Hands on: Acer Predator Orion 5000 review

Designed for gamers from top-to-bottom

What is a hands on review?
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Early Verdict

The Predator Orion 5000 is Acer first high-end gaming PC that you might be able to afford, plus easy upgradability and a handsome design make this one desirable desktop.

For

  • Traditional layout for easily upgradability
  • Simple OS-level overclocking
  • Wide breadth of configuration options

Against

  • No liquid-cooling options
  • Only up to 512GB SSD

Featuring 8th generation Intel Coffee Lake processors and up to 2-way Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards in SLI, the Acer Predator Orion delivers the best gaming performance currently available.

While the Acer Predator X might seem like a gaming PC meant for a whole other dimension of computing, the Acer Predator Orion 5000 was designed for those with a taste for the finer computer hardware and the desire for unrivaled gaming performance.

Pricing and availability

The Acer Predator Orion 5000’s pricing starts at $1,499 or £1,499 (about AU$1,990) with a configuration that includes an Intel Core i5-8400 processor and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics. Rather than having a solid-state drive, this base configuration will come with a hard drive supplemented by Intel Optane Memory for faster boot times and program launching.

Acer didn’t disclose the pricing of the other higher end configurations, but users will be able top option up to an Intel Core i7-8700K processor, dual Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards in SLI, 64GB of RAM, plus an 512GB SSD and up to 3TB of hard drive storage.

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Design

The Acer Predator Orion 5000 clearly takes a page out of the Predator X and Orion 9000 that predate it. Gone is the old Predator styling of looking like massive tank tread or a retired monster truck tire.

Instead the new design looks distinctly alien and Sci-Fi-inspired. All the mesh and panels on this gaming rig overlap to create geometric shapes with angular lines. This motif carries over to the lighting strips and even the new windowed side panel.

As ever on an Acer gaming desktop, you’ll find two flip out bars you can use to hang your gaming headset and/or a VR headset.

Acer Predator Orion 5000

Thankfully, opening up the system reveals a relatively traditional layout that looks to be easy to upgrade. There’s nothing too proprietary looking here with the power supply in it’s proper place on the floor of the PC and the Orion 5000 also uses a standard ATX motherboard.

That said, Acer has incorporated a custom-made power supply shroud and all the mounting points for the HDD and SSD mounting points have been moved around to the back of the motherboard tray.

Towards the front of the case, there is an IceTunnel 2.0 airduct that basically channels half of the airflow coming through the desktop’s intake fans directly into the graphics cards, leaving the other half to cool the processors. We didn’t get to take close look at thermals during our hands on time, so it will be interesting to see how this system manages heat.

Acer Predator Orion 5000

Performance

During our brief time with the Predator Orion 5000 we got to play Shadow of Mordor at 4K HDR on Acer’s also brand new Acer Predator X27 monitor. While we weren’t able to pop on a frame rate tracker, the game seemed to run smoothly above 60 fps without issue. Of course, the system on show was a top end configuration equipped with the best Coffee Lake CPU and two the highest-end GPUs paired together.

We also briefly threw the gaming desktop into Turbo Mode just to see how far we could push the processor and it eagerly overclocked above 4GHz, peaking around 4.3GHz. Acer tells us we’ll be able to overclock the graphics card with just a few clicks with its built-in control software. 

Acer Predator Orion 5000

Early verdict

The Predator Orion 5000 is a great leap forward in the right direction for Acer’s gaming desktop lineup. Whereas the Orion 9000 and Predator X were created strictly for workstation and high-end desktop use, this gaming desktop is far more approachable in terms of price, upgradability and overall design.

Still we’ll have to wait for how pricing and performance shakes out before we give our final word on this gaming PC.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.