Acer Predator 15 Gaming Laptop Review

Acer Predator Launch

I have a problem which I’m sure a lot of other games share. I own a relatively new notebook (bought it earlier this year) since I need a portable device to use for work when I’m out and about. However, I believe that notebooks should be dual purpose and it must be able to handle the games I play when I’m home too.

Buy Games

Unfortunately, that isn’t a reality for the majority of us with regular notebooks. I can’t play a lot of the new games for this very reason. I didn’t buy even buy Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void until two weeks ago coz I knew my (relatively new) notebook can’t handle the graphics on the highest settings and I *want* to play it on the highest settings.

Predator

Hell, I’ll even go so far to say that I deserve to.

Hearthstone

However, you can’t expect that in a normal notebook. There simply isn’t enough processing and graphics card power in a notebook format. Thus, I mostly play Hearthstone, a relatively non-intensive game. Anything remotely related to FPS (first person shooter) and MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) genres are out of the question. Games like Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Alien Isolation, Heroes of the Storm just doesn’t run well on work notebooks.

Acer Predator Box

Enter the Acer Predator laptop. It’s a notebook that’s built to gamer friendly specifications. I was amazed when I scrolled though the technical details. The Acer Predator laptop all run the latest and most powerful NVIDIA GeForce notebook GPUs! The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and 980M has been rated to run at up to 70% of their desktop counterparts.

Acer Predator Unboxing

That’s a huge figure if you know anything about notebook gaming. Previous notebook GPUs can only achieve less than 40% parity with their desktop counterparts. Finally, we have a gaming laptop solution which is almost equal to the most powerful desktop gaming machines (and definitely more powerful than most mid-tier gaming desktops).

Acer Predator 15

You can at last run the latest and greatest games like Call of Duty: Black Ops III on a notebook and get better performance than all but the highest end desktop machines, courtesy of the Acer Predator laptop series. I was lucky enough to get an Acer Predator 15 for review. This laptop is equipped with:

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080 15.6″ display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 128 GB SSD drive + 1 TB SATA HDD

This unit retails for RM 6,999. You can also get 24 GB DDR4 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM and a 256GB SSD drive for RM 8,999. I can tell you that the graphics card alone is easily a third of the cost when you buy it from stores, this is not as expensive as you think, gamers spend this amount for GPUs all the time.

Acer Predator Gaming Series

I say this coz I heard a lot of people commenting about the price during the launch of the Acer Predator. I silently thought to myself “These people have never played a single game in their lives, much less know about GPUs and the price of the latest NVIDIA GeForce graphics card”. I didn’t say it out loud coz I didn’t want to appear to be condescending but that’s the point of the Acer Predator laptop series.

Acer Predator

It’s for GAMERS.

FrostCore Acer

There’s Predator FrostCore, the swappable fan design which injects this powerful gaming rig with extra cold to keep heat down and performance up. It’s additional cooling, the notebook is already cooled, but if you don’t need the DVD drive, you can swap out the bay easily by a switch via the back.

Predator FrostCore

Pop in the Predator FrostCore and you’ll see a noticeable change in your performance.

Watch Dogs

I found out that putting the Predator FrostCore in for games like Watch Dogs gives a 5-10 fps (frames per second) increase. This is on the highest quality settings with all the bells and whistles (4xSSAA anti-aliasing etc).

FPS

I also liked the Killer DoubleShot Pro technology. It basically uses BOTH your WiFi and Ethernet to combine and optimize bandwidth. You can use this by selecting the fastest one (which can differ according to circumstances) to dedicate to your game or select one to use for your game and the other for streaming.

Steam

This is perfect for Twitch streamers. You don’t need a lot for your games but NVIDIA ShadowPlay takes a lot of bandwidth so you can use the faster one (be it Ethernet or WiFi) for uploading ShadowPlay recordings to Twitch or YouTube Gaming.

Subwoofer

The Predator SoundPound 4.2 boasts four speakers with two powerful subwoofers and Dolby Audio surround sound. I was quite surprised at the fidelity of treble notes and the intensity of bass in a laptop. The Acer Predator 15 I had was LOUD!

PredatorSense ProZone

The PredatorSense intelligent gaming keyboard control and customization options lets you set up keyboard macros (essential for anyone who plays World of Warcraft and similar games). It’s quite useful for RTS (real time strategy) games like Starcraft II also. The Predator ProZone keyboard is insanely accurate and has four (4) customizable backlight zones and programmable macro profiles you can share. The backlight is very useful if you’re gaming in the dark and you can set the intensity as you wish – notice how the W, A, S, D keys are brighter than the surrounding ones.

You can use up to three (3) monitors including one NVIDIA G-SYNC monitor with the Acer Predator gaming laptop too so you can setup the most immersive gaming experience at your home. The features above are standard in all Acer Predator laptop series.

StarcraftII

The Acer Predator series is not for the average Joe who fiddles around with Microsoft Word and uses Excel once in a while to do their taxes. It’s not for the casual gamer who thinks Angry Birds or Bejeweled is the pinnacle of gaming. It’s for gamers like us who plays AAA titles like Call of Duty. It’s for the competitive gamers who participate in DOTA tournaments. It’s for Twitch streamers who wants to play Counter Strike: Global Offensive and have enough processing power to do it in the highest resolution and quality settings while rebroadcasting it to their fans.

Acer Gaming

The gaming industry has grown exponentially over the past decade and games are now the biggest budget titles and earners instead of Hollywood films. This trend will continue and for those of us who enjoys playing games, you’ll want to have a high end notebook, especially if you’re someone like me who only wants one (1) device to do it all – both work and games.

Find out more at the Acer Predator website.

Trade-in and get RM 650 cashback!

intel extreme masters

I’ve been watching the Intel Extreme Masters 2013 that was held in Singapore recently. It’s one of the biggest Starcraft 2 (and other electronic sports) tournaments of the year. It got me really interested in playing Starcraft 2 on ladder again but unfortunately, my laptop is too slow to run Heart of the Swarm.

Thus, I have been looking for great deals to get myself a gaming notebook that will run Starcraft 2 so I can play again and I have found it! It’s an awesome deal where you trade-in your old laptop for up to RM 650 cashback! You can choose any of the models below:

trade in

I love the simplicity of this – there are just three HP models for you to choose based on your lifestyle and neeeds. The models available will start from RM 1,349 and the higher end touchscreen model will be yours for RM 1,749 after cashback!

The best thing about this is that they have an Intel Core i5 processor, Windows 8, and an nVIDIA GeForce GT 740M which will allow me to play Starcraft 2, watch all my favorite movies, blog and do video editing! It’s everything I need in a laptop for just RM 1,349 – that’s less than 5 dining-out sessions if you think about it!

iem singapore

The Intel Core i5 processors in the laptops are the new 4th generation chips. That means vastly improved graphics, performance, battery life and security. There’s support for Windows 8 Connected Standby and it’s the biggest improvement to battery life in history, which means that the #1 concern of laptop users is now addressed – you can run your notebook for *a lot longer*!

Also, enhanced security services such as Intel Identity Protection Technology and Intel Anti-Theft Technology, malware detection and vulnerability-resistant BIOS/firmware protection is built in, as multiple safeguards embedded deep into processor hardware. This means you don’t need to worry about using your laptop on public WiFi hotspots. :)

The participating resellers are Thundermatch, SNS and MTCS. After you purchase the three (3) qualifying models – HP Pavilion 14-n060TX (Mineral Black), HP Pavilion 14-n059TX (Silver), HP Pavilion Touchsmart 14-n049TX (Silver) – you just need to login to www.tradeupmypc.com to register for the trade-in program.

how to

Approval will be granted within 3 days and once the claims are approved, you just need to courier your old laptop to the designated recycling center. Once the technician at the recycling center to checks your old laptop and approves the trade-in value, the money will be deposited right into your back account directly so there’s no need for you to run around. The trade-in mechanics makes it very easy and simple for you!

vespa

Plus, you also get the chance to win a Vespa worth RM 12,000 when you purchase the three models listed above! That’ll be the icing on the cake, along with the RM 650 trade-in cashback! You can get more information about the Vespa contest at the Intel Vespa contest website. The Vespa contest ends 31st December 2013. Remember to get to form from the participating resellers or email gentoday@in2ideas.com for more information.

rm650

The trade-in program runs till 31st January 2013. Surf on over to www.tradeupmypc.com to get more information and the list of participating retailers for this awesome RM 650 cashback!

Generation Today – Win a laptop if you can steal it!

Interesting fact: The Intel Anti-Theft Service is a *tied* into the hardware so you can’t bypass it by changing a HDD and re-installing a new OS or by flashing the BIOS. You can lock and track your device by just logging into a web page, thus rendering it totally unusable for the pilferer. That’ll effectively turn it into a brick or a very large paperweight!

starcraft collectors edition

I’m a huge fan of Starcraft. I played the original, the Brood War expansion and Starcraft II. I have Wings of Liberty installed on this very notebook I’m writing on and my girlfriend saw me drooling over the Heart of the Swarm Collector’s Edition and secretly bought that for me. I used to compete in Quake III professional tournaments too (ranked #42 in PGL 2001 Melbourne).

My notebook needs a bit of extra processing power for the latest games though so I thought I’ll get the newer Intel CORE i7 ones with more RAM. This is where Generation Today comes in! It’s an absolute blast of a road show extravaganza till 30th June lined up with awesome events!

notebook

Heck, you get to win a brand new Ultrabook if you manage to defeat the Intel Anti-Theft Service with the given clues!

How cool is that?

steal notebook

beat anti theft

I’m a Computer Science graduate and I’ll certainly love to give it a go! :)

Oh, and there’s also exciting stuff going on like The Longest Touch Challenge (get your mind out of the gutter) which gives one school a complete computer lab and the participants gets to walk away with awesome prizes to boot.

intel roadshow

Also available is the Graffiti Touch Challenge where 2 units of Asus Fonepad will be given away!

There’s also a promo where you can trade-in your old PC/notebook for a brand new Intel PC at up to RM 600 off! I’m not quite ready to trade mine in yet but I’ll certainly be going for the fun and games, the biggest being a contest where you can win an experience of a lifetime worth RM 8,000!

intel contest malaysia

It’s based on the 5 senses:
Taste
VIP Fine Dining at an Exquisite Restaurant for 2
Feel
Luxurious Spa Trip to Bali for 2
See
KL Skyline Helicopter Ride for 2
Touch
Langkawi Sunset Dinner on a Yacht for 2
Hear
Captivating Musical in Singapore for 2

The Intel Generation Today Road Show will be held at the following till 30th June:

longest touch

You just need to purchase an Ultrabook or Intel-powered device to qualify for the Experience of a Lifetime Contest by filling up the form and choosing which experience you want! I’m due for an upgrade anyway and a vacation sounds fun!

You can join the contest by surfing over to Generation Today or get more details on the promos, contests and road show venues and locations! It’s happening in 14 cities around Malaysia. The Generation Today campaign is sponsored by Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo. I’ll be either at the Publika or Sunway Giza road show for the fun and games, and maybe trade-in for a new Intel CORE notebook, see ya there!

generation today

Join the coming roadshow at Publika, KL to collect the final clue that will be released on 21/06/2013, 5 pm!

Plus, I really, really like the idea of walking away with an Asus Vivobook S400 Ultrabook if I manage to nick it in the Unlock The Ultrabook challenge! :D

Pentium M 1.5 Ghz (715) – my new notebook

micromedia sibu

I bought a notebook at Micromedia in Sibu. I was struggling between
two ASUS models – the new A3000N (Centrino, integrated
camera/microphone) and another model based on the ATI Radeon 9100 IGP
chipset before finally choosing the latter. It looks better due to its
15.1 inch LCD compared to the A3000N 14.1 inch (which makes it look too
small). I also wanted it to be a desktop replacement and the 128 MB
graphics card does well in that.

dorthan notebook

It’s not full Centrino system, but it’s running on a Pentium M 1.5
Ghz CPU (Dothan) and off the top of my head it has IEEE 802.11b/g, an
Agere dial up modem and a LAN port. It also has 4 USB 2.0 ports, an IR
port and two IEEE 1394 (FireWire) ports. I upped to RAM to 512 MB and
I’m surprised at the fast speed of the Pentium M 1.5 processor. It came
with a bundled optical USB mouse and the obligatory pack. I also got a
thumb drive as a free gift.

apacer mp3 thumb drive

I also got a 256 MB Apacer MP3 player which also doubles as a thumb
drive. It all cost less than 5k. Before anyone jumps on me, I don’t
have that much money to shell out on a notebook. However, since my home
PC died, I am in severe need of a personal computing system and I went
for a notebook due to its portability and I can use it for work as
well. I’m paying for this on a two year installment plan, first year
interest free, and the second with interest. That means I shell out
about RM 179 or so every month, through a third-party (the notebook was
purchased and paid in full at the retailer).

micromedia ling

This is the one of the proprietors of Micromedia – Miss (?) Ling.
Thanks for being very helpful and willing to put up with me doing a
hard bargain. :)

sixthseal notebook

This is the sixthseal.com notebook in action.

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