Acer's Predator game PC comes out of hiding

Acer unveils the U.S. version of its Predator gaming desktop

Roughly four months after we first caught wind of Acer's Predator gaming desktop, this highly stylized PC finally makes its U.S. debut. With a distinct look and a reasonable $1,650 starting price, this fixed-configuration, midrange gaming seems like it should excite PC gamers that appreciate a certain aesthetic flair. We have a few questions about its specifications, which you can see for yourself below.

Acer's new Predator gaming PC Acer

The Predator comes in two configurations, one for $1,650, and one for $2,200. The $1,650 model looks as follows:

  • 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300
  • 512MB GeForce 9600 GT graphics card
  • 8GB DDR2 SDRAM (2GBx4)
  • (2) 640GB 7,200rpm hard drives
  • 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium

The beefier $2,200 model includes:

  • 2.83GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550
  • 512MB GeForce 9800 GTX
  • 8GB DDR2 SDRAM (2GBx4)
  • (3) 640GB 7,200rpm hard drives
  • 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium

Both of those sound respectable at first, but we wonder about those 3D cards. For comparison, the Editors' Choice-winning $1,800 Velocity Micro Edge Z15 came with two 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4850 cards, not to mention an overclocked Core 2 Quad Q9550 CPU. We'd expect even the $2,200 Predator would have a hard time matching that kind of performance, so for gaming systems, it seems to us that Acer put too much focus on loading up the hard drive storage. Each Predator system is SLI-capable, so you can always upgrade them yourself post-purchase.

We have the $1,650 model in our lab right now. We're amused by its appearance, and although the case is made of plastic it feels generally sturdy. Unique features include its hinged front panel "mask," mandible-style DVD drive doors, and more functionally impressive, front-panel accessible hard drive trays (the OS drive is even individually marked). Removing the side panel requires you to unscrew the mask from its hinges though, an always annoying extra step. Stay tuned for the full review.