Acer Aspire GX-281

Acer Aspire GX-281

The combinations of a Ryzen 5 1400 CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 2GB of VRAM is fine for mid-level gaming, but don't expect the highest resolutions and effects. I played Rise of the Tomb Raider on the High settings preset at 1080p with SMAA anti-aliasing, I had Lara Croft climb a mountain in a blizzard at between 37 and 51 frames per-second. I could make it out each individual snow-flake, and there wasn't any stuttering or tearing. Turning the preset up to Very High made the game un-playable; it would freeze for several seconds between actions.

                  On the Hitman benchmark was 1920 x 1080, Ultra settings, the Aspire GX ran the game at 40 fps, falling below the desktop average for 82 fps and similarly priced systems such as the Asus VivoPC X 61 fps and the MSI Trident 78 fps, both of which have GTX 1060 GPUs. We saw similar results in Grand Theft Auto V. It ran at 28 fps at 1080p and Very High settings, while the average is 76 fps. The MSI Trident hit 30 fps, and the Asus VivoPC X ran at a smoother 45 fps. We consider 30 fps and higher to be playable.

Overall Performance
For times when you want to log out of Steam to do some work, the Aspire's 3.2-GHz AMD Ryzen 5 1400 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 1TB HDD make it a decent workhorse. I had 30 tabs open in Google Chrome, including one streaming a 1080p episode of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and didn't notice any lag.

                 The Aspire GX notched a score of 10,756 on the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, surpassing the Asus Vivo PC X for 10,501; Core i5-7300 HQ by the skin of its teeth but losing to the MSI Trident 12,953; Intel Core i7-6700. It also scored lower than  the gaming desktop average of 16,088. The Aspire GX is fine for midlevel gaming, but don't expect the highest resolutions and effects. The 1TB, 7,200-rpm hard drive took 3 minutes and 4 seconds to transfer 4.97 GB of files, resulting in a rate of 27.7 megabytes per second. While that's speedier than the VivoPC X's 1 TB HDD 24 MBps, it's far slower than the Trident's 128GB SSD 133.9 MBps and the average for 290.6 MBps.

Keyboard and Mouse
The Aspire comes with both a stock keyboard and a mouse in the box. I found them to be fine for simple productivity tasks.  But the keyboard keys are mushy, and the mouse doesn't have much weight to it. I typed at 108 words per minute on the typing test, which is just over my usual 107 wpm. However, I had a 4 percent error rate, which is double my usual 2%  error rate. 

Acer offers a wide variety of more powerful configurations for the Aspire GX, going up to an AMD Ryzen 7 1700X CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM and a max storage option consisting of a 2TB HDD and a 256GB SSD. 
The Acer Aspire GX-281 is designed to be a gateway to desktop gaming for budget-conscious shoppers. it fits the bill and can play most games on medium settings.But if you're married to the midtower design, you can get a machine with even better specs for a similar price. Both the MSI Trident  and the Asus VivoPC X  use a GTX 1060 GPU while staying in the same price range, giving you the benefit of better performance and VR-readiness.  But those machines don't allow for any upgradability. If you want to be able to take the side off the computer and tinker, the Aspire GX-281 is the way to go.

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July 17, 2017 at 1:20 AM delete

If you have, definitely make editing smoothly