The Bottom Line
Aug 12 2013 - The ASUS Essentio M51AC is a pretty basis system that offers some high general performance but little else in terms of features. The 4th generation Core i7 processor and 16GB of memory provide it with more than enough performance but it lacks graphics capabilities and wireless networking. Both of these features can be found in competing systems at roughly the same price. This makes the system best suited for those that might be doing desktop video work that don' t necessarily need those features.
- High Performance From Quad Core Processor
- 16GB of Memory
- Low End Dedicated Graphics Card
- Lacks Wireless Networking
- Intel Core i7-4770 Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 16GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 2TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual Layer DVD Burner
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 625 Graphics Card With 2GB Memory
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio Support
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Six USB 3.0, Four USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, VGA, Card Reader
- Windows 8
Review - ASUS Essentio M51AC-B07
Aug 12 2013 - The ASUS Essentio M51AC is a new desktop lineup from the company that is specifically for the new 4th generation of Intel Core i processors. In terms of the design, it doesn't look all that different from the previous Essentio CM series systems with its fairly plain black mid-tower case but it does add a small silver stripe near the top front between the front USB and audio ports and the cover that opens to access the media card reader.
Powering the ASUS Essentio M51AC is the new Intel Core i7-4770 quad core processor. This is the highest of the 4th generation of Intel's Core i series processors and provides it with more than enough performance for even demanding tasks like desktop video work. It should be noted that this is not the clock unlocked version of the i7-4770 which means that it cannot be overclocked. The processor is matched up with 16GB of DDR3 memory which helps provide it with a smooth overall experience in Windows even when heavily multitasking or using memory intensive applications.
Storage for the ASUS Essentio M51AC uses a traditional hard drive. It does use a two terabyte hard drive which does give it a slight advantage for storing applications, data and media files. It should be noted that most a desktops in this price range still feature just a single terabyte. The drive spins at the traditional 7200rpm spin rate which gives it a decent level of performance but at this price point, more systems are now featuring solid state drives either as a boot and application drive or as a caching drive. If you do happen to need additional storage, the system features six USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external drives or you could always work on the inside to add a drive as well. There is a dual layer DVD burner for those that need to playback or record CD or DVD media.
Graphics are the weak spot on the ASUS Essentio M51AC-B07. It does uses a dedicated graphics card but it is a very low end NVIDIA GeForce GT 625 based one. This provide it with more 3D performance than you would find in the Intel HD Graphics built into the Core i7 processor but not by a huge amount. It can be used for 3D gaming but at much lower resolutions such as 1366x768 What it does provide though is a wide range of support for accelerating non-3D applications thanks to the NVIDIA support from a wide range of programs. Now it is possible to replace this graphics card with a more powerful 3D graphics card but the 350 watt power supply restricts this to more budget oriented graphics cards.
One item that is becoming more common on desktop computers especially at the higher price point is wireless networking. ASUS has elected not to include such a feature with the Essentio M51AC-B07 system. This may not seem like a big deal since there is an Ethernet port but the wireless networking makes it much more convenient to connect into the wireless networking that many people use with their other devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and consumer electronics.
ASUS prices the Essentio M51AC-B07 at $900. This seems pretty reasonable considering that it is using the high end Core i7 processor combined with 16GB of memory. The downside is that it did skimp on a few other features which its competition does have. Other systems that also feature the i7-4770 include the Acer Aspire AT3-605-UR24P and the Dell XPS 8700. The Acer is roughly $100 more while the Dell is $100 less. The primary difference is that the Acer comes with a 24GB solid state cache for some extra performance, faster GT 640GB graphics card and wireless networking. The Dell sacrifices memory to just 8GB and hard drive to 1TB but also comes with wireless networking.