ACER PREDATOR ORION 9000
- Top-tier performance
- Push-button overclocking
- Easy-to-use software
- High GPU temperatures
- Too large
Acer Predator Orion 9000 is the most powerful gaming PC offered by the company. The extreme configuration we tested may not be in the realm of possibilities for most people's wallets, but the Intel Core i7-8700K and the GTX 1080-capable models can be a reasonable consideration for those looking for top-tier gaming performance.
The outside part
The large Orion 9000 predator measures 25.3 x 11.8 x 27.6 inches and weighs almost 50 pounds, making it one of the largest and heaviest gaming PCs we've ever tested. Despite its commanding presence (it will definitely be the center of every room you place in it), the Orion 9000 is surprisingly easy to move (in a short distance, at least) with two top-side handles (mounted above the push-to button -opens the ventilator panel top) and rear mounted wheels.
Custom edgy sports steel frame case with aluminum and hard plastic panel, and the left side panel features a magnetic metal mesh behind a clear acrylic window that Acer claims can reduce electromagnetic interference. We don't really have a way to test this theory (benchmarking PCs beside microwaves goes to mind), but it's a unique feature that provides different types of aesthetic chassis that some might be interesting, even though I'm not a fan of the display.
The front panel hides the optical DVD-RW drive behind the hinged panel, next to the headset holder (which is perfect for virtual reality headsets) that slides out between two 140mm LED front fans. There is another 120mm LED fan on the rear exhaust vent, but the static colored fans (always white) are not integrated with software-controlled RGB LEDs on the front face, side panel, and motherboard.
Ports in the top panel include four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (one Type-C and three Type-A), in addition to the headphone and microphone jack and power button. There is also a Turbo button, which automatically overwrites a single-touch CPU. This button also interacts with Acer overclocking software, changing the CPU clock speed between the configured Turbo and Normal settings.
The rear panel sports far more USB connectivity, with two USB 3.1 Gen 2 (one Type-A, one Type-C), four USB 3.1 Gen 1 (all Type-A) and two USB 2.0 ports. There is also a PS / 2 combo port for older peripherals and five audio jacks. Both graphics cards provide a lot of screen connectivity, with eight DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 ports. However, one HDMI interface was blocked by a stamp attached to the graphics card, and we were not sure why it would be there to start (the main GPU in the first slot was the one in question). However, you still have nine other ports to connect the monitor, and that should be enough for even power users.
The side panel is easy to remove. One single lifting button on each makes it easy to pull and gives you full access to the strong components inside. The interior is boxed, with special PSU space and a fan dock that directs the flow of air to both sides of the motherboard called Acer Iceflow 2.0.
Our review model, Orion 9000 PO9-900, displays the most expensive and powerful consumer CPU at Intel, Core i9-7980XE. This is cooled by the 240mm AIO CPU cooler by Cooler Master which delivers two 120mm non-LED fans that deliver hot air through the top side vents. The 128GB (8x 16GB) kit from Kingston DDR4-2666 memory flanks both sides of the processor (our review unit was shipped with a 64GB kit with eight 8GB modules, but consumer products have eight 16GB modules), but the lack of a RAM heatsink might disappoint those looking for some headroom overclocking.
Two GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards are arranged together in the top top PCIe x16 slot, tied together in an SLI configuration with a high-performance, Predator-branded broadband SLI bridge. The card itself has a special plastic shroud, a black metal back plate and a blower-style fan that directs heat to the back of the PC. Strict distances between cards can hamper their cooling performance, and we are somewhat disappointed that the placement of a custom PCIe motherboard slot does not allow a single gap between two powerful GPUs, especially given the very large size of a very cold chassis.
The right side of the Orion 9000 sports four 2.5 inches and two 3.5 inch drive bays. Seagate HDD 2TB HDD, 7,200-rpm is in one 3.5 inch tray, but primary storage (for this model, 512GB M.2 PCIe-NVMe SSD) is hidden under the graphics card. To help with thermal, there is also an SSD M.2 heatsink installed, and there is another M.2 slot if you want to expand storage along the lines. The right side also hides various power and data cables, which are well managed for large-branded gaming PCs. The cable leads to a hidden power supply, which for this model is a 1,000W FSP 80 + Gold certified PSU with many efficient juices for the work being done.
Software & Accessories
Acer Predator Orion 9000 has been loaded with several trial utilities and software, including PredatorSense (for overclocking and integrated RGB LED lighting control) and Acer Care Center, in addition to Norton anti-virus and Microsoft Office trials. Some may delete trial software, but PredatorSense is very important for those who want to monitor or complete their CPU overclock. Acer Care Center also keeps updating your system drivers, so it can be useful for those who prefer to let the update handle itself.
The Orion 9000 also comes with a set of peripherals in the form of a Predator Flare mechanical gaming keyboard and Predator Cestus gaming mouse. RGB LED-illuminated Kailh sports keyboard switches, and the optical mouse features dual Omron switches, eight adjustable macro buttons and up to 7,200 DPI.