Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004 review: Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.4
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Service and support: 4.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Top-tier performance results; plenty of upgrade room; versatile array of motherboard connections.

The Bad Power efficiency needs improvement; oversized case gives the appearance of a more aggressive system.

The Bottom Line Massive case notwithstanding, the affordable Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004 delivers a competitive feature set with the horsepower to back it up. We recommend this system for light media editors and anyone who can make use of its straightforward performance and multipurpose features.

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Editors' note: This review is part of our 2009 Retail Laptop and Desktop Holiday Roundup , which covers specific fixed configurations of popular systems found in retail stores.

The Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004 bears a striking resemblance to a young teenager trying too hard. With its oversized, canted case, it's easy to mistakenly place it in the same category as aggressive gaming PCs like Falcon's Northwest Talon. In this case, appearances can be deceiving. If you can get past the massive first impression, the $650 CG5270-BP004 is a moderately priced desktop that will satisfy shoppers who will take advantage of its midlevel performance and features.

The Essentio CG5270-BP004 is Asus' latest midrange retail offering. We reviewed the Essentio CM5570-AP003 recently as well, but the big difference between the two isn't underneath the hood, so much as in the body. Although the components for this system would certainly fit in the smaller case, Asus goes with a much larger design also featured on the Asus Essentio CG5270-BP003. The CG5270-BP004's large, slanted faceplate juts out at the bottom and the marbleized finish gives off a cold, business-only feel that might deter users shopping for an unassuming PC for the home.

By elevating the front section of the case, Asus has provided additional ventilation and room for another fan. The larger case gives you lots of space inside to play around and expand, but with no second graphics card slot, this system's size suggests more capability than it really has. We don't necessarily mind the idea of a poseur gaming PC, as long as you know going in that you'd need to completely overhaul the components to get this system's performance to match its appearance.

  Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004 HP Pavilion P6230y
Price $650 $680
CPU 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 2.6GHz AMD Phenom II X4 810
Memory 8GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM 8GB 800MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip 256MB (shared) ATI Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics chip
Hard drives 1TB, 7,200rpm 750GB, 7,200rpm
Optical drive dual-layer DVD burner dual-layer DVD burner
Networking 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless, 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The Asus has a feature set similar to that of the HP Pavilion P6230y, but the HP's AMD chip is easily outdone by Asus' Intel quad-core CPU in three out of the four benchmark tests. For $30 less than the HP, Asus also offers more storage room to offset the lack of built-in wireless, which can be easily had thanks to the Asus' ample expansion space.

Asus is no slouch with the connectivity and external storage options, either. This system gives you a media card reader, audio jacks, and a handful of USB ports behind the top panel on the front, and around back you'll find more USB ports, 7.1 analog audio, and an Ethernet port. An integrated Intel GMA 4500 chip handles the system's video needs and the back features DVI, VGA, and HDMI outputs to handle a wide spread of displays.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004
106 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004
147 

Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004
513 

Cinebench
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
ZT Affinity 7334Ma
12742 
3502 
HP Pavilion P6230y
10825 
3021 
Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004
10792 
2997 
Gateway DX4300-11
10199 
2872 
Gateway SX2800-01
10085 
2773 

The Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004 easily trounces the HP Pavilion P6230 in most of the application benchmarks, with the exception of the Cinebench test that leans in favor of the Pavilion's faster clock speed. The only system that outguns the Essentio is the ZT Affinity 7334Ma, which has a more aggressive 3GHz AMD quad-core CPU, but also a higher price tag than the Asus, at about $800.

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Where to Buy

Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004

Part Number: CG5270-BP004

MSRP: $649.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Graphics Processor Intel GMA X4500
  • OS Provided Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Monitor Type None.