Gaming PCs are available in all shapes, sizes, and configurations for every budget. Even if you don’t want to or aren’t able to spend a ton of money on your gaming rig, there are options available for you. The Acer Aspire GX-281-UR11 gaming PC features good specs at a great price and I’ll talk about how it runs in this review.
The Acer Aspire GX-281-UR11 as tested included the following features and specifications:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 1400 Quad-Core Processor 3.2GHz with Precision Boost up to 3.4GHz(8MB L3 Cache)
- GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 Graphics and 2GB DDR5 Video Memory
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory
- Storage: 1TB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
- Media Reader: 8X DVD-Writer Double Layer Drive (DVD-RW), Digital Media Card Reader – Secure DigitalTM (SD) Card
- Ports: USB 3.1 (Type C) Gen 1 Port (Front), USB 3.1 (Type A) Gen 1 Port (Front), 2x USB 3.1 (Type A) Gen 2 Ports (Rear), 4x USB 2.0 Ports, DisplayPort, HDMI Port, DVI Port
- Sound: High Def Audio with 5.1 Channel Surround Sound Support
- Connectivity: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, 802.11ac Wifi, Bluetooth® 4.0 LE
- Expansion: 1x M.2. expansion slot
- Power: 500W Power Supply
- Operating System: Windows 10 Home
- Peripherals: USB Keyboard & Optical Mouse
- Dimensions: 15.67 (L) x 18.24 (D) x 6.89 (W) inches
- Weight: 18.43 lbs
What’s in the Box
- Aspire GX-281 Desktop Computer
- USB Keyboard
- USB Mouse
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Information
The Acer Aspire GX-281-UR11 gaming PC features a lot of the Acer Predator design styling. The mid-tower case is approximately 16” x 7” x 18” with some aggressive design cues, though nothing too outlandish. The front of the PC has the Acer name mark at the top with the DVD-RW optical drive just below. An included SD card reader sits just on top of a microphone and headphone 3.5mm input, which are flanked by a USB-C and USB 3.1 port. A red lit V-shape acts as the power light, and provides a bit of an angle to the front of the case. On either side of the remainder of the front of the PC are red angled accents that look like they could be vents, but are just decoration. An Aspire logo sits at the bottom of the front of the PC.
The sides of the PC are relatively plain, with only some perforations for airflow on the left side, while the top includes a trapezoidal power button. The back of the PC is really where all of the action happens. Here you’ll find four USB 2.0 ports, 2 additional USB 3.1 ports, 3.5mm audio connections for microphone, speakers, and line in, LAN port, and the video card inputs for HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI.
On the inside you’ll find room to expand your installed memory and the possibility of additional storage, though everything else is packed pretty tightly inside of the case, offering little chance for additional cards. The Acer Aspire GX-281-UR11 does come with a USB keyboard and mouse, and they’ll work in a pinch if necessary, but you’ll probably want to upgrade to a proper gaming keyboard and mouse.
This Acer Aspire is running Windows 10 home, which, as we’ve mentioned in any review where it’s come up, is a quite capable operating system. It will run any Windows software you can throw at it — provided the system requirements are met, of course.
There is, as one would expect, some additional software included that can really just be removed without too much fuss if you’d prefer. The Norton Security trial will of course just pester you endlessly once your trial is up (until you uninstall it, that is), though all of the additional software will just happily sit and be ignored until you need some extra space on your hard drive. Some of the other added software includes Candy Crush Soda Saga, CyberLink PowerDVD 12, Dashlane, March of Empires: War of Lords, Mozilla Firefox, Royal Revolt 2, and your typical Microsoft Office trial.
Some Acer software is also included, such as abFiles, abPhotos, Acer Care Center, Acer Portal, Acer Quick Access, Acer Recovery Management, and Acer User Experience Improvement Program.
The AMD Ryzen chipset is trying to take a bit of the market share away from Intel with performance at a decent price, and for the most part, the chip succeeds here. I did have the occasional hang at startup when opening Chrome where the app would not respond and I’d have to reboot the entire system, but that could just be Chrome being its usual memory hog. I didn’t have problems running any other apps or games that fit within the system requirements.
Starting with only 8GB of memory is maybe just a little bit low these days, but as mentioned above, the RAM is easily upgraded with three empty slots for additional memory. Even so, my usual complement of games didn’t have any problem, and this PC didn’t stutter even when throwing graphics and action up onto a giant 35” gaming monitor. Everything ran at a lovely 3440 x 1440 and the NVIDIA GTX 1050 kept things humming along. It might have been nice to see even a GTX 1060 here, though that would have absolutely knocked the price up a bit. To be honest, the price to performance ratio here is really pretty great. You’re not going to be able to handle VR in its current setup (the GTX 1050 doesn’t support VR), though with a little extra RAM you’ll be able to run most anything else without too much problem.
Starting at $799.99 USD, you’re getting a pretty great deal here. The Ryzen processor may not be quite as robust as the comparable Intel Core processor but it holds its own. You start just a little bit low on memory but it’s easily upgradable. The GTX 1050 might show its age a little sooner than you might like, but GPUs are easy to replace as well. To sweeten the pot a bit, you can get this PC for $749.99 USD direct from Acer, or $671.90 USD from Amazon. At that price, you’re getting an even better deal on an already capable machine.
Even if your gaming budget isn’t quite as high as you might like, you can still get a quality machine in the Acer Aspire GX-281-UR11. You’ll probably want to add a little bit of RAM, but this is a machine that will serve you well without breaking the bank.
*We were sent a review unit of the Acer Aspire GX-281-UR11 for the purposes of this review.
Acer Aspire GX
- Great price for a gaming PC
- Good performance from the AMD Ryzen CPU
- Nice design with a little bit of flair
- Incredibly quiet operation
- Easy to upgrade with extra RAM
- Plenty of USB ports and even a USB Type C port on the front of the PC
- A GTX 1060 or higher would have been nice, but would have obviously jacked up the price
- A few instances where programs – mostly Chrome – would hang at startup requiring a reboot