Acer stalks IFA with insanely powerful desktop, cutting-edge ultrawide monitor

During the IFA 2017 technology show in Berlin, Acer revealed a huge load of new devices arriving this year and into the first quarter of 2018. Several of these fell into the Acer Predator umbrella for PC gamers, including a headset, a mouse, and curved display. But the show-stopped was Acer’s new Predator Orion 9000 desktop capable of packing Intel’s $2,000 18-core processor, up to 128GB of system memory, and up to four AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 cards. Seriously, we’re a little scared to see its maxed-out price tag.

Acer Predator Orion 9000 Desktop

First, we have Acer’s monster desktop. According to the company, it supports Intel-based processors up to the massive 18-core i9-7980XE “X-Series” chip, which sells for $2,000 on its own. Other models will offer more mundane Core i5, i7, and i9 flavors.

Acer plans a variety of configurations, so that means the hardware specifications shown below are more of a generalized list that encompasses all those possible configurations, including one that has four AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 cards in CrossFire mode, and one with two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI mode. You’ll also see up to eight slots for memory, and given that Acer will sell a model with Intel’s $2,000 processor, you’ll see up to 128GB of memory available, too.

To keep the components chilled, Acer is relying on liquid cooling for the processor (closed loop). It’s also using what Acer calls IceTunnel 2.0, which divides the interior into several “thermal zones” to manage airflow more efficiently. Each zone includes individual airflow tunnels to eject the heat, and are complemented by “huge” metal mesh panels mounted on the front, and on the top. The case supports up to five 120mm fans, two of which are installed on the front. The other three reside at the top, and on the back.

“Part of the airflow is redirected towards the back of the motherboard tray to cool the storage devices. The graphic cards feature blower-style fans to drive the heat out from the back, while the PSU is self-contained to avoid thermal interference,” Acer says.

Here are the specifications:

Model: P09-900
Processor: Up to Intel Core i9-7980XE (18-core)
Graphics: Up to 4-way AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 (Crossfire)
Up to 2-way Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (SLI)
Memory: 8x quad-channel DDR4 U-DIMM slots
Supports up to 128GB (16GB x 8)
Storage: Up to 2x 3.5-inch SATA HDDs @ 4TB each
Up to 4x 2.5-inch SATA HDDs @ 3TB each
Up to 2x M.2 NVMe SSDs @ 512GB each
Connectivity: Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7265 (up to 867Mbps)
Bluetooth 4.2
Ports: 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A
1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C
7x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C
2x USB 2.0 Type-A
*Video output depends on installed GPU(s)
Expansion slots: 4x PCI Express x16 slots
2x M.2 2280 (PCI Express x4)
1x M.2 2230 (PCI Express, USB 2.0)
Cooling: Liquid cooling
IceTunnel 2.0 airflow management
2x intake fans on front (optional RGB lighting)
Chassis features: Lighting supports 16.7 million colors
2x rear wheels for easy movement
2x built-in handles
Massive EMI compliant side window
Tool-less side panels
Front-access headset cradle
Button for “one punch” overclocking
Power supply: Unknown
Dimensions: 27.63 x 11.80 x 25.32 inches
Weight: 33 pounds
Color: Black and silver “spacecraft”
Operating system: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Availability: December 2017
Starting price: $2,000

Acer Predator X35 Curved Monitor

Acer’s new Predator X35 curved monitor for gamers won’t be made available until the first quarter of 2018, so we have no pricing for now. What we do know is that it sports a 35-inch screen, and a curvature with a 1,800mm radius. The resolution is generously high at 3,440 x 1,440, but its refresh rate is even higher at a staggering 200Hz. That means the display refreshes itself 200 times per second, which is far more than what you need for buttery-smooth gaming visuals.

Adding to that is Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. Without this synchronization tech, gamers can experience screen tearing, stuttering, and hazing when the display’s refresh rate isn’t in sync with the video output of the parent PC. With G-Sync, the technology will synchronize the display’s refresh rate with the frames-per-second output of a GeForce graphics chip, eliminating those annoying visual anomalies.

That’s not all. The display will also support HDR Ultra, quantum dot technology, and even zone-controlled LED back lighting. This trio of technology is impressive, and we’ve not seen it available in any monitor sold so far. Acer may be able to claim a first here — if no competitor is quicker to launch.

On the firmware side, the panel’s GameView interface provides seven pre-set display modes (Graphics, Movie, Action, Racing, etc.), and one slot for creating a custom profile. Other technologies include BlueLightShield to protect your brain again blue light emissions, and Dark Boost that cranks up the details when viewing dimly-lit environments.

Take a look at the hardware:

Model: X35
Screen size: 35 inches
Screen type: Vertical Alignment (VA)
Maximum resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 @ 200Hz
Curvature: 1800R
Synchronization tech: Nvidia G-Sync
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Response time: 4ms gray to gray
Contrast ratio: 2,500:1
Brightness: 600 nits typical
1,000 nits peak
Supported color space: DCI-P3 90 percent
Inputs: 1x HDMI 2.0
1x DisplayPort 1.4
Audio: 2x speakers
Availability: Q1 2018
Price: TBD

Acer Predator Galea 500 Headset

Acer’s new Predator Galea 500 headset is based on its TrueHarmony 3D Soundscape technology. This feature essentially mimics motion sensing by locking the source of a sound to your physical orientation. For instance, if you hear a gunshot off to the right and turn the game’s camera to look in that direction, the sound will remain fixed in virtual space no matter how you turn your head in the real world.

Otherwise, the announcement was a bit short on details. We do know it features an embedded control box for muting the sound, adjusting the volume, and switching between three EQ modes: Music, Movie, and Sport. It connects to the parent PC via a 79-inch-long USB cable that helps light up the LED on the microphone, and the Acer Predator logos.

At $300, this is certainly towards the high end of the gaming headset market. It’ll be interesting to see if its quality justifies that price — and if it does, it could be one of the best headsets around.

Model: PHW730
Driver unit: 40mm Bio-cellulose with rubber surround
Frequency: 20Hz to 20KHz
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 112 dB
Dimensions: 7.48 x 3.54 x 8.81 inches
Connection: Wired via79-inch USB cable
Control box: Volume control
Mute volume
3D audio system
EQ mode (Music, Movie, and Sport)
2.52 x 1.45 x 0.86 inches
Microphone: Uni-directional
Retractable
Includes LED
Availability: November 2017
Price: $300

Acer Predator Cestus 500 Mouse

With Acer’s new Predator Cestus 500 mouse for PC gamers, the company is introducing a new design regarding the left and right click buttons. For each button, Acer installed two Omron switches that provide heavy and light resistances. Thus, if you’re playing a first-person shooter and want very little resistance when firing with the mouse, simply adjust the button to the appropriate switch. When you’re done and want to play a RTS game, you can convert back to the original switch sporting a heavier resistance.

In addition to the two-switch design, Acer’s new mouse is built for left and right-handed gamers. It also comes packed with two pairs of “fins” for resting your thumb and pinky. These are likely held in place using magnets, and are provided in “wide” and “slim” sizes. Wings are typically designed to keep your fingers off the desktop surface or mouse matt for better anchor-free peripheral movement.

What you won’t see with Acer’s new mouse is wireless connectivity and insane sensitivity levels. It does have eight customizable buttons, a gold-plated USB connector, and customizable RGB illumination in the Predator logo, mouse wheel, and in two strips running along the front of the device. The lighting supports 16.8 million colors, and eight different lighting patterns.

Form factor: Ambidextrous
Removable wide and slim “wings”
Sensitivity: 400 to 7,200 dots per inch
Tracking speed: 150 inches per second
Maximum acceleration: 30g
Polling rate: 1,000Hz (one millisecond)
Connection: Wired
Left/right switches: 1x Omron with 50 million clicks
1x Omron with 20 million clicks
*two switches per side
Macro keys: Eight, customizable
On-board profile settings: Five
Dimensions (wide side wing): 4.89 x 3.79 x 1.58 inches
Dimensions (slim side wing): 4.89 x 2.64 x 1.58 inches
Availability: November 2017
Price: $80

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