This is not to say that the Asus is slow on multithreaded programs. It's not. It will ably handle any consumer-level task, or series of tasks. It will also make a respectable gaming box if you add a graphics card. It can't support a high-end 3D card because of its modest 300-watt power supply, but anything in the $100 to $200 range should work, and provide at least acceptable performance for most titles.
For further expansion, the Essentio provides a pair of 4x PCI Express slots, as well as a single 1x PCI Express slot. That gives you room to add a TV tuner, a video encoding card, as well as a FireWire or other alternate data input. You can also add a second hard drive, although all four RAM slots are occupied.
|Asus Essentio CM5675-07||Average watts per hour|
|Raw (annual kWh)||223.50264|
|Energy Star compliant||No|
|Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh)||$25.37|
The Essentio's power consumption falls right where we expect it to in this price range, coming in almost identically with that of a Dell Studio XPS 8100, a pricier system with a dedicated graphics card (a feature that doesn't get tested on our mainstream power consumption benchmark). HP, as usual with its AMD-based systems, looks inefficient compared with the Intel-based midtower in its same price ballpark.
Asus says it offers 24-7 tech support by phone, and it also claims a year of parts and labor coverage for the Essentio CM5675-07 on the warranty card in the box. What you won't find, inexplicably, is any mention of the Essentio brand on Asus' Web site. The Essentio has gone basically unacknowledged by the Asus site since the brand launched last year. That makes the prospects for downloading drivers or finding online support help dismal to nonexistent.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Asus Essentio CM5675-07
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 650; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 1TB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive
Asus Essentio CM5671-05
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5500; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 1TB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive
Dell Studio XPS SX8100-1408NBC
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 650; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 220 graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 3.0GHz Intel Core i3 540; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
HP Pavilion p6510f
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.8GHz AMD Athlon II X4 630; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics chip; 750GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
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