Acer to compete with Dell XPS and Alienware brands in enthusiast PC market.
|Not to be outdone by the likes of Dell with its XPS and Alienware enthusiast PC systems, Acer has jumped into the high-margin "gaming PC" market with the announcement of its new Predator series, part of its Aspire G range of desktop and notebook PC systems.
As is common for this market, Acer has thrown subtlety out of the window and colored the case of the new Predator a deep metallic copper which is, for better or worse, at least distinct. The case designers also appear to think doors that open to the side are too common and so have decided to fit the Predator with one that lifts upward. It looks impractical for day-to-day use, but again the design is more about drawing crowds at LAN parties, and so Acer is probably on to a winner here too.
With the door (eventually) out of the way, the Predator offers a multi-card reader and optical drive – a Blu-ray SuperMulti burner is standard – and Acer even offers a Blu-ray/HD DVD SuperMulti option although this is unlikely to be very popular.
Also at the front of the case is an Acer Easy-swap hard drive bay which allows up to four drives to be installed or removed from the system even when it is running. A feature like this is more often found in server class systems, and so its inclusion here helps the Predator stand out from most of the competition. It also makes the system's built-in support for multiple RAID types more useful.
Internally, the Predator is based on an Nvidia nForce 780i SLI motherboard which supports 3-way SLI, but Acer is currently only offering dual-GeForce 9600 GT, 9800 GTX or 9800 GX2 options.
CPU options include 133MHz FSB Intel Core 2 Extreme or Core 2 Quad series, and Acer has opted to include a liquid cooling system which it says reduces system noise and lets users push the system to the limit. Memory capacity goes up to 8GB DDR2.
Other features include dual-Gigabit LAN, onboard audio (with Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum optional) and a choice of either Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate.
Pricing and availability are subject to region, but it is safe to assume that the Predator will be nothing less than "very expensive."
The swappable hd's are interesting, not sure how much that would apply to normal users though.
My first high performance computer was an Acer. I hope their support and hardware has seriously improved since then.
I went from a multi-media Acer inspire to an Alienware Area 51 back in 1999, and the difference was huge.
Their support was a nightmare. I ordered a 17" monitor, they sent a 15". After letting them know, they sent two more 15" monitors I had to return, then they sent me the 17" monitor and never charged me for it, or asked for the last 15" back.
The system had a 2.1 speaker system with it. I went through four subwoofers in the first year...
This was a while back, so hopefully they've improved a lot over the years.
|The big computer manufacturers are taking high-end PC gaming quite seriously these days, probably because the $6k monstrosities are the only computers that can still be sold with some margin-boosting markup these days. HP has the Blackbird 002 and Dell the XPS 730, and now Acer is about to dive into the game with the brand new Aspire Predator.|