Skip to main content

Acer’s new Aspire desktop targets PC gamers with AMD’s Ryzen 5 CPU, GeForce GPU

Acer is shipping its Ryzen-based gaming GX-281 desktops in July

acer aspire gx 281 ryzen geforce desktop
Before the E3 2017 gaming convention in Los Angeles, Acer introduced a new affordable desktop for PC gamers, the Aspire GX-281. Currently, it’s served up in several configurations starting at $800, packing a choice of AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors,  Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050, GTX 1050 Ti, and 1070 graphics cards. An AMD Radeon RX 480 GPU will also be an option. There are slight differences in the configurations to meet the needs of all PC gamers on a tight budget, such as a secondary SSD with 256GB of storage.

As Acer America senior direct Frank Chang described the machines, “We’ve broadened our Aspire GX-281 Series to accommodate a more diverse group of gamers and digital enthusiasts. As the gaming market continues to grow and evolve, Acer is pleased to offer a broader desktop selection leveraging a variety of processing, graphics and storage configurations, so customers can choose the system that best meets their needs.”

AMD’s Ryzen 5 desktop processor family launched in April. The chip used in Acer’s new desktop is at the bottom of the quartet packing four cores, a base speed of 3.2GHz, and a boost speed of 3.4GHz. It retails for around $170 on its own, falling in line with AMD’s goal of cramming huge amounts of performance into small price tags. Acer will also equip models of the GX-281 with a faster AMD Ryzen 7 1700X CPU with a base speed of 3.4GHz and up to 3.8GHz max speed. By contrast, AMD’s current top-of-the-line CPU is the Ryzen 7 1800X with eight cores, a base speed of 3.6GHz, and a boost speed of 4.0GHz for $460 all by itself.

Currently, we know of three specific configurations: the GX-281-UR17 for $800, the GX-281-UR16 for $850, and the GX-281-UR11 for $800. Here are the hardware specifications:

Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 1400, Ryzen 5 1600, Ryzen 7 1700X
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (w/2GB GDDR5)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (w/4GB GDDR5)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (video memory not specified)
AMD Radeon RX 480 (video memory not specified)
System memory: 8GB/16GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz (supports 64GB max)
Storage: up to 2TB hard drive (7,200RPM)
1x DVD-RW optical drive (8x)
1x 256GB SSD (depending on model)
Connectivity: Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.0 LE
Ports (front): 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C
1x Microphone jack
1x Headphone jack
1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x SD card reader
Ports (back): 1x Gigabit Ethernet
2x USB Gen2 Type-A
4x USB 2.0 Type-A
1x DisplayPort 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x DVI-D
Audio: High Def Audio with 5.1 Surround Sound
Power supply: 500 watts
Expansion slots: 1x M.2 slot for stick-shaped SSDs
1x PCI Express 3.0 x16
Dimensions (inches): 6.89 (W) x 18.24 (D) x 15.67 (H)
Included peripherals: USB keyboard
USB optical mouse
Operating system: Windows 10 Home 64-bit

Overall, there’s definitely lots of love here for the money. The use of the GTX 1050 or the GTX 1050 Ti card will depend on the model, such as the GX-281-UR17 sporting the GTX 1050 and the GX-281-UR16 providing the GTX 1050 Ti. The models utilizing the faster GTX 1070 or the AMD RX 480 have not yet been specified.

The two USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A ports are an added bonus, providing transfer speeds of up to ten gigabits per second. By comparison, the “blue” USB 3.1 Gen1 ports (formerly USB 3.0) only does up to five gigabits per second while the old-timer USB 2.0 port only achieves up to a slower 480 megabits per second. USB 3.1 Gen2 is capable of supporting additional displays, storage devices, and more. Too bad this PC doesn’t provide Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, though.

“The armor-shaped black chassis is highlighted with red arrow-like design features and red front LED lights for a commanding look and appeal,” the company says.

Acer is rolling out its Aspire GX-281 desktops starting in July, with prices beginning at $800. They will be available on Amazon, Micro Center, Newegg, and other online retailers.

Updated: Added shipping information and refreshed specifications.

Kevin Parrish
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then…
Best gaming laptop deals: Portable gaming rigs from $600
The Alienware x17 R2 Gaming Laptop viewed from the back.

If you're keen to game while on the move, you need a sweet gaming laptop. Regular laptop deals won't cut it as you need something with a dedicated graphics card and maybe even something with some cool gamer looks too. Gaming laptops aren't cheap but that doesn't mean there aren't some great deals around. If you're looking to invest in a cool new gaming laptop, we've picked out the current best deals around right now. We've considered different budgets as well as different requirements so there's something for everyone below. Take a look and see what appeals to you.
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 -- $600, was $900

Known as one of the best laptop brands for both gaming and business purposes, Lenovo knows how to make a robust system. The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 packs a lot into its great price tag. It has an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor, 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. More storage space would be nice but if you're fine just having a few games installed at once, this won't slow you down. It also has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card which is great for playing the latest games if you don't mind tweaking the detail level. As well as that, there's a 15.6-inch full HD screen, white backlit keyboard and a cool-looking style to the laptop.

Read more
Why is my printer offline? How to solve the most common printer problems

When you need to print a label to prepare a shipment or output some documents for an important meeting, finding that your normally reliable printer is offline can be incredibly frustrating. Often you print something because it needs to be shipped or taken somewhere. When trouble arises, you're delayed and need a quick solution.

Even the best printers can run into trouble occasionally. Let's look at some common printer problems and how you can get it back online again.
The universal solution

Read more
The best laptops you can buy, tested and rated by experts
dell xps 13 9315 review 06

Our expert laptop reviewers have tested and reviewed more than 500 laptops over the years, searching for the best of the best. But to earn the crown as the best laptop in 2023, it needs to have it all: gorgeous design, killer performance, a productive keyboard, long-lasting battery life, and much more.

Each of the laptops below has been vetted thoroughly by us here at Digital Trends. Whether it's an affordable Chromebook or a top-of-the-line gaming laptop, they've all been subjected to real-world testing, as well as benchmark and battery tests, to collect data to objectively pit them against each other.

Read more