The Bottom Line
Feb 18 2013 - Acer's latest revision of the Predator G3 series desktop addresses a number of concerns that existed with past models. It now offers some superb general performance thanks to the Core i7 processor with 12GB of memory. It now features a dual band wireless networking which provides improved network coverage and speed. The down side is that the graphics card is still very low end that make it less suitable as a gaming system without replacing it with a better aftermarket card. In addition, the chipset used is more mainstream and limits a couple of performance upgrades that some competing models can support.
- High Performance Core i7 Processor
- Dual Band Wireless Networking Support
- Easy Access Hard Drive Bay
- Low End Graphics Card
- Chipset Prevents Some Performance Feature Upgrades
- Intel Core i7-3770 Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 12GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 2TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Burner
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 Graphics Card With 2GB Memory
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio Support
- Gigagit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Four UBS 3.0, Six USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, 12-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 8, Office Starter
Review - Acer Predator AG3620-UR308
Feb 18 2013 - Acer's Predator G3 series has received a number of updates since I looked at one a year ago but the exterior design remains unchanged. Thankfully, a number of the smaller issues that plagued the system such as missing high speed peripheral ports and internal expansion space on the board have been tweaked.
Performance has been upgraded in the new Predator G3 series refresh. Even though this is one of the most affordable of the models, it comes equipped with a high end Intel Core i7-3770 quad core desktop processor. This provides it with more than enough performance for the consumer who want to do demanding tasks like high end PC gaming or even desktop video editing. Acer provides a total of 12GB of DDR3 memory. This should be plenty for pretty much any tasks that a user might have as Windows 8 generally doesn't offer much performance improvements beyond 8GB of memory. The memory is a full 1600MHz speed which is nice as past systems used slower 1333MHz RAM as does some of the competition at this price point.Storage on the Acer Predator AG3620-UR308 provides a very large two terabyte hard drive that should provide plenty of space for applications, data and media files. The drive spins at the traditional 7200rpm spin rate which gives it a decent level of performance. It would be nice to some form of solid state caching like Intel's Smart Response Technology for improved performance but Acer relies on the B75 chipset that does not support it. If you do need additional space, there is another 3.5-inch drive bay that is accessible from behind the front panel with a tray for a standard SATA drive. In addition to this, there are four USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage drives unlike past models which lacked the ports. There is a dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD or DVD media and a 12-in-1 card reader for the most common flash media cards.
The graphics system remains the weakest link of the Predator AG3620-UR308. It comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 graphics card with 2GB of memory. This is one of the lower tiers of the NVIDIA 600 series graphics cards. It does provide better 3D graphics than the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 built into the Core i7 processor but it will still be restricted to lower than 1920x1080 resolutions for modern games and likely with reduced detail levels. The card is better suited for those looking to use the system for non-3D applications like Photoshop or folding where the Intel graphics can't provide any boost. Thankfully the power supply has been upgraded somewhat to 500 watts over the previous 450 which allow a few more higher end graphics cards for those that would want to use it for gaming. There is only a single graphics card slot for those that might want to upgrade.
Wireless networking is becoming more common for desktop systems and Acer has improved the wireless features that come with the Predator AG3620-UR308. Now it supports both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz networking spectrum for support of all the current common high speed Wi-Fi networking standards including 802.11n. In addition, the system now offers support for Bluetooth peripherals which isn't as common for many desktop systems but it does allow for adding wireless peripherals.
Pricing for the Acer Predator AG3620-UR308 is between $900 and $1000. This is on the higher end of the middle price segment for desktop systems. In terms of competition, the closes systems would be the Dell XPS 8500 and Lenovo IdeaCentre K430. Both use the same Core i7-3770 quad core processor and can be found around $900. The Dell system differs by using a lower end AMD Radeon graphics card and just 8GB of memory. The Lenovo system has the same amount of RAM but instead uses a slightly faster NVIDIA GeForce graphics card but with fewer USB 3.0 ports available.