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The key graphical component is the Radeon R7 360, which is the most modest consumer card in AMD's current range – everything else from lower down the range is OEM-only.
The R7 360 is made from a core called Tobago, but that's based on Bonaire Pro – a core that traces its lineage back to the R7 260 and, before then, the Radeon HD 7790 from 2013. It's a venerable part with 768 stream processors, a 1,050MHz core and 2GB of dedicated memory.
It's paired with a Core i5-6400 processor. It's another mid-range chip: four cores, but no Hyper-Threading or unlocked multiplier for overclocking. It uses the 14nm Skylake architecture and it's clocked to 2.7GHz, with a potential 3.3GHz Turbo Boost peak.
This is backed up by 8GB of 2,133MHz memory, which is the bare minimum for a gaming PC these days. The final key component is the 1TB hard disk – that's enough space, but it won't be as quick as an SSD.
Here is the Acer Predator G3-710 configuration sent to techradar for review:
- CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core i5-6400 processor (Quad-core, 6MB cache, up to 3.3GHz with Turbo Boost)
- Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 360 (2GB GDDR5 RAM)
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 (2,133MHz)
- Storage: 1TB 7,200rpm hard disk
- Optical Drive: DVD writer
- Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
- Power Supply: 500W
- Ports: Front: 2 x USB 3, x 2 audio. Rear: 4 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 3 x audio
- Size: 198 x 510 x 412mm (W x D x H)
- Warranty: 1yr RTB
This $1,028 (£700 in the UK, AU$1,417) gaming machine is designed for 1080p playback at quality levels seen on consoles – or perhaps at slightly higher graphical settings, depending on the game. It's got the power to handle those kinds of resolutions, but don't expect 1440p playback out of this machine unless you drop quality levels.
Elsewhere, it's business as usual. The Core i5 processor will have the grunt for most home tasks from web browsing to light photo editing, and the 8GB of memory is plenty.
Here's how the Acer Predator G3 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
- 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 12,944; Sky Diver: 11,364; Fire Strike: 3502
- Cinebench R15: CPU: 520 points; Graphics: 103 fps
- PCMark 8 (Home Test): 4,215
- GeekBench: 3106 (single-core); 9,966 (multi-core)
- Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor: 32 fps (1080p, Ultra); 75 fps (1080p, Low)
- GTA V: 39 fps (1080p, Ultra); 92 fps (1080p, Low)
The Predator G3's best result came in Grand Theft Auto V, where it averaged 39 fps with the game running maxed out – and it was only one frame slower when tasked with Bioshock Infinite at Ultra graphics levels.
The G3 hit 32 fps in Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and was one frame slower in Metro: Last Light. Both of those games were running with their Ultra graphics settings.
It's clear that this machine will handle the vast majority of games at 1080p and with high-end graphical settings. That means the G3 runs at higher quality levels than the consoles.
It's not bad in application benchmarks, either. Its Cinebench result of 520cb is reasonable, and its pace of 4,215 in the PCMark 8 Home test is enough to keep home and lighter work applications running smoothly.
The Acer Predator G3 delivered these benchmarks while keeping the heat and noise down. The processor and graphics card's peak temperatures of 71°C and 80°C are no cause for concern, and the G3 kept the noise down – it was almost silent when idling and barely any louder when playing games.
In other areas, though, the budget bites. The hard disk's read and write speeds of 126MB/s and 124MB/s are sluggish – poor for a platter-based drive, and several times slower than even a cheap SSD. The Acer's boot and game loading times will suffer.
Keep it local?
The G3 is a big-brand PC sold through the high-street, and that comes with caveats – most notably that there are smaller British and American companies producing far better gaming PCs.
We looked up £700 (around $971, or AUS$1,362) machines from UK firms Chillblast, Overclockers and Scan, and they're all better than the G3 in several key departments. One of them has an overclocked Core i5 processor, and another has AMD's Radeon R9 380 graphics card.
It's the same story on the other side of the Atlantic. With this machine pitching in at just over a thousand bucks, CyberPower sells a $955 (£766, around AU$1,410) desktop called the Z170 with a Core i7-6700K CPU, GTX 950 graphics and faster memory. For slightly more, Digital Storm's Vanquish 5 system has a Core i5-6500 chip, a Samsung SSD and a VR-capable GTX 970 with 4GB of video memory for $1,155 (around £832, or AUS$1,620).
Some have SSDs, others have hybrid hard disks, and all have more versatile motherboards and enclosures. They all have longer warranties – the bare minimum here is a two-year deal – and that warranty isn't voided by opening the case.
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Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.