Asus Essentio CM5570-AP006 review: Asus Essentio CM5570-AP006

We understand if you still like the idea of an affordable midtower to use for upgrading. The Asus has two PCI slots to spare, next to occupied PCI Express graphics card and 1X slots. You only get a 300-watt power supply, which limits your 3D card upgrade options. Given that the GeForce G100 card managed only 16 frames per second on our low-end Unreal Tournament 3 test, you wouldn't lose much gaming performance by swapping it out for a more robust GPU.

Ironically, because it has a dedicated graphics card, you can't use the Asus' built-in HDMI video output, which is tied to the integrated graphics chip. You can always remove the card and reinstall the integrated Intel chip's video drivers if you really want to connect it via HDMI to an HDTV. You can also buy a DVI-to-HDMI adapter to connect to the 3D card. You get the usual array of analog and digital audio outputs, along with a handful of USB 2.0 jacks. The Asus has no advanced storage connections, though, so FireWire and eSATA are both out.

Juice box
Asus Essentio CM5570-AP006  
Off (watts) 2.39
Sleep (watts) 3.68
Idle (watts) 73.64
Load (watts) 111.94
Raw (annual kWh) 287.93682
EnergyStar compliant No
Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh) $32.68

Annual power consumption cost
Asus Essentio CM5570-AP006
$32.68 

The Essentio CM5570-AP006 trends towards the less-efficient side of our power-testing results, which means you'll have to pay more per year in power bills to operate this PC. You'll see that our cost comparison chart highlights yet another positive for the Gateway. Not only is the Gateway SX2800-01 as fast or faster than this Asus system, but it also requires less power to provide that performance. We can't get too upset about Asus' annual operating cost, since it only breaks down to about $3 a month, but based on its performance next to the Gateway, it's clear that the Essentio is not as efficient as it could be.

We mentioned in the HP review that its only saving grace is HP's well-established customer support services, both online and via its warranty. Asus does have a warranty, which backs the Essentio for a year, but its phone support is limited to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, and only from Monday to Friday. Good luck if you have a job. And even though Asus includes links on the Windows desktop to its support page, even that only gets you as far as its woefully underdeveloped drop-down menu-based help site. HP and Gateway (along with pretty much every other PC vendor) both offer much more robust online assistance.

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

Asus Essentio CM5570-AP006
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200; 6GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 512MB Nvidia GeForce G100; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive

Dell Inspiron 545-006B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200; 8GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) ATI Radeon HD 3450 integrated graphics chip; 1TB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drive

Dell Inspiron 545s-004B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7400; 6GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA X3100 integrated graphics chip; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive

Gateway SX2800-01
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 640GB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive

HP Pavilion p6130y
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4 9750; 8GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 9100 integrated graphics chip; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive

What you'll pay

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    Asus Essentio CM5570-AP006

    Part Number: CM5570-AP006
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Video Memory 512 MB
    • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce G100
    • OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
    • Monitor Type None.