Finally, after Razer’s gaming mouse, gaming headset, PC gaming keyboard and gaming laptop review, we came to the Acer’s monster PC review. The gaming PC market is a hotly contested battlefield. While purists turn up their noses and prefer to assemble their machines themselves, many technically less inexperienced gamers choose the more comfortable way and buy a “ready to use” PC (Personal Computer). However, Acer also wants to cut itself off from this gamer cake with its high-end product Predator Orion 9000. The question are: What about the price-performance ratio? Are there any weak spots or bottlenecks? In our review, we’ll tell you why Acer’s flagship is at the top.
The Orion 9000 makes its first impression on arrival. Rarely have we received such a huge package. But of course, as everywhere in life, the inner values count, and so we start unpacking the announced power PC. The result is a 20 kilo beast in a contemporary, futuristic look and all in black. In addition to the unusual size, the two handles on the top and the castors on the back are particularly striking. Yes, you read right, the Orion 9000 has rolles. It makes it at least on short distances reasonably mobile, but with most, it will probably remain after unique placing on the place. But let’s get to the fundamental topics, remove the transparent plexiglas side window and take a look inside.
Powerful and High-end Gaming PC
There are several versions of the Acer Orion 9000. In this section, we limit ourselves to the model we have tested and then go into various designs and prices in summary.
One of the first things you as a gamer naturally pay attention to is the graphics card. And even here, the Acer racing car is not disappointing. It comes with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (Ti), which comes with a whopping 11 GB of arrow-fast GDDR5X-RAM. It is currently widely recognized as the king of gaming graphics cards. For example, a Titan X offers even more power, but the increase in performance is disproportionate to the much higher price. In short, the 1080 Ti is an excellent choice for avid gamers. Mainly because of the increasing use of monitors with 4K resolution.
Also significant is, of course, the main processor, because if CPU and GPU are not at eye level, power reserves often go more or less unused, because one of the processors is lagging behind the other. But here too we can give you more than just an all-clear because with the current high-end main processor i9 7900X you are also entirely on the safe side. The Intel ten-core is currently at the absolute top. It has its price, but more about this later. If you’ve already worked so hard on processors, of course, you don’t suddenly want to skimp on memory.
Accordingly, a total of 32 GB of DDR4 RAM you can find in the Orion 9000. And anyone who has seen the size of the futuristic housing knows that there is enough space here for possible upgrades. There is enough space for a maximum of 4 graphics cards, and 8 RAM slots are also well provided. In addition to the equally adequate equipment with storage space, namely a 2 TB plus an additional 512 GB SSD, there would also be space here again to upgrade even more.
Acer is also particularly proud of the ventilation concept, which is, of course, an essential issue despite a significant amount of space for waste heat in such a gaming machine. On the one hand, there are the five fans, which work in the Predator Orion 9000 and are also well integrated into the lighting concept. However, they do not merely blow around wildly in the area, but there is an ingenious 4-zone system to control the heat conduction optimally. For example, the power supply is in its housing, which then also dissipates the heat accordingly in the intended direction.
It is complemented by the Cooler Master water cooling, which also helps to keep your PC cool even during the hottest action. And indeed, the overall concept of zoning, ventilation, and cooling works, and the fans only turned at high speed under 4K maximum load in our test. And that brings us to the next topic, namely testing under live conditions.
As far as built-in hardware is concerned, there is not much to complain about; in addition to the highlights mentioned, other requirements such as sufficient USB C/USB 3.1 connections or all advanced connection options for displays are of course also fulfilled. Everything in it, everything in it at first glance. But does the Acer machine manage 60 frames per second with maximum details and 4K resolution even in demanding games? We’ll start by groping slowly. In full HD none of the games we tested posed a challenge. In the highest detail levels and with all effects on the 60 frames per second were mostly far exceeded.
Even at a resolution of 2560×1440 the graphics card and the rest of the Orion 9000 does not run hot in most cases if playing current games like Assassin’s Creed Origins or Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. In addition to the extremely detailed environment including the extremely elaborate plant world, it is additional effects such as anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion or even Nvidia Hairworks that eat up resources. But as already mentioned, the Orion 9000 in 1440p resolution also copes well with this and holds the 60fps relatively well. Also, the heat development and thus the ventilation noises remain within a framework.
But the supreme discipline is and remains 2160p, 4K/UHD. It is a fact that such displays are slowly but surely spreading more and more among PC gamers. But it is also a fact that the requirements for 4K resolution are enormously high in modern games. Not only must the graphics card have enough thrust, but there must also be no other bottleneck in the system that slows everything down. However, thanks to the current high-end components, this is fortunately not the case here.
Every system reaches its limits at some point. And this also applies to the Orion 9000 from Acer’s Predator line, even if you press the Turbo button on the top of the PC, which is overclocked internally by raising the CPU clock rate from 3.3 to 4.3 GHz. Far Cry 5 is a fantastic looking game, and one that makes even the best and most expensive graphics cards and systems sweat.
In the triangle of 4K resolution, maximum details and 60 frames per second you have to decide what is most important to you. Of course, if you go to a lower resolution, the other two parameters are no longer a problem. But even if you feel like 4K and 60fps, you don’t have to sacrifice too much in the details and effects. For example, going from the maximum to the second highest level of shadow details has a noticeably positive impact on performance, while you need to look carefully to see a difference.
In short yes, there are already games that can push the Orion 9000 to its limits in the configuration we have tested, but only if you turn all the adjusting screws all the way. And if you want to be on the safe side, the Acer PC housing offers more than enough space to install additional graphics cards and other components.
Powerful Gaming Machine for a Dime
The result is correspondingly positive, but it also comes up with a thick but regarding price. Acer’s Predator Orion 9000 comes with enormously strong hardware and very well designe. It leaves a lot of room for further components. Also, it meets the modern design requirements regarding lighting and effects. “Ready to use” PC costs more than when you assemble something yourself. But how high this premium surcharge may be, there are probably as many opinions about it as there are PC gamers. As mentioned at the beginning, the Orion 9000 is available in different configurations. But it seems that different markets have only received selected configurations.
Also, we found the model we tested for an incredible $4500, which is, of course, a price. The same dealer also offers an Orion 9000 model, which comes with the less powerful i7-8700K processor. The only other noticeable difference for us was the hard disk size of 1TB. But other crucial and expensive components like the 1080 Ti are here as well. The price: $2500.
Even $2500 are still very, very much money for a gaming PC. But it is worth looking a little further, because there are also versions that come with a GTX 1080 or with a GTX 1070, which will get you off better, even if the price doesn’t fall below $2000 anywhere, as far as we have seen. But for many gamers, such a graphics card should be sufficient for most games at the moment. Especially if you don’t play on a 4K display. Later, a second, third and fourth, the same board can be retrofitted. The GPUs can be combined to form an SLI network. In conclusion, a PC from the Predator Orion 9000 series is a first-class, high-quality machine which you’ll love a lot.
Durable hardware, a successful cooling system, pleasant operating volume as well as many other details, ensure that one receives an insane total package here. One of these details is the successful lighting concept. Exciting insights through the transparent side panel, cooling fans integrated into the lighting, and the free adaptability of the lighting color stand out in particular.
In the end, however, all this cannot entirely overlook the exorbitant price of the various Predator Orion 9000 models. In any case, a more active and offensive price communication on the part of Acer could certainly not do any harm for the future to mostly prevent this. This confusion indeed does not promote the sales potential of the Orion 9000. Because qualitatively one has here a product at the start, with which the gaming on highest optical level makes right.
- Optically superior class by very successful lighting concept, including the fans
- Large housing – sufficient space for retrofitting
- Rollers and handles for transport
- Strong hardware
- Gaming in 4K, 60 fps
- Extremely high price