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Acer’s new Predator Orion X is an RTX 4090 desktop I might actually buy

Even when it comes to the best gaming desktops, I’ve never been tempted to buy a prebuilt machine over building my own gaming PC. Acer is challenging my stance with its new Predator Orion X, though. It’s a small form factor PC that can pack in up to an RTX 4090, and for the first time ever, I’m considering buying prebuilt.

Size is what sets this machine apart. It comes with a unique 15.4-liter chassis, which is tiny. There are smaller cases if you go the DIY route — my Lian Li A4-H20 is 11 liters — but the Predator Orion X is still remarkably small given the hardware inside. It can pack up to an RTX 4090, which as you can read in my RTX 4090 review, is a graphics card that can barely fit in cases that are 30 liters and larger.

More than a gaming PC

Acer Orion X desktop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How is Acer pulling it off? The RTX 4090 comes with a custom liquid-cooled GPU block. Acer is liquid-cooling the Core i9-13900KS inside the machine, too. Combined with 64GB of DDR5-5600 memory and up to 2TB of M.2 storage, the Orion X is offering one the fastest gaming PCs on the market in about half the size of a traditional desktop.

It sounds great, but this type of build foreshadows a tough upgrade experience. That’s true of machines like the Corsair One i300, even if it doesn’t support an RTX 4090. Acer seems to have that figured out, though.

The Orion X is fully upgradable, and that makes it special. Acer has the machine split into three zones. The first holds the CPU, power supply, and SSDs, while the second houses the graphics card and dual 2.5-inch SATA SSD slots. Finally, the third holds everything else, along with the 240mm liquid CPU cooler. Acer says you can access these zones separately so you don’t need to completely dissasemble the machine just to make a simple upgrade.

Specs for the Acer Orion X desktop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The RTX 4090 and Core i9-13900KS combo is definitely the headline here, but Acer is offering other configurations as well. On the GPU side, you can also get either an RTX 4080 or RTX 4070 Ti. Those aren’t liquid-cooled like the RTX 4090 model. For CPUs, Acer is offering Intel’s 13th-gen Core i5-13400, Core i7-13700, and Core i9-13900 in different varieties. For the Core i7 and Core i9 models, you can choose the unlocked or base versions, as well as versions with or without integrated graphics.

Price might be the only killer here. Acer says the Orion X starts at $3,000, presumably with an RTX 4070 Ti and a Core i5. I suspect the RTX 4090 and Core i9 combo will reach well into the $5,000 range, but we’ll need to see where the price lands when the desktop launches in September.

Monitors galore

Acer is bringing a couple of new displays to market as well. The Predator X34 V is definitely the more interesting of the two. It’s a 34-inch monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio, but critically, it uses an OLED panel. It’s not clear if this is a QD-OLED panel like the Alienware 34 QD-OLED uses or something different, but it’s earned VESA’s DisplayHDR True Black 400 certification.

According to Acer, the display covers 99% of DCI-P3 color gamut, and it comes with a 175Hz refresh rate and 0.1ms response time. You’re also getting AMD FreeSync Premium Pro for variable refresh rate. The only problem is the price — Acer is asking $1,300 for the display, while the Alienware 34 QD-OLED is currently at $1,100. The monitor is set to hit shelves in the last few months of the year.

Arriving alongside it is the Nitro X2452CU, which actually undercuts the competition. It’s a 44.5-inch display with a 32:9 aspect ratio, similar to Samsung’s popular Odyssey Neo G9. This one doesn’t come with quite the same specs, though. It’s only certified for VESA DisplayHDR 400, and it tops out with a 165Hz refresh rate.

Still, its price helps the display stand out. It comes in at only $1,000, which is $200 less than Samsung is asking for its display. You’re not getting the same brightness and contrast specs, but if you want the form factor and don’t mind sacrificing image quality, the Nitro X2452CU looks enticing.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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