CNET First Look
Asus Essentio with Intel's new CPUIntel's new CPUs are the most compelling feature in this new Asus Essentio CM6870 desktop. Otherwise, it's just another midtower.
Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET. Today were' gonna look at the ASUS Essentio CM6870. This boring-looking desktop is a $1,000.00 PC and it comes with Intel's brand new Ivy Bridge CPU; now, what that means is that the system has a new processor, as well as a new motherboard; there's some interesting features here but nothing that's really earth shattering or that's gonna change the game as for the desktop PC market so the specific chip in the system is the Intel Cor i7 3770, the quad core chip that runs at 3.4 gigahertz and it's a little bit more power efficient than the previous generation, 2000 series Core i7 CPUs so you won't see a big leap in performance over the older systems that had the Core i7 2600 chip, but what we will see is a nice multi-threaded and multi-tasking performance gain all with the new CPUs and new motherboard, this system has an 877 chip set and it has USB3 built-in to it. Now, if you got a new computer in the past year so you've certainly seen USB3 before but with USB3 baked into the circuitry now, you should be able to get USB3 for less and you'll probably see it in systems that cost much less than this one; you'll see the usual assortment of ports in the front, it's got a nice Blu-ray DVD combo drive in the front as well but otherwise it's designed really to match it right home. In the back here, there's a lot of nice connectivity options, you get USB3, 7.1 audio, USB2, there's also some kind of useless video ports and they're useless because it comes with a graphics card, that's a budget 3D card, it'll play most games at reasonable resolution but you're probably gonna have to dial down the image quality. Now despite the new CPU motherboard, of course the system looks pretty much the same as any old off-the-shelf desktop, you see the CPU here, it's a standard fan, over here you have the graphics card, it's 8 gigs of memory with a couple of slots to expand, a two-servered hard drive which is a little bit more than we usually see at this price, and down here below the graphics card, you get a little bit of expense room, you got two 1XPCI Express slots and a single standard PCI slot, and overall this is a relatively unexciting commodity PC, it's got a reasonable price for its components at 999, the new Intel chip is kind of exciting, we'll probably see that across all kinds of new systems throughout the year but overall, it's kind of hard to recommend a system without any real standout features over the many others that are gonna use that same CPU. So, I'm Rich Brown and this is the ASUS Essentio CM6870.