The Bottom Line
- Quad Core Processor
- Three Gigabytes of Memory
- Hardware Holds Back Phenom Performance
- Limited Software Package
- AMD Phenom 9500 Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 3GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
- 500GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- ATI Radeon X1250 Integrated Graphics
- AC'97 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Eight USB 2.0, One FireWire, 9-in-1 Card Reader
- Vista Home Premium, MS Works
Guide Review - Acer Aspire AM5100-EF9500A Budget Desktop Personal Computer
4/28/08 Most budget desktop PCs now feature a dual core processor. Acer has made a surprising move with the Aspire M5100 desktop lineup by including an AMD Phenom 9500 quad core processor. This lets the system perform better when used with multithreaded applications or when heavily multitasking. In fact, this is probably the least expensive desktop on the market to feature such a processor.
One would expect this setup with the 3GB of memory to perform quite well but there are a few things holding it back. First, the system uses slower PC2-5300 DDR2 memory over the PC2-6400. Second, the motherboard used has a limited data path for moving data between the cores. This ends up limiting its overall performance compared to a bit more expensive quad-core systems.
Storage is quite strong for the Aspire M5100. The system comes equipped with a very large 500GB hard drive that will provide users with plenty of space for applications and data. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of all CD and DVD media. A 9-in-1 media card reader lets it use the most common flash memory cards for digital peripherals.
Acer is not well known for its software packages and the Aspire M5100 is no different. While the system does include the Vista Home Premium operating system and Works, that is pretty much the extent of it. It does not have anything to really take advantage of the quad core setup.
The end results of the Aspire M5100 is that it is a system that is very specialized and best suited for those who need a quad core configuration at a very low price. This overall is a fairly small group of people and they would be better served by spending a bit more to get a more qualified quad core setup.