The Acer Predator desktop line has some of my favorite promotional copy of all time, at least when it comes to PCs. "Fight on the forefront of intergalactic gaming with a commanding advantage," the Predator's splash page says, promising that the system will "crush 4K gaming and prepare for virtual reality," while allowing you to "power-up for galactic domination."
It all fits in with the extreme design of this gaming desktop, which looks like the tank tread of some kind of future war machine. Or, as Acer describes it, an "intimidating armor-inspired design." Even the airflow vent directing air from the front to the back of the chassis is called an IceTunnel (as in, "Gaming is hot, so stay cool with IceTunnel cooling system").
Behind that somewhat goofy exterior and hyperbolic marketing-speak, is a set of components that we consider the sweet spot of first-gen VR desktops, with an Intel Core i7 6700K CPU and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card (but the just-announced GeForce 1080 card will probably eclipse that soon). This configuration also includes 16GB of RAM and a 2TB HDD/256GB SSD storage combo for a very reasonable $1,999. Different configurations are available internationally, starting at £1,299 in the UK. Only the smaller, newer Predator G1 tower is currently available in Australia, starting at AU$3,299.
Acer Predator G6
|Price as reviewed||$1,999|
|PC CPU||4GHz Intel Core i7-6700K|
|PC Memory||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133MHz|
|Graphics||4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980|
|Storage||256GB SSD + 2TB 7200rpm HDD|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
While most of the VR-ready desktops we've tested and reviewed have plenty of ports on the front or top panels, the Predator G6 has only two USB 3.0 ports, a media card reader and headphone and mic jacks. Keep in mind your VR setup may require a couple of USB ports, plus one more for an Xbox gamepad (at least for the Oculus Rift), and you'll need ports for the included keyboard and mouse. Fortunately, there are four more USB 3.0 and two more USB 2.0 ports around the back. That in-the-box keyboard and mouse combo might be wired, but it's a nice, hefty SteelSeries set, one of the better pack-in accessory sets I've seen.