Though the Predator offers decent performance on Crysis, its most impressive showing comes on Far Cry 2, where its combination of a GeForce GTX 480 graphics card, its 12GB of RAM, and its Core i7 930 CPU push its performance beyond that of all but the $2,499 Falcon Northwest Talon. All of these systems can handle Far Cry 2, but the extra performance in the Predator suggests that Predator owners will be able to play games for a bit longer than the slower PCs before they start thinking about upgrading. That added performance also provides more practical justification for the Predator's higher price tag than its distinct looks.
Should you want more gaming performance from the Predator, perhaps if you want to play at high detail on one or more large displays, Acer has also provided you with enough upgradability to add a second graphics card. The 750-watt power supply should be enough to handle a second GeForce GTX 470 graphics card, and the X58 chipset ensures that you have the necessary PCI Express graphics card slots.
Further expansion options are plentiful. You get three spare hard-drive slots via the front-loading drive trays. You also have room to add a second optical drive. All six RAM slots are taken because of the 12GB of memory already present, but expansion card options include two free PCI Express 8x slots, a spare PCI Express 1x slot, and an open standard PCI slot. That's plenty, and allows not only a second graphics card, but also a wireless networking card, a TV tuner, a sound card, or other extras.
You also get lots of options for connecting external devices to the Predator. The front panel features five USB 2.0 jacks, along with a mini FireWire input, two analog audio jacks, and a media card reader. The back panel has six USB 2.0 ports, standard FireWire, an Ethernet jack, S/PDIF digital audio, 7.1 analog audio jacks, and two eSATA ports. There's no USB 3.0 on this system, but that's not exactly a crucial feature yet. In general, though, the Predator has all of the modern inputs and outputs we expect to find on a performance-oriented gaming desktop.
|Acer Aspire Predator G7750-U222||Average watts per hour|
|Off (60 percent)||0.32|
|Sleep (10 percent)||3.51|
|Idle (25 percent)||109.34|
|Load (5 percent)||315.18|
|Annual power consumption cost||$64.30|
The Predator's power consumption comes in at the bottom of our comparison chart, but it's still in an appropriate range given its performance and its components. Anyone shopping for a "green" gaming PC will find out quickly that the performance trade-offs for more aggressive power efficiency are generally too demanding, so we have few issues with the Predator or other PCs in its class using more power than a typical mainstream PC.
Acer's service and support policies for the Predator provide this system with one year of parts-and-labor coverage. You get toll-free phone support, with lines open 24-7 at 866-695-2237. Acer's Web site, however, is relatively useless for support. You get driver downloads for the system, accompanied by a generic FAQ. That's it.
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Acer Aspire Predator G7750-U222
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 930; 12GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1.28GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 470; 1.5GB, 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
Dell Studio XPS 7100
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.8GHz AMD Phenom II X6 1055T; 6GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5870; 1.5GB, 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
Falcon Northwest Talon (Intel Core i7 875K)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 4.0GHz (overclocked) Intel Core i7 875K; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1.5GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 480; 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black 7,200rpm SATA 3.0 hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 860; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5850; 1.5TB Seagate 7,200rpm hard drive
Velocity Micro Edge Z30 (Intel Core i7 875K)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 3.3GHz (overclocked) Intel Core i7 875K; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5850; (2) 500GB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive
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