Acer Predator Orion 7000 Review: Buy This Gaming PC for Sale

Acer Predator Orion 7000

MSRP $ 3000.00

“The Acer Predator Orion 7000 would be among the better gaming desktops, if only it were a little cheaper.”

Benefits

  • Runs cool and quiet

  • Bright, vibrant RGB lighting

  • Excellent 4K gaming performance

  • Great connection options

  • Hot-swapbar SSD bay

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Upgrades can be frustrating

  • Lots of bloatware

The Acer Predator Orion 7000 was one of the first Intel Alder Lake desktops to be announced last year, but it comes at a time when most gaming desktops have already been updated to Intel’s latest generation. We’ve landed, but the Predator Orion 7000 still manages to stand out among major PC vendors – despite the indecently high price tag.

Most 12th generation desktops I have looked at struggle with thermals and noise, as Intel’s latest chips push the power requirements even higher. The Predator Orion 7000 does not struggle with these problems, but the price puts it in a class of premium boutique PCs where the Orion 7000 struggles to keep up.

Design

Fans on Acer Predator Orion 7000.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Acer makes a big deal on the FrostBlade fans and cooling design of the Predator Orion 7000, and with good reason – it works. In a market where form rarely meets function (read our Asus ProArt PD5 review for an example of form over function), the Predator Orion 7000 manages to shock both.

For the look, the Predator Orion 7000 takes no catch. Two bright ARGB fans occupy the extended front panel, the GPU is mounted vertically to show off the cooler design, and the cover is adorned with transparent panels on the front and side, so you can see all the elements on your PC. This is an in-your-face PC.

Noise is not an issue on the Predator Orion 7000.

Fortunately, it stays cool too. Even the toasty Core i7-12700K stayed around 70 degrees Celsius in a Cinebench run under a 120 mm all-in-one cooler. And in a 4K run of Cyberpunk 2077, The GPU never went above 80 degrees. The front panel does a lot of work here, offering a large amount of airflow into the front of the cover to keep things cool. There is also a valve right next to the GPU, so that the vertical mount does not restrict the airflow as it does in the Asus GA35DX.

Noise is not a problem either. I do not suspect that the airflow ducts Acer has cut out for the intake fans and the GPU does a lot, but no matter what happens, it keeps the Predator Orion 7000 quiet. For the most part, it has a low, barely audible hum. That was true even in my most intense gaming tests, which speak to the design of the Predator Orion 7000.

The machine looks great, and it stays cool and quiet. You rarely find both. There’s plenty of gamer flair too, with customizable RGBs on the CPU cooler, intake fans and exhaust fans through Acer’s included software.

How to replace hard drive on Acer Predator Orion 7000.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Beyond the look, the Predator Orion 7000 includes a hot-swapbar 2.5-inch hard drive bay that you can fill with any SSD. It’s annoying to get the microscopic screws out to actually install an SSD – it does not come with one included – but I still love the ability to replace a drive without worrying about connecting multiple cables.

Specifications and prices

processor Intel Core i7-12700K
GPU RTX 3080
Motherboard Acer branded Z690 motherboard
Case Predator Orion 7000 tower
Memory 32 GB DDR5-4000
Storage 2TB mechanical hard drive, 1TB PCIe SSD
Power supply 800W unmarked power supply
USB ports 2x USB 2.0, 6x USB 3.2, 2x USB-C
Network 2.5G Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E

Acer offers two models of the Predator Orion 7000, which makes the specification and price discussion much easier. The model I considered costs $ 3000 for a Core i7-12700K processor, 10 GB RTX 3080 graphics card, 32 GB DDR5 memory and 3 TB of storage distributed on an SSD and HDD (1 TB and 2 TB, respectively).

There is no easy way to share this; The Predator Orion 7000 is too expensive.

The Predator Orion 7000 is not in line with where GPU prices are right now. The MSI Aegis RS 12, for example, is around $ 200 cheaper when paired with the more powerful RTX 3080 Ti and identical specs. Acer also does not include the 12GB RTX 3080, which would justify the price of the Predator Orion 7000 by far.

Above that configuration, you have a $ 4500 model that jumps up to a Core i9-12900K and RTX 3090 (with identical specifications otherwise). It’s $ 300 more expensive than Origin Neuron with identical specifications, and Origin lets you customize your design the way you want.

Acer Predator Orion 7000 with side panel removed.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The inclusion of DDR5, which competing machines like the HP Omen 45L lack, helps Acer justify the price of the Predator Orion 7000 a bit. But there is no other way to cut this; The Predator Orion 7000 is too expensive, especially considering that machines from boutique builders can cost less with identical specifications.

Where the Predator Orion 7000 essentially justifies the price is the case. It is cool and quiet, as I mentioned in the first part, and comes with excellent connectivity. 2.5G Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6E cable with the latest networking options, and the cover includes two USB-C ports – one on the top and one on the back.

Interior and upgrade options

Graphics card in Acer Predator Orion 7000.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

There is nothing holding you back from upgrading your Predator Orion 7000, technically speaking. It uses all standard size components and includes empty hard disk slots if you need them. However, there are many other factors that make upgrading difficult.

GPU is a good example. The airflow duct limits the size of the GPU you can use, and Acer only includes vertical mounting brackets. Similarly, there are empty hard drive bays, but you can not connect another SATA power cable to the power supply to use them. It’s good that the Predator Orion 7000 includes a hot-swappable drive bay, because it’s the only way to upgrade your storage without buying a new power supply.

Performing upgrades is also not good due to the random cable management. It has a similar level of cable management as the Dell XPS Desktop 8950 – a PC that has a completely opaque side panel. Combined with the visible chips on the RAM pins and the Wi-Fi module, the Predator Orion 7000 does not look good if you stare at it for too long.

Performance

CPU block on Acer Predator Orion 7000.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

For non-gaming performance, there is nothing too surprising for the Predator Orion 7000. The Core i7-12700K withstands CPU tests such as Cinebench and GeekBench, confirming that Intel’s 12th generation CPUs are among the best processors you can buy. The Ryzen 9 5900X still competes in multi-core performance, although it falls behind in single-core performance while we wait for the Ryzen 7000.

Acer Predator Orion 7000 (Core i7-12700K) MSI Aegis RS 12 (Core i7-12700KF) Maingear Vybe (Ryzen 9 5900X)
Cinebench R23 multi-core 20,110 20,445 20,802
Cinebench R23 single core 1,934 1,890 th most common 1,597 th most common
Geekbench 5 multi-core 14,382 15,362 12,724
Geekbench 5 single core 1,677 1,886 1,718 th most common
PugetBench for Premiere Pro 929 920 956
Blender monster 2,382 NOW 2,630
Blender Junkshop 1,355 NOW 1,283
Blender classroom 1,194 NOW 1,476

The processor performance is great, but the inclusion of DDR5 memory does not do much for the Predator Orion 7000 in practice. There is no gain in PugetBench for Premiere Pro where I expect the most, for example. Even with DDR4 in Maingear Vybe, it managed to surpass the MSI Aegis RS 12 and Predator Orion 7000 (both equipped with DDR5).

Game performance

Game performance on Acer Predator Orion 7000.

You can see an overview of 4K gaming performance on the Predator Orion 7000 above (click on the image to see a larger version). Although the RTX 3080 can struggle in the most demanding games in 4K, it still reaches over 60 fps in most titles. And if you want even more performance, you can choose the RTX 3090 configuration that will push the 4K frame rates even further.

The graphics card is part of the equation, but the Core i7-12700K does a lot of work as well. As you can read in our Core i9-12900K review, Intel’s 12th gen architecture is excellent for gaming. These processors run hot, but I’ve never had any issues with thermal throttling or fan noise with the i7 while playing games.

However, I would like to see an alternative with AMD’s latest Ryzen 7 5800X3D. As you can read our Ryzen 7 5800X3D review, it’s the best game processor right now. The Falcon Northwest Tiki includes this processor, so although the RTX 3080 Ti on that machine offers a little extra performance, so does AMD’s game-focused processor.

Synthetic gaming performance for Acer Predator Orion 7000.

This advantage is even clearer in synthetic benchmarks, where the Ryzen 7 5800X3D and more powerful GPU push forward by 4% and 26% respectively in 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike. You can configure the Falcon Northwest Tiki with a Ryzen 7 5800X3D for about the same price as well, and the Falcon Northwest is one of the most expensive PC vendors available.

Although the Predator Orion 7000 is a monster of a gaming PC, it is important to keep the price in mind. You can buy similar machines for less, and you just need to spend a little more to get something as premium as a machine from Falcon Northwest.

Software

Bloatware rules the Acer Predator Orion 7000. Norton is by far the most annoying, and pops up with requests to run a scan or renew the subscription several times while I was testing the machine. Acer also packs several other pieces of adware, including Dropbox and ExpressVPN.

Outside of the bloat, Acer includes PredatorSense and PredatorArc, both of which are tools focused on the gaming side of the PC. PredatorArc is specifically for Acer peripherals, so the inclusion is a bit strange. PredatorSense allows for lighting and basic CPU overclocking options, but it is far from an in-depth tool.

Our opinion

The Acer Predator Orion 7000 is a fantastic gaming PC that is only degraded by the high price. It costs about as much as custom buildings from Maingear and Origin without offering the same level of customization. It is a better option than most gaming desktops you will find in your local Best Buy due to its low noise and excellent thermals. But you will find a better value with a custom-built PC if you take the time to configure one.

Are there any alternatives?

Yes, more:

  • HP Omen 45L: Cheaper than the Predator Orion 7000 and equipped with Intel 12th generation processors, but it does not support DDR5.
  • MSI Aegis RS 12: Much cheaper than Predator Orion 7000, but the case is not good and the machine is exposed to noise and heat problems.

How long will it last?

The Predator Orion 7000 is powerful enough to last for several years, so you do not have to worry about upgrading for long. In the future, you can upgrade the components because the Predator Orion 7000 uses all standard size parts.

Should you buy it?

Yes, but only if you do not bother to configure a PC with a system integrator. You’ll get a much better desktop with Maingear, Falcon Northwest or Origin, and you can even save money depending on your configuration.

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