Acer Nitro N50-600
Build - 70%
Performance - 75%
Price - 90%
The Acer N50-600 series of desktops cover a wide range of configurations that mainly focus on the entry to mid-end of the market with the Predator Orion range being the options for the mid to upper end.
The Nitro model I have been sent is the N50-600-28 which sits about as low down in the range as you can get but comes in at a bargain price of £599.00 on the PC World website.
I was also sent the ACER Nitro RG270 to test it with which is a 1080p 27-inch monitor that costs just £189 meaning you could easily buy a complete gaming system with keyboard and mouse for under £920
The official blurb from the product listing states:
Kickstart your PC gaming experience with the Acer Nitro GTX 1050 Gaming PC. Featuring an Intel® Core™ i3+ processor, you're able to play classics like The Sims and new games like Minecraft free from stutter and lag. And when you're done with gaming and need to focus on work, it can handle your everyday programs just as efficiently.
Defeat your opponents in Fortnite at over fifty frames per second, ideal when you need the upper hand. Enjoy honing your skills in Full HD, with great visuals and responsiveness.
- Intel Core i3-8100 Processor
- Memory: 8 GB RAM / 16 GB Intel Optane
- Storage: 1 TB HDD
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB
- Intel AC WiFi up to 433 Mbps
- USB Type-C x 1, USB 3.1 x 3, USB 2.0 x 4
- 500W PSU
- PCIe 3.0 (x1) x 1, PCIe 2.0 (x16) x 1, M.2 x 1, M.s x 1
If you are familiar with PC technology you will already know that this is a low specced machine, and Acer are advertising correctly as an entry model.
In the past year, there have been some notable improvements for the low-end market. The 8th generation Core i3-8100 has been bumped up to a quad-core processor with a base frequency of 3.6 GHz allowing it to offer comparable if not better processing power than the previous generation i5 chips.
On top of this, Intel recently launched their Optane technology which allows you to boost the performance of mechanical drives considerably with the Octane memory acting as a super-fast cache.
The GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB graphics card is the main thing that will hold this PC back regarding gaming performance. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for with graphics cards, and jumping up to a GTX 1060 will add considerable cost. However, if you are considering this PC and have realistic expectations, it should be able to run all AAA games at medium to high settings at 1080p.
To put the price of graphics cards into perspective the entire cost of this machine is half the price of many of the top of the range GeForce RTX 2080 Ti cards that have hit the market recently.
Design and Build
The overall design and build reflects the price of the PC; there is nothing wrong with it but this is never going to compete with the build quality of some of the tempered glass PC cases that have become popular.
The case itself is a generic thin steel frame that you have seen used on PCs for many years, especially in office environments. The side panels are the old slot on panels used on most generic PCs.
Acer has modified the front of it with a plastic enclosure giving it some of the typical gamer aesthetics we see nowadays. The front panel has a build in DVD drive, and there is easy access to a card reader, USB-C port, USB-A, headphone and mic input.
The PC World listing indicated that this should have wireless QR charging to the top of the case, allowing you to place your phone the PC case to charge. However, this does not appear to be the case, and it is model dependent. It is an added expense that is not really needed in this situation anyway.
On the rear of the case, you will find access to plenty of USB ports, an additional 6 in fact, as well as a sealed off HDMI port for the motherboard, then the GTX 1050 outputs. The PSU is located in the top of the PC compared to the bottom found in most DIY build PCs.
This appears to use mostly off the shelf components, you can open it up easily removing the case screws.
It looks like it is a Micro-ATX motherboard or at least a bespoke version of one by Acer. Everything is all generic green PCBs, but there is room for upgrades and maintenance. In particular, there are four RAM slots so you could easily double the memory. There is an M.2 slot, but this will likely be used for Optane, and there is at least one free SATA port so you could easily add an SSD at a later date.
I carried out the usual benchmarks for the sake of review purposes even though the performance of both the CPU and GPU are well documented now.
The i3 CPU is a surprisingly good processor and should be more than adequate for all your needs. The 4 cores will comfortably allow for multi-tasking for a variety of applications. This would make an excellent office PC as much as a gaming PC, the GPU will enable a multi-monitor set-up, and the processor should fly through most office tasks
My benchmarks gave slightly higher Time Spy scores than advertised and PC world use this score to give potential buyers an idea of how well it will perform in games. With this PC it states for 1080p:
- Witcher 3 – 50FPS
- League of Legends – 179FPS
- Overwatch – 107FPS
- Fortnite – 104FPS
- PUBG – 45FPS
- COD WW2 – 92FPS
So, it should be able to handle most games adequately. There are some exceptions though, I loaded up Just Case 3 and was greeted with a low memory warning, ignoring this the game was just about playable, and there are guides online showing you the optimal settings for smooth gameplay.
I don’t game as much as I used to due to a lack of time, but firing up Far Cry 5 which I still have not finished caused no issues and I was able to get a few hours of gaming in on high quality at 1080P with no performance issue at all.
If you are happy to dial down the settings a little, then you should be able to play most if not all games smoothly. However, the longevity of this GPU in terms of how it will perform with up and coming AAA titles is unknown, and I would say not to expect to be playing highly demanding games at high quality in 3 or 4 years on this.
I am usually an advocate for self-build systems; you can typically build the PC cheaper and with better quality components. In this case, the Acer appears to be less expensive than building it yourself, or via a company like Scan for pre-built systems.
Building it yourself might yield better quality or at least better-looking components but this budget PC is well priced in my opinion. If you are a parent with no PC knowledge looking to buy a PC for your child then you are not likely to want to go through the stress of learning about building a PC.
I didn’t obsessively try to find the cheapest self-build option, but using Scan and selecting equivalent low-end components the total cost was £670, and this didn’t include Wi-Fi which I forgot to add. It also used the slowest RAM possible, and since doing that spec, I realised the Acer uses slightly faster 2666 RAM.
If you were to go with a Scan 3XS system the equivalent price would be £793. I realise this will be a much better build, but at the end of the day it will yield about the same performance while being over 30% more expensive.
While this does represent good value for what you are paying, I would suggest trying to stretch your budget as much as possible for an additional £100 you could get a couple of models higher with i5-8400 Processor, 1TB drive + 128GB SSD, and a GTX 1050 Ti 4GB. That £150 will give you a much better all-around performance, and the extra memory in the GTX 1050 Ti 4GB will allow it to run more games without memory issues while also providing a noticeable performance boost across the board and at higher quality settings.
If £600 is your maximum budget for a PC then the Acer Nitro N50-600-28 is an excellent choice, it is powerful enough to play most AAA games at medium or high settings. In particular, it will run many online FPS and eSports games with no issue at all, this includes playing Fortnite at 1080p at high quality with no laggyness.
Stretching your budget further for the i5-8400, GTX1050Ti machine will give you a competent 1080p gaming machine all around with a little more longevity.
I used this gaming PC with the ACER Nitro RG270 monitor which I will be posting a review of later this week. These two together make a perfect budget gaming PC system.
This was a sponsored review, but all the opinions are my own and honest.