The main update over the Acer Aspire 5745PG-354G32Mn is the upgrade from an Intel Core i3 processor to an Intel Core i5, and the new Nvidia graphics card which supports Optimus.
We found the Aspire 5745PG-354G32Mn' s Core i3 CPU was a great budget choice that could handle multi-tasking without much of a sweat. However, the Acer Aspire 5745PG-5464G32Mn' s Core i5 460M chip running at 2.53GHz offers an extra chunk of power that gamers and anyone running intensive design or editing software will appreciate. Everything runs incredibly smooth, even with several applications open at once.
Best of all is the Nvidia GeForce GT 420M GPU, which runs alongside a basic integrated Intel GMA HD chip. If you' re simply typing up a document or browsing TechRadar, the integrated GPU will be in charge, as it drains the battery at a slower rate. You' ll also notice the Acer Aspire 5745PG is a little quieter when using the integrated graphics.
However, load up a game such as Fallout: New Vegas and the dedicated GeForce card takes over, providing impressive performance. We found the latest games ran fine, although we had to fiddle with the video settings on some of the more graphically intense titles. DirectX 11 is supported, and we were impressed by the smooth textures and excellent frame rates the Acer Aspire 5745PG churned out.
Although the Acer Aspire 5745PG does a great job of switching from integrated to dedicated graphics automatically, you can also manually set which games and applications use each GPU.
We found the Intel GMA HD GPU still packed some impressive power for an integrated option, enough to run video editing suites and other multimedia applications if you' re desperate to stretch out battery life. It also admirably handles HD video, with no stuttering or other unpleasantness.