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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.

Gaming Benchmarks

Alien: Isolation

The Acer Predator 17 delivers more than enough performance in Alien: Isolation, and the extra fan adds a couple more frames to the already considerable frame rate. The Predator trails behind the Asus G752VS OC Edition by about 10 FPS when equipped with the fan, which roughly translates to a 6% performance difference.

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity hasn’t been particularly friendly to our Nvidia-based gaming laptops, and although the Predator keeps up with the G752VS, it still isn’t enough to reach the 60 FPS threshold. Only the MSI GT73VR Titan Pro (GTX 1080-equipped) is capable of maintaining over 60 FPS. We suggest dialing the settings back on anything less.

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite isn't a particularly demanding title, so any modern system with a discrete GPU can run it without hiccups. Without its fan, the Acer outperforms the Gigabyte P37X v6 by about 4%, but trails behind the Asus by about 5%. With the additional fan, the Predator closes the gap. The additional cooling won’t make or break performance here, so you can play without the fan so that noise won’t be an issue.

DiRT Rally

The Predator’s additional fan makes all the difference in DiRT Rally. Initially, the Predator lands middle of the pack, scoring 11% higher than the P37X and 1% lower than the G752VS. The fan doesn’t provide vastly more performance, but it is just enough to tip it above the Asus laptop. Still, DiRT Rally presents no challenge for a GTX 1070 laptop, and you can enjoy smooth frame rates with all of the settings maximized, with or without the fan.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most intensive games in our suite, and even MSI’s Titan Pro cannot maintain a solid 60 FPS during all of the benchmark scenes. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the less powerful Acer laptop doesn’t get top marks. However, 60 FPS is just a handful of frames away during most of the scenes, and light graphical tweaking will pull the Acer Predator into greener pastures. Stepping up to a more powerful GTX 1080 system might mean that you don’t need to lower your settings, but sacrificing a little visual fidelity for similar performance isn’t a bad idea, either, and a less costly one. You can see that the laptops from Acer and Asus trade blows, scene by scene, and sometimes depending on whether the Predator's extra fan is employed. These are all fairly negligible differences.

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GRID Autosport

GRID Autosport isn’t terrible demanding, and it actually gives a slight edge to systems with high GPU clock rates. Therefore, a GTX 1060 system such as the one in Gigabyte’s P57W v6 actually has a shot at threatening our Predator 17. It comes close, scoring about 8% slower than the Acer laptop. Meanwhile, our fanned Predator proves to be competitive against its more aptly-equipped competition, scoring about 6% slower than the G752VS and 12% slower than the Titan Pro. But at around 90 FPS at the highest settings, we think you'll be OK here.

Hitman

Hitman’s performance is more platform-based than some of the other titles. Both the Predator and the P37X score within a hair's width of each other due to their similar configurations. The Predator’s configuration is similar to the P57W as well, but its GTX 1070 pulls it ahead by about 17%. The Asus G752VS outperforms the Predator by about 14%; the jump to an i7-6820HK and double the memory makes an impact. Here, the extra fan doesn't make much difference.

Metro: Last Light Redux

Metro: Last Light Redux used to pull even the most powerful systems down to their knees, but Nvidia’s Pascal lineup makes the game less intimidating. A GTX 1060 doesn’t quite reach 60 FPS, but the Predator 17 maintains over 60 FPS easily, thanks to its GTX 1070. Adding the spare fan pulls the Predator’s performance slightly ahead of the Asus G752VS, sweetening the deal even more.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

The Acer laptop’s additional fan pulls the average frame rate past the Asus offering during the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark. However, even with the added fan, the Predator doesn’t catch up to its 60 FPS prey (we had to, just once). It seems that a GTX 1080 is the absolute minimum to enjoy Rise of the Tomb Raider at maximum settings, as evidenced by the MSI Titan Pro’s performance.

The Division

At more than 70 FPS, the Acer Predator 17 can easily max out The Division’s graphics settings without issues. Surprisingly, our Acer actually managed to outperform the higher-end Asus G752VS OC Edition, if only by a couple of frames. Needless to say, it breezes past the rest of the lower-end competitors as well. The only system to challenge it is the Titan Pro, whose i7-6820HK and GTX 1080 deliver 25% more performance than a fan-equipped Predator.

Thief

After an impressive run, the Acer lands in the middle of the pack during Thief. It outperforms the Gigabyte P37X and P57W by about 13% and 18%, respectively. It falls short of the more powerful Asus G752 and MSI Titan Pro, but with an average frame rate of over 90 FPS, there’s really no need to upgrade. Interestingly, the added fan did the Predator no favors; performance with the fan is about half a frame worse.

  • 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