Ironically, because it has a dedicated graphics card, you can't use the Asus' built-in HDMI video output, which is tied to the integrated graphics chip. You can always remove the card and reinstall the integrated Intel chip's video drivers if you really want to connect it via HDMI to an HDTV. You can also buy a DVI-to-HDMI adapter to connect to the 3D card. You get the usual array of analog and digital audio outputs, along with a handful of USB 2.0 jacks. The Asus has no advanced storage connections, though, so FireWire and eSATA are both out.
|Asus Essentio CM5570-AP006|
|Raw (annual kWh)||287.93682|
|Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh)||$32.68|
The Essentio CM5570-AP006 trends towards the less-efficient side of our power-testing results, which means you'll have to pay more per year in power bills to operate this PC. You'll see that our cost comparison chart highlights yet another positive for the Gateway. Not only is the Gateway SX2800-01 as fast or faster than this Asus system, but it also requires less power to provide that performance. We can't get too upset about Asus' annual operating cost, since it only breaks down to about $3 a month, but based on its performance next to the Gateway, it's clear that the Essentio is not as efficient as it could be.
We mentioned in the HP review that its only saving grace is HP's well-established customer support services, both online and via its warranty. Asus does have a warranty, which backs the Essentio for a year, but its phone support is limited to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, and only from Monday to Friday. Good luck if you have a job. And even though Asus includes links on the Windows desktop to its support page, even that only gets you as far as its woefully underdeveloped drop-down menu-based help site. HP and Gateway (along with pretty much every other PC vendor) both offer much more robust online assistance.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Asus Essentio CM5570-AP006
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200; 6GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 512MB Nvidia GeForce G100; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
Dell Inspiron 545-006B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200; 8GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) ATI Radeon HD 3450 integrated graphics chip; 1TB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drive
Dell Inspiron 545s-004B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7400; 6GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA X3100 integrated graphics chip; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 640GB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive
HP Pavilion p6130y
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.4GHz AMD Phenom II X4 9750; 8GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 9100 integrated graphics chip; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
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- Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 / 2.33 GHz
- Memory 6.0 GB / 16.0 GB (max)
- Hard Drive 750.0 GB - 7200.0 rpm
- Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
- Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM
- Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce G100
- Graphics Controller Plug-in card
- Monitor Type none.