The Acer Aspire AX3-710-UR53 has the features to keep basic PC users satisfied, throws in a 2TB storage, 8GB memory and a powerful processor and expansion room for future upgrades.
PROS: Nice price. 8GB of memory. Solid performance numbers.
CONS: The 220-watt power supply limits upgrades.
There are plenty of desktop PCs that can be had for a small budget and offer plenty of capability for Facebook and Pinterest evangelists, the college kid, and the basic user, but the Acer Aspire AX3-710-UR53 still comes in as a solid desktop PC at a nice price. It gives a bang for the buck, and by saying that, we’re looking at a computer with a speedy sixth-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of memory, 2TB storage (albeit slow), a bit of room to grow into something bigger.
Plus, it comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (a relative rarity in budget tower PCs). The Aspire AX3 suffices as the ideal general-purpose PC, plus some extra features that make it a worthwhile choice for the long haul. However, it lacks the chops to unseat the Acer AspireTC-780-ACKI5 as our Editors’ Choice budget desktop PC.
The Acer Aspire AX3-710-UR53’s midtower chassis measures 15.6 by 6.9 by 18.2 inches (HWD), and is dressed from black painted steel and plastic. While it is larger than most tiny PCs like the Dell Inspiron I3050-3000BLK (2.1 by 5.2 by 5.2 inches), it’s still the same size as the ASUS M32CD but is a good deal smaller that most full-size desktops, like the Dell Inspiron i3847-8924BK Desktop. At the top of the gently curved front panel is the silvered ‘Acer’ logo, while a vertical hatch shelves DVD burner, in case you still need to rip some CDs or install programs from DVDs.
Inside, there’s a lot of room, and a few spots for expansion. The system’s two memory slots are filled, so you will have to remove one or both to expand beyond the included 8GB. The system supports up to 16GB total, but 8GB is double 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.
At the bottom is an SD card slot, two 3.0 ports, and headphones and a microphone. On the rear of the system are two more USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI (with 5.1 surround sound) ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and some audio connectors but a VGA for your old monitor is missing. The system comes with 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Will be nice if both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands are supported on this system, which is a rarity in budget desktops, many of which only work with 2.4GHz networks.
The system’s 220-watt power supply won’t support a lot more than what’s already in the case. You could, however, add a Wi-Fi card, or bump up the system memory to the full 16GB it can support. Thankfully, there’s a spacious (albeit slow) 2TB, 5,400rpm SATA drive installed with Windows 10 Home, so you’ll have lots of space out of the box for downloads. The compact desktop also comes bundled with a wired keyboard and mouse.
Performance on the Acer Aspire AX3-710-UR53 is a highlight, since the system comes with a sixth-generation (Skylake) Intel Core Intel Core i3-6100 Processor and 8GB memory with Intel HD Graphics 530 built in. The 3.7GHz CPU in the system is the latest (though not greatest) —it debuted late August last year(2015)— but it will do the job, and it helps keep the price of the desktop low. As should be expected at this price point, the performance isn’t fantastic, but it is adequate.
With a CPU mark averaging ~5500 points is virtually neck to neck with thE ASUS M32AD or even the ASUS M32CD, our top pick for the budget category. This far, the machine outpaces Intel-equipped systems like the Dell Inspiron Small Desktop 3000 Series. Essentially, you will be fine using the Acer Aspire AX3-710-UR53 for at least the next five years for day-to-day tasks like editing in office apps, video conferencing, and web browsing.
Budget desktops are never meant for gaming, and this is one thing that makes this, otherwise potent, system less desirable to gamers. The integrated graphics engine, referred to as Intel HD 530 will Play some latest titles but with little eye candy. For instance, if you plan on choking it around with GTA 5, the much you getting is ~25FPS in normal settings and 720p resolution. However, for the casual gamers who preach League of Legends and the likes, you can have your play at maximum settings and still enjoy smooth frame rates. Otherwise for a real gaming warrior, you’ll have to look upwards at the likes of the CyberpowerPC Gamer Master GMA2600A gaming desktop.
The Bottom Line
The Acer Aspire AX3-710-UR53 is a great choice for a budget desktop PC, especially if you’re looking forward to an option to upgrade your PC in the future. It has the same 8GB memory as the Core i3-powered ASUS M32AD, but it the Acer model’s 2TB is double the 1TB in the Asus model, which makes up for the processing power. On just all the other factors, the two desktops are effectively equals, but the additional storage means you can store all your movies, music, media projects without the need for an external drive. The ASUS M32CD sports a sixth-generation Intel Core-i5 processor and is an equally solid contender in the budget desktop category. All said, the versatility and flexibility of the Acer Aspire AX3-710-UR53 make it a recommendable choice but the Acer AspireTC-780-ACKI5 remains as our Editors’ Choice budget desktop PC.