Pros: Quad Core Skylake i5 CPU, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM (not DDR3), 1TB of storage, USB 3.1, sleek design, very competitive price.
Cons: Integrated Graphics Card (not suitable for hardcore gamers).
Finding a suitable desktop computer can be a daunting task at times. There are so many options and with many of them being pretty old it can be a very tiresome process just to go through the options. At times you just want a clear cut answer as to which is the best desktop for your budget.
It's with this in mind that today we'd like to talk to you guys about an extremely interesting - and very affordable - desktop computer under the name Asus VivoPC M32CD-AS51.
Under its many attributes we can count a latest generation Core i5 processor, the newly launched DDR4 RAM as well as a variety of ports, including but not limited to, a couple of USB 3.1 ports that work twice as fast as the USB 3.0 options (also available). Have we caught your attention? Good, then don't waste another second and read our full review of the Asus M32CD-AS51.
Asus VivoPC M32CD-AS51 The Ultimate Review
Behold a stylish design
If there's one thing tower PC's tend to get wrong very often is the design. In the end we end up seeing a bulky tower full of pesky cables that doesn't fit very nicely with our decor. It seems often times that our only reasonable option for a stylish design is to go ahead and buy a Mac Mini.
However, the Asus M32CD-AS51 has gone ahead and defied this norm by introducing a very "put together design" forged in brushed metal with a minimalistic approach that doesn't fill us up with clutter. Also, full disclosure; the power up button looks awesome.
It's weight is also quite contained and while it won't win any prizes in that department, it's not that hard to transport with 20.9 pounds which places it within the midrange of what we see in this kind of desktop.
Of course there's a keyboard and mouse that come along when you purchase this machine but we really don't have much to say about either of them. They're just your run of the mill combo.
What's performance like?
Performance on the Asus M32CD-AS51 is headed by an Intel Core i5-6400 quad core processor that clocks in at 2.7 GHz and can reach a speed of up to 3.3 GHz. It's worth noting that this latest generation Skylake processor works over 4 threads and has an amazing 6 MB of Intel Smart Cache.
What does this mean? Well it means you're looking at a pretty mean and lean machine. The i5 in and of itself is generally a very generous processor but when you take it up a notch towards a 6th generation i5 like this there's really not that much of a limit to what can be done.
Sure, astronauts and hardcore graphical designers should probably go all the way to an i7 processor but for the rest of us, even the most demanding users will find that a quad core i5 processor clocking in at 2.7 GHz to be more than enough.
RAM is also incredible, not because of its amount (8 GB) but because of its type: DDR4. While most machines bet on the standard DDR3 RAM, which is most common on laptops, DDR4 is the newest standard which offers up speeds almost three times as fast as your basic DDR3 module. It's also worth noting that not only does the Asus M32CD-AS51 come along with a vast amount of RAM but you can also choose to upgrade its capacity to 16 GB by placing another 8 GB module on the empty slot.
That said, we do not particularly advise people on going the extra distance since more often than not they won't really notice the difference so it's really worth it to use the desktop a bit before making the call.
Can I play Games on the Asus VivoPC M32CD-AS51? What's storage like?
Within the M32CD-AS51 we'll find an Intel HD Graphics 530 graphics chip so the short answer is; no, this desktop is not meant for gaming. Games like Alien: Isolation, Battlefield Hardline or Dirt Rally might put up a bit of a fight when playing them at low settings but more modern graphic intensive games will be quick to disappoint.
As far as storage goes, there's not much to say, we've got a standard 1TB hard drive working at 7400 rpm. All in all, that's a pretty good capacity but it's not super fast like an SSD. Personally, I'm more into speed than amount of storage so I would upgrade storage and go ahead and buy a 250 GB SSD. However, for many people super speed isn't really a requirement when looking for a desktop and it's more about amount of storage as opposed to type of storage.
That said, it's not that the storage speed will be slow, we just mean that it may take a few more seconds to boot up and a few more seconds to boot down as well as download files and write them onto the drive. For some people it's worth paying a bit extra to reduce these times and for others it's not. If you've never tried an SSD it's probably best to get the standard HDD and see what you do from there on.
What are the connectivity options?
One of the great thing about desktop computers versus laptops is the amount of ports available and the M32CD-AS51 is no exception to this. In fact, our review of the Asus M32CD-AS51 reveals quite a few ports. Two USB 3.1 ports (twice as fast as standard USB 3.0), two USB 3.0 ports (one in the front) and two USB 2.0 ports end the USB part of this list.
We've also got an HDMI port, ethernet port, VGA, audio combo, SD card reader and optical drive. When it's time to go online in a wireless fashion you've got WiFi ac which is up to three times faster than WiFi b/g/n, the most common type of connectivity. There's also Bluetooth, of course, as well as on optical drive.
We've reviewed the Asus M32CD-AS51 extensively and so far we haven't really found any huge flaws. Sure, we would've loved a huge SSD unit but being realistic that wasn't gonna happen at this price point.
For it's price, the Asus M32CD-AS51 offers everything it can offer and then some. We love it's minimalistic design, powerful last generation processor and updated RAM. Its vast ports tell us we won't be struggling for a place to plug our devices and it's ac WiFi connectivity really allows us to go with the flow and let our bandwidth do the rest.
Overall, this is an excellent option if you're looking for a good desktop and you don't wanna spend a huge amount of money in the process. You can check pricing and availability for this model over here.