Pros: Huge curved display / G-Sync / IPS
Cons: Size / Price
Today we are going to review the monitor that has it all. Acer's high-end Predator line is among the elite for this type of gaming hardware. The monitor offers WQHD, G-Sync, 100Hz refresh rate, DTS Audio, and a curved ultra wide display. Today, gaming monitors are more than just a pretty package of features. You need to have high refresh rates, low latency, along with lightning fast response times, and even the new technology like FreeSync and G-Sync. These features will truly make a gaming monitor stand out among the competition. V-Sync a few years ago either had artifacts or additional input lag.
Adaptive refresh rate technologies like those mentioned above are the answer to V-Sync.
The specs are as follows:
Acer Predator X34 w/G-Sync
- Resolution: 3440 x 1440 (UQHD)
- Panel type: Curved AH-IPS, light anti-glare
- Color: 100% sRGB (72% NTSC), 10-bit color (8-bit + FRC dithering) support
- Max Refresh Rate: 60Hz to 100Hz (overclocked)
- G-Sync: Yes
- FreeSync: No
- Adaptive-Sync: No
- Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 4 x USB 3.0
- Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB 3.0
- Physical Dimensions: 32.5" x 18"-23" x 12.2" (with stand)
- Weight: 22lbs (with stand)
- Audio: 2 x 7 watt speakers with DTS
The product was shipped in an over sized box, and protected by another big box capable of dealing with shipping disasters. The handles on the side of the box are a nice addition, and are reinforced by strong plastic. By the time this monitor reaches you, it should be safe and sound.
The cables and parts included are:
- USB 3.0
- External Power Supply
- VESA Mount
- Acer X34 Monitor
The stand to the monitor is rather enormous, and requires a large surface. The stand is cast aluminum and is rock solid.
You can adjust the monitor to 5.1 Inches, and the tilt is at 25 degrees, and movements feels solid and firm.
The screen has a borderless design and the trim measures 1.1 inches in width.
The curve is 3800 mm, and has a good approach on how images get wrapped around.
The X34 looks extremely thin from front to back. It has a perfect balance from the center of the monitor to the edges. The monitor actually looks heavier than it is. I was surprised when I picked it up.
The audio using DTS offers decent sound and great volume range. The two speakers are 7 watt's each. It doesn't offer the best bass, but compared to other monitors this sounds better than most.
The inputs on the back are all placed in convenient locations and are as follows:
- DisplayPort 1.2a
- HDMI 1.4
- USB 3.0 Hub
- Headphone Jack
- Power Port
The on-screen display (OSD) offers alot of options.
The control keys bring up icons that go over each buttons position. The game mode which stands for G is one of many presents. The Meter Icon represents overdrive, the Speaker for audio controls, and main OSD icon.
Acer X34's menu system uses familiar features like eColor, and different picture modes. You can adjust all your color settings here, but I feel the built in profiles are pretty accurate. Changing any of these manual settings will set your monitor to user mode, and adjust to your settings not the profiles settings.
Game mode will store up to three settings in memory once you find your sweet spot.
The settings menu handles hotkeys, DTS, Extreme settings, Ambient Light, Deep Sleep, Overclock, USB Charge, and Reset.
The ambient light refers to the monitors LED along the panels bottom. It can be used to light up your desktop in a variety of colors.
The DisplayPort can be overclocked from native 75Hz to 100Hz. It is best to set the monitor to 100Hz as this will provide the best performance for all your games. Even in Windows you will notice a difference between 60Hz and 100Hz.
To test this monitor and all its features I used the following test bench:
- Motherboard- GIGABYTE Z87x-UD3H
- CPU: Intel Core I7 4790K
- Cooler- H100i GTX V2
- Memory- Corsair Vengeance 16 GB 1866
- Video Card: EVGA NVidia Geforce GTX 970
- Storage- OCZ vertex 4 256 GB
- Power Supply- Corsair TX750m
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
The X34 is a premium monitor with a high price tag. The monitor is designed to really showcase its colors by using 100 % of the sRGB color gamut. Another important thing to consider when spending this amount of money on a gaming monitor is, how does it work out of the box ? Do I really have to configure anything ? I'm taking another approach to testing this monitor with only the built-in profiles. I want to see how well it performs out of the box as is. I am a small reviewer so I do not have another premium monitor to test against, but I will be testing FPS lag during gaming sessions. I began by setting Overdrive to extreme and overclocked the refresh rate to 100Hz for maximum response. I wanted to test the new DOOM to showcase this monitors capabilities.
The X34 really requires a beast of a PC to push the amount of pixels it has at full resolution. I will test the native resolution which is 3440 x1440 against standard 1920 x 1080. If you set a lower resolution like 1920 x 1080 the screen does cut off alot of real estate, but if you don't have the best PC you may end up having to do this because some video cards will not be able to handle the 4k resolution. The 980 TI and newer GTX 1080 cards should be fine, but my GTX 970 struggled to hit 30 FPS on the X34 and its native resolution.
You can see from the tests here that even a decent card like the 970 will struggle to game on this monitor.
Some negative things about this monitor are the price, and the size. I feel that the X34 has alot to offer for a person with an expensive budget. You have to have the latest hardware and a high-end graphics card like the GTX 980 to take full advantage of this monitors capabilities. Also the size of this monitor is important because you will require alot of desk space. If you don't have a large desk then this monitor wont work for you. You can wall mount it easily, and this is probably going to be the best option for most people. The connections are minimal, and the DTS audio bass is lacking. This probably wont be a killer for most people who game with desktop speakers, or use high-end gaming headphones.
The monitor does offer premium features but at a cost. If you want the best gaming monitor to date, this is it. The X34 packages all the features a gamer and high-end user would want. It is feature rich, and its G-Sync performance is fantastic. The audio, minus the bass issues is some of the best audio range I have heard out of most monitors. One of the best things about this monitor are the built in profiles. They will allow you to have the best color, and contrast out of the box. The curve of the display is a fantastic design feature, and is well crafted. I love the way games, and your desktop wrap around the curve of the display perfectly. The materials and design of the X34 are well constructed and feel sturdy. All the features this monitor has comes with a price tag of around $1300.00. You can pick this monitor up at Amazon for $1223.33 on sale.