You can find gaming peripherals, notebooks and desktop PCs from Acer under the name Predator. The Orion 3000 is the entry-level model and was first subjected to a hardware refresh in July 2022. In our Acer Predator Orion 3000 review, the gaming PC scores with an excellent price-performance ratio.
|Processor||Intel Core i7 12700F (12 cores, 20 threads, 2.12 – 4.9 GHz)|
|Graphics performance||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (8GB GDDR6 VRAM)|
|Power supply||500 watts|
|Memory space||1,024 GB SSD (M.2-2280 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4) installed|
|Memory||16 GB DDR4-3200 (2x 8 GB)|
|Operating system||Windows 11 Home|
|Connectivity||Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211; Bluetooth 5.3|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||385 mm x 175 mm x 377 mm|
|Accessories||Power cord, mouse, keyboard, glass side panel|
|Price||€ 1,799.00 *|
Acer Predator Orion 3000 review: the scope of delivery
If you decide to buy a ready-made gaming PC, you also expect to be able to get started with it right away. But you still won’t find peripherals like a mouse or keyboard in the scope of delivery in most cases.
The Acer Predator Orion 3000 is quite different, because the manufacturer has also thought of that. In addition to the gaming PC itself and several manuals that teach even laymen how to set it up, Acer also includes a bundle of a gaming mouse and keyboard.
The scope of delivery is rounded off by a power cable and another special feature in the form of an optional glass side panel, which allows a view of the components’ inner workings and RGB lighting if desired.
Design and workmanship
- Compact, relatively lightweight case
- Customizable RGB lighting
- I/O panel directly tethered to motherboard
The manufacturer itself describes the gaming PC as a “compact behemoth” and thus does not promise too much. In fact, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 comes in a comparatively compact black case that measures 385 mm x 175 mm x 377 mm (height x width x depth).
With a combination of blackened glass, plastic, metal and mesh fabric, the gaming PC looks very high-end and at the same time focuses on a futuristic, eye-catching design. You won’t see too much of it when it’s turned off.
Here, the many air vents on the sides and top are especially eye-catching. Just like the white Predator logo on the front and the white Predator FrostBlade 2.0 fan. However, the glass front panel is extremely susceptible to fingerprints.
On the top of the Orion 3000 you’ll find a handle to transport the desktop PC quickly and easily. This is possible without any problems due to the comparatively low weight of 7.4 kg.
The on/off switch, which is also illuminated, can be found in the center of the gaming PC’s upper side. To the right of the slightly offset front panel made of blackened glass sits the I/O panel, which consists of a USB-A, a USB-C and two single 3.5 mm jack ports for headset and microphone.
These are connected directly to the motherboard and are a bit difficult to reach due to their positioning. Otherwise, however, there is nothing to complain about in terms of design and build. Here, the Predator Orion 3000 lives up to its price and looks very high-quality.
Interior and cooling
- Tidy interior
- Good maintenance options
- Space for additional RAM, M.2 SSD and hard drives
A look inside the Acer Predator Orion 3000 shows that the manufacturer has put some thought into this as well. The interior looks tidy and well thought-out, and the cable management leaves nothing to be desired: all the strands are well routed to the sides and do not simply dangle around loosely in the case.
The maintenance of the gaming PC is also no problem. The right side panel can be easily removed with only two Phillips screws to allow a view into the computer. The individual components also offer enough space to allow for easy replacement.
There is room on the motherboard for a second M.2 SSD module to expand the memory. There are also two free RAM slots for expanding the working memory. The installed Predator RAM is pre-mounted in slots 2 and 4 at the factory to support cooling. The case also has room for two conventional 3.5-inch hard drives on the bottom.
Fans, Cooling and Volume
- (Only) two large case fans
- Low operating volume even under load
- Very high temperature behind the PC
For cooling, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 relies on a case fan at the front and another fan at the rear. Both are the new Predator FrostBlade 2.0 fans complete with customizable RGB lighting, which are supposed to provide good airflow thanks to bionic fan blades.
They are also encased in a frame complete with rubber padding, which is supposed to minimize vibrations and noise while improving cooling. The massive CPU fan, on the other hand, comes in a black color and without illumination.
The system’s noise is surprisingly low. In idle mode, I determined an average noise level of around 31.5 dB(A) and even under load in gaming tests, the noise level only increased to around 39 dB(A).
At most, when you run the fans at full speed via the Predator Sense software, I measured a volume of 53.4 dB (A). This is also a good value, which should also only rarely be reached in practice. Even after an hour of gaming including ray tracing and in maximum details, the fans never ran at full power.
The cooling performance on the other hand is okay. However, the Orion 3000 really emits very hot air at the back – especially under load. The lack of heat dissipation on the upper side is noticeable here. However, the temperatures do not become critical at any time.
Features and connections
- Modern, frugal CPU
- Limited CPU performance due to cooling
- Only DDR4 RAM and PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD
The Acer Predator Orion 3000 is also very well positioned in terms of equipment. In our test model, the manufacturer relies on the Intel Core i7-12700F processor, which combines 12 computing cores with 20 threads. The cores are again divided into eight performance and four efficiency cores.
The CPU is also quite energy-efficient with a TDP of 65 watts. A maximum of 180 watts would be possible in Turbo mode, but the manufacturer limits this in terms of maximum power consumption – probably due to the few fans.
Acer provides the CPU with 16 gigabytes of DDR4-3200 working memory in dual-channel mode. An Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 is used as the graphics card. It has a clock rate of 1500 MHz or up to 1750 MHz in Boost mode and 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM. That should be absolutely sufficient for most current games in 1440p.
The built-in NVMe SSD is somewhat disappointing. Only a PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD from Micron is used here. In addition, there is an Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211 module that provides fast Wi-Fi 6E and modern Bluetooth 5.3. A Killer E2600 chip is used via cable, but it only achieves a maximum speed of 1 GBit/s.
The power supply in ATX standard has a capacity of 500 watts. That is absolutely sufficient for the offered performance and neither too small nor oversized. The selection of ports is on the level that can be expected for a gaming PC in this price range. Offered are:
- 7x USB-A, of which 4x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 2
- 1x USB Type-C
- 1x RJ45 (Gigabit LAN)
- 5x 3.5mm jacks (two front, three rear)
The graphics card has three DisplayPort and one HDMI port. However, you’ll unfortunately have to do without an SD card reader. You won’t find a dedicated sound card in Acer’s gaming PC. Nevertheless, the onboard sound hardly leaves anything to be desired in terms of its possibilities and supports DTS:X Ultra for virtualizing a surround sound for headphones or speakers, for example.
Predator Orion 3000 review: The software
The Acer Predator Orion 3000 already comes with Windows 11 Home from the factory. The typical programs and apps are pre-installed, but two special Predator software solutions are also found on the gaming PC.
One of these is used to fine-tune the included peripherals in the form of the mouse and keyboard. The other, namely PredatorSense, proves to be a powerful and useful tool.
Within the software, you get an overview of the temperatures inside and can adjust the fan control, for example. In addition to the automatic mode, there is also a mode for the maximum speed, or you can adjust the fans yourself.
You can also adjust the system’s RGB lighting in the app. You can choose from different effects and colors, which you can also set individually. If you wish, you can also deactivate the lighting completely.
You can also choose between different sound modes here to adjust the sound for different gaming genres, music, movies or much more, for example. All in all, a clearly structured, well-arranged tool that lets you control the most important aspects of the gaming PC from one central software. Very handy.
Practical, gaming and benchmark test
- Very good multitasking and gaming performance
- Moderate energy consumption
In practice, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 convinces almost across the board. Particularly noteworthy is the already mentioned low noise level of the gaming PC, which hardly increases even under load.
The power consumption is also on a good level, not least thanks to the frugal CPU – of course compared to other gaming PCs. With the powerful hardware, the Orion 3000 is up to all demands and cuts a really good figure in computationally intensive tasks like image and video editing, multi-tasking and much more.
Only the SSD and the working memory have to be sacrificed. The higher-priced model in the form of the Predator Orion 5000, for example, uses faster DDR5 RAM with a clock rate of 4000 MHz and faster SSD memory. However, you can still upgrade here afterwards in terms of future-proofing.
To test the performance of the Acer Predator Orion 3000, I consulted various benchmarks and games. I measured the productivity and system performance using PCMark 10 and Cinebench R23, and the AS SSD benchmark was used to test the SSD. The gaming performance is measured using the 3DMark tests Time Spy and Fire Strike, as well as various games like F1 22, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Forza Horizon 5 and more.
I performed all tests in the energy profile for the highest performance. On the other hand, I left the fan control in the automatic setting.
Let’s first take a look at the performance of the installed Micron SSD. This features a capacity of 1 terabyte, of which you can freely use around 950 GB. The speeds of the SSD with PCIe 3.0 x4 connection are on the expected level and are on par with the SSD used in the recently reviewed gaming notebook Tulpar A7 V14.3.1.
The measured values are on a very good level in view of the connectivity. However, the lack of a faster PCIe 4.0 SSD hurts quite a bit, especially in the gaming segment, which becomes noticeable in practice, for example, through longer load and storage times.
Cinebench R23 and PCMark 10
Cinebench R23 pushes the built-in CPU to the limit and tests the performance of the individual cores, as well as in multi-core mode. Here we can see that the installed Intel Core i7-12700F CPU cannot reach its full potential due to the limitations of the cooling. At least in the multi-core test.
Nevertheless, the results turn out very good. 13,677 points in the multi-core and 1,789 points in the single-core test are recorded in the end. Thus, the gaming PC ranks slightly below the Intel Core i7 12700H in the multi-core CPU test, which offers more cores (14 compared to 12) and a higher clock rate.
In the demanding PCMark 10 test, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 has to prove itself holistically, i.e. as a combination of CPU, GPU, working and system memory, and delivers. With 7,785 total points, the result turns out very good and delivers a minimally better result than, for example, the gaming notebook Gigabyte Aorus 17 XE4 (our review), which is equipped with a faster CPU and graphics card.
Due to the faster SSD, the Gigabyte notebook is ahead in the essential tests, but the Acer gaming PC then clearly sets itself apart in Digital Content Creation.
|Benchmark||Acer Predator Orion 3000||Gigabyte AORUS 17 XE4|
|Cinebench R23 Multi Core||13.677 pts||14.497 pts.|
|Cinebench R23 Single Core||1,789 pts||1,780 pts.|
|PCMark 10 total||7,785 pts||7.775 pts.|
|PCMark 10 Essentials||9,952 pts||10,920 pts.|
|PCMark 10 Productivity||9,869 pts||10,090 pts.|
|PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation||13,034 pts||11,576 pts.|
Graphics performance: 3DMark and gaming tests
The gaming tests show that a desktop graphics card like the installed RTX 3070 is still superior to its notebook counterpart, the 3070 Ti. In the 3DMark benchmark test, the Predator 3000 delivers very good results and distances well-known GPUs of the same model despite the unspecified graphics card.
In the Fire Strike test, 26,046 total points and a graphics score of 33,293 points jump out in the end. The gaming PC also delivers a convincing performance in the more demanding Time Spy test. 12,694 points and a graphics score of 13,024 points are recorded in the end. Around 3,000 points more than the notebook’s RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, which gives hope for a good gaming performance.
|Benchmark||Acer Predator Orion 3000||Gigabyte AORUS 17 XE4|
|Fire Strike Total||26,046 pts||23,723 pts.|
|Fire Strike Graphics||33,293 pts||27,319 pts.|
|Fire Strike Physics||28,450 pts||28,305 pts.|
|Time Spy Total||12,694 pts||10,687 pts.|
|Time Spy Graphics||13,024 pts||10,497 pts.|
|Time Spy CPU||11,104 pts||11,911 pts.|
And indeed, this assumption should soon be confirmed in the gaming test. Gaming in QHD resolution and with maximum details doesn’t present the Predator Orion 3000 with any problems.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider with maximum graphics details is mastered by the PC in 1440p with an average of 118 frames per second. In Forza Horizon 5 with maximum details in QHD, an average of 100 FPS is achieved, and in F1 22 with maximum details and ray tracing effects, an average of 51 FPS is achieved. Even for 4K gaming, the gaming computer offers more than enough reserves in most cases.
|Benchmark/Test (1440p; maximum details)||Result|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||118 FPS|
|Forza Horizon 5||100 FPS|
|Final Fantasy XV||98.3 FPS / 9,830 pts|
|F1 22||51 FPS|
Acer Predator Orion 3000 review: conclusion
The Acer Predator Orion 3000 has justly earned its designation as a compact giant in the test. The gaming PC scores with a very good gaming and system performance and an economical CPU with moderate power consumption.
The chic, but not too extravagant design and the quiet fans even under permanent load are also very pleasing. The Orion 3000 is well equipped for gaming in 1440p and offers enough reserves. The included mouse and keyboard as well as the glass side panel are also nice gimmicks.
However, you will have to accept compromises in terms of SSD and RAM speed, although both are definitely fast enough and can be easily expanded or upgraded if necessary.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer has skimped a bit on the cooling, which also limits the CPU’s performance a bit. In the sum of its parts, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 has become a very good, compact and pleasantly quiet gaming PC that scores with an attractive price-performance ratio.
Acer Predator Orion 3000 (PO3-640) price comparison
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