Acer Predator G6-710 review: an aggressively powerful gaming PC

Desktops, Reviews

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Acer is going ham with its latest Predator pro gaming kit, including today’s star: the G6 gaming desktop. The aggressive case is home to the latest components — sixth gen Intel Core i7 CPU, lots of RAM and a Nvidia GTX 970 GPU — and a whole bunch of cooling, lights and swagger. Let’s put this £1,500 PC to the test!


Pros

  • A powerfully cool armour design
  • Strong in-game performance
  • Minimal heat or noise, ‘cept full-fan mode
  • Hot-swap HD bay and headphone stand
Cons

  • CPU outpaces the GTX 970 GPU
  • Big and heavy isn’t LAN-friendly
  • Turbo provides little added power

score8-gif-200Summary and score

There’s a lot to like about the Acer Predator G6, from the armour-inspired design to its powerful internal hardware. The front of the G6 is particularly well-engineered, with a hot-swap HD bay, headphone stand and easily reachable ports all within a small radius. While the inviting Turbo button doesn’t offer much of a performance delta, the system is fast, cool and quiet enough that it doesn’t bother us. If you’re willing to spend the premium price, you’ll have a crazy-fast system.


Specifications

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  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4GHz
  • Sapphire Nvidia GTX 970 (4GB GDDR5)
  • Gigabit ethernet + 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, BT 4
  • SoundBlast X-Fi MB5
  • 500W PSU
  • 510 x 198 x 411mm, 14.9 kilograms
  • 4x 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM
  • 1x 480GB Kingston SSD
  • 2x 2TB 7200RPM Seagate HD
  • 1x 1TB 7200RPM Seagate HD
  • 1x BD Writer
  • 6x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
  • 3x HDMI, 1x DP, 1x DVI-D

As you can see by the formidable specifications sheet, the G6-710 is a beast. Our review unit is upgraded over the as-sold design, with 64GB of RAM instead of 12GB and additional storage fitted. The GTX 970 GPU is a little underpowered compared to the i7-6700K processor, so we’d expect to upgrade that after a few years, particularly for 1440p or 4K gaming. Otherwise, there are few weaknesses and lots to brag about for potential owners.


Design

The Acer G6 is a tremendously strong looking gaming desktop, by virtue of its armour shell design and glowing-magma LEDs (sadly absent in these unplugged photos). The armour is made of (tough) plastic, so it’s possible to lift it unassisted (always an advantage for a machine you might conceivably take to a LAN party one day).

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The Predator branding isn’t yet as iconic as ROG from rivals ASUS, but it’s a reasonable concept that’s transformed Acer from a budget brand to a viable gaming competitor. Some might find the look a bit juvenile, but we feel it’s appropriate for a gaming PC — and it’s still some way from the really awful designs of the late 90s and early 2000s.

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The ridged design is easy to grasp, although the 15 kilo weight is substantial. On the top, you’ll find the triangular power button, which is surrounded with a helpful glow when the power is off to make locating it easier; when turned on it glows itself. Above the power button is a label marked ‘TURBO’; unsurprisingly pressing it overclocks the G6 for extra fps at a push.

 

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The front of the PC also includes concealed bays, for the Blu-Ray drive (top), quick-swap hard drive (middle) and headphone stand (below the ports). IMG_6720

Speaking of ports, we’ve got an SD card reader, a pair of 3.5mm ports for headphones, and two USB 3.0 ports up front. I wouldn’t have minded four USB ports up front, but this is sufficient, and their mid-level placement is convenient for floor or desk setups.IMG_6726

The overall effect is impressive, with the prow of the desktop giving the machine a unique look amongst its peers.IMG_6728

Inside, the machine is well organised (if not the tidiest I’ve ever seen). The 500W PSU seems to have a number of unused power cables, which take up a significant amount of space (that’s nonetheless out of the direct airflow line). An extremely large cooling block with side-mounted fan is mated to the CPU, tasked with keeping it cool even during Turbo mode.

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The rest of the cabling is sensible enough, although the rectangular piece of plastic that connects to the side of the case prevents easy removal of the GPU.IMG_6745

Accessing the internals is easy enough; just unscrew two screws on the back and slide off the side panel.IMG_6748

The back of the machine is quite standard, offering a good range of ports for connecting displays, peripherals and other components.

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Benchmarks

We’ll use the normal suite of benchmarks here, encapsulating in-game benchmarks as well as more general purpose tests. Our sole addition is The Division, a recent MMO with some pretty impressive graphics and a nice in-game benchmark.

Note that this is the first gaming desktop we’ve tested, so the other machines in these tests are largely laptops. This is also true of our other tests, FYI.


3DMark