|Name||Gaming Desktop: Acer Aspire G5 Predator (G5920)|
|At a glance:||Intel Core i7-3770K @ 3.5GHz,16GB DDR3-1333 RAM,Nvidia GTX670 2GB video card,120GB SSD + 2TB HDD,Unique Predator case|
|Summary:||Good performance, but significantly overpriced and chock full of unbranded components.|
Ever since Acer released its first Predator-branded gaming PC many years ago, I’ve always suspected that the name was a marketing play on the whole Alien vs. Predator franchise in reference to Alienware – which is arguably the most recognised performance-PC brand name in the world.
My general opinion of Alienware (especially since it was acquired by Dell) is that what it lacks in build quality and value for money, it makes up for with marketing. Has Acer followed this same strategy? Its latest Aspire Predator G5 gives us a chance to find out.
First up I have to admit that I like the design of the G5 case. It is not as gaudy as some of the original Predator designs, but it still maintains an aggressive-yet-understated edginess. Big bold orange panels have been replaced by more tasteful orange trims, and its mid-tower size allows you to tuck it away out-of-sight if preferred.
One thing I don’t like, however, is the vague parts list. Aside from the case, the only part that has an actual brand and model number listed is the CPU (the excellent Intel Core i7-3770K, no less). The rest is all unspecified which usually means OEM, otherwise known as ‘the cheapest parts available at build-time’.
Opening the case confirms this suspicion – I can’t tell you the brand of any of the internal components, because they’re not branded. There’s no guarantee that you’d get the same parts if you purchase a Predator G5.
What I can tell you is that this G5 configuration – the second-most expensive of the four Acer currently sells – packs a Nvidia GTX 670 2GB video card, 16GB of DDR3-1333 CL9 memory, a 120GB SSD (with Windows 7 Home installed), a 2TB 7200RPM hard drive, and a Blu-ray RW drive.
On paper the G5 is strikingly similar in specification to gaming machines we’ve reviewed costing $2,500-3,500. For some reason, Acer has listed the G5 at $4,999.
Let’s take one specific example for comparison: the $2,973 Playtech Hunter. To match the specs of the G5 it would need another 8GB of memory, double the size of its 60GB SSD and 1TB hard drives, and an upgrade to a Blu-ray writer. That would cost less than $300 and you’d score an overclocked CPU in the bargain.
Not only that, but the cable management inside the Acer machine is substandard. Little care has gone into it: large bundles of wires tied together hang in the main cavity of the case.
It performs okay, as you can see from the benchmark results, but nothing like you’d expect for the price paid.September 2012 Gaming PC Shootout. Find full specifications, benchmarks and comparable models here.