Without a second graphics card slot in the Predator, your options for upgrades and expansion are more limited than those of the Velocity Micro system, which offers a second 3D card slot. The Acer desktop does give you a 1x PCI Express card slot, as well as a standard PCI card slot, leaving room to add wireless networking, a TV tuner, or some other added feature. You also get room for a few extra hard drives, but overall the upgrade opportunities are only average.
The external connectivity selection is downright disappointing, though. The front panel offers a relatively typical array of USB 2.0 jacks, a media card reader, and headphone and microphone jacks. On the back you only get support for USB 2.0 peripherals, 5.1 analog audio output, a PS/2 mouse and keyboard, and HDMI, DisplayPort, and two DVI video outs on the video card. While not everyone demands 7.1 analog audio jacks, most of this system's competitors have the option. They all also offer some form of digital audio output, and either FireWire or eSATA data ports, if not both. The Velocity Micro system offers all of that plus a set of USB 3.0 jacks. The Acer Predator looks extremely underequipped in comparison.
|Acer Aspire Predator G5900-U3902||Average watts per hour|
|Off (60 percent)||0.43|
|Sleep (10 percent)||2.29|
|Idle (25 percent)||63.86|
|Load (5 percent)||187.97|
|Annual energy cost||$38.09|
In terms of its power consumption, the Acer Aspire Predator G5900-U3092 falls right where it should given its hardware and its performance. Its power draw will be easy on your wallet, but we expect most gamers and performance enthusiasts shopping for a PC in this price range would rather have the Velocity Micro's speed than the Predator's power efficiency.
Acer's standard warranty grants you a year of parts-and-labor coverage. You can also find driver downloads and a variety of other support resources if you're willing to suffer through Acer's circuitous Web site. Going by the Web site alone, you'd have no idea that standard phone support was available with this PC. The number, 800-816-2237, is listed in small type in the included manual, or you can register the system online with the serial number (located on the bottom edge of the system).
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Acer Aspire Predator AG5900-U3092
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 2.93GHz Intel Core i7 870; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5850 graphics card; 1.5TB, 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
Digital Storm Special Ops
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 3.07GHz Intel Core i7 950; 6GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; (2)1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics cards; 80GB Corsair Drive Force solid-state hard drive; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital Caviar Black hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 2.93GHz Intel Core i7 870; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics card; 1TB, 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit; 3.87GHz (overclocked) Intel Core i7 960; 6GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; (2) 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards; 80GB Intel X25-M solid-state hard drive; 1.5TB 5,400rpm Western Digital hard drive
Velocity Micro Vector Holiday Edition
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 3.62GHz Intel Core i5 760; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 768GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics card; 1TB, 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive