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ASUS M32BF-US005S is one of the cheaper additions to the Taiwanese electronics giant’s line of affordable computers. This model features AMD A4-5300 CPU, 4GB RAM and 1TB hard drive with pre-installed Windows 8.1. Having reviewed some beefier ASUS models recently it was interesting to take a look at this cheaper, less powerful model.
Performance-wise, ASUS M32BF-US005S differs from the other recent ASUS desktops. This model features the AMD A4-5300 processor which clocks at 3.4GHz and runs on two cores. The processor, released already in the late 2012, doesn’t do particularly good job on benchmarks. The other ASUS models have faster processors but their prices are also higher. If you do basic everyday stuff, such as watching YouTube, printing papers and browsing Internet, it doesn’t matter an iota which model you choose.
Unsurprisingly, there are also differences in system memory. ASUS M32BF-US005S has 4GB, configuration being one 4GB stick installed and one slot free. The other models have 8GB and 12GB RAM. So we have a loser, this model, but don’t despair. Four gigabytes, even these days, is very acceptable memory amount. Any program a home or small office user would use won’t be any faster with more RAM. It’s just the power users and some gamers who would require more memory. But if you indeed want more RAM you can always install up to 16GB on this model. The same goes for the other ASUS M32BG models respectively.
The hard drive choice in ASUS M32BF-US005S is 1024GB. The slightly more expensive model has the same hard drive, but for the most expensive M32BF model there’s 2048GB storage space. Again, going for the cheaper models is well justified for most users. If you tend not to download lots (and I mean lots) of stuff from Internet, you’re probably fine with 1 terabyte.
What comes to operating systems, ASUS M32BF-US005S has Windows 8.1 (64-bit edition) pre-installed, the middle of the road model has Windows 7 and the beefiest model has again Windows 8.
Graphics chip in these ASUS desktops is dictated by the processor. Compared to the other models, the Radeon HD 7480D this model features is the weakest of the three. Also taking the CPU performance into consideration, ASUS M32BF-US005S is not ideal choice for folks devoted to gaming. Playing less requiring titles like FIFAs, Sims and Minecraft should be OK, but saying goodbye to later games such as Assassin’s Creed IV on high settings would be a cruel reality. The fastest of the three would be much more suitable for your gaming needs.
The three models offer exactly the same connectivity. Each of them features Gigabit Ethernet adapter which allows you to take advantage of very fast local networks. None of the models include WiFi support by default, so you should get a USB dongle if you want to use wireless with ASUS M32BF-US005S or the other desktops.
All the models have 6 USB ports in total. 4 of them are USB 2.0 and located in the back. The rest two are faster USB 3.0 located in the front. Also both VGA and HDMI ports are found in these computers which allows a dual monitor setup. Likewise, each model has a 6-in-1 media card reader and DVD burner installed.
What else to consider?
The system case of ASUS M32BF-US005S is so called mini-tower. It doesn’t take lots of space, but on flipside the expandability suffers to a degree. There’s slot for one extra hard drive (3.5″) but no space for additional optical drives (5.25″).
ASUS M32BF-US005S and the other two models ship with USB keyboard and mouse but no monitor. As such, getting display separately is required.
Microsoft Office is installed as a trial which naturally means you must pay after using it for one month.
So, what’s the conclusion? Which model to pick? In my opinion, it boils down to your budget, performance requirements and operating system preferences. The reviewed ASUS M32BF-US005S is indeed the slowest of this bunch, but at the same time the cheapest choice. For basic home and student use each of these models suffices very well, but if you want more oomph especially for gaming, the fastest model might be the way to go.
Another criteria is the operating system. Going for the middle model for performance alone isn’t justified in my opinion (it costs more but offers just little extra power). But if you don’t want Windows 8, getting that ASUS model is justified because it has Windows 7. At some point, the switch to newer Windowses has to be made, but you can postpone that moment for now.