Today we'll take a look at two desktop computers available in retail stores, the Asus Essentio CM5571-BR003 and the HP Pavilion p6230y. Both offer decent performance at a reasonable price.
Budget shoppers will likely turn their heads toward the Asus Essentio CM5571-BR003. Its price is one of the lowest among the competition, and it offers decent features and performance. It is available in retail stores at a fixed configuration for $510, and it comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
The Essentio CM5571-BR003 is equipped with a 2.7 GHz Intel Pentium E5400 processor with 2 MB of L2 cache. This is a dual-core processor that does provide decent performance, although not as good as other desktops featuring the new generation of i3 processors from Intel. The dual-cores of the E5400 do allow you to run multiple applications at the same time without too much trouble.
Your everyday tasks like Internet browsing, instant messaging, music downloading (all legally, of course), and document editing are all possible. You can also view some streaming media and participate in some light gaming. Additional multitasking support comes in the form of 6GB of DDR3 SDRAM.
To store all of your valuable data, the CM5571-BR003 comes with a 750 GB hard drive. Graphics are supported by an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 card. For the operating system, you get Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed.
Among the extra features on the Essentio CM5571-BR003 is a DVD drive that provides the desktop with some entertainment value in terms of watching movies and listening to music. If you need to transfer data from other devices like digital cameras, there is a digital media reader onboard that supports various card formats. Unfortunately, the CM5571-BR003 does not come with integrated Wi-Fi, so if you expect to connect to the Internet wirelessly, you will have to add a wireless networking card yourself.
Other than upgrading to wireless networking, the Essentio has capacity for other upgrades as well. There is room for an extra hard drive if the standard 750 GB of storage is not enough. There are also four RAM slots, allowing you to upgrade from the 6 GB of RAM up to 16 GB. Other slots include a 16x PCI Express slot, a 1x PCI Express slot, and two standard PCI slots.
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