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Acer Predator 17 Gaming Laptop Review

Will the Acer Predator 17 catch its prey? We put this gaming laptop through its paces.

Synthetic And Productivity Benchmarks

Our Acer Predator 17 is configured with an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory, 256GB of M.2 SSD storage, and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD. The Predator boasts impressive specs, but the biggest selling point will be the price: the laptop costs $2,000 MSRP, making it the cheapest GTX 1070 laptop we’ve tested so far. This price is expected to fall as more laptops with 7th generation Intel CPUs are released. In games and graphically intensive tests, we tested the Predator with and without the extra fan.

We’re pitting the Acer against the Gigabyte P37X v6, a similarly-configured laptop. The P37X also features an i7-6700HQ, a GTX 1070, 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory, and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD. Additionally, the P37X has a 512GB M.2 SSD and a UHD display. We found the P37X to have cooling issues, so the Predator must at least perform cooler to get our attention.

The next competitor is the Asus G752VS OC Edition, the first gaming laptop we reviewed. It features a Core i7-6820HK, a GTX 1070, 32GB of DDR4-2400 memory, a 256GB M.2 SSD, a 1TB 7200RPM HDD, and a 75Hz G-Sync display. The G752VS is most similar to the Predator 17 in size and aesthetics.

To see how far the Acer can push itself, we’re throwing the MSI GT73VR Titan Pro into the mix. This behemoth features an i7-6820HK, a GTX 1080, 64GB of DDR4-2400 memory, and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD. The Titan Pro represents some of the best performance money can buy, and we can use this to compare how well the Predator fares against the best of the best.

Finally, on the low end we’re including the P57W v6, another system from Gigabyte. The P57W is a well-rounded gaming system, featuring an i7-6700HQ, a GTX 1060, 16GB of DDR4-2400 memory, a 256GB M.2 SSD, and a 1TB 7200RPM HDD. Component wise, the P57W is almost identical to the Predator 17 except for the GPU.

3DMark

3DMark is a practical system benchmark because it provides an accurate representation of a system’s gaming potential. In Fire Strike and Fire Strike Extreme, the Acer Predator 17 comes close to beating the Asus G752VS OC Edition; with the additional exhaust fan, the Acer's graphical scores actually surpass those of the Asus laptop. Still, the Asus pulls ahead in the Physics department thanks to its more robust i7-6820HK processor.

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Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15’s single core and multi-core tests are, as you might’ve guessed, primarily CPU-bound, while the OpenGL shading test favors systems with strong GPUs. The systems with i7-6700HQs, including the Acer, all score within a few points of each other during the CPU tests. Meanwhile the Asus and MSI score well ahead of the competition, especially in multi-core performance, thanks to their i7-6820HKs.

CompuBench

The Acer Predator 17 lands in the middle of the race in CompuBench. This is to be expected, because although it lacks the graphical punch or computation power available in the MSI Titan Pro and Asus G752VS, it still has a bit more performance than GTX 1060 laptops, such as the Gigabyte P57W v6. The Predator and P37X score within single digits of one another, which is hardly a surprise given that they have nearly identical configurations.

IOMeter

To test read and write speeds, we run IOmeter from the system's primary drive. The specifications on Acer’s website claim the system uses a 256GB SSD, but we found two 128GB LiteOn CV1 M.2 SSDs running in RAID 0. In comparison, the Asus G752VS OC Edition has a 256GB Toshiba THNSN5256GPU7, the P37X has a 512GB Samsung SM951, The Titan Pro has two 512GB SM951 SSDs in RAID 0, and the P57W has a 256GB LiteOn CV3. 

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The Titan Pro, G752VS, and P37X’s SSDs are all much faster than anything that LiteOn has to offer the systems that use its SSDs, so the Acer’s main contender in terms of speed is the P57W. The CV3 exhibits slightly faster Random 4K speeds, but the CV1 RAID 0 configuration takes the lead in 128K Sequential speeds.

PCMark 8

Instead of the typical preloaded tests that are included in PCMark 8, we use the Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative suite, which provide more accurate real-world performance results. The Adobe Creative tests are more GPU focused, so the Acer comes dangerously close to Asus' offering. Meanwhile, the higher end i7-6820HK found in the Asus and MSI laptops deliver more performance in the Microsoft Office benchmarks, so the i7-6700HQ-equipped laptops, including the Predator 17, are left behind.

  • Better than Surface Book or Surface Pro.
    Reply
  • jaber2
    Wait what? its not 4K, why bother
    Reply
  • anbello262
    19303029 said:
    Wait what? its not 4K, why bother

    4k notebooks that run games at ultra at high enough fps are quite rare and quite a lot more expensive.
    If you want 4k for stuff that isn't gaming, then you should look elsewhere, as this one is not the best monitor available, and why would you pay for a gtx1070 if not gaming?

    If you game at 1440 or 1080, then no point in getting a 4k monitor, as it will consume more power that will be wasted (ledd battery life).

    So, please elaborate on your statement.
    Reply
  • Papatom
    This one lost me on 17" FullHD panel.
    Aside from that, I didn't see any redeeming feature of this product.
    Reply
  • Nolonar
    19302626 said:
    Better than Surface Book or Surface Pro.
    One is a desktop replacement gaming laptop, the others are convertible ultrabooks with pen support.
    They serve completely different markets.

    Might as well say "a Boeing 737 is better than a Cessna 400"...
    Reply
  • ledhead11
    The interesting thing to see here is that a standard 1070 doesn't quite cut it for solid 60fps even with G-Sync on Ultra. Still, not a bad laptop but needs about $300 off the price tag to be really competitive.

    Edit: I also wanted to say thank you for a nice review but also ask if possible to maybe update the game review suite with some more recent games such as Battlefield 1, Resident Evil 7, Watchdogs or perhaps just slightly older like Doom, Witcher 3. Those first 3 games are often mentioned in threads by either people trying their first builds or looking for gaming laptops. I have a number of the older games, they're awesome and demanding, but it'd be nice to see how new tech matches with more recent games.
    Reply
  • pbug56
    When specifying wifi, please actually specify the wifi; antenna count, top 'speed', etc.
    Reply
  • chenw
    I would see 1080p as a major plus, not a minus (I treat 4k panels on laptops as a minus, because even with an 1080 I would not run it at 4k, let alone a 1070).

    But being only 75hz is a major minus, I would have expected a 120hz panel instead.
    Reply
  • beaulieu80
    With all the new hardware that use less power for cpu and GPU, this makes rethink of what I should buy for my next build. Tower or Laptop.
    Reply