Make no mistake, the Acer Predator XB3 XB323QK is one heck of a high-end gaming panel. We’re speaking 32 inches, 4K, excessive refresh, IPS panel tech and complete connectivity together with HDMI 2.1. It’s all good.
There are greater show choices, to make sure. There are sooner screens with larger refresh, wider side ratios and fancier show tech together with mini-LED backlights and, latterly, even OLED panels. However the place 27-inch 1440p has been the default possibility for discerning players for what feels just like the final 10 years, this 32-inch 4K and (a minimum of) 120Hz combo is more and more more likely to be the usual for the following decade.
You may instantly query that on account of the debilitating GPU load generated by any 4K monitor. For positive, you want a really excessive finish GPU to benefit from the Acer Predator XB3’s 144Hz refresh. Pumping out eight million ray-traced pixels 144 per second is a terrifying computational activity. Nevertheless, it seems virtually sure that the following era of graphics playing cards from AMD and Nvidia will ship within the order of double the efficiency of present GPUs. If that occurs, 4K is all of the sudden going to be an entire lot extra related.
Anyway, Acer charges the XB3’s pixel response at 1ms GtG and 0.5ms MPRT, which is about as fast as IPS know-how presently will get. The brightness ranking of 400 nits is accompanied by VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification, though native dimming is notable for its absence. In different phrases, this isn’t a real HDR panel and is finest seen as a punchy SDR monitor. It’s not the final phrase in color accuracy with claimed 90 % protection of the DCI-P3 digital cinema color house. However as a gaming-centric panel relatively than one thing aimed toward content material creation professionals, that’s most likely adequate.
Elsewhere, you get adaptive sync help, however no Nvidia G-Sync module, which is arguably no nice loss. Connectivity contains DisplayPort 1.4 and a pair of HDMI 2.1 sockets, making certain entry to a minimal 120Hz refresh both means. You’ll want to make use of the DisplayPort 1.4 socket for the complete 144Hz 4K. 240Hz can be out there at 1080p if decrease latency however at an interpolated decision is your factor.
Acer Predator XB3 XB323QK specs
Display measurement: 32-inch
Panel kind: IPS
Decision: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 400 nits
Response time: 1ms
Refresh price: 144Hz
Color protection: 90% DCI-P3
HDR help: DislayHDR 400
Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.4 x1, HDMI 2.1 x2, USB-C, USB-A hub with KVM
The HDMI connectivity additionally makes this the proper device for tag-teaming a PC with one of many newest 4K@120Hz-capable consoles. Acer has additionally included not solely USB Sort-C connectivity with energy supply but additionally a KVM swap. It truly is complete connectivity, albeit the USB Sort-C interface is proscribed to 65 watts, which is okay for a thin-and-light laptop computer however is somewhat gentle for a real efficiency moveable.
Oh, and in case you care about this type of factor, there’s configurable RGB LED lighting on the rear of the primary chassis. Talking of which, it is a barely dated trying creature regardless of the slim bezels. Nonetheless, the plush metallic stand is well-engineered and presents a full vary of changes together with peak, tilt, swivel, and rotation.
However what of the actually essential bit, specifically how this beast behaves? It’s not a zinger out of the field, that’s for positive. Working in default SDR mode, the utmost brightness is miles off the claimed 400 nits. It’s fairly uninteresting and disappointing, even with the backlight set to most.
To unlock some visible pop, it is advisable to toggle HDR within the Home windows show properties dialogue, after which crank up the SDR brightness setting. At which level, yup, that is rather more prefer it. The colors actually sizzle and there’s cheap distinction for an IPS monitor albeit the manufacturing facility calibration tends to crush particulars in brighter photos. Extra to the purpose, the power to extend the brightness additional in typical SDR mode could be preferable by far. Having to run HDR mode to get SDR content material trying moderately vibrant actually is a bit kludgy.
If the overall picture high quality has the odd quirk, the gaming expertise is a extra unambiguous win. For starters, this panel will likely be fast sufficient for all however essentially the most demanding esports addicts. Sure, it’s now exhausting to overlook the unbelievable pace and sharpness of Alienware’s new and solely barely costlier OLED monitor. However as IPS panels go, the Acer Predator XB3 is up there with the perfect. For the file, you get the choice of two ranges of pixel overdrive within the OSD menu. The quickest setting unleashes some apparent and ugly overshoot however ‘commonplace’ mode provides good, low-blur outcomes.
After all, the 144Hz refresh makes for fluid, low-latency gameplay offered you’ve gotten a GPU that’s as much as the job of driving all eight million pixels. Talking of which, the sheer visible element delivered by the native 4K res by no means will get outdated. Don’t let anybody inform you it’s not a major step up from 1440p. It truly is. And bear in mind, these next-gen GPUs due later this 12 months ought to make 100-plus fps in demanding video games at 4K rather more sensible.
As upscaling know-how like Nvidia’s DLS and AMD’s FSR enhance, that may solely change into extra true. When you’ve seen one thing like Cyberpunk 2077 operating in all its ray-traced glory at 4K on a top quality IPS panel, effectively, it’s exhausting to return to 1440p, not to mention 1080p. Notably, Alienware’s OLED panel presents nothing just like the element and pixel density on provide right here.
All of which suggests the Acer Predator XB3 is hard to price general. The marginally problematic SDR configuration is undeniably off-putting. That’s very true given the XB3 occupies a fairly lofty worth level. We have been hoping this type of monitor would slide in effectively underneath $1,000 (£1,000). However then so many merchandise are costly proper now. And but the gaming expertise and general characteristic set together with USB Sort-C connectivity is stellar. A minor firmware tweak is all it will take to make this a very nice monitor. Right here’s hoping.