Acer Aspire m5630

The M5630 seems unable to decide if it's an entry level or a multimedia PC -- but might be a good first foray for entry level users who want to do both.


7.9
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7.8
User Rating

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Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


Acer's Aspire M5630 is the second machine to cross our paths with a dual HD DVD/Blu-ray reader, and interestingly despite the early adopter optical drive and quad core CPU, is focused firmly at the mainstream.

Design
Packed in a generally appealing chassis with a futuristic bend, Acer has put some effort into giving the mainstream more than they're used to, with even a blue "Aspire" logo lighting up when the machine is turned on, and blue hard drive and network activity lights above this.

The visual aspiration seems to be to present a completely flat front, with optical drive stealth covers and even a semi-transparent bay door that covers the media bay, which features xD/SD/MS/CF card readers and a mini-firewire port.

As seems to be the trend these days no reset button is included, relying on the user to know that holding down the power button for five seconds will force shut it down. Otherwise the chassis is completely void of any other buttons, save the optical drive ejects. A raised area on the top supports two USB ports and headphone/microphone jacks, but unlike its recent competitors no gadgets bay/cable management is incorporated here.

Features
Powered by a quad core Intel Core 2 Q6600 and packing 2GB RAM, the Aspire 5630 will certainly be up to most tasks, with the dual 250GB hard drives likely to be suitable for the majority of users.

While the Radeon 2400 Pro graphics card is perfect for playback of both formats, the optional DVI > HDMI connector has been left out, which would have been a nice addition for multimedia pundits, especially considering Acer has already gone halfway there with the Blu-ray/HD DVD combo drive, its easy to use AcerPlay software and wireless keyboard/mouse. The 2400 Pro certainly isn't worth considering for gaming, but that's not where this desktop is aimed.

Quite bizarrely an internal 56k modem has been included -- an interesting throwback we don't often see. While a large number of people are still on dial-up, we would have thought the transition to broadband would have killed off the bundled modems, leaving end-users to purchase their own. Similarly a parallel port and serial port are thrown in, identifying this as an upgrader's machine, destined for people who want to keep their decrepit printers.

Otherwise it's the usual suspects, apart from the optical and coax SPDIF outputs -- 8-channel sound, six USB ports, firewire, Ethernet and the never dying PS/2 ports.

The bundled speakers are too bass heavy, lacking mid and high end definition. These are only good for system sounds -- games and music will suffer.

Performance
Thanks to the quad core CPU PCMark05 gave back a respectable score of 6288, while the entry level graphics card gave back an incredibly lacklustre 1466 in 3DMark06 (although this is five times better than the onboard Intel graphics). We don't understand why companies are bundling quad-core CPUs in consumer desktops, when they'd barely struggle to use two cores for at least the lifetime of current computers -- we can only assume the price is right.

The M5630 seems unable to decide if it's an entry level or a multimedia PC -- but might be a good first foray for entry level users who want to do both.

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Captain Farrell
8
Rating
 

Captain Farrell posted a review   

The Good:Can't beat the value

The Bad:Unreliable TV tuner card, weak power supply

I own the dual core version of this computer, which I purchased three years ago for just $499 at Best Buy.

With the exception of the TV tuner card, it has delivered rock solid performance for three years.

I have since replaced the TV tuner card, and upgraded the ATI 2400 to an ATI 5670. Despite the power supply being somewhat marginal, everything works like a charm.

This really is fundamentally a great computer. Good job, Acer !

SMITH
10
Rating
 

SMITH posted a review   

The Good:EVERYTHING

The Bad:NONE

i love this computer it was a well investment of a computer you can do anything on it yeah thiers some downs but can be fixed awsome computer

 

myth posted a comment   

The Good:Everything except graphics

The Bad:as stated graphics

this comp is good all round, only problem is that it uses last generation graphics, but can easily be fixed buying a geforce gt 9800

 

kosinas posted a reply   

thats what i did, works like a bomb now.

xXxSIGMAxXx
1
Rating
 

xXxSIGMAxXx posted a review   

The Good:internet

The Bad:everything

this computer sucks! because i have the same model and i had to get it fixed after one month they purposly make these messed up computers so you could buy a new product from them so ui got a mac and it works better than this grabage

 

Thunderchild posted a comment   

The Good:i think it terms of design its great but im not much of a computer wize.

The Bad:dosnt handle games to well.

Hey guys
I've been reading all about this computer and you guys have helped me alot just from reading all of these reviews and questions.
thanks
My aspire isnt inspiring me at the moment im afriad.
it shuts down when i play COD or Flight sim.
so I upgrade video card?
and do i have to do the power supply?

 

Russo posted a comment   

The Good:Q6600, 500GB

The Bad:2400pro is terrible for games. the 300watt psu?? noooooooo

i love my acer. It looks sick! the only thing that lets it down is the power and video card. i wont to up date the video card but dont wont to swap the power supply. its a fsp 300-60THA(1) can anyone help me??

 

brighter7 posted a comment   

A solid system all round. The Quad Core does its job really well in multitasking, and is a great add-on because of its power and ability to play great games. I'd suggest to replace the graphics card, as it well....sucks. Power supply might be an issue as well, as it ain't enough to power higher nVidia's (i'm getting a 9800GT for this one). Overall a nice system and highly recommended

 

Trains posted a reply   

brighter7 Smart move on the video card just done the same thing but can't connect the cable from the HDMI to the SPDIF pin on the mb can you tell me how to id it?

Dave
8
Rating
 

Dave posted a review   

The Good:looks fast

The Bad:****ty graphics card

should i buy one? i can get one for 1345 what do you think


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User Reviews / Comments  Acer Aspire m5630

  • Captain Farrell

    Captain Farrell

    Rating8

    "I own the dual core version of this computer, which I purchased three years ago for just $499 at Best Buy.

    With the exception of the TV tuner card, it has delivered rock solid perfor..."

  • SMITH

    SMITH

    Rating10

    "i love this computer it was a well investment of a computer you can do anything on it yeah thiers some downs but can be fixed awsome computer"

  • myth

    myth

    "this comp is good all round, only problem is that it uses last generation graphics, but can easily be fixed buying a geforce gt 9800"

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