Acer Predator Orion 5000 review: An aggressive looking gaming desktop

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Acer Predator Orion 5000 gaming desktop

The Acer Predator Orion 5000, with its gaming-centric design, is a decent machine for 1080p gaming.

8.4/10 rating

While it seems like laptops are taking over the gaming space, there are still a number of choices for desktop gaming rigs. Our Acer Predator Orion 5000 review takes a look at an aggressive looking desktop gaming rig with a few different available configurations.

Specifications

The Acer Predator Orion 5000 sent to us has the following features and specifications (other CPU and GPU options available):

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Octa-Core Processor (up to 4.3 GHz)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB dedicated GDDR5 Video Memory
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4 Dual-Channel 2666MHz Memory (2x8GB); Maximum 64GB; 4 DDR4 Slots (2 available)
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD & 2TB Hard Drive
  • Audio: Creative Sound Blaster X 720°
  • Interfaces/ports
    • Front: power button, headset cradle, optical media drive, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port, USB Type-C port, audio in, audio out
    • Rear: 3x DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, 6x USB 2.0, 5 audio, power connector, RJ-45 Ethernet port
  • Expansion slots: M.2 slot for SSD, M.2 slot for WLAN, PCIe x16 slot
  • Expansion bays: 2x 2.5″ bays (two available), 2x 3.5 HDD bays (one available), 5.25″ ODD (none available)
  • Wireless & networking: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, aggregate bandwidth up to 1.73Gbps, supports Bluetooth 4.2LE, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Power supply: 730 Watt
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 9.76 x 20.35 x 22.36″
  • Weight: 52.67 lbs

What’s in the box

  • Acer Predator Orion 5000 (PO5-100-UR11)
  • Power cable
  • Acer Predator SK-9627 Gaming Keyboard
  • Acer Predator SM-9627 Gaming Mouse

Design

Desktop design runs the gamut from sleek and non-descript to the flashy and aggressive. There’s no question that the Acer Predator Orion 5000 looks like a gaming rig. It is quite large at just under 10-inches wide, just over 20-inches in depth, and roughly 22 1/2-inches in height.

The Acer Predator Orion 5000 gaming desktop is definitely a beast... 27" monitor for comparison
The Acer Predator Orion 5000 gaming desktop is definitely a beast… 27″ monitor for comparison.

The main box is your traditional box-shaped design and is angled up towards the front due to the feet at the bottom — more on that in a moment. The front and top of the case are where things really get gamer-centric in design. With sharp angles, the removable front panel has a grille that covers the bottom two-thirds of the case which allow the blue LEDs from the two front fans to show through. One thing to note, unfortunately, the LED colour isn’t customizable on the Orion 5000 but it does look pretty cool still. Centered near the top of the grille is the Acer Predator logo. The front panel is removable easily, once you remove the shipping screws. On either side is a little lever, behind this is where you’ll find the screws. Once removed, flipping down the levers will allow you to easily pop the front off.

Just above the fan grille is another area with a grille style motif, albeit not all the way through. Pushing at the top of this pops the cover out and allows you to access the DVD drive. On either side of the DVD door are a couple of LED strips which angle out at about a 45° angle, then back up towards the top of the case. With more sharp angles, the upside down triangular power button above the door is also lit in blue with LEDs on each side and the power icon in the middle.

The top of the case has a handy handle which makes it easier to move this beast around. Just in front of the handle are three USB-A ports, a USB Type-C port, and the headphone and microphone jacks. Depending on your preference and peripherals, having the ports on the top is an interesting design choice and is suited for desktops placed beneath your desk. When on your desk, it just seems to add to unsightly cables everywhere when they come out of from the top ports. That being said, the same ports are located on the back if you want a cleaner setup with the desktop on top of a desk.

Three USB-A, a USB Type-C, and two headphone ports are located on the top
Three USB-A, a USB Type-C, and two headphone ports are located on the top.

The back of the system is where you’ll find most of your ports. Here you’ll find three DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, six USB 2.0, audio, power connector, and the RJ-45 Ethernet port. The PSU is located at the bottom of the back of the case while a larger fan sits near the top of the back of the case.

The left side of the case is your main access panel and features a large, clear, acrylic window with a mesh honeycomb design behind it. When turned on, the system’s blue lights bleed through the front, side, and back for a nice and not to overbearing glow. The right side is solid, but has the Acer Predator icon and wordmark debossed in it.

As mentioned before, the bottom of the case has feet at the front and back which elevate the entire system at a slight angle upwards towards the front. This isn’t without purpose, however, as it allows for dedicated air intake to the power supply to help cool the system with Acer’s IceTunnel 2.0 airflow design.

The inside of the system is nice and tidy. As far as slots are concerned, there is an M.2 SSD slot, a PCIe 16 slot for the video card, four DDR4 RAM slots (two are filled leaving two for expansion), and a pair of 3.5 HDD bays, one of which is occupied. As such, any upgrading that will be done, aside from RAM, will most likely result in replacing extra internal components.

The inside view of the Acer Predator Orion 5000 gaming desktop
The inside view of the Acer Predator Orion 5000 gaming desktop.

If you’re looking for a gaming rig that screams gaming, the Acer Predator Orion 5000 definitely fits the bill. Big, beefy, and with colourful LEDs, this gaming rig will definitely get a few looks sitting on your desk.

Software

We’ve been here many times with Windows 10, it works and runs great on both desktops and laptops, even when it comes to gaming. However, the Acer Predator Orion 5000 comes with quite a bit of pre-installed apps as well. Installed software includes:

  • Acer Care Centre
  • Acer documents
  • Acer Jumpstart
  • Acer User Experience Improvement Program
  • PredatorSense
  • Acer Collection S
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD 14
  • Norton Security
  • PhotoDirector for Acer
  • PowerDirector for Acer
  • Sound Blaster Connect
  • Firefox
  • Amazon shortcut

Of the above apps, I’d definitely uninstall Norton Security as I’ve found the built-in Windows 10 security options perfectly sufficient. Firefox, while a nice have, is just a browser that not everyone uses so it’s definitely more bloatware.

Some of the apps are useful. For example, Acer Care Centre gives you an overview of the system, options to perform a system checkup, tuneup, update, and recovery management. As far as the updates are concerned, however, they seem to be Acer specific and not Windows specific. PredatorSense is somewhat useful as well as it allows you to manually control your fan speed and monitor your CPU, GPU, and system temperatures.

PowerDirector and PhotoDirector are both Cyberlink apps and not bad if you don’t have access to Photoshop or Premiere — both pricey options. The Sound Blaster Connect app can help tweak headset and speaker sound settings — as long as they use a 3.5mm audio connection and are not USB connected.

The rest of the apps aren’t very useful in my opinion. Acer Jumpstart simply takes you to the Acer website. Acer Collection S is another app store where you can easily install suggested apps, but there’s the Microsoft Store for that being a Windows machine. The User Experience Improvement Program sends data daily to Acer to help improve the user experience. The app I found the oddest was the Amazon shortcut on the desktop. When clicked on, it takes you to the Amazon store but with an Acer affiliate tag on it. In short, if you use it, you’re giving Acer a small affiliate bonus each time you make a purchase.

So, while Windows runs and performs great on the Predator Orion 5000, there are a bunch of pre-installed apps that you can definitely do without and, if purchasing this system,

Performance

To be honest, it’s been ages since I’ve used a system with an AMD processor in it. While the Predator Orion 5000 is available with Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, our review until came with the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X processor Octa-core 3.70 GHz. On that note, the performance, when coupled with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB dedicated GDDR5 Video Memory was pretty decent depending on game and resolution.

The upper portion of the inside of the Acer Predator Orion 5000 gaming desktop
The upper portion of the inside of the Acer Predator Orion 5000 gaming desktop.

One issue we did run into was the fact that this system ships with a 256GB SSD and a 2TB HDD. Unfortunately, the 256GB SSD was too small for all our games at once, so some of the testing was run on SSD, while other testing was run off the HDD. As for 1080p performance, the system performed pretty great. On the other hand, when connected to a 4K monitor, performance was definitely a mixed bag.

For Heroes of the Storm, set to Extreme settings and 4K resolution, we averaged about 85fps but saw the frame rates hit as high as 105 and as low as 70. Either way, the game is totally playable on this system on Extreme settings. The next four games, we ran through the in-game benchmark systems and got the following frame rates:

  • Forza Horizon 4 (w/ framerate set to unlocked/variable)
    • High (4K): min 26.9/max 40.0/avg 32.4
    • Medium (4K): min 56.7/max 92.9/avg 72.9
    • Ultra (1080p): min 43.7/max 71.1/avg 55.5
    • High (1080p): min 53.3/max 88.4/avg 69.2
    • Medium (1080p): min 36.4/max 50.3/avg 43.5
  • Forza Motorsport 7 (w/ framerate set to 60)
    • Ultra (4K): min 36.1/max 50.0/avg 42.2
    • Medium(4K): min 55.1/max 61.8/avg 59.9
    • Ultra (1080p): min 47.2/max 62.5/avg 59.2
    • High (1080p): min 59.3/max 60.4/avg 59.9
  • Tomb Raider (w/ V-Sync off)
    • Ultimate (4K): min 27.1/max 38.8/avg 33.8
    • Ultra (4K): min 35.0/max 48.0/avg 42.5
    • High (4K): min 50.0/max 74.0/avg 62.1
    • Ultimate (1080p): min 76.0/max 130.0/avg 103.0
  • Gears of War 4
    • Ultra (4K): min 15.0/avg 27.0/avg GPU 27.2
    • High (4K): min 27.7/avg 33.0/avg GPU 33.3
    • Medium (4K): min 31.2/avg 37.9/avg GPU 38.2
    • Low (4K): min 38.2/avg 49.2/avg GPU 49.6
    • Ultra (1080p): min 46.9/avg 59.3/avg GPU 60.8

As you can see from the framerates above, 1080p gaming seems to be the sweet spot with this system for most games. While many gamers are still using 1080p monitors, QHD and 4K monitors are becoming increasingly affordable. On that note, if 1080p is your target at the present, this machine should do just fine for you.

Gaming aside, some users run many different applications in addition to games. When using the system for photo and video editing tasks, the Predator Orion 5000 performed just fine with no hiccups and fairly quick rendering and output.

Accessories

I’m not usually a fan of OEM-included keyboard and mice as they’re usually pretty simple in build quality and performance. In the case of the Predator Orion 5000, Acer has included both a basic gaming keyboard and gaming mouse with a few built-in features.

Acer Predator SK-9627 Gaming Keyboard

The Predator SK-9627 Gaming Keyboard mimics the angular design of the Orion 5000 gaming desktop, as one would expect. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same build quality as most OEM included peripherals. It does have a nice weight to it with adjustable feet for a more angled typing experience.

With a standard six row layout, the keyboard is also backlit with the same blue as the desktop. In addition, the Acer Predator logo is centered on the bottom portion and lights up as well. The lighting brightness can be controlled between four different levels, including off.

On the upper left hand region of the keyboard are four more buttons for Game Mode (disables Windows and Application key), mute, volume down, and volume up. On the upper right hand region are four more for previous track, play/pause, next track, and stop. Finally, above the number pad are four inverted triangles which light up in white when active. These are for NUM, CAPS, SCR, and GAME modes.

The keys are low profile but have some pretty deep travel and even after using the keyboard for a while, the odd key squeaks from time to time which is a tad annoying. That being said, it could just be the unit I recieved. The keyboard also has limited six key anti-ghosting. However, it is only limited to a subset of keys which included the QWEASDZXCV, left alt, left shift, left control, spacebar, and arrow keys. While these are common gaming keys, it would be nice to have full keyboard anti-ghosting.

On that note, while the keyboard is a nice inclusion, most gamers are going to want to opt for something sturdier and more responsive.

Acer Predator SM-9627 Gaming Mouse

The mouse that is included is also backlit in the scroll wheel and the Predator logo on the palm area of the mouse. Featuring a split button design, it’s also fairly sharp-edged in design. It is also a bit on the smaller side with textured grips on the left and right side. In addition, there are a couple of buttons on the left side that are pre-programmed (and can’t be changed) to forward and back buttons.

The scroll wheel also doubles as a DPI switch. Pressing the wheel down then scrolling switches between 1000, 1600, and 2000 DPI. Again, a nice touch and feature but, as with the keyboard, gamers will definitely be opting for a higher quality gaming mouse.

Price/Value

The Acer Predator Orion 5000 starts at US$1499.99, depending on processor and graphics card. Unfortunately, there isn’t any leeway to mix and match so you’re stuck with one of four preset models. As far as the pricing is concerned, however, there are other gaming desktops with similar or better specs, including GTX-20xx series graphics cards starting around the same price.

Wrap-up

The Acer Predator Orion 5000, with its gaming-centric design, is a decent machine for 1080p gaming. Unfortunately, with gaming shifting to higher resolutions, and the fact there are other gaming desktops with similar or better specs around the same price range, it’s tough to recommend the Orion 5000 for gamers hoping for some future proofing.

*We were sent a review unit of the Acer Predator Orion 5000 for the purposes of this review.

Acer Predator Orion 5000

US$1499.99+
8.4

Design

9.5/10

Software

8.5/10

Performance

8.5/10

Accessories

7.0/10

Price/Value

8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Aggressive gaming design
  • Great performance for 1080p gaming
  • Plenty of ports, including USB-C
  • Includes gaming mouse and keyboard

Needs work

  • Sub-par performance for 4K gaming
  • Too many pre-installed apps
  • Other systems with better specs starting around the same price point
  • Not much room for expansion
  • Included peripherals o.k. for gaming at best

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