The Bottom Line
- Easy Access Hard Drive Bay
- Wireles Networking
- Relatively Low End Graphics Card
- Lacks Internal Expansion Slots
- No USB 3.0 or eSATA Ports
- Intel Core i5-2300 Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB Green (Variable Speed) SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 Graphics Card With 1GB Memory
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Ten USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, VGA, 12-in-1 Card Reader
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Guide Review - Acer Predator AG3610-UR20P Desktop PC
Aug 8 2011 Acer's Predator lineup of systems has been about performance but the G3 series and specifically the AG3610-UR20P seems to compromise on this previous vision. The system is based around the Intel Core i5-2300 quad core processor. This is the second generation Core i processor and offers very solid performance but it is on the lower end of the i5 series in terms of performance. Combine this with just 6GB of DDR3 memory instead of the more typical 8GB and the performance is going to be a bit below much of the competition. Of course, this system has a base price tag of just $800 and can be found for around $750 so this it to be expected.
Another area of performance that is sacrificed is with the hard drive. The capacity is fairly common of the more affordable desktops with one terabyte. This provides it with a good amount of storage for the average user but more are now shipping with 1.5 to 2 terabyte drives now. What impacts the performance however is the use of a green class drive. The drive spins at a slower 5400rpm rate compared to typical desktop drives that would spin at 7200rpm. This means that it will take a bit longer to boot up and load applications compared to faster and larger drives. A standard dual layer DVD burner is included for playback and recording of CD or DVD media. It is unfortunate that Acer does not include an eSATA or USB 3.0 port for high speed external storage but at least it offers ten total USB 2.0 ports.
The graphics system will be disappointing for anyone that is hoping to use this as a gaming platform. Previous Predator systems have had a strong focus on gaming and as a result come with some solid 3D cards. For the AG3610-UR20P, it comes with a very low end NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 graphics card with 1GB of memory. Now, this will allow the system to handle PC gaming but it sacrifices higher resolution gaming or providing a high level of detail through the use of filters. At least the power supply is 450 watts which will allow the card to be replaced with a higher level of graphics card for those that do want to use it for more serious gaming.
Speaking of internal expansion, the Predator G3 offers a mixed range of potential for upgrading. There is several spaces for installing extra hard drives but their location can make it difficult to full secure the drives into the case. To make up for this, Acer does hide a quick drive access bay behind the front panel that can be used to easily add a second standard 3.5-inch SATA drive. The bigger problem is with expansion cards and the memory slots. First, the memory uses three 2GB modules out of four slots. Upgrading to 8GB just requires a single 2GB module to be installed. If you want to really upgrade it though, you will have to remove one of the 2GB modules to add additional modules in a pair. As for the card slots, there are two spare PCI-Express x1 slots available but using them could be quite difficult due to the number of cables next to those slots.
One of the nicer aspect of the Predator G3 is the networking. While many more desktops are adding wireless networking adapters to their systems, many still do not with systems in this price range. This allows the system to be easily tied into an existing home wireless network compared to having to run network cables.
Overall, the Acer Predator G3 is a decent performance system for the price but it falls short of its performance heritage. It certainly is not going to be a gaming class system like previous models but it has potential there for upgrades to make it better suited for the task.