Hands on Acer Predator G3 review: intimidating battlestation is kitted out for war

Not yet rated

Cool-looking chassis houses Skylake and top-end Nvidia GPUs.

Reasons to buy
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    Easy-access ports

Reasons to avoid
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    Still quite bulky

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Not everyone into PC gaming has a degree in geek speak. The Acer Predator G3 is a desktop for people who want something high-end, but won't want to faff around making their own one, globbing out thermal pastes onto CPUs.

This is the smaller brother of the Predator G6, the big beast of a desktop that tops-out Acer's gaming line. It has some of the same little flashes of style, but is generally a bit less 'loud'. Let's take a closer look.

On the front of the Predator you get the deep-cut contours that make it look a bit like the armour of that Predator chap from the classic 1987 action movie (and its not-so-classic sequels). This is no official tie-in, but the name isn't a total coincidence. Even Acer says it's going for an “intimidating” vibe.

The sides of the Predator G3 are blank, though, just peppered with the usual fan/heat outlet holes. The G6's sides are much showier. We like to think of the G3 as a gaming PC for normal people, not those who have dreams about winning Starcraft tournaments.

There is a bit of flair to the design, though: bits that elevate it above your average grey/black case. First, there's a meaty carry handle up on the top. We imagine many of you'd only use this when first plonking it in the corner of the room, but it's a neat extra if you might end up carrying it between the lounge TV and another room in the house.

There's also a pop-out headphone holder on the front, giving you somewhere neater to leave your headset. It recedes back into the Predator G3 case if you don't need it, the only evidence of its existence a little red icon on the front.

The Predator G3 also has a bunch of easy-access ports on the front. There's nothing out of the ordinary, just two USB 3.0 ports, a full-size SD card slot and a pair of mic/headphone 3.5mm jacks to let you plug in your headset without fiddling around at the back of the box.

The style of the front also helps to hide the plain looks of any extra optical or storage drives you choose to bung into the thing. Look closer at out pics: there's actually little red eject icons on the to bays at the top. All that Predator-y design flair is as much camouflage as a way to make your PC look like a hard nut.

As long as you're up for a computer that looks like it has an exoskeleton, the Predator G3 design is pretty sweet. However, what really matters is what's bunged into the box, not what's on the outside.

Being a desktop, the G3 can theoretically fit in just about anything component-wise. However, the load-outs you'll be able to buy the box with aren't going to mess around with any low-end nonsense.

They'll use the latest, just-announced Intel 6th gen core series CPUs, GeForce GTX dedicated graphics cards and up to 64GB memory. The dream spec for anyone wanting to try out a bit of 4K gaming is an Intel Core i7 CPU and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980, an absolute beast of a graphics card.

However, part of the reason for the Predator G3 to exist when is has the big brother Predator G6 looking over its shoulder is that it'll start at a cheaper price. So far we only know the US entry-level price, $849. In a direct conversion that's around £560 or $1230 Australian. For that price you won't get a GTX 980 system, but it should still be able to handle just about all games at 1080p resolution. Not that much more pricey than a console, when you think about it.