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Acer Aspire AX3950-U2042 Slim Desktop PC

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

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Acer Aspire AX3950-U2042 Desktop PC
Acer Inc.

The Bottom Line

Sep 22 2010 - Acer's Aspire X3950 system has moved back to the Intel platform but in the process the price has increased slightly while the othre features remain much the same. It does feature a bit more memory than the average slim desktop PC and has a larger terabyte hard drive but more companies have offerings with similar features at the same $600 price. It is still suitable for those looking to use it as as smaller general purpose system but there is little to distinguish itself from the competition.
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Pros

  • 6GB Of DDR3 Memory
  • Large Hard Drive
  • Lots Of USB Peripheral Ports

Cons

  • Lacks Dedicated Graphics Card
  • Lots Of Trialware
  • Small Power Supply Limits Video Card Upgrades

Description

  • Intel Core i3-540 Dual Core Desktop Processor
  • 6GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
  • 1TB Variable RPM SATA Hard Drive
  • 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • Intel GMA X4500 HD Integrated Graphics
  • Intel HDA 5.1 Audio
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 11 USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 12-in-1 Card Reader
  • 13.9" x 4" x 10.5"
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, McAfee Security Center

Guide Review - Acer Aspire AX3950-U2042 Slim Desktop PC

Sep 22 2010 - Acer has decided to move back to Intel's processors for their latest top of the line slim desktop PC, the Aspire X3950. Powering the desktop is the Intel Core i3-540 dual core desktop processor. This does reduce the number of processors cores from four in the previous Phenom II X4 based model to just two, but most people probably wouldn't notice the difference. To help compensate for this, the memory has been pushed from 4GB to 6GB of DDR3 memory which should help for those using memory intensive programs or heavily multitasking.

Storage space was always one of the advantages that Acer had over many other slim and small form factor systems. While hard drive sizes continue to get larger, Acer has decided to stick with a one terabyte sized drive that does provide a lot of space for applications and data but more companies are offering this size in their small form factors PCs. This is a green class drive that has a variable spin rate to reduce power consumption but does hit the performance a bit. Unlike the past AMD based versions, this one does not feature an external SATA port. A standard desktop class DVD burner handles playback and recording of CDs and DVDs.

Like most of the previous X series slim desktops from Acer, the Aspire X3950 does not come with a dedicated graphics card and instead relies on the Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated solution. This is fine for anyone doing basic web or even high definition media streaming but it lacks any sort of performance for even casual 3D gaming. There is space for a PCI-Express graphics card in the system but the 220W power supply and space for only a single-width card will greatly limit the types of cards that can be installed inside of the case.

If you happen to have a large number of USB based peripherals, than the Aspire X3950 will definitely be able to handle your peripherals without the need for an external USB hub. It features an amazing eleven total ports with six on the back and five on the front. The average slim desktop system has between six and eight total.

One annoying aspect of Acer's computers continues to be the large amount of trialware applications that they load onto the computer. These programs clutter up the desktop and start menu and potentially eat up system resources. Users should expect to take some time after receiving the machine to remove any unwanted applications to help reduce the clutter and help boost performance a bit.

Overall, the Acer Aspire X3950 is a decent system for those looking at a compact general purpose desktop computer system. The pricing and features of the system don't really set it apart much from the competition anymore. One can find either more affordable options or more feature specific models depending on their needs or budget.

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