CNET First Look
Acer Aspire PredatorYou'll probably decide pretty quickly whether you like the Acer Aspire Predator's looks. Those in favor will also find a higher-end gaming PC with reasonably fast performance and plenty of room to expand and upgrade. Not everyone will appreciate the Predator's...
Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for CNET.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the Acer Aspire Predator. So this is an 1899 gaming desktop and as you can see it has a very stylized design. We suspect there probably quite a few of you out there who are maybe immediately turned off by this thing, but people still interested, though this is actually a fairly thoroughly conceived desktop and we at least admire Acer for sticking with their vision. And then Predator probably is not a coincidence. It's not an officially licensed product, but it does bear some similarities to the movie monster that you're probably familiar with. I can see there's faceplate here, a couple arms, and it slides right up and then there sort of amenable-like design with these optical drives, but this separate out and then the drive tray comes right out. So, there are 2 kind of unique features for this PC, but they don't really have a real functionality effect on our system, but it does actually have some useful design elements. The biggest one is probably here in the front door. See the front door opens and there's 4 hard drive base here. You can get this pretty easily. Swap the first three out while the system is on and then there's a label here that indicates that is the operating system drive and you definitely don't wanna take that one out until you've shut everything down. The rest of the front panels are pretty straightforward. You get a couple of USB ports and some audio ports up here as well as down here, you get a media card reader and then a USB jack as well as a mini FireWire input. So the back of the panel looks just like any other desktop. You'd see a full range of ports here and there's actually very little that we'd wanna add. You have a whole bunch of USB jacks. You've got a full-sized FireWire of 400 input, couple of Ethernet jacks, 7.1 analog audio, digital audio as well as 2 eSATA ports, which is actually not very common. Then here on the graphics card, you also get a DVI port as well as mini HDMI output over here. Now, this plate and the overall design systems are pretty unique, but that actually makes getting inside the case a little bit complicated. You've got 2 arms here and 2 arms in the other side of the system and in order to get into the case you have to unscrew this hinges and remove the faceplate all together. From there, there are a couple tabs in the back here, you have to lift up then you pop the side panel off. This one side of the case you can see some of the features we expect to find and higher in gaming PCs, although it's not quietest ideas we'd like. You can see the cables here underneath these orange shrouds, but they're really pretty messy. The Acer and Gateway and all the other companies that Acer owns never really do the---- the high and wire binding we used to seeing from small boutique PC vendors. That's still reasonably clean air flow. This is, in fact, a liquid cooled CPU. It's an Intel core i7930. It's a 2.8 gig quad-core chip relatively fast, definitely fast in the market, but you also get a little bit of room for overclocking here, thanks to the liquid cooling. Then here, you've got a GeForce GTX 470 graphics card; that's nice and fast and that should handle anything in the market right now and you've got a few other expansion slots down here including 2 extra graphics card slots. We would not make this a 3 GPU system, but the 750 watt power supply for it. is definitely enough to support a second GTX 470 card if you wanna spring for it. And you get 6 memory slots appeared, they're all occupied and the system has 12 gigs of grand total and we should mention that this is a fixed configuration PC, so what you see here is what you'll find when you find it to retail. In addition to the graphics card slots, you also get a single X PCI express slot as well as a standard PCI slot as you can add wifi, sound card or any other card upgrades you might want. So clearly, the design of the Acer Predator won't be for everybody. You'll also end up paying a little bit more for the stylized features on the case. That's it. This is a very fast gaming PC and has got playroom to expand and upgrade. That's why we could recommend this PC to the people who appreciate its particular design jobs. So, I'm Rich Brown, this is the Acer Aspire Predator.