Should you opt for the Blu-ray drive, you'll find the Acer well equipped to output video to almost any kind of modern display. The video card comes with jacks for DVI, HDMI, as well as VGA connections, putting any LCD, HDTV, or legacy CRT in play to use as a monitor. Sadly there's no digital audio output (unless you send audio out over the HDMI port as well), but the 7.1 analog audio jacks will cover any PC speaker needs you might have. We also miss having an eSATA port for fast external data transfers. Instead you'll have to settle for USB 2.0 and FireWire jacks.
The Aspire M5800 also offers only limited internal upgrade options, although we don't expect much expandability from a system of this size and price. Its single PCI Express graphics card slot is occupied, as are its pair of standard PCI slots. That leaves you with a single 1x PCI Express mini slot for card upgrades. All four RAM slots are also occupied, although with 8GB installed you should be set for a while. The only other interior room comes by way of two more hard-drive bays.
|Acer Aspire M5800-U5802A||Average watts per hour|
|Raw (annual kWh)||260.99982|
|Energy Star compliant||No|
|Annual energy cost||$29.62|
Acer should be commended for building a desktop that's not only faster than its competition, but also more power efficient. We felt that way about the Gateway SX2800-01, which was faster than most of its lower-end competition. And we feel the same way about the Aspire M5800, which--next to other $700 to $800 desktops--is only a hair more power hungry than that $500 Gateway. Acer demonstrates the kind of power efficiency with this PC that other desktop vendors should use as a model.
Acer's support is not as strong as some of its competitors. Gateway, actually a subsidiary company to Acer, has 24-7 toll-free support, whereas Acer's phones are only open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT weekdays and from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. PT on weekends. You do at least get a year of parts and labor warranty protection, as well as a handful of troubleshooting tips and other support help on Acer's Web site.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Acer Aspire M5800-U5802A
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400; 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1.5GB Nvidia GeForce GT 230; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300; 8GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 220; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.4GHz AMD Phenom X4 9750; 8GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Radeon HD 4650; 1TB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive
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 hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.6GHz AMD Phenom II X4 910; 8GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4350; 1TB, 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive