When I reviewed the Acer Predator 17 G9-791, I remarked in the conclusion that it’s basically a portable VR gaming powerhouse. It has all the right ports in the right places, and its performance in the SteamVR tests was pretty good. I also expected that Acer would include a full-fat desktop NVIDIA Geforce GTX 980 GPU inside the chassis, as the cooling capabilities seemed to be more than up to the task with a GTX 980M inside. It seems like they were listening to enthusiasts after all, and the company has officially unveiled the Predator 17 X, which is even more impressive than the G9-791.
While it uses the same chassis and hardware as the G9-791, the Predator 17 X differs in its ability to offer overclocking capabilities to enthusiasts. An Intel Core i7-6820HK replaces the Core i7-6700HQ, and the unlocked multiplier will certainly help things along. Although it has a base clock of 2.7GHz and a boost clock of 3.6GHz, enthusiasts have been able to get chips in similar chassis up to 4.2GHz with some luck. The GTX 980 is also overclockable, and additionally the Predator 17 X also includes a G-Sync display. Yay, no Optimus switching!
The rest of the system looks quite normal, but there are some tweaks. There is now space for three M.2 NVME SSDs in a triple RAID array, which wasn’t possible on the G9-791. Killer Ethernet joins the fray to compliment the Killer Wi-Fi that was already in the system, which should make using the included DoubleShot Pro software much more useful. Connectivity like USB 3.1 Type-C and Thunderbolt 3.0 is still there, as is HDMI and Displayport 1.2a. If you want a pre-configured system that comes with the 1080p G-Sync IPS panel, that’ll set you back about $2,799, which translates to about R40,000. That’s not too bad considering that the G9-791 is around R32,000 for the base model, but it’s still a lot of money for a portable gaming powerhouse.
Acer is also unveiling the Predator G1 gaming desktop. This is a much slimmer version of the Predator G6 chassis that I’m currently reviewing, and it seems to be thin enough to require rotating the GPU. The Predator G1 is more a system suited for porting it to LAN parties or hiding it under your desk, and it takes up less than 16 cubic meters of space. CPU choices are limited to Intel’s Skylake family of chips, although I’m not sure if overclocking is supported or not. Acer does advertise that you can order a G1 system with a NVIDIA Geforce GTX Titan X pre-installed, so there might be a variant that comes with the Core i7-6700K as well.
Connectivity includes Displayport 1.2a and HDMI 2.0 through the right Geforce graphics card, as well as USB 3.1 Type-C at the front panel. Additions like front-panel audio connectors are appreciated, as well as a full-sized SD card reader, and the G1 is probably the only desktop chassis in the world to have two built-in headphone stands. The chassis is also lit up with LED “Growl” lights on the front, which in the G1 are sound-reactive and can be configured to your preferred colour in the Predator Sense app. Opening up the G1 looks to be the same method as the G6 though, so it feels a bit like you’re doing surgery when you open it.
The Predator G1 desktops should start shipping in July 2016 and have a starting price of $2,299, or about R33,000. The one with the Titan X inside will have a killer price tag, but I’d suggest opting for the GTX 980 Ti instead to save money and maintain the same level of performance.