Strong processor performance
Lots of RAM, fast NVMe SSD
Latest wireless standards support
Only one USB-C port
Power supply limits future upgrades
About the Acer Aspire TC-1760
Here are the specs of the desktop we tested:
- Processor: Intel Core i5-12400
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 730
- RAM: 12GB DDR4
- Storage: 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD
- Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
- Wired connectivity: 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 4x USB-A 2.0, 2x HDMI, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, three-way audio rear panel, 3.5mm headphone jack (front pane), 3.5mm microphone jack (front panel)
- Weight: 11.8 pounds (as measured)
- Size: 13.4 x 13.8 x 6.4 inches
The Aspire TC-1760’s specifications are typical of a mid-range desktop, but Acer tends to beat alternatives on value. HP Pavilion and Dell Inspiron desktops are available with the same Core i5-12400 processor but offer less RAM or storage when similarly priced.
What we like
Great processor performance
The Acer Aspire TC is available in multiple configurations, but the mid-range TC-1760 I tested had an Intel Core i5-12400 processor. It’s a 6-core, 12-thread chip that leads this desktop to solid performance scores.
Geekbench 5 turned in a single-core score of 1446 and a multi-core score of 7284. These scores beat the Lenovo Legion 5i Desktop with a last-generation Intel Core i5-11400 processor, which scored 1437 in single-core and 5915 in multi-core. The more expensive Dell XPS Desktop with a Core i5-12600K beat the Acer Aspire TC, however, scoring 1595 and 10353, respectively.
It was a similar story in Cinebench R23, where the Acer Aspire TC hit a multi-core score of 10836. This is ahead of the older Core i5 in the Lenovo Legion 5i Desktop, which scored 8024, but behind the Core i5-12600K in the Dell XPS Desktop, which hit 16554.
Blender helps put the Acer Aspire TC’s performance into perspective. A processor-powered render of an image of a BMW vehicle finished in two minutes and 44 seconds. That’s again between the Lenovo Legion 5i and Dell XPS Desktop—and better than a significant majority of desktops and laptops we have tested this year. This means the Aspire TC can handle some video editing and rendering work.
Overall, the Intel Core i5-12400 is a great value, especially in this desktop. This processor has received praise from other reviewers for delivering strong everyday performance at a low price, and it in turn makes the Acer Aspire TC a worthwhile productivity machine.
Decent storage, lots of RAM
Acer flanks the capable Core i5-12400 processor with a pair of 6GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM sticks (12GB total). This is a solid RAM configuration for the price.
12GB of RAM is not a massive amount but it’s more than enough for day-to-day use and entry-level productivity. It’s also good to see Acer stick with RAM clocked at a relatively high speed of 3200MHz. We often recommend having at least 8GB of RAM on a budget productivity machine to ensure simple things like browser tabs will load quickly, so it’s nice to see this desktop go beyond that.
Acer uses a 512GB NVMe M.2 drive installed on the motherboard. This is a typical configuration for a modern desktop, but some older budget desktops rely on drives that use the less capable (and slower) SATA standard.
I also like that Acer uses a 512GB solid state drive rather than a smaller SSD with a large mechanical hard disk. 512GB is a modest amount of storage, but it meshes nicely with the Aspire TC’s focus on basic productivity. You’ll never have to twiddle your thumbs while the desktop opens a file off an achingly slow hard disk.
Supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth
The Acer Aspire TC-1760 is a new model with support for the latest hardware and standards including Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
Wi-Fi 6 is the highlight. This wireless standard offers a significant boost in performance when compared to the prior standard. Wi-Fi 6 is not new, but support remains spotty in the market for budget desktops, as many models sold in this space are cut-rate machines based on older hardware. However, you should note that a Wi-Fi 6 router is required to see the benefits.
Bluetooth 5.2 is less significant but still nice to see. It supports a new codec, LC3, that offers better audio fidelity with lower power draw, and supports “isochronous channels,” which lets devices connect to multiple Bluetooth sources at once. These extras will be handy if you use wireless headphones that support Bluetooth 5.2.
It’s small, light, and quiet
Budget desktops tend to be small, and the Acer Aspire TC is no exception. It measures a hair less than 14 inches tall and deep. The width comes in at 6.4 inches. This makes for a compact footprint that will easily fit under, or on top, of any desk.
It’s light, as well. The official specifications claim it weighs 17.2 pounds, but my test unit weighed about 11.8 pounds, which is extremely light for any PC desktop. Those who don’t like a big, heavy desktop cluttering a shared space should find the Aspire TC a nice change of pace.
The Aspire TC is quiet, too. Fan noise is noticeable when running processor-intensive applications but generally masked by any source of ambient noise, such as a fan or air conditioner. The desktop is nearly silent at idle.
What we don’t like
It looks tacky
Acer tries to dress up the Aspire TC by pairing a simple matte black front panel with glossy piano-black accents and a faux-metal silver strip down the center of the desktop. These efforts are not entirely unsuccessful, as the Aspire TC is an inoffensive desktop when viewed from a distance.
Take a closer look, however, and the desktop's entry-level roots are obvious. The plastic front panel feels hollow when touched, while the side and rear panels are made of thin steel coated with an unattractive grayish-black paint.
None of this is a surprise given the Acer Aspire TC’s pricing, but it’s difficult to find better build quality in any budget Windows desktop. Still, I think Dell’s Inspiron and HP’s Pavilion look more attractive.
Future upgrades will be limited
First, the good news: The Acer Aspire TC is easy to open. Only a pair of Philips-head screws secure the side panel. The hard drive bay, located at the front of the desktop, can be detached and set aside after removing four additional screws inside the enclosure.
The motherboard uses a microATX layout (not the biggest type of motherboard, but not the smallest one either) that offers a few open slots for upgrades. This includes a PCIe x16 slot for a graphics card and a PCIe x4 slot that supports a variety of expansion cards. There are also two open storage expansion bays for SATA SSD or HDD drives.
But there’s no getting around the Aspire TC’s compact footprint. It lacks the internal space to accommodate many modern graphics cards. This is further reduced by the SSD/HDD expansion bays which, if occupied, cramps the PCIe slot.
The Aspire TC-1760 has just two RAM slots, both of which were occupied. This makes future upgrades more costly as owners must replace, rather than add to, the existing RAM.
Power is provided by a compact TFX supply rated at just 300 watts. That’s plenty for the hardware that ships in the desktop, but a major limitation if you want to add a graphics card in the future. A power supply upgrade would help, but TFX power supplies are more expensive and less common than other form factors.
These limitations are typical of desktops in this price bracket and are less of an issue than they would be in a desktop that costs $1,000 or more. Still, those planning to buy an inexpensive desktop now and install upgrades later should avoid the Aspire TC.
Wired connectivity is mediocre
The Acer Aspire TC’s wired connectivity could be better. It has just one USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port on the front of the case. There are also two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, one up front and one on the rear. Four rear-facing USB-A 2.0 ports round out the desktop’s USB options.
It’s not unusual for new smartphones, keyboards, wireless mice, webcams, or gamepads to either connect or charge over USB-C. The lack of USB-C ports means you’ll likely have to use adapters or USB-C to USB-A cords.
Video connectivity is limited, as well, with just two HDMI outputs, and DisplayPort isn’t available. Most modern monitors support HDMI, but the lack of DisplayPort could be an obstacle if you’re connecting multiple devices to the same monitor. Budget monitors often have just one HDMI port, and other devices will typically use HDMI.
Should you buy the Acer Aspire TC-1760?
Yes, it’s a great budget desktop
The Acer Aspire TC-1760 is a solid choice if you want a basic yet capable desktop computer on a budget. It offers a fast Intel Core i5-12400 processor, supports the latest wireless standards, and has a healthy amount of RAM and solid state storage.
Budget pricing does lead to a few limitations. The Aspire TC is not an attractive desktop, its wired connectivity is short on USB-C, and future upgrades are limited by its compact enclosure and small power supply.
The same is true of Acer’s competitors, however. Any Dell Inspiron, HP Pavilion, or Lenovo IdeaCentre sold below $600 will have similar issues. Acer stands apart from these alternatives with better hardware on a slim budget.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Matthew S. Smith
Matthew S. Smith is a veteran tech journalist and general-purpose PC hardware nerd. Formerly the Lead Editor of Reviews at Digital Trends, he has over a decade of experience covering PC hardware. Matt often flies the virtual skies in Microsoft Flight Simulator and is on a quest to grow the perfect heirloom tomato.
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