Skip to main content

Acer Predator X38 175Hz Gaming Monitor Review: Bigger Really Is Better

A big, fast, curved performer

Acer Predator X38
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Acer)

Viewing Angles

Acer Predator X38

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Predator X38 shows a green shift to the sides, typical of almost all IPS panels. Light falloff is only around 20%, which is very good. Detail remains sharp, but the darkest steps are more gray than black. In the vertical plane, light is reduced by 50%, and the color becomes a bit bluer. Detail is reasonably well-preserved, with only a slight washed-out look.

Screen Uniformity

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, click here.

Acer Predator X38

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Big screens don’t necessarily mean greater potential for bleed or glow. Even the 49-inch Viotek manages a decent score of 11.55%. The X38 is one of the best, at just 7.03% average deviation from the center zone. Our sample looked perfect in every way, both in luminance and color uniformity.

Pixel Response & Input Lag

Click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

Image 1 of 2

Acer Predator X38

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Image 2 of 2

Acer Predator X38

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

If you’re trying to decide between the X38 and the X35, gaming performance won’t be a factor. It’s nearly the same for both screens. The X35’s 200 Hz overclocked refresh rate won’t make a visible difference in either motion blur or control response over the X38’s 175 Hz overclock. The 144 and 120 Hz monitors have a bit more motion blur, and their input lag is understandably higher but only a little. The X38 certainly excels, though, with just 25 ms of total lag. It is more than qualified for eSports at any skill level.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.
  • coloradoblah
    Maybe when its under 1000, 1700 is way too high, 1,000:1 contrast sucks
    Reply
  • cknobman
    LMAO Acer is smoking crack if they think this monitor is worth $1700!!

    Monitor pricing is just stupid these days. Maybe when crap does not sell prices will come back down to sane levels.
    Reply
  • coloradoblah
    cknobman said:
    LMAO Acer is smoking crack if they think this monitor is worth $1700!!

    Monitor pricing is just stupid these days. Maybe when crap does not sell prices will come back down to sane levels.
    Yeah you can get a few 34” ultrawides for around 300-400 now , obviously VA panels but is it really 4 times the cost ? The Gigabyte 34 ultrawide is actually pretty damn good for the cost, as long as you get one that has good QC.
    Reply
  • tharkis842
    Meh. For the price, might as well buy a nice gaming TV and run a custom res.
    Reply
  • brandxbeer
    tharkis842 said:
    Meh. For the price, might as well buy a nice gaming TV and run a custom res.
    I agree. Some die hards will disagree but tvs are the best option for casual pc gaming. A descent 4k tvs colour and hrd will blow a monitor away
    Reply
  • coloradoblah
    Yeah i think you can get a 120hz 4k oled for 1299, for this cost Asus should have a no light bleed, dead pixel guarantee
    Reply
  • waltc3
    Should have tested with a more mainstream GPU--because a 3090 & this monitor = well over $3,000. Also, I'm not sold on curved monitors at all. It's interesting that quite a few of these widescreen, < 4k monitor reviews of 34" and up do not list dot pitch (sometimes called pixel pitch)-- the number provides the distance between screen pixels, & the lower the better--under .20 is required for 32" 4K monitors, if you don't want to be able to see individual pixels from any distance. My 32" 4K BenQ EW-3270U has pixel pitch/dot pitch of .18 and no individual pixels are observable even 1" away from the screen.) One can only think it is because the dot pitch is less than ideal in these monitors which, given their larger size and lower resolutions (lower than 3840x2160), is understandable from a marketing standpoint, I suppose.

    Interesting that I see that Win10 supports a resolution of 3840X1620 on my BenQ--which I would think would also affect aspect ratios, were I to use it (tried it, knocks the 16:9 aspect way off.) Additionally, my BenQ supports something like 360 nits, max, but I can run HDR games set to 1000nits (No Man's Sky supports HDR 400, 600, 1000--you choose) and the HDR 1000 setting for the game looks by far the best. (I was pretty surprised by this, actually.) BG3 has the best HDR implementation in a game I've ever seen. (Game developers are finally beginning to get up to speed with HDR, finally--no more "washed out" fairly ugly appearances.)

    Best of all, the 32" 4K HDR 1000 BenQ sells for ~$440. It's a VA panel but as I don't need to view the monitor from anything except a straight-on position, broader viewing angles aren't required. BenQ also offers a newer version, the EW-3280U, which uses IPS instead of VA, for the exact same support--it's ~$700 (Which is close to what the 3270 cost before the 3280 was introduced.)

    *It's 60Hz, but that can be easily overcome by turning off vsync so that you can get hundreds of frames per second--without page tearing--which was another surprise with this monitor. All I can figure is that the anti-flicker tech in the monitor also controls page tearing, which I rarely if ever see even though my default driver setting (5700XT) is Vsync off.

    Highly recommended if you want a great HDR gaming monitor with plenty of size that won't break the bank:

    https://www.amazon.com/BenQ-EW3270U-inch-Monitor-FreeSync/dp/B078HWBGH5/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=benq+ew3270u&qid=1616432901&sr=8-1
    --Looks like they've sold out--getting more 3270's on April 13, the page says.

    (I seem to be pimping this monitor...;) All I can do is say that if I didn't really like it I'd not have two words to say about it...;))
    Reply
  • coloradoblah
    I dont mind the curve, makes it a bit easier to see especially on 21:9, HDR is a mess on windows currently and don’t even bother using it anymore.
    Reply
  • VinceV
    Any particular reason there aren't comparisons to the very similar LG and Alienware monitors? And no mention of the fact that neither port has the bandwidth to push these monitors to their limits.
    Reply
  • Blacksad999
    VinceV said:
    Any particular reason there aren't comparisons to the very similar LG and Alienware monitors? And no mention of the fact that neither port has the bandwidth to push these monitors to their limits.

    I was just coming here to ask the same question myself. lol It seems really odd to leave out the monitors which are direct competitors to this model from the comparison. IIRC, both Alienware and Acer get their panels from LG for the 38" models. Would have been nice to see a side by side breakdown of the strengths of each.
    Reply