Acer Predator X34 G-SYNC Monitor Review
The Predator X34 represents the absolute pinnacle of modern gaming monitor design. Its excellent IPS panel, immersion-enhancing curve, high refresh rate and G-SYNC technology all combine to create a must-have tool for gamers who don’t particularly care about budget. Then again, budget or not, these types of halo products are required as trail-blazers before their high level technology can trickle down into more accessible price points.
Regardless of how you look at the Predator X34 –either as an expensive novelty or as a true game changer- it is an impressive feat of engineering. The curved IPS display may not be an optimal solution for anyone who sits off-center from the screen but its color rendering, black level capabilities, contrast and general image quality are all spot-on right out of the box. You likely won’t even have to delve too deeply into the very capable OSD other than to potentially push the refresh rate to Acer’s advertised 100Hz.
That 100Hz rating actually represents something of a slippery slope though. Other than G-SYNC, it is the one distinguishing feature this $1300 monitor has over the significantly less expensive 75Hz FreeSync-equipped XR341CK but it doesn’t necessarily deliver a better gaming experience in every situation. Most users will likely find it difficult to distinguish the difference between 75Hz and 100Hz monitor equipped with adaptive sync technology. In addition, this 100Hz rating has been achieved via overclocking which -while covered by Acer’s warranty- does cause some longer term concerns. After all, if their supplier wanted the design to be driven to 100Hz on a regular basis they would have sold it to Acer as a 100Hz panel in the first place. Luckily the max refresh rate is completely user-controlled and can easily be set to lower registers without a drastic impact upon visual fidelity.
Consistently driving a 3440×1440 screen above the 75Hz mark introduces a different set of variables on the performance front since it requires a huge amount of GPU resources. With that being said, if you have the equipment to achieve such an impressive feat, expect to be wowed by what the Acer Predator X34 can display on its gorgeous screen.
As we’ve mentioned numerous times in this review there are certainly limitations to 21:9 curved displays but all of those can be effectively overlooked if you are searching for the immersive qualities these things can offer. It will really brings racing games to the next level, though there are serious drawbacks for any title with an extensive in-game menu system.
Despite its price, the inherent limitations of 21:9 screens and some minor concerns over the longevity of that overclocked panel, the Acer X34 delivers a superlative blur and judder free gaming experience with some of the best picture quality around. That’s certainly something to be happy about….provided you can afford the price of entry.