The Acer Aspire TC-885-ACCFLi5O is an affordable general-purpose desktops PC that is compact and upgradable like previous versions. But now it’s faster than before thanks to the latest Intel Coffee Lake processor and Optane memory.
PROS: Fast all-around performance. Easy-access case with room for expansion.
CONS: Case is a little tight to work in.
With Intel’s new Coffee lake processors, PC manufacturers are updating their lines in readiness for the fall big sales. Acer’s Aspire TC-885-ACCFLi5O $549.99 at Amazon is the latest take on our general-purpose desktops, and the first Optane Memory budget PC to come through our desk. This time around, the Aspire TC-885 packs an Intel Core i5-8400 processor, 24GB Total Memory (16GB Optane Memory and 8GB RAM) and 2TB hard drive storage.
It also has a newer, nice-looking design but maintains what we liked about the previous model –a compact, easily accessible chassis with room for expansion– making it a no-brainer for a budget desktop, with enough power to handle media projects, home entertainment needs, workplace tasks and anything in between.
The souped up version of the Aspire TC Series uses the same tried and tested chassis as the last few models, but this iteration adds some flair, and for a good reason. Instead of a plain black front panel, it now gets a V-shaped orange LED surrounding the power button on the top next to an ‘Acer’ logo, and a midline silver line running from the top to the bottom. The lower panel has the same Aspire logo, and right-half holds a tray-loading DVD drive and a couple of I/0 ports.
It looks classy, is compact and still provides some room for upgrades (PCIe x16, PCIe X1, one M.2 for SSD and one M.2 for WLAN/Bluetooth), but you won’t need much alterations to have it working. It measures 15.22 by 7.09 by 14.02 inches (HWD), all black except for the silver accents on the face. It’s not quite a small-form-factor which ae often tiny, but it is in the bottom end of standard towers for general-use desktops.
The I/O ports selection is excellent. The front panels holds one USB 3.1 Type C port, one USB 3.1 port, microphone and headphone jacks and an SD card reader. Around the back are two more USB 3.1 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI ports and one VGA port. There is also a DVD-RW optical drive alongside an Ethernet port, while wireless connectivity comes via 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. Also bundled into the package is a wired keyboard and mouse.
Optane Memory Module
While Optane Memory isn’t a replacement for a true SSD, it offers a way of rejuvenating traditional spinning drives and giving them SSD-like performance, without spending too much.
At first, Optane Memory might sound like RAM, but it’s in fact a specialized storage solution that connects to the M.2 storage slot (PCIe Gen 3.0×2) on a PC motherboard. It is available on the latest motherboards, first designed for Intel Kaby Lake (7th Generation) processors alongside the 200 series Intel chipset.
It is now available in Coffee Lake processors (8th Generation). What the connected storage drive does is offer 16GB or 32GB of Optane Memory and the result is blazing fast cache, and excellent overall performance.
The Acer Aspire TC-885-ACCFLi5O includes 16GB of intel Optane Memory paired with 8GB DDR4 RAM, which is quite a boost to the 2TB 7200RPM hard drive storage. That’s more space that similarly priced systems, and the inclusion of an Optane memory module counts for much at this price range.
The main highlight here is, of course, the Intel Coffee Lake processor, the 2.8GHz Core i5-8400 and 16GB Optane Memory. For a straight comparison, it is a competing version to the AMD Ryzen 5 2600, for folks whose pockets can’t accommodate a K-Series processor. The Coffee Lake CPU’s proficiency on multi-threaded tasks are impressive, and performs better than previous models, and again has higher clock speeds. This demonstrates the improvement from Kaby Lake, as well as the eight generation CPU’s aptitude at all-round productivity and multitasking.
While the processor has muscle for entry-level gaming, the results on gaming tests lean more heavily on the graphics card. As is the case, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card has made appearances in budget gaming desktops with smooth playability. However, the Intel UHD Graphics 630 on this system doesn’t suffice for gaming, only capable of casual games at very low frames per second (fps). If you intend on playing in HD, as many gamers prefer, you can look at the CyberPowerPC GXIVR8020A5 –our editors Choice for budget gaming desktop PCs.
The Bottom Line
The Acer Aspire TC-885-ACCFLi5O deserves praises for its impressive computing performance and modern components including an 8th-gen processor, a wide variety of connectivity options, and easy to access innards. For a small workplace deploying hundreds of PCs, this system is a perfect shoo-in, so do a home or small office that needs an affordable do-it-all desktop PC. Everything else is excellent –upgradeability, sleek design, and affordable pricing. For these reasons, the Aspire TC-885-ACCFLi5O gets our recommendation for budget general-purpose desktops.