Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR17 Review

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March 20, 2015
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Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR17 is a new desktop release from a manufacturer whose products are famously inexpensive. The Acer’s low price point of 450 dollars makes it a tempting choice. And Windows 7 Professional – instead of Windows 8.1 – won’t be seen as a negative aspect by many, either. But is the desktop ultimately worth its price? Would it be the right choice for you? We’ll try answering to that below.

Performance

Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR17 contains a processor called Intel Pentium J2900. It’s a four core CPU with 2.4GH clock frequency and 2.7GHz turbo boost. Released in 2014, it competes in the entry level category, with enough performance for daily activities in home or office. It’s not a powerhouse, so very heavy applications would drain its power quickly, although the integrated Intel HD graphics engine allows playing a handful of older games with decent FPS.

The desktop has 4 gigabytes DDR3 RAM installed by default. If you want to upgrade it, you’re free to do so by replacing the current chip with a 8GB one. As there is only one memory slot on motherboard all in all, removing the old RAM would have to take place before installing a new module.

The hard drive size is 1 terabyte, appropriate for a today’s desktop. Chances are you will never fill it up, as 1024GB equals to two hundred DVDs or two hundred thousand mp3s. The drive also has a rate of 7200 revolutions per minute, so using the computer should feel tad faster than a rig with older 5400RPM drive. And it’s not uncommon to see an SSD planted in if it’s absolute speed you require.

Gaming in brief

Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR17 features a graphics card, this time called Intel HD (Bay Trail). Not good news for gamers, it’s the slowest unit in the Intel HD bunch. It won’t be suitable for graphics intensive 2014-2015 games (like Assassin’s Creed Unity) where frame rates would sadly be less than 10. In fact, many older titles will lag too, and I wouldn’t expect even Battlefield 4 reach playable FPS. Instead, World of Warcraft and some Steam-games, like Counter-Strike: Go, would have smooth frame rates if played on low settings and resolution.

Connections

The total number of USB ports in Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR17 is five. Too bad only one of those is USB 3.0 while the rest four are USB 2.0. Like most desktops, there are VGA and HDMI outputs in the back panel, so you should be able to use dual monitors on this computer.

Networking is something I can’t complain about. The Acer has Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 for wire-lovers, while the 802.11b/g/n WiFi satisfies needs of the wireless folk. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported so you can transfer data from a mobile phone without USB cable.

Optical drive is built-in and it works for CD/DVD burning. SD card slot seems to be available on the front as well so you can easily upload vacation photos from a camera.

Some other things to keep in mind?

As the operating system is Windows 7 Professional (64-bit), you don’t have to familiarize yourself with Windows 8 yet. Microsoft continues to provide security updates for Windows 7 until the beginning of 2020.

Like all desktops, also Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR17 comes with a basic keyboard and mouse. No monitor is included for this low price, that one you must buy separately.

Not many expansions can be added to the system – the compact dimensions of 10.5″ x 3.9″ x 14.6″ (HxWxD) make sure of that. There is only one Mini PCI-E slot on the mainboard so no fancy graphics card requiring PCI-E x16 can be installed. Thus, the 220W power supply will likely be enough even after expansion, since you can’t add any power draining item inside.

It looks like the system comes relatively bloatware-free. Actually, some useful programs are loaded, such as Microsoft Office Starter (Word & Excel basic functions).

Verdict

Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR17 is a simple desktop, meant for people surfing the web, doing homework and perhaps watching videos off streaming services. The Pentium processor is not wonderful but suffices for the aforementioned tasks well. A worse side is the graphics performance, since the selection of games that run on this desktop is very limited. However, points must be given for Windows 7, although your opinion might be different on that. I’d recommend this Acer for non-gamers looking for a reasonably priced desktop computer.


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