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Lifewire / Todd Braylor Pleasants
8GB of RAM with Intel i5-7400 CPU offers decent performance
2TB hard drive for plenty of storage
Has 1 PCIe x16 slot to add a GPU
Steep price for 7th gen PC
Integrated graphics are below average for gaming
Limited CPU upgrade options with Intel H110 Express chipset
Large tower, will take up some desk space
Watch for a sale on the Acer Aspire TC-780-AMZKi5 Desktop Computer; the $500-$600 price range is a bit too steep for this older generation desktop and you can easily get a more powerful PC today.
The Acer Aspire TC-780-AMZKi5 is a mid-tier performance-oriented PC that sells in the $500-$600 range. It is suitable for home or business use and capable of handling some gaming—more so, if you consider upgrading with a graphics card. The TC-780 features an Intel Core i5-7400 processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 2TB hard disk.
It's important to consider that this Acer desktop is several years old now and Acer offers newer 8th gen and 9th gen Aspire models at competitive prices. Let's take a closer look at what kind of performance you can expect from the Aspire TC-780-AMZKi5 and why it may be more advantageous to wait to see if this PC goes on sale.
The Acer TC-780 is a rather large tower, making it one PC that may be best suited for under the desk. Although large, it still weighs a decent amount at almost 18.5 pounds. The TC-780 is a vertically oriented tower with a tapered design that widens as nears its top edge, in some ways making the tower looking even slightly larger.
The front houses the power button, two USB 3.0 ports, a media card reader, and a horizontally oriented DVD read and write drive. There’s also a headphones jack and microphone jack.
One the rear panel, the TC-780 houses one HDMI connection and one VGA connection. Additionally, there are four USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, one Gigabyte Ethernet port, plus one extra audio line-in, audio line out, and microphone jack. Lastly, the rear panel has access for four 5.25-inch external bays.
The Acer TC-780's setup process was fast and painless. After connecting the included keyboard and mouse, we booted the machine up and followed the onscreen instructions to activate the pre-installed version of Windows 10 Home. Activating went smoothly, asking us to either connect offline or link a Microsoft account.
Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable on the Acer TC-780, operating with a strong signal range for home or office use. The PC automatically detected and easily connected to our wireless network during the setup process.
The TC-780 then asked us to create or link an Acer account, but you can easily skip this step if you have privacy concerns. It is not readily apparent, but if you simply do not fill out any of the registration information and proceed, the TC-885 will let you activate the PC without the Acer account.
The TC-780 features 7th generation Intel components with an Intel Core i5-5700 processor from the Kaby Lake series. The i5-5700 is a quad-core, 6MB processor that has a base speed of 2.7GHz with a turbo boost up to 3.5GHz. The TC-780 utilizes an Intel H110 Express chipset which limits the amount of performance-oriented upgrades for the TC-780 to only other 7th gen Intel components, such as the higher-end Core i7-7700 processor.
We found the TC-780 to be relatively fast and efficient doing basic video editing using the Movavi Video Editor. The TC-780 had no problem working with 1080p footage, adding titles, and scrubbing through footage.
The Core i5-7400 is sufficiently fast for general business use, multitasking, as well as photo editing and video editing. The TC-780 was fully capable of working with some high-resolution images in GIMP 2.10. We found the TC-780 to be relatively fast and efficient doing basic video editing using the Movavi Video Editor. The TC-780 had no problem working with 1080p footage, adding titles, and scrubbing through footage.
We also put the TC-780 through a series of benchmark performance tests using, PCMark10 and GFXBench 5.0. PCMark 10 evaluates a computer's performance through several simulated workloads, measuring processing power and graphics processing for three types of applications. Key benchmarks are: essential functions like app startup and web browsing, productivity like spreadsheets, and digital content creation like video editing and graphics rendering.
PCMark 10 scores are relative to a PC's hardware, but an expensive, high-end 4K gaming PC will score in the 5,000 point region. The TC-780 turned out a total score of 2,879, which is classified by PCMark 10 as being 15 percent better than most results for general business-grade desktops. The scores from GFXBench were not quite as good because of the lower-end integrated graphics on the TC-780 (Intel HD Graphics 630).
The TC-780 turned out a total score of 2,879, which is classified by PCMark 10 as being 15 percent better than most results for general business-grade desktops.
The TC-780 was able to render 31.6 frames per second (fps) for the T-Rex Chase test and 13.4fps for Car Chase on GFXBench. These scores are middle of the road for the lower-end integrated graphics on the TC-780. Budget and mid-tier video cards are capable of rendering hundreds of more frames per second. Potential gamers may desire to take advantage of the available PCIe x16 expansion slot to add a nicer GPU.
Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable on the Acer TC-780, operating with a strong signal range for home or office use. The PC automatically detected and easily connected to our wireless network during the setup process. The Wi-Fi card is 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible. The 802.11ac standard is common for almost all home wireless routers and supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz connection. The Acer TC-780 also supports Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity and has one Gigabit Ethernet port for wired internet connection.
The Acer TC-780-AMZKi5 has an MSRP of $574. Nearing $600 is not an insignificant chunk of change to spend on a desktop computer, especially when considering that there are newer models within the Acer Aspire T Series that are both cheaper and have newer generation components. For example, the Acer Aspire TC-885-ACCFLi3O is a considerably more affordable PC that outperformed the TC-780, thanks to its 8th generation Core i3-8100 processor and 16GB of Intel Optane Memory.
When first released in early 2017, the TC-780-AMZKi5 was popular as a budget-friendly gaming PC because gamer's found they could easily upgrade the TC-780 with a good graphics card to augment its i5 processor. This transformed the TC-780 into a capable mid-tier gaming PC. Nothing crazy, but add some extra RAM to the TC-780 and you were looking at an okay mid-range gaming rig.
Skytech Gaming is a brand that offers pre-built and custom gaming rigs. They are currently offering a mid-level performance-oriented PC for under $700 called the SkyTech Shadow [Ryzen & GTX 1060 Edition]. The Shadow was designed to maximize value for your money, featuring a Ryzen 3 1200 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. The Ryzen 3 1200 4-core processor has a 3.1GHz base clock speed with up to 3.4GHz maximum boost, making it comparable to the Intel Core i5-7400. Although the Shadow is about $125 more expensive than the TC-780, the significant upside is that it also comes with a pretty decent GPU.
Watch for a sale, but don’t buy at full price.
The Acer Aspire TC-780-AMZKi5 is not a bad desktop PC. Its 7th generation Intel processor and 2TB hard drive are capable and relatively fast for many different applications. On the other hand, the TC-780's integrated graphics do leave better graphics processing to be desired if you are a gamer. Ultimately, we don't feel this PC is a very good deal for the $500-$600 price range, so you should only buy it if you can get it for a lot less.