GCN Lab Review: Acer Veriton M460

The Veriton M460 from Acer is a desktop computer with few extra features, but it also has the most upgrade potential in most areas.

Although it has only four USB ports in the back, it has four in the front to make up for it. Eight total ports is a lot of plug-in space, which is great considering all the devices competing for a USB slot these days. It also has a parallel printer port and jacks for 5.1 surround sound. Its hard drive is only 80G, which is the smallest in the review.

Inside, the cabling is not the neatest, but there are some brackets affixed to the bottom, which does help things somewhat. Every component is accessible, and there is plenty of room to extract them. All of the drive bays have a slider on the side that locks pins down into the screw holes of the drive, locking it in place.

There is a great deal of room for upgrades in the M460. Both of the memory slots are occupied, so any upgrade would require a replacement. But there are three 3.5-inch internal bays, two 3.5-inch external bays and one 5.25-inch external bay. The two available Serial ATA ports mean that some creative juggling would have to be done to handle the devices if all eight bays are filled with Serial ATA devices. There are also a PCI Express x1, a PCI Express x16 and two PCI slots available on the motherboard. The one thing that would hamper any upgrade effort is the power supply; with a rating of only 250 watts, it may reach its limit sooner rather than later. This should be increased in a unit with so much expansion potential.

The Veriton has one of the best CPU cooling systems we've seen in a minitower design. The fan over the radial heat sink sits inside a funnel that extends flush with a vent on the side of the case. There is nothing to interfere with the airflow from the processor, as long as you don't jam the left-side vent against a wall or something.

In our performance benchmark tests, the Veriton scored 631. This score is lower than all the other computers in this review, but it is still a pretty good score. Although it p e r formed the strongest in the hard drive tests, the Intel Core 2 Duo E4500's 2.2-GHz clock speed, 1G of memory, and its reliance on integrated graphics acceleration definitely hampered it overall.

The Acer Veriton M460 has a retail price of $549, which is a good deal considering the potential this unit has.

This computer is probably best suited for an administrator who has upgrade material already available and needs a good solid base system to put them in, or agencies that might want to extend the life of the system in the future with upgrades instead of a full replacement.

Acer America, 800-733-2237, http://www.acer.com

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