By Philip Dunkley
So about a week and a half ago, I get an invite from Acer South Africa, to join them for an evening of drink and food, and to also have a look at the new Gaming system they have launched, known as the Predator. Now, as you all know, we don’t do a lot of PC Gaming on the site, and I actually thought if should go or not. Thank goodness I did, cause I got to see the 6 best ranked gamers from Arena77 play against each other in Call of Duty 4, and ended up having a great evening. I then, after 1 or 7 drinks, got chatting to Nicholas O’Conner, Sales Manager for Acer South Africa, and asked what the chance was of getting one of these beasts for review, and within 3 days, the unit was ready.
Now let me state a few things upfront. I know gaming can be ridiculously expensive, but dropping between R28000 and R60000 on a rig, is crazy, very crazy. Even I, who will generally blow any amount of cash on my habit, have limits.
Now I got one of the top of the range machines for review, which prices in at about between R50000.00 and R60000.00. I must state this includes no Monitor, but they were kind enough to give me the matching Acer Predator 24â€ 1900×1200 Monitor to test with it.
So value for money is completely out the door here, as you could build the rig for less, but the fact that you have a large brand name behind it is particularly cool, and you are able to upgrade the unit without affecting the warranty, is even cooler. And since Alien Ware is not in the country, and the Dell XPS range is almost nowhere to be seen, this PC has little competition.
Right, so back to the story. I get the unit home on Friday evening, and carefully unpack all that is orange, or Metallic Copper if you ask Acer, and carefully set the unit up in my office. First things first here, it looks unbelievable, really unbelievable. It is simply the best looking PC I have ever seen bar none. It’s a cross between Iron Man and Megatron, just a little bit cooler. So I fire the puppy up, and my lights dim for a second or two, and it boots into Vista rather quickly.
So let’s get this out of the way first. This is what you get for the price:
Windows Vista Home Premium, Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550, 8GB RAM, 150GB HDD and 2 x 640GB Hot Swap HDD’s, BD-ROM Drive + DVD/RW Drive, 2 x NVIDIA 9800GTX’s running in SLI, EAX Sound, Logitech G11 Gaming Keyboard and Logitech G5 Gaming Mouse. This is one amazing spec right?
Right, so now I’ve been using the machine for a week, and throwing both Crysis and Crysis Warhead at it, a little bit of Spore, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R Clear Sky at the machine. One thing I can tell you is this. This machine was up to the task of anything I threw at it, and it is a monster in every aspect.
A few things I did notice over the week that bothered me were the following.
Firstly, the door that covers the Hard Drives is very flimsy, and every time I opened it, I was scared that it was going to snap. Secondly, I have never heard HDD’s go this crazy from noise ever before, expect on servers maybe, and it actually got irritating after a while, but I think this might have something to do with the RAID settings or one of Acer’s Backup Programs.
The experience from an overall perspective was fantastic though, and honestly, If I had the cash to throw at this unit, I would, cause it’s very difficult to go back to any other PC after using this beast for a period of time. I’m not going to score it as such, but I can just tell you, if top end gaming is what you looking for out the box, backed by a big name, you won’t go wrong here, just remember to take out the second bond on your home.
This is also one the hardest things I’ve ever had to give back to a supplier after review, so please, feel for me.
Last Updated: October 7, 2008