Acer Aspire’s TC-780-ACKi3 desktop tower proves that you don’t have to break the bank to have a rock solid home or office workstation.
Name: Acer Aspire Desktop, 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100, 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, TC-780-ACKI3
Date First Available: June 2017 (From Amazon)
Category: General Purpose / Home & Office
Price: $349.99 from Amazon
Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKi3 Desktop Computer Overview
Acer have managed to package together a good Intel i3 CPU, a healthy 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive and a copy of Windows 10 all for under $400. Let’s take a look to see if the hardware is suitable for your needs and if it represents good value for money.
The Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKi3 is a pre-built desktop tower aimed at users who need a basic yet powerful computer for their day to day home or office workloads.
We’ll review the individual hardware components, who this computer will or won’t suit as well as your upgrade options down the road.Contents (Click to View Contents)
Who Is/Isn’t It For?
What You Get
⁃ Other Inclusions
⁃ What Games Can It Play?
⁃ Recommended Upgrades (Short Term/Immediate)
⁃ Other Upgrade Considerations
Reference: Other Specifications
- Powerful, above-entry level CPU
- Plenty of memory (RAM)
- 1TB 7200rpm hard drive
- No dedicated graphics card
- Case lacks some space for future upgrades
- Lack of SATA ports limit additional drive upgrades
The Acer TC-780-ACKi3 is a great computer for those who need to do basic tasks such as homework, web browsing, paying the bills, Microsoft Office use (Word and Excel etc) and general photo and video use. It would also be suitable to watch online videos from services such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu etc.
Essentially, this suits the home or business user who doesn’t need to perform demanding tasks like gaming or video editing.
Who Isn’t It For?
If you’re a gamer or are interested in more intensive tasks such as heavy video editing or large file conversions then you may want to seek a computer with a little more processing power and upgrade potential.
If this sounds like you, then you have a few options for more powerful computers. Acer offer a “big brother” of the TC-780-ACKi3 called the TC-780-ACKi5. This ACKi5 variant has a more powerful CPU and more RAM and as such is also more upgrade friendly. You can check out our TC-780-ACKi5 review here.
If you want something that’s ready to game right away without any upgrades then take a look at both of these excellent entry-mid level gaming machine reviews we’ve written recently:
Acer have chosen a great selection of hardware for this price range.
Let’s look at the details.
|GFX||(Integrated )Intel HD 630|
|Storage||1TB, 7200RPM HDD|
There are plenty of less powerful CPUs Acer could have gone with. Instead, they’ve managed to include an Intel i3-7100. This is a great desktop computing CPU for a number of reasons. It’s a 3.9GHZ dual core CPU with Hyperthreading. This means it can actually operate with another 2 virtual cores equating to a total of 4 usable cores, in a manner of speaking.
In addition to the great 3.9Ghz frequency and Hyperthreading, you also get a very capable integrated graphics chip.
In the Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKi3 there is no dedicated graphics card. The graphics processing is handled entirely by the integrated Intel HD630 in the i3-7100 CPU.
While the Intel HD630 may not operate at the level of gaming graphcs cards these days it is more than capable of any typical desktop graphics workloads you can throw at it. It will even handle 4K displays and basic video editing and very basic gaming.
Also check out some videos on Youtube of people playing games such as Overwatch on just the integrated HD 630 graphics (on lower settings).
Similar to it’s “bigger brother” this TC-780-ACKi3 uses an Intel H110 Express chipset. Acer have not specified any motherboard model details as it’s most likely an Acer proprietary board.
The board does have a PCIe16 slot if you wish to add a graphics card later but is a bit restrictive on SATA ports. If you want to add another hard drive you may have to remove the Optical drive and use it’s SATA port.
There is a M.2 port provided so you could potentially install an M.2 SSD. Be sure to confirm compatibility before purchasing however as the M.2 NVMe (PCIe) type may not work with this motherboard – you may need the M.2 SATA type.
The TC-780-ACKi3 has a total of 8GB of DDR4 RAM and supports up to a total of 32GB if you’re looking to upgrade in the future. The stock configuration is 1 x 8GB module with one empty slot.
Acer have included a 1 Terabyte hard disk drive with a speed of 7,200 RPM. While it’s no where near the speed of an SSD it’s still nice to see a 7,200RPM drive included in a lower end machine as many manufactures have been using 5,400RPM drives recently which tend to be a little slower.
Power Supply (PSU)
The power supply unit brand and model is not specified, however is rated at 300W.
If you plan on upgrading this computer with a dedicated graphics card, you may need to upgrade the power supply to a larger unit.
WIFI and Connectivity
Built-in 802.11 AC wireless as well as a Gigabit Ethernet (LAN) port are included on the motherboard.
An 8x DVD reader / writer is included.
The TC-780-ACKi3 comes with Windows 10 Home edition preinstalled.
An SD card reader is accessible from the front panel.
The case is lightweight and compact with the dimensions 6.89″ x 17.43″ x 15.67″ (W x D x H).
A USB wired mouse and keyboard is included with the computer tower.
Acer offer a 1 year limited warranty on parts and labor, complete with technical support through their toll-free number.
Let’s take a look at the performance of the Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKi3.
This computer actually has a decent amount of power for it’s price point. Thanks to the Intel i3-7100 running at 3.9Ghz, desktop applications run excellently. The included 8GB of RAM is also plenty for your typical multi tasking for a home or office user while giving you enough to dabble in basic games on lower settings.
Note that already-processed images such as movies, videos and photos do not require a lot of graphics processing power to render. You can expect these to work without any issue due to the power of the on-board integrated graphics.
Where it excels:
- Web browsing
- Home & Office applications (Microsoft Office, PDF readers, Accounting tools etc)
- Watching videos, organising photos and basic touch ups.
- Netflix streaming
- General multitasking
It’s also capable of:
- Playing some computer games on low settings at lower resolutions (very limited)
- Very basic video editing / touch ups.
May struggle with:
- More graphics-intensive applications (3D modelling, video conversions etc)
- High quality gaming
The Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKi3 isn’t designed as a gaming computer. However, thanks to the improvements Intel has made with their integrated graphics some games will run provided you drop the quality and resolution settings down to very low levels.
You may run into trouble with games that are very CPU intensive or have larger textures. You will have the best results in games which are very well optimized. Typically these are the popular “competetive” multiplayer games as they are designed to run on a range of systems. A few to try are: Overwatch, Dota2, LoL and CS:GO.
As with most pre-built systems like this, the TC-780-ACKi3 is designed to be an out of the box type solution. At such low prices you can’t expect too many expansion capabilities but there are still a few upgrades to squeeze more performance out of this PC if you feel the need.
A common upgrade for pre-built systems is a Solid State Drive (SSD). These are alternatives to regular Hard Disk Drives (HDD) which operate MUCH faster. You will see a great reduction in the time it takes your computer to turn on as well as opening files and applications in Windows.
- Solid state drive (SSD) installation
Note that there are only 2 available SATA slots, so you need to either get an M.2 SSD or replace either the existing optical drive or hard disk drive to accommodate the SSD. Be cautious when choosing an M.2 SSD to ensure it’s compatible with the motherboard. A M.2 “SATA” mode SSD may be required as M.2 NVMe (PCIe) SSDs may not work with the motherboard in this computer. Be sure to confirm compatibility before making a purchase.
If you would like to run games on this computer you could consider installing a dedicated graphics card. Be aware that the current power supply will limit your options to low power usage cards.
- New dedicated graphics card (low power)
Recommended options that work with the existing 300W PSU are the GTX 1050Ti (best performing), GTX 1050 or GT 1030. See more details here.
We don’t recommend going any higher than the GTX 1050Ti. Even if you were to upgrade the power supply the Intel i3-7100 CPU may start to limit the output of any higher graphics cards.
- Memory (RAM) Upgrade
Lastly, another short term upgrade you may consider is more memory (RAM). The TC-780-ACKi3 comes with two RAM slots on the motherboard. One slot has a single 8GB stick of RAM installed which means you can easily upgrade to 16GB by installing another 8GB stick in the other slot. The memory type you need is DDR4 2400 but please check the RAM manufacturers website to ensure it’s compatible with the system before purchasing.
If you’re considering buying this computer with the intention of upgrading it for gaming just be aware that the Intel i3-7100 will start to become a bottleneck for cards any more powerful than a GTX 1050 ti. You may be able to run a GTX 1060 without restricting it too much depending on the situation but be aware that you may not allow the GTX 1060 to reach it’s full potential.
Also be aware that the case is not very spacious so larger graphics cards may have clearance issues. Be sure to measure the space inside the case and compare to the specs of the graphics card you are looking at.
Lastly, be aware of cooling in general. If you do put in a graphics card it may be worth considering adding a case fan to improve air flow.
At under $400 (currently $349.99 on Amazon) for a PC with 8GB RAM, an i3-7100 and Windows 10 this is a bargain.
The price of the parts and software to assemble this yourself alone would surpass the current price.
We’ve mentioned the “big brother” of this computer a few times in this review. That is the Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKi5 which includes the same basic hardware but with the i5-7400 CPU and 12GB of RAM. This model increases the performance of the CPU and would allow for a better graphics card to be installed. If you can budget for the extra cost it may be worth considering.
If you’re looking for a prebuilt gaming computer without having to do any upgrades yourself, check out the CyberpowerPC Gamer Xtreme GXiVR8020A4 Desktop Computer or the HP Pavillion Power 580-023w both of which we have reviewed recently.
The Acer Aspire TC-780-ACKi3 is a great home or office computer for everyday basic tasks. For less than $400 you’re getting a solid performer which meets and exceeds most basic users needs while leaving some room for upgrades.Show details
Model number: DT.B89AA.024 (Acer part number)
Main Specifications: 7th Generation Intel Core i3-7100 processor (3.9GHz), Windows 10 Home, 8GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory, Intel HD Graphics 630, 8X DVD-Writer Double-Layer Drive (DVD-RW), 1TB 7200RPM SATA3 Hard Drive
Audio: High Definition Audio with 5.1-Channel Audio Support
Ports: 3 – USB 3.0 Ports, 4 – USB 2.0 Ports, 1 – HDMI Port, 1 – VGA Port
Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
Other: Digital Media Card Reader -Secure Digital (SD) Card, USB Keyboard and Mouse
Dimensions: 6.89″(w) x 17.43″(h) x 15.67″ (d)
Weight: 18.43 lbs. | 8.36 kg (system unit only)
More details: Available here