Sunday, August 3, 2008

Home Desktop System

Well it was time to finally replace the home desktop, so I got Acer Aspire M5100, which is the spec says has- AMD Phenom X4 9500 Quad Core Processor 2.2GHz, 3GB DDR2, 500 SATA II, DVDRW, ATI HD2400 Pro, Gigabit LAN, Vista Home Premium.

It's not a bad budget desktop for $600 you do get a lot of machine, but my thoughts on it -

It should have included SP1 at the very least, as there were loads of windows updates to do.

I've uninstalled nearly all the acer software except NTI burner, which ain't to bad for free though it isn't very good for everything as it doesn't burn images, so a freebie from filehippo was found, the rest of the software was rubbish except the back up stuff.

Vista found my Samsung printer and set that up easily enough and getting the network dongle working was pretty easy too, and it automatically set my tablet up, but it was rubbish until you got the proper drivers for it.

Over all, the system ain't bad and certainly good value for money.

Pluses -

  • It's uber quiet, which is lovely, as my old system sounded like a jumbo jet
  • It's pretty swift and even if the graphics card could do with upgrading, it's still pretty good for my needs right now
  • The speakers are usb powered and quite cute
  • The keyboard ain't to bad
  • There's only the power light and Aspire name that glow, so not to annoying.
  • 8 USB ports and a firewire port
  • Easy to open the case up
  • A lot of hard drive bays

Cons -
  • There's no restore dvd's out the box
  • Documentation was none existent, would have been nice if they told you what the software they included was about and how to do the restore dvd's.
  • The speakers are a bit weedy in power and the wire isn't long enough to have them far apart on the desk, just one monitors width, very annoying.
  • No restart button (though on the plus, you can't accidentally hit it either)
  • The mouse is rubbish
  • The graphics card could have been a model or two higher
  • Could have included SP1 and newest version of software/drivers (acrobat 7 for instance? wtf)
  • Vista 32 bit, wtf was the point of that?

The things that bug me, vista, the constant do you want to install, move, delete thing, driving me barmy, that would be the UAC. There are loads of ways to switch this off, but this was a good way to switch it off. You'll be left with a warning that it has been switched off every time you boot up however until you do this.

The tablet panel is also rubbish once you've installed the drivers for your tablet and I found this to get rid of it, here.

Opening in a new folder when you click on it, it doesn't open it in a new window unless you've got the navigation option turned off, which can be found under the organise tab.

The menu bar and whole windows look, waste of resourses in my opinion and don't add anything to the OS, so I switched everything to the classic view, which works pretty well, but some things are a little funky. Not being able to move all my start bar menu links around was annoying, but that can be fixed by changing the folder permissions to adminstrator and allowing full rights.

Some great tips on Vista can be found here.