Hands-On: Acer Predator G6 Skylake Desktop
Hot on the heels of the Acer Predator X34 monitor, Acer has released their all new Predator G6 Desktop to challenge the big players in the ultimate gaming PC arena. And not a moment too soon -- we need new extreme Skylake hardware for all the AAA titles about to drop this season.
The Predator X34 monitor was and is a game changer, no hyperbole. It’s so revolutionary that nearly every other player in the premium gaming monitor world was surprised Acer not only created such a beast, but was able to sell so many. If you’ve been checking the Newegg product page, you know the $1300 X34 has been sold out then backordered then waitlisted then back in stock only to go out of stock again. At this moment, Newegg is taking reservations for backorders, meaning you’ll get your 34 inches of curved G-Synced goodness in 10-14 days. Crazy, right? A $1300 monitor is sold out every which way.
Which brings us to reviewing the all new Predator G6 Desktop infused with Skylake goodness. This is a completely new cosmetic design for the Predator, shedding the more standard look from previous generations for something that can only be described as mechanical scale armor. Predator is Acer’s answer to Alienware. Alien vs Predator? No coincidence, me thinks. Predator aims to kill the alien in both the specs and looks department. Let’s see how the predator stacks up.
BRING YOUR BIG GUNS
The desktop I received has the full 6700k i7 at 4.0GHz. It’s the “k” edition, so it’s unlocked, meaning you can take it above 4.0 if you’re feeling the urge.
Aside from the chip, if you’re on the Intel 6th Gen platform that means DDR4 and a host of other upgrades. The one I received had a whopping 32GB of 2133MHz RAM, 256GB SSD and another 2TB HDD. Topping it off is a Nvidia 980 with 6GB of that graphics random memory. This isn’t a shy super PC.
There’s three versions currently available:
- $1999: i7-6700k Skylake, NVIDIA GTX 980, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256 SSD + 2TB HDD
- $1499: i7-6700k Skylake, NVIDIA GTX 970, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128 SSD + 1TB HDD
- $899: i5-5400 Skylake (2.7GHz), NVIDIA GTX 950, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD
When the desktop arrived in house, I ran over to Newegg’s warehouse and did my best begging to get the matching X34 monitor. Anyone who read our October Big Rig article knows I was shedding some serious tears when I had to return the triple Predator monitors.
Luckily, the powers that be granted me another monitor (or they were just sick of my begging) and I got to complete the full Voltron-Style Acer Predator system.
TANK TREADS CRUSHING ALIEN SKULLS
So here’s where we get to the touchy feely part. And by touchy, I mean I put my hands all over this thing to find out what’s up with the scales. Or are they treads? Everyone who walked by my battlestation had a different opinion of what the Predator Desktop looked like. Some thought it was a futuristic tank tread, others a mechanical roly poly. I half expected to push the power button and find the PC unfurl itself into a Decepticon snake creature. And then eat my face.
Whatever it looks like, one thing is for sure -- it’s not subtle. While the Predator X34 monitor is all clean lines and metalwork, the G6 Desktop is crazy in-your-face. Acer did a solid job of making the case look like metal even though all the pieces are plastic. If it were CNC machined out of a solid block of aluminum, the thing would weigh a good 200lbs and cost $10k. Which, to me, is the sweet spot, but I’m betting Acer wants to sell these to gamers who don’t have five figures to drop.
As you can see in the pics, the front fins/treads flip down to reveal various ports and other features. Starting at the top is the hidden DVD drive. Below that, an SSD bay. Finally, ports and a slick pop out headphone hanger.
The hanger is a little gimmicky and I’m sure some will make fun of it but, honestly, I love it. I have a headphone stand, but my cans always end up hanging off my monitor or draped over the PC. I found myself using the Predator’s hanger all the time. In fact, this needs to be a mandatory feature for any gaming tower.
As for the other features, the removable drive bay is a vast improvement over previous iterations. Personally, I love having all the drives and bays hidden behind the Predator’s power armor. I don’t like my PC looking like a server tower.
You can also crack the case and install more hardware. It is a normal PC, after all, so doubling up the RAM, throwing in another SSD or three and adding SLI cards is all in your future.
Oh, and did I mention the giant TURBO BUTTON? It says TURBO on the top so you know it’s powerful! But only when it’s lit up, otherwise it’s hard to see (like in my pictures). I didn’t get too much time rocking the turbo, but I really feel like some serious button-pushing is in my future. I want to see how the turbo effects in-game FPS. While the button activates the internal Intel overclocks, is there real world performance to be gained by getting button-happy on the fly? Or, for that matter, any reason to leave it off? Not sure, but we’ll find out.
I didn’t get a chance to run benchmarks but, honestly, I’m betting the benchmarks won’t reveal any surprises -- top of the line 6th Gen i7, DDR4 RAM, 980 graphics card and speedy SSDs. So, yeah, this thing will be about as good as you can get outside of a liquid cooled overclocked rig.
Part of me wishes the outside cosmetics were built to the same level as the Predator X34 monitor. The monitor is all metal and an absolutely beautiful piece of hardware. The G6 Desktop’s case is all plastic and, up close, you can tell it’s not built to the same full-metal-armor standards of the other Predator products. But, of course, this is a sub $2000 PC so my desires are way out of the Predator G6’s price range.
Also, from an aesthetics point of view, I feel like the Predator X34 monitor can be a killer pixel pusher in any battlestation or home editing rig. It’s both classy and extreme, kinda like a luxury sports car. I’m sure some people expect to find an Apple logo on the display it’s so nice.
The G6 Desktop, however, is far more wild and loud and doesn’t leave any room for imagination -- you’re a serious PC gamer and it shows. The G6 is going to be the new hot player for gamers who were going to buy an Alienware but want something with even more extreme looks and don’t want to go the custom DIY route.
As for gaming, I’m definitely looking forward to hitting more triple A titles on this baby. Fallout 4, Tomb Raider, Star Wars Battlefront, Rainbow 6 Siege, StarCraft -- I mean, is this like the biggest holiday season or what??
Overall, Acer has finally brought a fully legit gaming PC to the party and is itching to put some alien heads on a stick. Your move.