Acer Predator G6 review: VR chops in an aggressive design

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MSRP: $1,999.99

The Good The Acer Predator G6 fits our VR sweet-spot components into a big, distinctive case for under $2,000. Performance is great, basic software overclocking is built in, and there's a swappable drive bay in the front.

The Bad You really have to like the sci-fi tank look to appreciate the design. Not enough front- or top-panel ports for all your VR accessories. The case interior is not as user-accessible as some.

The Bottom Line The big, bold Acer Predator G6 scores for VR performance, but it's not exactly the most sophisticated-looking desktop we've ever seen.

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8.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 9

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").

Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

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