M32AD, though the latter comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 gaming graphic card. On just all the other factors, the two desktops are effectively equals–safe for the Core i5 processor, but the additional storage means you can store all your movies, music, media projects without the need for an external drive. The ASUS M32CD-AS31 sports a sixth-generation Intel Core-i5 processor and is an equally solid contender in the budget desktop category.
You can do pretty much any software-related thing on it, there should not be lag whatsoever. Gaming is of course a different beast, it’s not going to be too enjoyable on the integrated graphics. If you can stand that, or even upgrade to better graphics, there are no real shortcomings. The best thing is undoubtedly the price, so especially if you’re budget-minded, don’t skip this Acer!