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Acer Recalls Predator Deskops

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

PC and laptop manufacturer Acer America had to recall its Aspire Predator line of desktops due to short-circuiting and overheating.

Yesterday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall alert, reporting that Acer America voluntarily conducted a product safety recall of its Aspire Predator desktop computers. The recall consists of around 215 computers sold between May 2008 and December 2008, originally costing consumers somewhere between $2,000 and $6,000 each, depending on the selected configuration.

The Acer Predator is one of the company's high-end gaming machines, featuring Intel's Core 2 Quad processor, Nvidia's nForce 780i SLI chipset, Nvidia's GeForce 9800GTX (or 9600GT), and 8 GB of DDR2 SDRAM. The PC comes in a wicked cool case mounted with supporting arms on the front cover and claw-like optical drive doors. It certainly looks like a robotic beast in appearance alone.

However, according to Acer's recall notice, the insulation on the computer’s internal wiring can become bent or stripped, causing the wires to overheat while the product is in use. As a result, the overheating may cause melting or damage to the unit, and could even pose a risk of fire. Because of the potential damage to consumers, both Acer and the CPSC concluded that the company should recall the machines and offer to repair the wires in question free of charge.

"Acer recommends that you discontinue use of the unit and unplug it from the main power supply," the company said. "You may also reduce the risk of pinching this wire by not opening/closing the hard disk drive (HDD) door on the front of the Predator." Unfortunately, Acer already received two reports of the Predator computers short-circuiting, resulting in melted internal components and external casing. However, the company said that neither incident occurred in the U.S., and no injuries have been reported.

Aspire Predator owners who want to know if their rigs are on the recall risk simply need to locate these model numbers: ASG7200 and ASG7700. The model numbers are printed on the bottom right corner of the panel on the right side of the system. Owners can contact Acer at 1-866-695-2237 (United States) or 1-866-706-2237 (Canada). Acer can also be reached via e-mail by clicking http://acer.custhelp.com; an Acer Customer Service representative will reply within one business day. 

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  • 1 Hide
    Greatwalrus , March 20, 2009 11:55 PM
    Wow this is not good news for the pre-built desktop industry.
  • 1 Hide
    koss64 , March 21, 2009 12:01 AM
    Yah its a shame its got this kind of problem,they usually produce high quality goods for a decent price.
  • 8 Hide
    w4ffles , March 21, 2009 12:03 AM
    At least they've got the balls to admit their mistakes and offer the customers a viable solution.
  • -8 Hide
    cabose369 , March 21, 2009 12:49 AM
    guys.. its an Acer... they can't even make NORMAL computers... let alone Gaming computers!!
  • 3 Hide
    Greg_77 , March 21, 2009 1:27 AM
    cabose369, I think you underestimate Acer computers, they are regarded as fairly reliable. I have an old one that has lasted more than four years without issues.
  • 2 Hide
    Silluete , March 21, 2009 4:31 AM
    TheCapuletI wish I could just buy the case alone. Dang it's a hottie.

    So true. I also want one of the alienware case. Too bad in my country they don't even sell antec case.
  • 0 Hide
    afrobacon , March 21, 2009 6:52 AM
    If I had the money Id buy one for the case alone, then restock it with internals of my choosing.
  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 21, 2009 9:41 AM
    9600GT on a gaming computer lols.
  • 0 Hide
    Greg_77 , March 21, 2009 5:03 PM
    I do not think Alienware cases are all that great. They seem to be made of a great deal of plastic, and their front swinging door (over the CD drives) seems cheap. I can't speak for the Acer, for I have never seen it in person, but from photos, its internals seem messy and cramped. Frankly, I think the Acer is garish.
  • 2 Hide
    galloviejo , March 21, 2009 10:08 PM
    This is about par for an Acer POS.

    I bought my second (my first and my last) Acer brand item a few years ago, a scanner. The release on the bottom of the scanner would not function. I sent several e-mails to the two service contact addresses that were listed on the set up information. When Acer did not respond for a week, I returned the scanner to the store where I bought it for a cash refund. Acer STILL has not responded after all these years.

    Acer's LCD monitors usually have the most bad pixels, backlight problems, rogue color patterns, etc. reported of all the monitors that are customer reviewed on Newegg™.
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyMash , March 21, 2009 11:42 PM
    Title? Deskop is an RSS editor.
  • 1 Hide
    Greg_77 , March 22, 2009 1:34 AM
    Good find JohnnyMash, I didn't see that one :) 
  • 2 Hide
    jv_acabal , March 22, 2009 3:08 AM
    That's a really cool case. W-O-W!
  • 0 Hide
    papasmurf , March 22, 2009 3:23 AM
    does that case make cool hydraulic noises when it opens and closes?
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , March 22, 2009 11:40 PM
    Quote:
    the insulation on the computer’s internal wiring can become bent or stripped, causing the wires to overheat while the product is in use.

    Makes you wonder what kind of cr@ppy PSU they are using. This is a goodd lesson for all other OEMs NOT TO use cr@ppy PSUs, and design a good case. The case looks good, but performance should be the #1 consideration in designing a case.
  • 0 Hide
    kato128 , March 23, 2009 3:43 AM
    Hmmm this is pretty unusual for an acer. I used to do warranty work on a lot of their models and they've never really had much in the way of overheating problems especially when it came to wiring.

    Guess they changed PSU vendor. Hmmm now that I think about it that could explain that call I got where someone's PSU spontaneously combusted shortly before I switched jobs....
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , March 23, 2009 8:26 AM
    i thought the PSU will shut down immediately after a short circuit?
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , March 23, 2009 3:46 PM
    zodiacfmli thought the PSU will shut down immediately after a short circuit?

    It should, if it was a quality PSU.
  • 0 Hide
    cl_spdhax1 , March 23, 2009 3:50 PM
    i think i would marry that case
  • 0 Hide
    Forsaken503 , March 23, 2009 4:26 PM
    From the sounds of it, it's actually a problem with wire insulation being sliced off/wires being pinched and allowing a short circuit/overheating. Also, as long as the current in the short does not exceed the maximum ratings of the power supply, it probaly won't automatically shut off. And with 20+ amps available on the 12V rails on modern PSU's, it's easily enough to start a fire. I don't know of any PSU's that have internal ground fault detection since the chassais is bonded to the PSU's ground, it would be extremly difficult to detect it.

    Note: assuming the short is on the 12V rail and a nominal current output of 25A available, the minimum resistance before it would exceed the PSU's current rating would be 0.48 ohms. the resistance of a partially stripped wire could easily exceed that, therefore the PSU wouldn't trip on overcurrent
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