Review of the Acer Predator Orion 3000: A Powerful Gaming PC

Review of the Acer Predator Orion 3000: A Powerful Gaming PC

An attractively tiny prebuilt gaming PC, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 pairs a potent midrange GPU, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070, with a potent 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor. Although it’s not as customizable as we’d like, it’s still a good choice for high-end 1080p and 1440p gaming.

Generally speaking, to the do-it-yourself crowd, encouraging you to purchase individual parts and assemble a whole PC. (You can see builds, breakdowns, and more on our YouTube channel.) However, prebuilt gaming PCs are a very good alternative as well due to a variety of factors, including GPU shortages and simple simplicity.

There is only one setup for the Acer Predator Orion 3000 (PO3-650-UR17), which is stated here, though you are free to upgrade it. Although it is available in Canada, I was unable to locate it on Acer’s website in the United States. Residents of the United States may purchase it at Newegg or Amazon.com.

Specifications

  • Intel Core i7-13700F processor
  • Graphics: 12GB GDDR6X video RAM on an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
  • Memory: DDR5-4400, 16GB
  • 1 TB M of storage.Two PCIe Gen4
  • Ports: 3 DisplayPort 1.4a; 1 HDMI 2.1, RJ-45 (Ethernet); 1 USB-C (20Gps, 2×2); 1 USB-A (10Gbps), 2 USB-A (5Gbps), 4 USB-A (480Mbps).
  • Killer E2600 Gigabit Ethernet Wired Connection: WiFi 6e (AX211); Bluetooth 5.3 Wireless
  • Windows 11 Home is the operating system.
  • The measurements in inches are 14.84 x 6.89 x 15.16.
  • 24.5 pounds in weight
  • Colors: Black
  • In the box are also a keyboard, mouse, and glass window.
  • Price: $1,699.99

build and chassis

Acer’s Predator Orion 3000 is rather straightforward right out of the box. Together with the chassis and power wire, the box also contains an optional glass side panel, a mouse, and a keyboard. That’s a great feature, particularly if you want to be able to see more of the inside parts and have your den, workplace, or bedroom lit up by the RGB lighting inside. Otherwise, there is some muted internal RGB.

This modest 18-liter mini tower from Acer is suitable for placing on top of or underneath your desk because it is only slightly larger than a monitor at 15 inches high by 15 inches deep. Acer said that both the motherboard and the casing have unique designs. An Acer spokesperson stated that “one of the largest ODM/OEM graphics makers” is the manufacturer of the graphics card that is included.

My desktop computers are best kept out of the way beneath my desk. But since the Predator Orion 3000 only has a top-mounted power button, Acer didn’t actually build it for that setup. All additional connectors, which include a USB-A port, 3.5mm jacks for headphones and microphones, and a 20Gbps USB-C port for connecting an external high-throughput SSD for gaming, are located either on the right side of the front panel or the I/O panel on the back (as predicted).

With an inclined shape that enables it to be held from the top via a handle, the chassis, weighing 24.5 pounds, is quite simple to take out of the box. Rubber feet are installed on the bottom of the chassis by Acer to prevent it from slipping, however doing so also requires you to lift it to make even minor modifications.

Cooling and ports

Two 92mm FrostBlade 2.0 fans—one in the front and one at the back—provide cooling, and both have four RGB LEDs installed. With most, if not all, of Acer’s gaming equipment, the PredatorSense utility comes pre-installed and may be used to modify these fans. PredatorSense is used to regulate the additional fans that are installed on the CPU and GPU.

Through a fan positioned at the bottom of the case, the air is drawn in from the front and directed through the chassis before exiting through a grille at the top of the case or the rear exhaust fan. It seems that the airflow is sufficient for this design, although not very good.

Naturally, this isn’t one of the newest, high-end cable-free designs, and the cables aren’t sleeves. Moreover, a single cable ran across the front of the back exhaust fan.

I would agree with Acer that the arced fan blade design lowers noise levels and keeps the PC cool. Whether it is operating in a load or just resting there on the desktop, the Predator Orion 3000 is quite quiet. Nor was there any annoying coil whine.

Acer brands almost everything under the Predator name, including the GPU, the memory (from Adata, concealed behind a Predator shield that fills two of the four available DIMM slots), and an unidentified 500W (80 Plus Gold) power supply, although some prebuilt PCs don’t hesitate to use third-party components.

An M.2 slot is occupied by a PCIe Gen 4 SSD made by SK Hynix. (The Intel AX211NGW Wi-Fi/Bluetooth controller resides in the other M.2 slot, under the graphics card.) There are two 3.5-inch drive bays, but they are both empty.

The remaining ports are located on the back of the chassis: six USB-A connectors, three DisplayPort 1.4a ports, and an HDMI 2.1 port for connecting any available displays. But none are labeled. The bottom two ports, according to Acer, are rated at 5 Gbps, while the remaining ports provide 480 Mbits of legacy throughput. Three more audio jacks are located here as well.

Expansion and configurability

You most likely won’t be able to replace the motherboard with an upgraded one because, according to Acer, both the motherboard and the case are bespoke. In one place, it almost seems as though a portion of the motherboard vanishes into the case.

Acer offers the option to replace the metallic side panel with a tempered glass panel that complies with electromagnetic interference. This is simple and convenient thanks to Acer; the side panel is attached with two screws that can be removed with a screwdriver to allow the panel to be slid out. Padding has been added to the border of the replacement tempered glass to reduce vibration and keep airflow within. It is simple to attach by simply aligning and tightening the screw holes. Although a flat-head screwdriver can be used to screw them in, hand tightening seems to be just as effective.

But I don’t think there’s a lot of room for growth. There are two vacant DRAM slots, which together may hold up to 64GB of RAM. There are also two 3.5-inch drive bays available. However, the stock SSD occupies the first M.2 slot, and you will need to remove the Wi-Fi card to access the second one, which is located beneath the graphics card. There doesn’t seem to be enough place in the Predator Orion 3000’s case for more fans either.

The input fan is housed in a portion of the chassis that protrudes forward. Even though Acer claims that it may be accessed by unscrewing a few screws and removing the side panel, that portion of the chassis doesn’t seem to be user-accessible. Although it seems like it might be removed using several plastic pegs, I was unable to move it.

A screw on the outside of the chassis that holds the mounting bracket that comes with the Predator Orion 3000 can be removed to reveal the graphics card. Two more screws internally secure the card’s bracket, and accessing these is made more difficult than is probably necessary by the cable runs. After that, the graphics card can be removed from the bracket. You’ll need a card that is long enough to fit the mounting bracket on the Predator—roughly 10.5 inches—because there isn’t much wiggle room in it. Initially, I attempted to remove the card by unscrewing it from the internal bracket with an offset ratcheting screwdriver, but I eventually gave up.

Performance

We don’t currently have any pre-built desktops to contrast Acer’s Predator Orion 3000 with as it makes a comeback into the realm of prebuilt gaming desktops. For the time being, we’ll contrast it with several gaming notebooks; while not perfect, you’ll also be able to see how this desktop stacks up against the less potent but portable variants of the system.

Still, some of the same standards hold. I used PCMark 10, a useful all-around benchmark that evaluates performance in a variety of activities, including online surfing, CAD work, and light gaming, along with Cinebench, which evaluates CPU performance relative to other apps, to test the Acer Predator Orion 3000 (P03-650-UR17). As a general measure of 3D performance, we have continued to use 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmarks for 3D graphics.

Except for the MSI Raider, which ought to be at or close to the pinnacle of 14th-generation mobile gaming technology, the 13th-generation Acer Predator Orion, with a little slower GPU, seems to outperform everything else overall. PCMark was one exception, finishing at the top of the list.

However, that concludes the CPU-centric benchmarks. We now turn our attention to the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark because this is a gaming PC.

The outcomes were in line with expectations: At the top are the laptops equipped with the more advanced RTX 4000-series GPUs. However, the performance of the Acer Predator Orion 3000 is enhanced with the desktop-class RTX 4070.

Should you buy the Acer Predator Orion 3000?

It seems acceptable to charge $1700 for a 13th-generation Core i7 and an RTX 4070, but you might want to pay an extra $55 or so to add 16GB (2x8GB) of DDR5 DRAM to the available RAM slots. In practice, the stock 16GB of memory should work just fine in the great majority of games; it’s the only actual (semi-)shortcoming that needs to be addressed.

Other than that, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 is a good, small desktop with some useful features like the side panel, mouse, and keyboard. However, wire management may be improved. The Acer Predator Orion 3000 is a terrific deal for 1080p and 1440 gaming because of all of those factors together.

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