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IBM ThinkCentre A50

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

The IBM ThinkCentre A50 budget destkop is geared primarily for business customers and as such is best suited for light office software tasks.
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  • Faster Pentium 4 Processor
  • Windows Professional OS


  • Only 256MB DDR Memory
  • Lacks CD Burning Capability
  • Lower Hard Drive Space


  • Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz Processor
  • 256MB PC2700 DDR Memory
  • 40GB 7,200rpm Hard Drive
  • 48x CD-ROM Optical Drive
  • SoundMAX Cadenza (AC'97) Audio
  • Intel Extreme 2 Integrated Graphics with 64MB of Shared Memory
  • 10/100 Ethernet Port
  • Six USB 2.0 Ports
  • Windows XP Professional, Lotus Smart Suite, Norton Anti-Virus 2004

Guide Review - IBM ThinkCentre A50

10/9/04 - IBM was one of the first companies to market to the home desktop computer market, but their focus for computers is almost entirely with the corporate market. Their ThinkCentre A50 desktop may be budget priced, but the features are still geared towards companies rather than consumers.

Powering the ThinkCentre A50 is an older but still strong Pentium 4 2.8GHz processor. While not one of the latest Pentium 4 processors, it still outperforms the Celeron line of budget processors. This is matched up to 256MB of PC2700 DDR which is really the bare minimum to run Windows XP. A good first upgrade would be to add more memory.

Storage on the A50 is below average. Hard drive space is limited to 40GB which is fine for storing office applications but severely restricts the amount of space available for digital media files such as photos, movies or music. The system also lacks any CD writing or DVD playback capability as it comes standard with a 48x CD-ROM drive.

Graphics is always the weakest spot for budget computers and the A50 is no different. It uses the Intel Extreme 2 integrated graphics that is not really capable of doing current 3D applications. The system also lacks an AGP or PCI-E graphics expansion slot.

What the ThinkCentre does do well is the software. The Windows XP Professional operating system is extremely stable and streamlined compared to the Home version. But this still doesn't make up for the lack of features compared to other similar budget desktop PCs.

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