Tag: Technology

Acer Predator X34 Review

This week I picked up my new monitor, the Acer Predator X34.

This monitor is an ultra-wide “gaming” monitor coming in at a 21:9 aspect ratio.

Other features include G-Sync, a 100hz refresh rate, and pure awesomeness all around; well… except for the price.
This insanity set me back $1,200.

Ok, let’s get down to my opinions of this monster.

  • The box. The box the monitor comes in is well packaged with lots of support. I bought this in a local store so I don’t have experience with how it holds up in shipping – but I suspect it’d be fine. There’s loads of protection.
  • Unpacking – I’m not going to do an unboxing video. Check YouTube – there are already unboxing videos. Plus, I think it’s boring to watch a product get unboxed. Bottom line, I took the stuff that was inside the box and put it outside the box.
    • The monitor comes with a VESA mounting bracket, a USB 3.0 cable, an HDMI cable, a DisplayPort cable, a power adapter, and a quick start guide. Oh, and the monitor itself.
    • If you are planning to use DisplayPort – and you are because that’s the only way to get G-Sync @ 3440×1440 @ 100hz to work –> You will need to buy a longer DisplayPort cable. The cable included is 3′. So unless you intend to place this monitor directly on top of or next to your PC – you’ll need a longer cable.
  • First impression – The monitor is huge. It’s only slightly curved, I believe curved just enough to allow your eyes to be able to view the whole screen without turning your head. The build quality is great – they didn’t cut corners with only one exception, the menu/config buttons.
  • Color – the default color settings, for me, are exceptional. It’s very pretty. If you don’t agree with the default settings, there are plenty of configuration options – brightness, gamma, color temp, contrast, adaptive contrast, and more.
    • Blue Light – it has the ability to filter out some of the blue light, which for a monitor this size and considering how close I sit to it; is very helpful on the eyes. You can adjust how much blue light it filters (0% – 100%)
    • Dark Boost – which actually lightens the blacks so I don’t understand it’s name. Nonetheless, this setting will make the blacks less black – but doesn’t change any non-black color. So you can brighten the screen without effecting the rest of the image.
  • IPS bleed, scan lines, other – I haven’t had any issues. If you put your face 3″ from the screen and stare at the corners you can see some bleeding, but barely; certainly negligible for me. No scan lines.
  • Gaming
    • 3440×1440 @ 100hz w/ G-Sync. What else do I really need to say?  G-Sync is awesome. It does keep me at 100fps (give or take 2 FPS as the monitor stays in perfect sync with the GPU). Are higher framerates better? I guess maybe?
      For me personally, because display and GPU are synced; it’s smoother than a 144hz monitor at 200fps but no G-Sync. And there is zero tearing or other artifacts from what I can tell. Amazing.
    • Some games may not support 21:9. I can say that Battlefield 4/Hardline + Elite Dangerous do – and they look amazing. I actually felt disoriented for a few seconds playing Elite Dangerous but that quickly turned to – amazing.
  • Desktop/Normal Use
    • Excel shows all the way over to column BA.
    • I ended up zooming/magnifying Word documents to 300% to take advantage of the real estate. It’s nice.
    • This monitor may actually be slightly better at work activities than gaming; and that says a lot because it’s hands down the best gaming or otherwise monitor I’ve ever seen.
  • Overlocking
    • Takes 2 minutes – 110 seconds of that is working with the terrible OSD menu/config buttons under the bottom right side of the monitor.
    • You’ll need a GTX 970 or higher if you want to get to 3440×1440 @ 100hz. I’m using an overcloked GTX 980Ti and I’m flat on 100fps (plus or minus 2 fps) due to G-Sync ….well, syncing the display’s 100hz to the GPU.  G-Sync may keep  you at the monitor’s refresh rate but the result is fantastic. Better than at higher FPS without G-Sync.
  • Cons
    • Interacting with the OSD menu/config buttons is terrible. It is terrible every time I use the buttons to change a setting.
    • Price.
    • Doesn’t bother me but some might consider the fact that the screen doesn’t take up all of the display. There is a 1/2″ or so border. It has a glossy black backside – this doesn’t bother me as my monitor backs up to a wall and so I never see it.
    • Did I mention the awfulness of interacting with the OSD menu/config buttons?
  • Overall
    • You know the price. It’s the most expensive monitor you’ll probably ever buy.
      Is it worth it? It’s a game changer for working/productivity. It’s by far the best gaming monitor I’ve ever seen. You’ll have to determine for yourself if it’s worth it.
      To me, it’s worth it. For the price I need to get like 10 years out of it, but it’s worth it.
  • Questions – If you have any specific questions, add it as a comment to this blog post and I’ll reply.