Acer Predator G5900 review

6 Sep 2011

An odd but tempting mesh of gaming PC design and budget box components

Price when reviewed 
479
4

Acer’s Predator machines have been prowling the higher echelons of the PC world for a few years now, but the latest addition to the range, the G5900, weighs in at only £480.

It’s probably the cheapest PC with gaming pretensions we’ve come across and, while others in this price bracket make do with flimsy, bland cases, the Predator is something of a shock to the system. It certainly doesn’t look like a budget PC: the front is dominated by bulbous black plastic, and it’s liberally scattered with the orange accents that made the original Predator so distinctive. The whole chassis stands at a slight angle, too, adding to the dramatic effect.

Acer has kitted out the Predator with more unusual features: press a button on the front and a flap lowers, revealing two spring-loaded, hot-swappable hard disk cages; and the optical drive’s disc tray slides out from behind an angled door. While these feel a little flimsy, build quality is good for the money. If we were told this PC cost twice the price, we wouldn’t be surprised.

Acer Predator G5900

Pop the side panel off, though, and the Predator begins to show its true colours. The interior is made from bare metal, the motherboard tray is hardly utilised, and a bargain-basement power supply trails cables throughout the interior. It’s not quite as messy as recent Medion or Advent machines, though – at least all the main components are accessible.

Upgrade room is a mixed bag too. The two hot-swappable drive bays are accompanied by one free side-facing 3.5in bay (which can be removed, if you’d like to install a longer graphics card) and there’s a pair of 5.25in bays vacant. A pair of free DIMM sockets can only handle an additional 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and there are only a couple of SATA/300 sockets free.

Details

Price ex VAT £399
Price inc VAT £479
Overall rating 4
Performance 4
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 500GB
RAM capacity 4.00GB

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.20GHz
Processor socket LGA 1156

Motherboard

Conventional PCI slots free 0
Conventional PCI slots total 0
PCI-E x16 slots free 0
PCI-E x16 slots total 1
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 1
Internal SATA connectors 5
Internal SAS connectors 0
Internal PATA connectors 0
Internal floppy connectors 0
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvidia GeForce GT 440
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GT 440
Graphics card RAM 512MB
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
Capacity 500GB
Hard disk usable capacity 465GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 32MB

Drives

Optical drive DVD writer

Case

Chassis Acer proprietary
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 190 x 524 x 459mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 2

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 12
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 5

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel memory card reader yes

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 42W
Peak power consumption 147W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 98fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.70
Responsiveness score 0.87
Media score 0.57
Multitasking score 0.70