“But we’re not talking about a twelve-hundred-dollar mean machine here. We’re talking about a $649 budget build, and in this author’s opinion those waters are substantially more fraught than the consumer market for machines north of a large. A reliable budget build is the kind of thing a good enthusiast can specialize in, so the question for Acer becomes…is the M3400 worth the trade-offs? We lose name brand components and the individual warranties that go along with them, but we gain something that’s been built and tested from the factory and at least guaranteed to work as is, and we potentially gain more computer than we could’ve gotten for the price had we built it ourselves.”
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Asus AT3IONT-I Deluxe Review @ Neoseeker
- eMachines ER1402-05 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Workstation Benchmarks: Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu Linux @ Phoronix
- Build a $200 Linux PC @ ExtremeTech
What can you do with a $650 pre-built system
At $650 the Acer Aspire M3400 falls between the Budget and Mid-Range systems on the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard in price. Both the GPU and CPU are from AMD though the parts differ from the HWLB build, using a Phenom II X4 820 and an HD 5450 on an unspecified motherboard that sports the AMD 800 series chipset and 6GB of DDR3-1333. The performance is about what you would expect, reasonable for general usage after the removal of the crapware that comes pre-installed but not a gaming machine by any means. AnandTech came to the conclusion that building it yourself would be a bit cheaper and even if you did not wish to build it there are cheaper and similarly powered systems for sale from other companies.