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Acer Aspire Predator: Remorselessly hunting down Alienware

Acer has just unveiled a new line of gaming PCs called Predator -- and judging by their appearance, they're aimed squarely at Alienware's jugular

Oi, PC gaming fanboys -- have a butcher's at this. Acer has just unveiled a new line of gaming PCs called Predator, and judging by their appearance, they're aimed squarely at Alienware's jugular.

The systems have an attractive metallic copper chassis, and just like the 'real' Predator from the Schwarzenegger films, a mask -- or front panel -- that raises to reveal the system's hidden... er... face. Better still, the bays for the Blu-ray and DVD rewriter drives open up horizontally like those disgusting facial claw thingies. It's absolutely ace.

It's obvious a great heap of thought has been put into the Predator. Each of its four hard drives can be accessed via a special door at the front of the lower part of the chassis. Each can be removed and replaced with larger units even when the PC is turned on and in use, just like on a Drobo.

The Predator will come in four flavours -- we've only got Euro prices, so expect these to ratchet up with VAT and rip-off-Britain tax. The entry-level Predator Sniper will cost €1,699 (£1,350), the Predator Trooper will cost €1,999 (£1,590), while the Predator Crusher will set you back €2,999 (£2,390). The top-spec €3,999 (£3,180) Eliminator model will use an Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core CPU and twin Nvidia GeForce 9800GX2s, with four separate graphics-processing units split across two cards.

Those parts, plus the memory, can be overclocked via the accompanying Nvidia nTune utility, and the whole lot is watercooled so it won't explode in your face. A two-year warranty is standard.

We'll confirm UK pricing as soon as we hear anything. The system is set to launch sometime in June, but you can check out full details by visiting the Acer Predator Web site. -Rory Reid