It is no surprise that all the major PC makers have launched new gaming computers this year. Gaming may be a niche segment, but it is a thriving oasis compared to the rest of the PC industry.
In fact, graphics chipmaker Nvidia reported last month that revenues for its gaming graphics business grew 44 per cent compared to the same period last year.
To attract gamers, Acer has launched a new line-up of gaming computers under the Predator branding, including a tablet, laptops, desktops and even monitors.
The first to reach our shores is the Predator G6 desktop PC. With a striking chassis design that resembles tank treads, this mid-sized desktop PC looks like it could crush the competition.
It certainly has the hardware to do so. Inside the G6 is the latest Intel sixth-generation desktop processor. This chip has four cores and runs at 4GHz. The computer also has 24GB of system memory.
More importantly, the G6 has a powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card. This single component is more expensive than the latest game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 4. At launch, it was also Nvidia's fastest graphics card.
Complementing the fast gaming hardware is the Acer Predator Sense app. Gamers can monitor the CPU speed and temperature, adjust the fan speed or toggle the chassis' LED lights using this tool.
But the main feature is the overclocking option.
You have a choice of three different CPU speeds. The fastest Turbo option increases the CPU clock speed from 4GHz to 4.6GHz. This mode can also be enabled by pressing the Turbo button near the top of the chassis.
Enabling Turbo mode led to a 13 per cent increase in performance in the Cinebench CPU benchmark. But the slight increase in CPU speed has negligible effect on games. I saw no improvement in Bioshock Infinite, for instance.
Gaming performance is on a par with other high-end PCs. In Crysis 3 at Very High setting, the G6 produced around 75 frames per second (fps).
However, this is a bit lower than the 78 fps on the ST Digital PC, which was assembled from components available at Sim Lim Square. Our PC, which costs $3,100 to build, is probably faster because it has an overclocked GeForce GTX 980 graphics card.
The G6 costs $3,799 for the highest-end version, which is the one I reviewed. However, the Acer does have a Blu-ray writer, unlike the ST Digital PC. Our budget for our DIY PC did not permit the inclusion of an optical drive.
But going the DIY route means you will have to troubleshoot the computer yourself if there are issues. With the Acer, there are no such worries, and it comes with a three-year warranty.
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-6700K (4GHz)
GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 4GB GDDR5
STORAGE: 2 x 256GB SSD and 2TB SATA HDD
CONNECTIVITY: 6 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x DVI output, 2 x HDMI, 4 x DisplayPort, Ethernet port, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, audio jacks
Verdict: The Predator G6 is pricey, but powerful enough to tackle all the latest games.
This article was first published on December 16, 2015.
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