Acer’s Predator 17 G9-793 is a great laptop for gaming, and can also be used as a workstation to handle heavier workloads. It includes GTX 1070 graphics technology that ensures beautiful graphics, and Nvidia GSync support for smooth gameplay. For businesses wanting to do video editing, it includes a Thunderbolt 3 port as well.
However, the device is not without its flaws. It’s lower-performance than some of its competitors, and there are fewer features too. Pricing is the crucial aspect that can make or break this device for you. Read more to find out more.
Acer has released a 2nd generation Predator, the G9-793. The newest model of their powerful gaming laptop shares most of its traits with their previous model, but they have added a faster graphics chip, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and other minor changes to the mix. I’ve spent about two weeks with the new Predator 17 and I’ll tell you all about it below.
Acer is releasing a laptop to compete with the other popular brands. If they price it right and release it cheaper, I expect good sales numbers for this laptop.
The laptop is significantly faster, has red accents and LEDs, and is still heavy and bulky. Despite being heavier and bulkier, it’s better to have. If you’re looking for a powerful gaming computer, the Predator 17 is one of your best options.
Find out more by continuing to read.
|Acer Predator 17 G9-793|
|Screen||17.3 inch, 3840 x 2160 px resolution, matte, IPS, non-touch|
|Processor||Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ CPU, quad-core 2.6 GHz (3.5 GHz boost)|
|Video||Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB|
|Memory||32 GB DDR4 2133Mhz (4xDIMMs – up to 64 GB)|
|Storage||512 GB NVMe SSD + 2 TB 2.5″ HDD|
|Connectivity||Wireless AC Qualcomm Atheros , Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Ports||4x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 with Thunderbolt 3 support, HDMI, DisplayPort, mic, earphone, SD card reader, LAN|
|Operating system||Windows 10|
|Size||423 mm or 16.65” (w) x 321 mm or 12.66” (d) x 41.6 mm or 1.64” (h)|
|Weight||4.25 kg or 9.36 lb|
|Extras||two-tone backlit keyboard with macro keys, 4.2 sound system, webcam, optical drive and replacement cooling unit included|
Design & Exterior
The Predator 17 G9-793 is largely identical to the previous versions of Acer. For more information, I refer you to what I said about that one.
The Acer Predator 17 is a large and thick notebook, with a soft plastic finishing. It’s similar to the older Asus ROG laptops of 2013-2015. Today these notebooks are still popular. The finishing on this trackpad is nice, but it shows smudges and finger oil very easily. Keep the palm-rest area clean with caution.
The laptop has a black theme and provides red accents. There has been a redesign on the back of the device, which looks more complex. I’m not sure if it will be purely aesthetic or provide added functionality.
When it comes to what the car looks like, I still have some concerns. The massive logo on the hood and the lights that are not easy to turn off are two items that bother me. Well, the keyboard has backlighting, but it’s possible to turn it off, which will also kill the LEDs on the lid.
The power button and macro keys are lit so you can find them without much of a struggle. These covers are extremely annoying in digital cinemas where it’s hard to know what is happening on screen, so they’re not allowed in professional environments.
The laptop’s build is well done, but I find my wrists getting pressed into the front edges. I have been complaining about this on earlier models too. The IO is great, with all the needed ports and a Thunderbolt 3 connector as well, plus an add-on that will make the laptop more future-proof and a smart pick for those planning on keeping it for a few years and using an external graphics solution later.
Acer’s newest gaming laptop offers a choice of two-screen options. They are both 17.3-inch IPS screens rated with a matte coating and support GSync, but the clear one has a normal gamut and the wider one has a wide gamut and UHD resolution. We have this model, which is great for gaming. Unique to this laptop was the new display’s refresh rate of 60Hz.
If you’re looking for a gaming screen, the new FHD variant does not support GSync and has a 60 Hz refresh rate.
The panel is explained in detail below.
- Panel HardwareID: AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B);
- Coverage: 100% sRGB, 98% NTSC, 100% AdobeRGB;
- Measured gamma: 2.3;
- Max brightness in the middle of the screen: 324 cd/m2 on power;
- Contrast at max brightness: 670:1;
- White point: 6800 K;
- Black on max brightness: 0.48 cd/m2;
- Average DeltaE: 2.19 uncalibrated, 1.06 calibrated.
The contrast is good and the color coverage is excellent. The colors are accurate out of the box and you have a range of viewing angles. There might be a little skew on the gamma, so use the calibrated profile for best performance.
However, the lower corners of my test unit have significant light bleeding and this is caused by a poorly crafted bezel that touches the panel in several points. I can’t tell for sure whether that’s going to be an issue on final retail products, but it’s something to keep in mind, especially because I’ve seen it mentioned in other reviews as well.
Trackpad & Keyboard
The trackpad looks great. The button and the LED light up, making it a cool feature. It does not allow for any more action than swiping and tapping, but there is no way to just simply kill it independent of turning off the keyboard’s illumination or deactivating the trackpad on its own.
The keyboard on the G9-793 is similar to the one in the previous generation. The experience typing on the G9-793 is not as good as documented by users of the new keyboard.
The keys on my keyboard were too easy to press and actuate on this test. I hit the wrong keys quite often which made me make a lot of errors.
Low-resistance keyboards allow for quick typing, but take into account the noise it makes. The look and layout of this keyboard are nice too, with a section for the number pad and keys separated from the other keys by frame color.
Still typing on this keyboard made me feel like I was not getting my money’s worth.
The keyboard has RGB lights with a full layout split into four different lighting zones, and they can all be adjusted independently. The brightness is still only one level, but the overall light output is surprisingly powerful.
High-end hardware, performance, and upgrades
Test a high-end configuration of the Predator 17 using a Core i7-6700HQ processor, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, the Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics chip with 8 GB of video memory, and dual storage.
The laptop uses GSync, which means that the Intel HD 530 chip is turned off. This allows the Nvidia chip to always run so it can take advantage of games and videos.
There are faster gaming laptops out there available. A lot of them use overclock-able Core HK processors and even desktop-grade Core K CPUs on most models. Some have better specifications than this Acer laptop, but they are typically more expensive.
If you end up getting a laptop with upgraded RAM and storage, know that there is a service bay on the bottom of the laptop, which gives access to the laptop’s two M.2 slots, the 2.5-inch bay, and two of the memory DIMMs. The other two are behind the motherboard and are difficult to access as they would require complete disassembly.
As for performance, I’ve run some benchmarks and you can see the results below.
- 3DMark 11: P14543;
- 3DMark 13: Cloud Gate –22722, Sky Driver – 25582, Fire Strike – 11894, Time Spy – 4744;
- PCMark 08: Home Conventional – 3292;
- Cinebench 3 32-bit: Single-Core: 3390, Multi-core: 12614;
- CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 64.2 fps, CPU 7.20 pts, CPU Single Core 1.31 pts;
- CineBench R15: OpenGL 101.8 fps, CPU 650 CB, CPU Single Core 137 CB.
The G9-793 shows a 30 to 70% boost in graphics-related scores, which is also visible in games. I have not tried many of the latest titles, but some of the test games are fairly demanding and you can see that the 1070 chip will offer an excellent 1080p experience and will handle 4K gaming well too.
|FHD Ultra||UHD Medium||UHD Ultra|
|Shadow of Mordor||122 fps||65 fps||47 fps|
|FarCry 4||67 fps||51 fps||43 fps|
|Grid Autosport||122 fps||112 fps||72 fps|
|Tomb Raider||130 fps||102 fps||42 fps|
|Bioshock Infinite||86 fps||–||–|
|Total War: Attila||37 fps||41 fps||26 fps|
I ran a series of benchmarking tests while playing games and while performing other activities. For the most part, I didn’t notice any significant difference in performance.
I don’t have another laptop with the same specs to compare these results, but notebookcheck.com reports that the Asus G752VS will be 15% better for games and benchmarks than the Predator 17. This is not unexpected since the G752VS comes with a Core HK processor and a higher-clocked Nvidia chip.
I set the maximum performance limit for games to 45 frames per second and games like Tomb Raider, Bioshock or Shadow of Mordor were able to match the limit fine in 1080p with maximum graphics details. However, if you intend to run the games at UHD resolution on battery, don’t expect to get the same performance results as above. You will see in some of the pictures below that both the CPU and GPU run at reduced speed.
Connectivity, speakers, and other features like noise and heat
Inside this Predator are two fans that are always active and make noise when needed. They don’t usually make enough noise for people to hear them, but sometimes, like at concerts or in a busy kitchen, one of the fans can suddenly start making a lot of noise.
DustBusters are sometimes annoying to have in everyday life because they stop the fans and spin them the other way around for a few seconds in order to push the dust out.
We have the most accurate data possible on daily use case temperatures. Gaming fans can be loud when pushed to their maximum speed. You should expect 48-50 dB at head level while gaming, which is still loud enough to be heard and could require the use of headphones.
We had great results during our testing days at MSI. I was able to play a video game on my computer and watch movies all day long without too much frustration being caused, as the temperatures never went past 40 degrees Celsius in my tests.
When it comes to connectivity, there’s Wireless AC, Bluetooth 4.1, and Gigabit LAN on this computer. I have nothing to complain about the Wired connection, and Acer put a Killer DoubleShot Pro solution on this device, which means the wired and the wireless connections can be used simultaneously. There’s a preinstalled app that lets you configure how and when each program is allowed to access the Internet.
Daily Use – Youtube clip with high-quality 1080p video in Edge for 30 minutes. Load -playing Far Cry 4- Ultra details on UHD video in Edge for 30 minutes.
With the optical drive installed, it was much easier to measure the above temperatures with Acer’s fan that could replace the optical drive. However, I noticed temperature differences of just 0.4 to 1 degree Celsius when having it installed, so I chose not to use it. It was an extra noise source that made little difference and added clutter in my desktop case.
This computer has a Wireless AC, Bluetooth 4.1, and Gigabit LAN that you can configure the connection for any program. It also has a preinstalled app that allows you to access the Internet from programs or your desktop independently.
The Wireless connection on the other hand (with a Qualcomm killer Wireless 1535 module) works fine as long as you’re in close proximity to the router, but the signal strength and speeds drop drastically once you go a little further, in my case at 30 feet with 2 walls in between.
The speaker can be a little rough. When I complained about this on the G9-791 Predator, both I and other reviewers said that this is an issue with the speakers despite its newer wireless chip. Overall, most of you should not be too impacted by these issues.
There was no drop in connection or any other issues. The Wi-Fi on this laptop performed flawlessly. One of the highlights of the Acer Predator Laptop is the audio system. It provides a total power of 4.2 watts and comes with two subwoofers, a red metallic shield, and more.
The speakers are grouped into two pairs of speakers, each pair pushing the sound into the speaker. If you are using headphones or external speakers, the gold-plated 3.5 mm headphone jack provides a quiet audio output without interference from other sounds.
The Webcam I received this time was less than satisfactory. It reminded me of previous Predator models.
The laptop has a 90-watt battery that lasts hours on end. The screen supports GSync and the chip defaults to an Nvidia chip. This means the battery will last longer, but the Nvidia chip runs at full capacity or at a lowered clocked speed.
- 40 W (~2 h 15 min of use) – very light browsing and text editing in Google Drive, Balanced Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 40 W (~2 h 15 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Internet Explorer, Balanced Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 33 W (~2 h 50 min of use) – 1080p fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Balanced Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 35 W (~2 h 45 min of use) – 4K fullscreen .mkv video in the Movie app, Balanced Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 55 W (~1 h 40 min of use) – heavy browsing in Edge, Balanced Mode, screen at 30%, Wi-Fi ON.
- 45 to 120 W (~2 h to 40 min of use) – gaming, High-Performance Mode, 45 fps limit, screen at 30%.
GeForce Experience sets an fps limit at 45. This can affect how long games last and the performance of newer titles.
For the G9-793, the Predator 17 comes with a 230 Wh power brick instead of the 180 Wh previous models. The laptop weighs around 4.25 kg when traveling by itself.
Prices and availability
I would expect the base version with an Nvidia GTX 1070 chip, an FHD screen, 16 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage to cost around $2000, while the higher-end configurations with more RAM, a larger SSD, and the UHD screen would cost $2300 to $2500 at launch.
The Acer Predator is a great gaming laptop at an affordable price. The 15 G9-593 starts at $2000 with a GTX 1070 configuration, features a 15.6-inch display and otherwise very similar features to its larger sibling, the Acer Predator 17 G9-593.
If you are looking for a moderately priced 17-inch gaming laptop, I would recommend the Acer Predator 7 G9-793. However, Acer had some issues with the G9-791 that I expected them to address on this new iteration and they did not. The keyboard is too small for a gaming laptop and the Wi-Fi signal is poor. Therefore, our score of the G9-793 is 3.75 out of 5.
The PC industry has progressed and if someone wants a new system, they should consider the Predator 17 G9-793 now. This laptop is merely an upgrade to the previous Predator. With a GSync and the ThunderBolt 3 port, this PC offers some improvements over other laptops in 2016 but these might not be enough for it by themselves if someone wants options for high-refresh-rate panels, superior keyboards, or quieter cooling solutions.
The competition for the best gaming laptop is challenging, with a number of different products available.
If you’re looking for a desktop gaming PC, the Predator G9-793 is a great choice at an affordable price. While it does not have many bells and whistles and isn’t portable, it has excellent performance that will be appreciated by most gamers.
If you’re on a budget, there are cheaper options for you. If you want the best, speedy performance or a sleeker computer, then the choices are out there. Let me conclude this here. I look forward to your feedback on the Predator 17 G9-793 in the comments below and if you have any questions or something else you would like to add, feel free to reach out and let’s discuss.