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Review: Acer's Veriton M661 Desktop

The Test Center takes a look at one of Acer's latest quad-core PC offerings.

In fact, Acer America, based in San Jose, Calif., has received so much attention in those areas that you might forget that the company provides a competitive line of desktop PCs, including the Veriton-branded line. Earlier this year, the Test Center looked at the Acer Veriton L410, an ultra-small form factor PC built on an AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core Processor 4200+.

We liked that PC for a number of reasons, including its small footprint, nice performance and WiFi integration.

This time, we decided to take a look at a higher-octane part of Acer's desktop lineup: the Veriton M661 UQ6600C. Based on the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor at 2.4 GHz, with a full 4 GB of RAM, Intel's Q35 Express Chipset and Windows Vista Business, the Veriton M661 is a great combination of performance and sleek design. The system shipped to us with two, 109 GB hard disk drives -- providing the option of on-board backup, among other things.

Running it against Primate Labs' Geekbench benchmarking software, the Veriton M661 delivered a score of 3609 -- nice performance made possible by all four CPU cores and each gigabyte of memory. But the system also impressed us with its thermal management; after running for several hours, the PC only threw 79 degrees of heat. That's about two degrees higher than the room temperature of our lab. From a noise standpoint, the Veriton M661 didn't move our decibel meter and never rose about the ambient sound in the lab.

And while the Veriton M661 isn't as sleek or small as the Veriton L410 that we saw earlier this year, its "Cabinet" form factor (17.5 inches by 14 inches by 7 inches) is a good size for many work spaces. It also provides an amazing four USB 2.0 slots in the front, five in the back and a neatly integrated DVD drive. For solution providers who maintain or plan to maintain a managed services practice, the Veriton M661's Core 2 Quad is of the vPro variety -- which means remote management of the hardware is possible.

One of the few quibbles we had was with some unnecessary bloatware added to the unit. However it appears that the amount of it that Acer is putting on systems may, in fact, be declining. So it's a small quibble.

With street pricing between $820 and $1,100, the M661 UQ6600C provides a nice route to quad-core computing.

The bottom line: We can recommend this desktop for solution providers who are migrating their customers to quad-core, Vista-based solutions -- especially solution providers with an eye on managed services.

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