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Acer AspireRevo AR3700-U3002 Slim and Compact Desktop
Acer AspireRevo AR3700-U3002 Desktop comes with these specs: Intel Atom Processor D525, Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit), Intel NM10 Chipset, 2GB DDR3 Memory, Integrated NVIDIA ION Graphics, 250GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive, Multi-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader, High-Definition Audio Support, 6 - USB 2.0, VGA and HDMI Ports, Wireless Keyboard and Mouse, 1.45 lbs. | 4.08 kg (system unit only), 1 Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty, AC Power Adapter, AC Power Cord, Registration/ Limited Warranty Card, Microsoft Office Starter 2010 McAfee Internet Security Suite Trial
1.8 GHz Intel Atom D525 dual-core processor
2 GB of installed DDR3 RAM
250 GB SATA hard drive (5400 RPM)
Integrated nVIDIA Ion Graphics
Windows 7 Home Premium
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Average Customer Review:
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241 of 244 found the following review helpful:
What a bargain!Oct 06, 2010
By Man in the Middle
This is just a quick note to fill in a couple of details not in the listed specs, now that I've actually received and set up 2 of these.
The version of ION graphics is listed on the box as "GT218-ION" They work perfectly, so far as I can tell for You Tube HD (and Hulu) videos. (I did first upgrade Flash to version 10.1.)
The "wireless" mouse and keyboard work via a nano-size dongle installed in a USB port, and are fine up to a distance of about 5 feet. They are seen by Windows as 2.4GHz, but are not listed as Bluetooth.
Both the VGA video to a 20" 1600 x 1200 pixel LCD PC monitor and the HDMI video to a 46" 1080p (1920 x 1024 pixel) LED TV work fine. (I did reduce the resolution slightly on the TV due to the TV's overscanning otherwise hiding the edge of the PC display screen. I'm sure the overscan can also be adjusted in the TV settings to resolve this without reducing resolution, but didn't find the place to do so quickly enough.)
Speed is listed as 3.5 on the Windows Experience, compared to 2.1 on our Asus Eee PC 1000 running the 32 bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium. (These new PCs run the 64 bit version.)
These are marvelously quiet. The only time the fan is ever audible is for a moment during the initial power-on sequence.
I had no trouble installing our Samsung USB DVD player. Just plugged it in and it was immediately recognized. Likewise, pointing to my HP 2605 networked color laser printer - found and configured automatically. (One suggestion: when the printer installer offers to update its list of printer drivers, let it.)
It wasn't initially clear how I would reinstall everything if the hard drive ever fails. The PC didn't come with any media to be used for that. (I later discovered the included program eRecovery creates an image of the factory setup on 3 DVDs, with a fourth DVD for drivers, and easily made a set on DVD+RW disks, using the above-mentioned external DVD driveSamsung USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive for Mac and PC SE-S084C/RSBN (Gloss Black).)
Another day in and I've removed some of the unneeded pre-installed programs, disabled unwanted startup programs with msconfig, installed Microsoft Security Essentials, Firefox (along with add-ins Firefox Sync, NoScript, Flashblock, and BetterPrivacy), and Microsoft Office 2007 (2010 comes pre-installed, but would have cost me extra.) Windows Update has found and installed dozens of security upgrades.
Day 3: Telecommuted using this PC today. The VPN link was fine, as was management of a remote database application and a GoToMeeting that included both audio and video. Nothing I did today spiked CPU utilization about 40%! I also checked electricity used, and found it usually under 25 watts, barely more than the 20 watts used by our Asus Eee PC 1000 netbook, despite this Acer having more cores (2 rather than 1), faster clock speed (1.8GHz in place of 1.6GHz), and a 216GB hard drive (rather than 40GB of SSD.) Both 802.11b WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet Internet links work fine.
I'll keep adding more as I finish configuring these, but wanted to post now in case anyone else has been wondering whether these actually exist and are any good. The answer is yes!
Update: Two weeks in, this has still been a perfect choice for both of us. Everything is now configured just the way we like, and a full system backup made, just in case. (I used our USB external DVD+RW drive, but any external USB drive with enough space would do.)
For anyone wondering whether the standard 2GB of RAM is enough, neither of ours has yet used even half of that yet, even though one of our PCs typically has a dozen windows open in different applications simultaneously.
Update 2: Two and a half years later, this is still a bargain. Nothing I see offered today is as good a value as these were new. That said, we recently felt the need for improvement -- easily and inexpensively satisfied this week, as follows:
1 Upped memory from 2GB to 4GB, using 2 Kingston Technology 2 GB (1x2 GB Module) 1066MHz DDR3 PC3-8500 204-Pin Single Rank SODIMM Memory for Select Acer Notebooks KAC-MEMHS/2Gon each PC. This is specifically recommended by Kingston for this model, and is the same brand as came originally. As expected, it's working well.
2 Replaced original 250GB hard drives with 128GB SSDs Crucial m4 128GB 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2, one per PC. (We went with a smaller drive because most data is on a separate ReadyNAS.
Note: Another version of this is offered that includes a cable for cloning the data, but instead I got Anker® Uspeed USB 3.0 to SATA 3 feet Converter Adapter Cable for 2.5 inch/3.5 inch Hard Drive HDD SSD with 12V 2A External AC Power Adapter for that. Software is also needed to clone the data. I used True Image 2013 for this. It's available for either one or three PCs. Cloning a drive is an option under its Tools menu, and could not be easier.
Opening the case was easy after watching a YouTube video titled "Acer Aspire Revo AR3700 - How To Upgrade / Take Apart", but if you've never removed a mainboard from a PC (only needed to install the SSD), you might ask someone with experience to do that.
So, for less than either of these cost originally, we've now improved both of them enough to last another several years.
Still highly recommended!
125 of 133 found the following review helpful:
Flash performance == good : Silverlight performance == not goodOct 19, 2010
By Scott Kendall Mcfadden
The unit is very small and generates little noise and heat. Just be sure to not block the exhaust vent like I initially did (otherwise the fan will run harder and louder). This has several USB 2.0 ports but no ESATA port (unlike previous models). Connected to my Samsung 40 inch LCD TV via HDMI and runs well. The power button on the front is a bit mushy / unresponsive so you must press it firmly and in the dead center.
Acer claims the wireless card is a LITE-ON WN6602R with an RaLink RT3390 chipset. Currently running unit with a Netgear Rangemax WNDR3700 Dual Band Wireless router. Win7 says my wireless connection is excellent and shows 4 bars / 150mbps. Flash 10.1 video performance is acceptable (not great but acceptable). Silverlight 4 performance is woeful. This is unfortunate because Netflix uses Silverlight to implement their streaming video. Netflix is very choppy to the point I can't tolerate it. In contrast, my PS3 and Roku are flawless in streaming Netflix over my wireless network. Don't think I blame Acer so much as I blame Microsoft for lack of hardware acceleration support in Silverlight 4. Come on Microsoft, you are on version 4 of Silverlight and still don't have hardware accelerated video? Adobe Flash 10.1 does and so should you. Be sure to ditch Internet Explorer in favor of Google Chrome on this box. Google Chrome runs circles around I.E. 8.
Possible upgrades for this box might be increasing from 2gb to 4gb RAM.
Here is what Acer shows for the memory:
Support Memory size per socket: 1GB,2GB
Support memory type: DDR3 SO-DIMM
Support memory interface: DDR3 800MHz
Support memory voltage: 1.5V
Support to parity check feature: Yes
Support to error correction code (ECC) feature: No
Pin: 204 pin
Another option might be to replace the traditional hard drive with a SSD. I suspect an SSD would speed Media Center up quite a bit.
I attempted a few tweaks to facilitate a better viewing experience:
1. Upgraded from 2gb to 4gb RAM
2. Switched win7 resolution to 1280 x 720
3. Upgraded NVIDIA Driver to 260.99
4. Upgraded from I.E. 8 to I.E. 9 beta (Some netflix is viewable some is not. Family guy is fine while Discovery Channel Dirty Jobs is very choppy).
Good news. ScottGu (Microsoft VP) announced on his blog (12/2) that Silverlight will finally be getting GPU support when Silverlight 5 rolls out. Check out Scott Gu's blog for more details. This should help with Silverlight / Netflix viewing.
Still waiting for Silverlight 5. Thought I would post some more specs in the meantime:
Windows 7 Scores
Memory 4.8 (with 4gb ram)
Gaming Graphics 5.7
Primary Hard Disk 5.8
Installed Silverlight5 and tried my usual test of running Netflix in latest Google Chrome using Dirty Jobs by Mike Rowe / Discovery. The experience was initially slightly better but eventually intolerable. I may repeat this test in IE9 and see what happens. I also plan on trying the Zotac Nano out as well.
Switched to a Zotac Nano. It is slightly more powerful. See my review on the Nano:
Zbox Nano, Sff, Fusion, E350
71 of 73 found the following review helpful:
What you get for the extra $150.Oct 07, 2010
By Wade Thunborg
The Acer AspireRevo AR1600 cost $199.99 at Amazon.com.
The Acer AspireRevo AR3700 costs $349.99 at Amazon.com.
I purchased both for home use. I am not a "Power User."
What did I get for the extra $150? Was it worth spending more for a dual core microprocessor and newer operating system? Does it have enough power to justify the higher price?
Here is why I believe the answer is yes.
There is no built-in wifi with the AR1600 unlike the AR3700.
The AR1600 is sold with Windows XP and the AR3700 with Windows 7 Home Premium Edition. While few of Microsoft's costly changes are great improvements (Of what real use is the Aero theme or the Ribbon?), it is a more smoothly working operating system.
The AR1600 handles most tasks easily, but it couldn't operate a WinTV HVR 850 usb tv tuner card. It worked perfectly with the AR3700. (This is the major reason for my purchase of the AR3700.) The AR3700 also comes with Windows Media Center.
The AR1600 was adequate for everything else.
1) Both the AR1600 and AR3700 have nice keyboards, but I find them a bit too small for extended keyboarding sessions, so I use a full-size Logitech keyboard.
2) In your favorite search engine, type "Replay AV8". It's an inexpensive stream-recorder program. I wouldn't own a PC without it.
41 of 44 found the following review helpful:
Doesn't stream video from Hulu and many other websitesDec 22, 2010
I read a lot of reviews about how great the Revo is. But after getting one, I found that it didn't do what I mainly bought it for... as an HTPC to stream internet TV. I finally contacted Nvidia and here's what they had to say:
"When running a full screen video stream from YouTube, Hulu or NetFlix, the video may become choppy or the audio and video lose sync, even though the GPU may be at low utilization.
This is caused by a bandwidth limitation in the PCI-E 1X channel. While most desktop systems use a PCI-E X4 or X16 channel for the GPU, some laptops and systems with ION GPU's use a 1X channel. While this is typically sufficient for most videos, some streaming video content has multiple composited overlays for menu's, advertising and so on. This causes multiple trips through the bus, exceeding the available PCI-E 1X bandwidth."
Although it will work with Netflix and a lot of YouTube, it will be very choppy with just about everything else. Other than that, it was a great computer. But I bought it specifically to steam all internet video. For more info, do a google search on "Acer Revo 3700 issues".
If you are buying a HTPC that will stream video, I would recommend finding a trusted business or friend to build you a computer. And I would stay away from mini computers, because you will never be able to upgrade it and thus it will have a relatively short life span.
23 of 24 found the following review helpful:
Purchased with Intent to Stream both Live and Recorded TVNov 19, 2010
By B. Hennings
After using the Windows Device Manager (not the included NVIDIA software cause it didn't work) to update the Video Driver, this little bad boy performs as advertised. Setting up the Wireless connection was simple. The wireless keyboard and mouse have a comfortably tactical feel and are both very responsive. Incredibly, I'm able to control the mouse on the side of my leg while sitting comfortably on the couch. The HDMI and power cables are the only wires extending from the sleek, router sized computer. I would prefer that the unit not be loaded with the the extra (trial) software. This extra bloat consumes CPU cycles that I would rather have devoted to pushing audio/visual content over the internet to my 61" Samsung DLP HDTV. With this wonderfully compact computing device, I've "Cut the Cable". No longer a need for satellite TV or cable TV companies to meter my television content... I am free to pick the content that I want when I want it. And with the growing number of internet streaming TV sources, I can get LIVE content (like sports, news, etc) and current HD shows without paying juice to a middleman that provides little to no value. Many folks may not know that History Channel, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, Golf Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and a host of others provide FULL, CURRENT Episodes at their web sites. It's all available on demand. Why constrain yourself with specialty appliances that don't offer all that this computing platform offers. One great side benefit is that I'm able to back up my regular desktop over my home network to the 250 GB hard drive that comes with this multi-purpose Acer AspireRevo 3700. I could not be happier with my purchase!
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