Acer Aspire TC-1760-UA92 Review – PCMag

Acer Aspire TC-1760-UA92 Review – PCMag

Everything a budget family PC should be
Computers are my lifelong obsession. I wrote my first laptop review in 2005 for, continued with a consistent PC-reviewing gig at Computer Shopper in 2014, and moved to PCMag in 2018. Here, I test and review the latest high-performance laptops and desktops, and sometimes a key core PC component or two. I also review enterprise computing solutions for StorageReview.
It's hard to beat Acer's Aspire TC-1760-UA92 budget desktop as an everyday home PC, thanks to its peppy performance and helpful features.
Acer’s Aspire TC (model TC-1760-UA92; $619.99 as tested) has everything we look for in a budget desktop. Its 12th Generation Intel Core i5 processor handles homework and video streaming with ease, it has a 512GB solid-state drive instead of a skimpy 256GB unit, and it supports Wi-Fi 6 for speedy downloads. Its integrated graphics don’t allow much gaming, but unlike the HP Pavilion Desktop, the Aspire has twin HDMI video outputs for modern dual-monitor setups. We also like this tower better than the Dell Inspiron Desktop, which isn’t as upgradable and tends to be more expensive. Overall, the Aspire TC is a dependable value and earns our Editors’ Choice award for economical home desktops.
The Aspire TC shows buying from the budget aisle doesn’t have to look like it. The faux brushed aluminum finish and silver stripe running down its front panel give it a more sophisticated appearance than the comparatively drab Inspiron Desktop. The micro tower measures 13.4 by 6.4 by 13.8 inches (HWD), no bigger than it needs to be. The front panel is plastic, while the rest is thin steel. The left panel is perforated for airflow.
Front-panel connectivity includes two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports (one Type-A, one Type-C), an audio combo jack, and a microphone jack. You don’t get a media card reader, though the filled-in slot just above our unit’s USB-C port suggests some Aspire TC configurations have one. A laptop-style tray-loading DVD burner is a surprise inclusion.
Around the back, you get two HDMI 2.0b video outputs, five more USB-A ports (another 3.2 Gen 1 and four retro 2.0), a Gigabit Ethernet jack, and a trio of audio jacks (microphone, line-in, and line-out). Having two up-to-date video outputs is a definite plus on a budget desktop and means you can enjoy a dual-monitor setup. If you’re a security-minded user, you will also appreciate the Kensington-style cable lock notch.
Opening the Aspire TC entails removing the left panel, easily accomplished by removing two Philips screws. The spartan interior doesn’t look like much, with bare metal and multicolored wires, but you don’t see it with the side panel in place. The motherboard (approximately 11 by 7.75 inches) has two DDR4-3200 memory slots, an M.2 2280 slot for a solid-state drive, and an M.2 2230 slot for a wireless card. The Intel AX201 card installed in the latter supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, which is helpful for a budget machine. You could always upgrade it to a card that supports the newer 6E standard.
A front support cage has mounting holes for two 3.5-inch drives; screws and silicone mounts are provided for one of them, and Acer even includes a SATA cable in the box. The Dell Inspiron Desktop can’t match this storage expandability.
Motherboard expansion slots include one PCI Express x16 and one PCI Express x1. The 300-watt power supply doesn’t have any GPU power connectors, however, so that limits your choice of a discrete graphics card to one that can be powered solely by the slot. (Some variants of the Intel Arc A380 might work, but probably not the version we reviewed.) Given that this tower has no active cooling intake or exhaust fans, adding a graphics card might not be your best bet, anyway.
The Aspire TC-1760-UA92 seen here lists for $619.99, but it was just $559 on Amazon during our review. It’s well-equipped for everyday use, with a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-12400 processor (six cores, 12 threads), 12GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB solid-state drive, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, and Windows 11 Home. Preloaded apps are minimal; a Norton security trial is the most notable but takes only a few minutes to uninstall. A basic USB keyboard and mouse are also included. The warranty is one year.
Dell’s Inspiron Desktop (model 3910, a refresh of the Inspiron 3891) ran $639 at this writing, though that could easily fall during a sale or discount. I didn’t find an HP Pavilion Desktop with the exact loadout of our Acer, though the $749 model TP01-3025t comes close, offering just 8GB of RAM but a 1TB hard drive in addition to its 512GB SSD. The Aspire’s storage is upgradable, as noted, and you can buy and install a 1TB 3.5-inch hard drive for under $50 (or simply plug in an external hard drive).
For our benchmark charts, we’re pitting the Acer against the Dell Inspiron Desktop (3910) and the HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-2060. The Dell has a bare-bones, quad-core Intel Core i3-12100 chip, while the Pavilion contains a beefy eight-core AMD Ryzen 7. With a dearth of other recent budget desktops, we’re filling out the charts with the business-class Dell OptiPlex 3090 small-form-factor desktop and the even more petite Asus ExpertCenter PN52 mini PC, built around an older Core i5 and an eight-core Ryzen 7 laptop CPU respectively.
Our first test is UL’s PCMark 10, which simulates a variety of real-world productivity and office workflows to measure overall system performance and also includes a storage subtest for the primary drive.
Three more benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads, to rate a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 uses that company’s Cinema 4D engine to render a complex scene, while Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Pro simulates popular apps ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning. Finally, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to convert a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p resolution (lower times are better).
Our final productivity test is Puget Systems’ PugetBench for Photoshop(Opens in a new window), which uses the Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe’s famous image editor to rate a PC’s performance for content creation and multimedia applications. It’s an automated extension that executes a variety of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks ranging from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving an image to applying masks, gradient fills, and filters.
The Aspire finishes in the middle of the pack in PCMark 10, though its score of 5,047 points is comfortably ahead of the 4,000 points we consider desirable for everyday productivity apps like Microsoft 365. It places last in the storage benchmark, though its 512GB SSD is still much quicker than a hard drive. The Acer strikes back in the CPU tests, with its 12th Gen Core i5 among the leaders of this group in Cinebench and Geekbench.
The only downside to this performance is noise. The Aspire’s CPU fan is definitely loud at top speed, more than audible across my living room. However, it only reached peak volume during the CPU tests, making only a muted whir during routine apps.
We test home PCs’ graphics with four gaming simulations or synthetic 3D tests. These include two DirectX 12 exercises from UL’s 3DMark, Night Raid (more modest, suitable for systems with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). Two others, rendered off-screen, use the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5 to assess OpenGL performance.
The Aspire’s Intel UHD 730 integrated graphics generally fall behind the AMD Radeon integrated graphics of the HP and Asus desktops, but none of these PCs will satisfy gamers. They might handle a minimally demanding esports title or two, but you really ought to buy a system with a dedicated graphics card if gaming is a priority.
Acer’s Aspire TC-1760-UA92 serves up commendable value in micro tower form. It covers the basics and then some, with a peppy Core i5 processor and a roomy 512GB solid-state drive—plus Wi-Fi 6 and HDMI ports for a dual-monitor setup. The company even provides mounting hardware for an extra internal storage drive.
Just about the only thing this Aspire can’t do is play modern games, but that’s a given in this category. If you’re on a tight budget and want a home PC that won’t hold you back in daily use, the Aspire TC is our top pick, earning our Editors’ Choice award for budget desktops.
It's hard to beat Acer's Aspire TC-1760-UA92 budget desktop as an everyday home PC, thanks to its peppy performance and helpful features.
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Computers are my lifelong obsession. I wrote my first laptop review in 2005 for, continued with a consistent PC-reviewing gig at Computer Shopper in 2014, and moved to PCMag in 2018. Here, I test and review the latest high-performance laptops and desktops, and sometimes a key core PC component or two. I also review enterprise computing solutions for StorageReview.
I work full-time as a technical analyst for a business software and services company. My hobbies are digital photography, fitness, two-stroke engines, and reading. I’m a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Read Charles’s full bio
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