Monday, August 17, 2009

Acer Aspire Predator Gaming PC

Posted by Louie at 11:50 PM

The Aspire® G7710 Predator is designed to meet the extreme demands of required by competitive gaming enthusiasts. The Aspire® G7710 Predator has been developed to achieve a balance of aggressive aesthetics and extreme performance as well as a strong upgrade path. The latest generation of processors complimented by up to 3 x 2GB of DDR3 memory and up to 1 Terabyte of hard drive storage that caters for even the most hardcore of gamers. Not only are the insides impressive, the Aspire® G7710 Predator comes with a sculpted design and a cutting-edge cooling system to keep the Predator running at its optimal level no matter how high you turn the graphics level on.

Superior performance
The Aspire G7710 offers a broad range of digital possibilities. Boasting the latest generation of processors, providing up to 12GB DDR3 1066/1333 of system memory and a choice of either 3-way capable NVIDIA® SLI® or 2-way capable ATI CrossFireX™ graphics for an awe-inspiring gaming experience. Customizable processor and graphics overclocking via the Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (IXTU) unleashes above-normal performance, pushing your gaming machine run to the upper limits.


The Predator's internals are a mess, with cables everywhere and a very cheap OEM look, complete with banal steel frame and green motherboard. There's no sign of innovation here, and aside from the hot-swap drive bay the interior of the case looks like something you could pull off the shelf for around AU$50. It's light years behind the likes of Dell, Alienware and Voodoo, and small touches like not being able to remove the RAM without taking out the graphics card first will haunt tweakers and upgraders.

The front door may not be flimsy, but the fact that it opens to the top of the case means you lose a potentially useful flat surface to place things on. There's also four USB ports, a headphone and a microphone jack situated on top of the case, and moving the door will wreak havoc with cords as a result. The door can be removed altogether, although this ruins the aesthetic.

One thing that is flimsy is the door to the hot-swap hard drives, and we fear for its longevity. Similarly, the drive caddies are built cheaply, making you wonder where the base price of AU$4,500 has gone.

A large amount of heat is output from the back, courtesy of the dual 9800GTXs and the water cooling unit expelling the heat from the CPU directly out. While this won't be a problem for most (and the heat is better out than in), it's worth noting in case you push your case against a wall. The water cooling is for the CPU only, with Acer choosing to use the standard heatsinks for the 9800GTXs, while the 780i-based motherboard also does Acer no favours in the heat department.

The 24-inch monitor with the "world's first 50,000:1 ACM contrast" looks nice enough, but once you turn off the pure marketing tool that is dynamic contrast ratio, it returns to a usual 1,000:1 base contrast. While the bright orange of the case is kind of cool, the monitor is also cased in the stuff, and distracts heavily from what's important — that is, what's happening on the screen itself.

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