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Acer Apsire Revo R3700 to replace tower PC desktop

Discussion in 'Desktops' started by techno79, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. techno79

    techno79 Member

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    I want to replace my tower PC desktop for a small compact PC like the Revo R3700. My primary uses for it are:
    1. Web browsing (including occasional YouTube streaming)
    2. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher)
    3. Watching video (mostly SD, sometimes 720p, very occasionally 1080p) - these are as video files not optical disc.
    4. Visual Studio 2010 and Eclipse for occasional software development).
    5. The odd few other window applications (nothing to demanding though).

    Other things it needs are:
    1. Able to run Windows 7 comfortably.
    2. HDMI port (as I want to upgrade my monitor soon and will get one with HDMI).
    3. Ideally a VGA port or ability to connect to VGA monitor (current one is VGA).
    4. I don't need much hard disk space as I have a Windows Home Server used for all my primary files (ideally around 200GB).
    5. Must have gigabit Ethernet.
    6. Ideally has built-in WiFi.
    7. Prefer not to have a built-in optical drive so it is as small as possible (will use a USB optical drive).

    I definitely won't be using it for any gaming, TV recording, video/audio encoding.

    Aside from the R3700, can anyone else suggest any other alternatives for around the same price point?

    TIA
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  2. eNxy

    eNxy Member

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    Foxconn Nvidia ION NetBox-nT330i []

    I know you said you rarely watch 1080p, but there's no harm in having something that could play it back just in case :)

    As far as I can tell, it'll run everything you've mentioned, it has a slot loading optical drive, so it's just a small line rather than a tray. Only thing that may cause an issue is the VGA connectivity, but I'm sure that can be sorted with a VGA adapter...

    Even comes with a wireless keyboard and trackpad !!
  3. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves Active Member

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    You can get an i3-based Mini-ITX PC of similar size that'll be five times as fast for £400-450 (e.g. here) so don't feel your only alternative is a big tower.

    As to the Revo one of my big concerns would be future use. It may be sufficient now, but if you want to install Windows 8 or Office 2014 in a couple of years for whatever reason then you may well find it can't handle it.
  4. techno79

    techno79 Member

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    This is a very worthy contender. It's smaller and lighter than the Revo R3700 and about the same price. However, it uses an older Atom processor so not sure how well it would run Windows 7. Anyone know?

    Thanks for the link but I don't think this is what I'm after for following reasons:
    1. Larger, heavier and probably noisier than the R3700 (or its equivalent).
    2. Probably runs at a higher power consumption.
    3. Microsoft have already stated that Windows 8 will run at a lower hardware requirement than Windows 7 (they've certainly gotten the memory footprint down considerably).
    4. It is about twice the cost. I could upgrade the R3700 to an equivalent unit at a later date and I think R3700+upgrade would have a longer life than this single unit.
    5. Yes it might be 5 times the power but I honestly don't think I will need that much power. This is based on actual use of my full sized desktop PCs for the last 4 years (one of which has a speedy Intel Quad core processor that is completely under used).
  5. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves Active Member

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    1. Dimensions are 22x20x8cm for that vs. 19x19x4cm for the Revo and it's apparently passively cooled. Details are here. I don't know the weight, but I wouldn't have thought it's that different.

    2. Yes, although given the inefficient nature of the atom chips and that big hungry ION gpu we're just talking 5-10W more, if that.

    3. And other applications?

    4. Maybe, but the atom chips are SLOW. For example look on the passmark CPU charts here. The Atom D525 is on 711 points. The closest desktop processor I can see similar to the i3 is the Pentium D 2.66Ghz on slightly less at 678. That processor cost 143USD in release compared to 127USD for the i3 so it's a fairly close match.

    The Pentium D 805 (2.66Ghz) was released at the end of 2005, four and a half years before the release of the Atom D525 in mid-2010.

    Of course, you will get the more powerful graphics, USB3 and so on so there will be some perks if you have to upgrade your atom after three years.

    5. Yeah, that's the real question. I do have a four year old netbook and that's pretty much only fit for internet browsing now, provided I don't open too many tabs but I don't have any experience with the current atoms or the current version of office.
  6. techno79

    techno79 Member

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    I appreciate the help but this is still not for me. It is definitely more powerful but I honestly won't need it so the extra power would be completely wasted. And for that, I can't justify paying twice as much. The size of the R3700 is also a nice bonus (the PC you linked has almost 2 and half times the volume).

    Anyway, I'm still open to alternative options to the R3700 but they gotta be around the same price point and a similar size.

    Thanks again.

  7. RobinBanks

    RobinBanks Member

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    Hi techno,

    I'm not familiar with an alternative, but I can definitely give the Revo a big thumbs up.

    I bought one a couple of months ago - mainly to be used as a HTPC. I must say, it hasn't disappointed. I use XBMC to play films, mostly 720p (purely to save HDD space) but also some 1080p, with no problem whatsoever.

    I haven't yet managed to fill the 500GB drive, but when I do, I will just hook up an external Buffalo 2TB drive.

    I browse the web with no issues, including streaming video from sites such as YouTube etc. I'm not sure how demanding Visual Studio is, so can't comment on that.

    I am running Windows 7. It runs flawlessly and very quick - boot up is minimal - I went for the 4GB option.

    The only draw back I can find (and it's not a major one by any means) is that I haven't yet proved that it will play HD audio. However, I believe there are ways round this by using such apps as DSPlayer to decode on the Revo itself - as it will not bitstream to an amp. Not sure what demand this will put on the Revo, but I'm hoping to give it a go soon.

    I really do recommend this bad-boy, it fits my needs perfectly and I'm sure it will fit yours too - and at a good price too!

    Good luck!

    Mark.

    PS - I don't work for Acer :)
  8. techno79

    techno79 Member

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    This is really reassuring. The main purpose for this is as I described above, but once I've bought one, I'll probably trial it as a replacement for my aging Media Center PC. If it runs ok then I'll probably buy another for that purpose.

    I noticed that the difference between the 2GB version and 4GB version is about £30. The cost of upgrading the 2GB version to the 4GB version is about £12. However, I'd have to void the warranty in order to upgrade so I wouldn't want to upgrade until I'm out of warranty.

    Anyone knows how well the R3700 runs with Windows 7 with 2GB of memory?

    TIA
  9. RobinBanks

    RobinBanks Member

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    It's perfect for a media centre PC. No doubt.

    Yes, but for less hassle, I just went for the 4GB. Mine was £199 when I bought it from Ebuyer - no brainer!

    Also, I'm not sure how many memory slots are on the board. If it's just one, then you'd obviously have to buy 1x4GB, instead of adding another 1x2GB.
  10. RobinBanks

    RobinBanks Member

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    ...after a bit of digging, there does seem to be 2 memory slots :smashin:
  11. techno79

    techno79 Member

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    Thanks very much. From what I've read, yes it does have 2 memory slots and the 2GB version has a single memory board filling just one slot. The 4GB version uses 2 x 2GB memory boards. However, there is no way to upgrade the memory without destroying warranty seal stickers and thus it would void warranty. It seems like Windows 7 would run perfectly happy on 2GB RAM so I'm currently thinking of saving myself a few quid by going for that version instead of the 4GB version.

    Thanks to everyone for their help.
  12. techno79

    techno79 Member

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    One other question, the R3700 has a VGA port and a HDMI port. Is it possible to have dual monitor output by having each connection going to a different monitor? TIA
  13. Kargo

    Kargo Member

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  14. RobinBanks

    RobinBanks Member

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    Hmmm. Not sure. I wouldn't have thought so as you have to define within Windows which output you want to use. HDMI splitter???

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