Acer ships desktops with quad-core Ivy Bridge chips

Acer is among the first to ship PCs with the latest third-generation Core processors, code-named Ivy Bridge

Acer on Monday started shipping desktops that are among the first PCs available with Intel's third-generaton Core processors, code-named Ivy Bridge.

Acer's new desktops have quad-core Core i5 and i7 processors, which are among the new Ivy Bridge chips Intel is expected to announce on Monday. Acer will also introduce laptops and ultrabooks with new Core processors in the coming weeks and months, according to a company spokeswoman.

PCs currently come with Intel's second-generation Core processors code-named Sandy Bridge, which were introduced in early 2011. Acer has said tests show that Ivy Bridge processors can provide more than a 20 percent CPU performance improvement over Sandy Bridge, and 30 percent better graphics performance. The desktops will come with discrete graphics chips options from Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices to further boost the graphics performance.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini last week said that the first Ivy Bridge chips will be quad-core processors for high-end systems. He also said that chips for mainstream laptops and desktops will come later this year, ahead of the back-to-school season, which starts around the middle of the year. Acer already introduced Aspire S5 ultrabook earlier this year with Ivy Bridge chips, saying the new processors offer much better performance while preserving battery life.

Acer's new desktops are priced between US$699.99 and $1,199.99, and targeted at mid- to high-end users such as gamers. The systems will provide a throughput improvement with on-chip support for PCI-Express 3.0, and graphics improvement with support for DirectX 11, which should boost the gaming experience.

The Acer Predator AG3620 desktop is targeted at power users and includes third-generation Core i7-3770 processors running at a speed of 3.4GHz. The desktop supports up to 16GB of memory and 2TB of storage space, and is priced starting $1,199.99. The desktop has eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, Wi-Fi and an Ethernet port.

Another desktop based on the Core i7-3770 chip is the Gateway FX6860-UR10P desktop, which also starts at $1,199. The system supports 12GB of memory and 2TB of storage. The company also announced the less expensive Gateway DX4860-UR14P, which starts at $699.99 and comes with a Core i5-3450 processor with a clock speed of 3.1GHz. The desktop supports up to 6GB of memory and 1TB of storage.

The Gateway desktops have 10 USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, Wi-Fi and Ethernet.

The desktops are now available in the U.S. A company spokeswoman could not immediately provide information on worldwide availability.

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