Notebookcheck

Acer Predator 17 G9-793 Notebook Review

Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 09/11/2016

The Mighty Giant. Just this May, we reviewed the Predator 17 G9-792 with GTX 980M GPU. Now Acer has released the nearly identical successor, this time equipped with a GTX 1070 graphics card. The behemoth manages to impress once again with special features like an additional FrostCore cooling fan. Is the Predator "cooler" than its competition?

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The Predator 17 G9-793 is Acer's third iteration of the high-end 17-inch gaming series. The first version - the Predator 17 G9-791 - had a few weaknesses, which Acer successfully addressed with the successor G9-792: the Turbo utilization was improved, the noise level reduced. Some points of criticism remained, however: the chassis was still humongous, the GPU still throttled under extreme loads and accessibility to the hardware was still restricted.

The predecessor was available in many different configurations, which is also true for the newest offering. Like most of the 17-inch Predators, the G9-793-77LG incorporates an Intel Skylake quad-core Core i7-6700HQ - in our case, this CPU has access to 32 GB of RAM. In addition, the gaming rig comes with a GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card with 8 GB of GDDR5-VRAM. Our review sample has a 4K IPS display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. A positive aspect is the generous selection of physical ports, which includes a Thunderbolt 3 port using a USB 3.1 Type C interface. A Killer WLAN module, a gaming-specific, colorful backlit keyboard with programmable function keys and many useful tools - like the well-known Dust Defender - round out the package. Our review notebook is a pre-production model, so some quirks are more likely. Most issues normally get addressed though before the official release.

Here's a list of the most significant differences between the 793 and the 792:

  • GTX 1070 instead of the GTX 980M or GTX 970M.
  • G-Sync also works with the integrated panel.
  • The chassis is slightly different (exhaust grill at the rear).
  • The power adapter now supplies 230 watts instead of 180 watts, which means that the battery now doesn't discharge with the notebook plugged in.

For our comparison, we decided on two other 17-inch notebooks with GeForce GTX 1070 and two other, also still fairly up-to-date high-end notebooks with GTX 980M and GTX 980, respectively: 

Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG (Predator 17 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop) - 8192 MB, Core: 1443 MHz, Memory: 4000 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 368.49
Memory
32768 MB 
, 2x 16 GB DDR4-2400, Dual-Channel, 2 of 4 slots occupied, max. 64 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 3840x2160 pixel 255 PPI, AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), IPS, 4K / UHD, G-Sync, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM170 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, 256 GB 
, SSD + HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1 TB HDD @ 7200 rpm. Slots: 1x m.2 Typ 2280 & 1x 2.5-inch
Soundcard
Realtek ALC255 @ Intel Sunrise Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Audio-in, Audio-out (each with 3.5 mm jack), Card Reader: SD/SDHC/SDXC, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Qualcomm/Atheros e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 40 x 423 x 322 ( = 1.57 x 16.65 x 12.68 in)
Battery
88 Wh, 6000 mAh Lithium-Ion, 8 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo + Subwoofer (Dolby Audio), Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter: 230 watts, Software: Predator Sense, Acer Dust Defender, Acer Quick Access, Acer Care Center, Killer Network Manager, CyberLink PowerDVD 12, MS Office 365 Trial, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
4.23 kg ( = 149.21 oz / 9.33 pounds), Power Supply: 930 g ( = 32.8 oz / 2.05 pounds)
Price
3000 EUR

 

Case

As we mentioned earlier, the chassis is very similar to that of the predecessors. The only visible difference are the fan grills, which look a little more "playful" this time around. For our comparison, we'll reference the review of the G9-791.

The weight of the chassis - noted as one of the negative aspects before - has increased even more and the G9-793 now tips our scale at 4.23 kg. The substantial depth of the notebook hasn't changed, either. While other manufacturers still keep an eye on the mobility aspect, Acer seems to ignore it completely. Since high-end notebooks larger than 15 inches are actually to large for frequent traveling and oftentimes offer much less performance while running on battery power anyway, we can only applaud Acer's decision. The Predator belongs on a desk and the construction confirms it. 

Manufactures of office and business notebooks rely on more or less uniform construction with few visual highlights. Acer goes a different route and no matter where the eye falls, it encounters red accents galore: there are red illuminated decorating strips which flank the Predator-logo on the lid and the extravagant, triangular power button above the keyboard. All ventilation grills as well as the speaker grills are either red or feature red borders. The edgy and futuristic design likely appeals to youthful men, but might also be too obtrusive for some. The colorful keys contribute here as well.

The predecessor's chassis left us with a positive impression and the new version isn't any different. The construction quality of the base unit is without fault; the notebook is very solid and doesn't yield even when fairly substantial pressure is applied in the middle of the keyboard. As before, the display lid isn't very stiff and emits some creaking sounds when twisted. The hinges a very stiff, so display bouncing is minimized even when the notebook is jostled around. It's still easy to open the lid with one hand, however. The rubberized surfaces offer a lot of grip, but are susceptible to fingerprints, which are not easy to clean off, either.

Acer Predator 17 G9-793
Acer Predator 17 G9-793
Acer Predator 17 G9-793
Acer Predator 17 G9-793
Acer Predator 17 G9-793
Acer Predator 17 G9-793
Acer Predator 17 G9-793
Acer Predator 17 G9-793
Acer Predator 17 G9-793
Acer Predator 17 G9-793

The width, the height and the weight of 4.2 kg are really not that unusual for a gaming notebook, but the depth - at 322 mm - certainly is. The Asus G752VS, however, is wider, deeper, thicker, and heavier by about 300 g. All other competitors weigh less and 3 cm less deep.

Size Comparison

Ports

There isn't much to report about the physical ports and their distribution. We don't have any reasons to complain: in addition to the 4x USB 3.0, the Acer comes with a USB Type-C connector supporting a full-fledged Thunderbolt 3 interface - which means that DisplayPort for USB 3.1 Gen2 is supported as well. Adapters of course have to be purchased separately. External monitors can also be hooked up via HDMI and DisplayPort. Cabled Gigabit LAN is of course essential for a gaming notebook and thus on board as well. We should also mention the traditional and separated audio ports. We can't find any faults with the position of the ports, either, as they are all located towards the rear of the notebook and on the sides, which is ideal.

Left side: power, 2x USB 3.0, Audio in, Audio out, SD-Card, additional cooling fan (removable)
Left side: power, 2x USB 3.0, Audio in, Audio out, SD-Card, additional cooling fan (removable)
Right side: USB 3.1 Gen2 with Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, Kensington
Right side: USB 3.1 Gen2 with Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, Kensington

SD Card Reader

As the diagram below shows, the card reader transfers data at medium-fast rates of 70 to 90 MB/s. Even the faster (up to two times the transfer speed) Schenker XMG U716 and the MSI GT72VR don't quite reach the full potential of our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference SD card, however.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Schenker XMG U716
156 MB/s ∼100% +100%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
135.3 MB/s ∼87% +73%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
78 MB/s ∼50% 0%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
78 MB/s ∼50%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
76 MB/s ∼49% -3%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Schenker XMG U716
204 MB/s ∼100% +132%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
186.3 MB/s ∼91% +112%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
88 MB/s ∼43%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
87 MB/s ∼43% -1%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
86 MB/s ∼42% -2%

Communication

Wireless connectivity is provided by the WLAN module Killer Wireless-AC 1535, which was specifically designed for gaming notebooks. The module can either use the - often times overly crowded - 2.4 GHz or the less-utilized 5 GHz band along with the faster ac standard. Since the use of two antennas are supported (MIMO 2x2), the theoretical data throughput rate is 867 MBit/s. The Killer Network Manager (screenshot farther down below) software allows the user to tweak the settings. The manufacturer lists specific features and characteristics of the module here. 

One meter away from the router, the Acer notebook only averaged 322 MBit/s when receiving data. The Asus G752VS with Intel Wireless-AC 8260 (ac, MIMO 2x2) is up to 76 % faster. We don't quite know what's going on here: the Acer transmits at 528 MBit/s, which outperforms the aforementioned Asus. It's possible that a driver update will remedy this issue (if we can even call it an issue) down the line.

Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
566 MBit/s ∼100% +76%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
322 MBit/s ∼57%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
528 MBit/s ∼100%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
465 MBit/s ∼88% -12%

Accessories

Aside from the usual accessories (like the power adapter, now rated at 230 watts vs. 180 watts, the quickstart guide, and the warranty information), the box also contains an additional FrostCore fan, which can be inserted into the slot for the optical drive (also included) and is supposed to provide additional cooling.

Maintenance

The (opened) maintenance cover

Accessibility is not the Acer's strong suite - even though this is a gaming notebook. The maintenance cover on the bottom is easy enough to remove (two screws), but only the 2.5-inch HDD, the M.2 SSD, and the two empty RAM slots are accessible. Getting to the fan and the other components requires complete disassembly.

Warranty

In Germany, the Predator is covered against defects for two years via a Pick-Up & Return warranty. An additional International Travelers Warranty is provided for one year.

Software

Acer supplies various useful tools - the screenshots below show their purpose- and thankfully doesn't install any bloatware.

Input Devices

Input Devices
Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard appears to be identical to those of the predecessors. The area left to the chiclet keyboard is home to six special function keys. Five of them form a special group and are assigned their own individual color. The P-key up top allows the user to switch the groups. As shipped, group 1 (red) is assigned as follows: Always use discrete graphics, Disable sticky keys, Maximum fan speed, Multimedia Mode Settings, and Game Bar. In addition to those functions, the keys can be used for macros as well. Only those keys that have functions assigned to them light up.

Unlike Asus and MSI, Acer uses a full-sized dedicated number block. The only available backlight color for the number block is white, while the main keyboard has three color zones, which are adjustable, but can't be dimmed. To make locating the arrow keys easier, Acer moved them downward slightly. Just like the WASD keys, the arrow keys feature optical accents, so they stand out from the rest of the keys. The uppermost row with the Esc key and F keys (as well as the lettering) is unfortunately not full-sized. Because of the location of the arrow keys, Acer had to shorten the bottom row as well, so the Ctrl key isn't enlarged as it normally would be. Aside from that, everything is in the place we would expect it.   

The rubberized keys are flat, clearly legible and feature adequate - although not overly generous - spacing. In our opinion, the keys could be a bit stiffer, but we like the keystroke with limited dampening and the rigid keyboard deck. Since some of the larger keys clatter a bit, typing is what we would call "medium loud".  

Touchpad

Acer incorporates a classic touchpad with red perimeter illumination and physically separated mouse buttons. Like we mentioned in an early review, the touchpad is recessed too far for our liking. The touch-sensitive surface is smooth and works well even when the fingers are slightly damp, although there's some stuttering when the fingers are very sweaty. The accuracy and the response are top-notch. Drag & drop via double-tapping worked flawlessly as well. Adjusting the gestures is only possible via the native Windows tools. 

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

Acer decided on a matte IPS display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K), although models with Full-HD panel should be available down the line. 8.3 million pixels (Full-HD: 2.1 million) on a 17.3-inch display lead to a - for a notebook - very high pixel density of 255 ppi. Even users with perfect vision will be hard-pressed to identify individual pixels. The sharpness of the screen is close to perfect. The pretty decent average brightness of 320 cd/m2 - more than sufficient for all indoor scenarios - should also not hamper ergonomics should the user dare to venture outside. The competing notebooks are about as bright as the Acer and do equally well here.    

All notebooks feature brightness distributions of 88 - 90 %, so on paper at least there shouldn't be any issues. Subjectively, quite the opposite is true, as we haven't encountered a cloudy display such as the Acer's in a long time. Especially at the edges of the right side, which generally appears to be brighter, we encountered massive screen bleeding. Since the picture changes significantly when the lid is twisted, we think that the panel might not have been integrated properly and is subjected to mechanical tension at all times.

318
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
343
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
325
cd/m²
314
cd/m²
304
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 343 cd/m² Average: 320.2 cd/m² Minimum: 21 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 336 cd/m²
Contrast: 1344:1 (Black: 0.25 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.61 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.78 | - Ø
100% sRGB (Argyll) 88% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.32
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), 3840x2160
Asus G752VS-XB78K
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF3 (LGD04E8), 1920x1080
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
LG Philips LGD046E, 1920x1080
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
CV69H_173WF4 (LGD0459), 1920x1080
Schenker XMG U716
AU B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), 3840x2160
Response Times
3%
1%
8%
-20%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
37 (13, 24)
38 (14, 24)
-3%
34.4 (15.6, 18.8)
7%
33 (13, 20)
11%
45 (17, 28)
-22%
Response Time Black / White *
24 (5, 19)
22 (4, 18)
8%
25.2 (4.8, 20.4)
-5%
23 (5, 18)
4%
28 (6, 22)
-17%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-6%
-7%
-21%
-14%
Brightness
320
317
-1%
327
2%
336
5%
356
11%
Brightness Distribution
88
88
0%
89
1%
90
2%
88
0%
Black Level *
0.25
0.3
-20%
0.323
-29%
0.44
-76%
0.4
-60%
Contrast
1344
1093
-19%
1080
-20%
818
-39%
935
-30%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.61
3.74
-4%
4.09
-13%
4.76
-32%
4.23
-17%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.78
2.67
44%
2.14
55%
3.69
23%
5.48
-15%
Gamma
2.32 103%
2.41 100%
2.25 107%
2.24 107%
2.35 102%
CCT
6185 105%
6861 95%
6885 94%
6091 107%
6686 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
88
56
-36%
56.9
-35%
55
-37%
88
0%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
85
-15%
86.5
-13%
84
-16%
100
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-2% / -5%
-3% / -5%
-7% / -16%
-17% / -15%

* ... smaller is better

Because of the very noticeable screen bleeding, the display isn't uniformly black despite the decent black value of only 0.25 cd/m², which leads to an outstanding contrast ratio of 1344:1. The competitors almost fare equally well here with contrast ratios from 800:1 to 1100:1, however.

The good news continue with the - for (semi)professional photo editors - important coverage of the color spaces. The G9-793 covers up to 88 % of the large AdobeRGB color space; sRGB is covered at 100 %. Only the Schenker XMG U716 can keep up here, since it features the same panel. The color accuracy is not quite as great, as the DeltaE-values should be under 3. As shipped, the display has a slight redish/brownish tint - but a calibration takes care of that.

CalMan: Grayscale
CalMan: Grayscale
CalMan: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMan: Grayscale (calibrated)
CalMan: Saturation Sweeps
CalMan: Saturation Sweeps
CalMan: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMan: Saturation Sweeps (calibrated)
CalMan: ColorChecker
CalMan: ColorChecker
CalMan: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMan: ColorChecker (calibrated)
Acer Predator 17 vs. sRGB (100 %)
Acer Predator 17 vs. sRGB (100 %)
Acer Predator 17 vs. AdobeRGB (88 %)
Acer Predator 17 vs. AdobeRGB (88 %)

Thanks to the matte panel and high overall brightness, we were able to decipher the screen content even when we deliberately oriented the display towards the sky (right photo). The left photo was taken with a front door behind the reviewer's back. Direct sunlight is probably too much for the display though.

In the shade
In the shade
Sunlight
Sunlight

IPS display panels have better viewing angle stability than their TN siblings, but there are of course differences within the family as well. Our review notebook allows for an almost unlimited range of positions without significant picture deterioration. Even at very shallow angles, the colors don't change and the losses in brightness and contrast, which are unavoidable, are negligible.

Viewing Angles
Viewing Angles

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 27 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (26.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
37 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 24 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 29 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (43.4 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 58 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 5069 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

Following is a collection of system screenshots:

Processor

The Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Skylake, 2.6-3.5 GHz, Hyper-Threading, 45 Watt TDP) is an old acquaintance which we have encountered and talked about a dozen times before. Please visit our dedicated processor page here for more details. A quick synopsis: the CPU is fast enough for all commonly used applications. According to the Cinebench R15 (Multicore) test, the Predator isn't one of the fastest notebooks with this 14 nm CPU, but even so, the Alienware 17 R3 (also equipped with the i7-6700HQ) is only about 4 % faster.

Single-Core Rendering
Single-Core Rendering
Multi-Core Rendering
Multi-Core Rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
171 Points ∼88% +21%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
160 Points ∼82% +13%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
146 Points ∼75% +4%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
141 Points ∼72%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
130 Points ∼67% -8%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Schenker XMG U716
Intel Core i7-6700
791 Points ∼37% +21%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Intel Core i7-6820HK
789 Points ∼37% +20%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
680 Points ∼32% +4%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
671 Points ∼31% +2%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
656 Points ∼31%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
141 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
656 Points
Help

System Performance

The results of the PCMark 8 benchmark tests were erratic with the scores sometimes way too low and changing from one run to the next. Since we can't rely on the scores, we will forgo an analysis. Subjectively, the notebook ran smoothly with exceedingly quick load times even during heavy multitasking-sessions or when running demanding software titles.

PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
5575 Points ∼93% +37%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
4620 Points ∼77% +14%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700, Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4466 Points ∼75% +10%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
4060 Points ∼68%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4060 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
2303 points
Help

Storage Devices

AS SSD Benchmark SSD
AS SSD Benchmark SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 HDD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0 HDD

One reason for the peculiar PCMark 8 scores could be the inconsistent performance of the 256 GB Toshiba SSD during the CrystalDiskMark 3.0 benchmark test. According to the AS SSD benchmark, which produces very uniform results, the NVMe Drive is capable of outstanding sequential read rates north of 2000 MB/s, which is certainly appreciated when loading games or transferring large files. The throughput when reading smaller 4K files - important for the OS performance as well as program starts - is also very good.

Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Schenker XMG U716
Samsung SM951 MZHPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
AS SSD
-53%
14%
Score Total
2320
688
-70%
1910
-18%
4K Write
105.22
84.09
-20%
102.76
-2%
4K Read
35.5
21.41
-40%
40.86
15%
Seq Write
836.91
322.12
-62%
1515.63
81%
Seq Read
2016.06
507.31
-75%
1941.51
-4%
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Sequential Read: 2016.06 MB/s
Sequential Write: 836.91 MB/s
4K Read: 35.5 MB/s
4K Write: 105.22 MB/s
4K-64 Read: 816.71 MB/s
4K-64 Write: 591.65 MB/s
Access Time Read: 0.058 ms
Access Time Write: 0.038 ms
Score Read: 1054 Points
Score Write: 781 Points
Score Total: 2320 Points

GPU Performance

The GeForce GTX 1070 is a very high-end GPU from Nvidia's Pascal-series of graphics card. At the time of writing, only the (much more expensive) GTX 1080 is faster. In addition to the blazing fast chip itself, the card also features 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM, which are connected via 256-bit interface - so the GPU should be fairly future-proof as well. While the desktop version of the GPU features a somewhat higher clock speed, it only has access to 1920 shaders - the notebook variant has 2048. According to GPU-Z, the base clock speed is 1443 MHz. The Turbo can overclock to at least 1645 MHz if needed.

The results of the 3DMark 11 benchmark test show that the Predator 17 performs about as well as the other GTX 1070-equipped notebooks we've tested so far. The Acer is about 5 % slower than the Asus G752VS, but Asus actually overclocks the GPU even further. According to the Fire Strike portion of the newest 3DMark, the Predator 17 is slower by about 6 %, which can likely be attributed to the way Acer manages the clock speeds. With the notebook running on battery power, the 3DMark 11 score dropped from 15153 to 7037 points. 

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus G752VS-XB78K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
22282 Points ∼44% +5%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
21228 Points ∼42%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
17050 Points ∼33% -20%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
13760 Points ∼27% -35%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
11388 Points ∼22% -46%
3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
17354 Points ∼43% +10%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
16757 Points ∼41% +7%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
15718 Points ∼39%
Schenker XMG U716
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
12691 Points ∼31% -19%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
9227 Points ∼23% -41%
3DMark 11 Performance
15153 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
24298 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
12354 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Even demanding games at Full-HD resolution with maximum settings and active MSAA are no problem for the GPU. Most Triple-A titles even run stutter-free at the native 4K resolution with the settings on high - the previous-generation GTX 980M had no chance here. For our tests, we kept the factory setting with Cool Boost deactivated. A quick check with Cool Boost enabled didn't show a noticeable improvement.

Our review notebook did have some problems with the Far Cry Primal benchmark: with the Ultra-preset (FHD) selected, the Predator trailed the Asus G752VS - equipped with a faster processor and a higher-clocked GPU - by about 16 %. More critical for FPS games is the 4K resolution - here, the Acer was slower by only about 5 %. The Predator also trails the G752VS slightly when running Rise of the Tomb Raider, but is ahead when playing The Witcher 3.

Far Cry Primal
3840x2160 High Preset AA:SM
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
37 fps ∼100% +6%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
35 fps ∼95%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
89 fps ∼100% +19%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
75 fps ∼84%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
38 (min: 34) fps ∼100% +2%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
37.4 fps ∼98%
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
92.8 (min: 80) fps ∼100% +9%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
92.3 fps ∼99% +8%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
85.5 fps ∼92%
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
42.2 fps ∼45% -51%
Anno 2205
3840x2160 High Preset AA:4x
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
49.2 fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
34.1 fps ∼69% -31%
1920x1080 Ultra High Preset AA:8x
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
44.1 fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
30.7 fps ∼70% -30%
The Witcher 3
3840x2160 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
38 fps ∼100%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
34.8 (min: 28) fps ∼92% -8%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
30.1 fps ∼79% -21%
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
58 fps ∼100%
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
57 (min: 47) fps ∼98% -2%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
44.3 fps ∼76% -24%
The Division
3840x2160 High Preset AF:8x
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
36.9 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AF:16x
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
73.2 fps ∼100%
Mirror's Edge Catalyst
3840x2160 High Preset AF:16x
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
35.2 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AF:16x
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
92.1 fps ∼100% +1%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
90.9 fps ∼99%
Battlefield 4
3840x2160 High Preset
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
70.9 fps ∼100% +5%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
67.3 fps ∼95%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
52.5 fps ∼74% -22%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
145.6 fps ∼100% +11%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
131.2 fps ∼90%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
99.6 fps ∼68% -24%
Star Wars Battlefront
3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
47.6 fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
39.6 fps ∼83% -17%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
123.8 fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
102.1 fps ∼82% -18%
low med. high ultra4K
Battlefield 4 (2013) 172.9131.267.3fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 103.85838fps
Anno 2205 (2015) 44.149.2fps
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) 143.6123.847.6fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 107.685.537.4fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 807535fps
The Division (2016) 9273.236.9fps
Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016) 99.290.935.2fps

Emissions

System Noise

To check the system noise, we selected the high performance profile with active cooling enabled. We should also note that we conducted the test at fairly high ambient temperatures during the Summer. The CPU cooling fan runs even during idle, but in an office equipped with a regular desktop PC, we could only hear the notebook when we got very close to it. Sometimes the fan spools up for no apparent reason and is now audible from about one meter away. Even just opening a program like FurMark - without actually running it - is enough to get the fan to spin up. Most other notebooks do a better job handling those very short spikes. Maybe a future BIOS/UEFI update can take care of the fan behavior at idle.  

With both Prime95 and FurMark running in parallel (stress test), the GPU fan now spins as well. The RPMs increase rather rapidly, but smoothly until the notebook is audible immediately even upon entering the room. The sound is pretty bright and unfortunately accompanied by a high-pitched buzzing noise. Thanks to the editor's age, said buzzing wasn't really much of a problem, but younger users might find the sound obtrusive after a while. After running at maximum load for a while, the key to enable "Maximum fan speed" doesn't have any affect on the produced noise. The additional FrostCore fan doesn't appear to contribute much to the noise level at all.

Noise level idle
Noise level idle
Noise level load
Noise level load
Noise level speakers
Noise level speakers

Noise Level

Idle
33 / 34 / 40 dB(A)
Load
44 / 50 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 31 dB(A)
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Noise
8%
7%
8%
1%
off / environment *
31
30
3%
28.9
7%
30
3%
Idle Minimum *
33
31
6%
32.4
2%
31
6%
33
-0%
Idle Average *
34
32
6%
32.4
5%
32
6%
35
-3%
Idle Maximum *
40
33
17%
32.4
19%
33
17%
38
5%
Load Average *
44
40
9%
39.4
10%
38
14%
45
-2%
Load Maximum *
50
47
6%
52
-4%
50
-0%
48
4%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Since a gaming notebook like the Acer won't be used on the lap, we really aren't that interested in the temperatures on the bottom of the unit. The middle area of the palm rest topped out at 33.5 °C; the areas to the left and right never exceeded 29 °C.

During the stress test with Prime95 and FurMark over extended periods of time, we observed CPU speeds from 2.6 to 3.1 GHz, so throttling isn't an issue. The CPU cores did reach 98 °C every so often - fairly critical. The GPU topped out at 75 °C at between 1200 and 1700 MHz (average: 1370 MHz), so light throttling does occur at times.

Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load top (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)
Maximum load bottom (Optris PI 640)
CPU frequencies during the stress test
CPU frequencies during the stress test
GPU frequencies during the stress test
GPU frequencies during the stress test
Max. Load
 39.8 °C42.6 °C41.1 °C 
 33.7 °C42.1 °C39.5 °C 
 29.2 °C33.5 °C28.8 °C 
Maximum: 42.6 °C
Average: 36.7 °C
37.7 °C43 °C44.9 °C
38.7 °C37.5 °C25.6 °C
28.1 °C28.4 °C25 °C
Maximum: 44.9 °C
Average: 34.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  45.9 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Voltcraft IR-900
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Heat
3%
-2%
-11%
-20%
Maximum Upper Side *
42.6
42.9
-1%
40.6
5%
51.1
-20%
48.8
-15%
Maximum Bottom *
44.9
41.5
8%
59.4
-32%
53.2
-18%
55.8
-24%
Idle Upper Side *
33.1
31.6
5%
28.2
15%
31.7
4%
36.7
-11%
Idle Bottom *
28.9
29.5
-2%
27.8
4%
32.2
-11%
37.3
-29%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The sound system consists of four speakers and two subwoofers and is quite impressive. The maximum volume level is high and sufficient even for large rooms. The Dolby Audio menu allows the user to select different presets and tweak various settings like the equalizer. For our evaluation, we chose the standard setting. Music sounds pretty natural, full and detailed, but also slightly harsh - the upper frequency range appears to be slightly over-emphasized.  

The Predator 17 seems to handle lower frequencies better than most notebooks, although true bass is lacking (the enclosures are not large enough). The soundstage is pretty deep and the sound fairly dynamic, however. At maximum volume levels, the speakers distort at times; too many low-frequency instruments at the same time muddle the sound somewhat. We didn't notice any sound fluctuations during the review period. Since games sound decent, we don't think that headphones are necessary. Overall, the sound system is very usable and the quality appropriate for the high price point.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2043.943.72536.635.23130.130.34032.638.15031.634.56329.941.58030.947.810029.550.9125255316022.758.920022.568.525021.769.731520.771.840020.27750019.875.463019.471.480018.972.3100019.472.6125019.27116002067.3200018.968250018.474.7315018.473.6400018.166.5500018.365.6630018.468.1800018.4641000018.462.31250018.5611600018.555.8SPL31.183.1N1.560.7median 19.2Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LGmedian 68.1Delta1.64.840.239.235.334.327.529.736.437.333.134.628.634.428.74627.951.523.255.622.557.423.462.12163.520.96320.366.919.565.118.965.918.967.61969.418.164.417.962.217.7651870.41873.51872.417.972.417.772.517.67517.76517.653.317.636.630.582.41.456.7median 18.1MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451median 652.15.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 7.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (11.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 10% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 86% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 4% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 94% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 6.2% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.6% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 22% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 73% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 18%, worst was 34%
Compared to all devices tested
» 9% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 89% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Frequenzdiagramm im Vergleich (Checkboxen oben an/abwählbar!)
Wert 2: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Wert 1: Audio aus

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Schenker XMG U716, which is equipped with a desktop processor and GeForce GTX 980, has the highest power draw in our comparison. The Predator 17 is actually more comparable to the MSI GT72VR, since it features the same CPU/GPU combo and an SSD (although the display resolution is lower at 1920 x 1080 pixels). Noteworthy is the fact that the Acer consumes from 12 - 53 % more in our three different idle-scenarios. Under load, the power draw is about as expected, but at maximum load levels, the Acer once again consumes more power (+9 %) than the MSI. The original power adapter (180 watts) was not nearly powerful enough; the current power adapter supplies 230 watts, which is also borderline, since the maximum power draw reaches 223 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 1.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 25 / 35 / 46 Watt
Load midlight 103 / 223 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
Schenker XMG U716
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6700
Power Consumption
11%
6%
34%
-28%
Idle Minimum *
25
24
4%
22.3
11%
12
52%
35
-40%
Idle Average *
35
31
11%
27.3
22%
18
49%
44
-26%
Idle Maximum *
46
36
22%
30
35%
26
43%
51
-11%
Load Average *
103
94
9%
152.2
-48%
95
8%
134
-30%
Load Maximum *
223
204
9%
204.2
8%
188
16%
298
-34%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

During the practically relevant WLAN test with the display set to medium, the Predator lasted only 200 minutes - last in our comparison. Thanks to automatic graphics switching, the Alienware 17 R3 – with a slightly weaker GPU and a marginally higher-capacity battery – lasted significantly longer and shut down after 7.5 hours. Mobile gaming of course means a significant reduction in performance, but if the user should be so inclined, we expect the notebook to last around 1.5 hours, similar to the competition.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 38min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
3h 20min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 29min
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
88 Wh
Asus G752VS-XB78K
90 Wh
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
83 Wh
Alienware 17 R3 (A17-9935)
92 Wh
Schenker XMG U716
82 Wh
Battery Runtime
4%
8%
104%
-22%
Reader / Idle
278
311
12%
322
16%
758
173%
158
-43%
WiFi v1.3
200
210
5%
224
12%
444
122%
Load
89
84
-6%
86
-3%
105
18%
88
-1%
H.264
186
Gaming
80

Pros

+ bright and contrasty 4K panel with great color space coverage
+ G-Sync for the integrated display
+ future-proof RAM and VRAM configuration
+ highly adjustable lighting configuration
+ additional, replaceable fan (FrostCore)
+ usable tools (Dust Defender etc.)
+ USB 3.1 Typ-C with Thunderbolt 3
+ thoughtful port distribution
+ good sound
+ good input devices
+ Makrotasten

Cons

- fan is a bit noisy and produces additional sounds
- screen-bleeding quite pronounced
- GPU-throttling at maximum load levels
- big and bulky
- touchpad is recessed too far

Verdict

In review: Acer Predator 17 G9-793. Test model courtesy of Acer Germany.
In review: Acer Predator 17 G9-793. Test model courtesy of Acer Germany.

The screen bleeding we observed can possibly be attributed to the pre-production status of our review system (although we doubt it) - but we still adjusted our test score accordingly. More of an issue is the fact that the CPU of this particularly huge and heavy notebook reaches temperatures of 98 °C and GPU throttling occurs as well. Admittedly, our complaints are at a very high level. After all, the "engine" never quits even when playing highly demanding games with the settings maxed out. One remaining point of criticism: the G9-793 is still quite hard to maintain.

Positive aspects are the very decent build quality, the great display, the very potent hardware, and the future-oriented selection of ports including Thunderbolt 3. The gaming-specific tools and the programmable keys are standouts as well. Last but not least, the very decent sound system is also worth mentioning.

Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG - 09/03/2016 v5.1
Sven Kloevekorn

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
69 / 81 → 85%
Weight
47 / 66 → 66%
Battery
71%
Display
88%
Games Performance
96%
Application Performance
91%
Temperature
87 / 95 → 92%
Noise
64 / 90 → 71%
Audio
75%
Average
78%
85%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Predator 17 G9-793 Notebook Review
Sven Kloevekorn, 2016-09-11 (Update: 2016-09-13)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).