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 larger show choices, to make certain. There are sooner screens with greater refresh, wider facet ratios and fancier show tech together with mini-LED backlights and, latterly, even OLED panels. But the place 27-inch 1440p has been the default possibility for discerning avid gamers for what feels just like the final 10 years, this 32-inch 4K and (not less than) 120Hz combo is more and more more likely to be the usual for the following decade.
You would possibly instantly query that on account of the debilitating GPU load generated by any 4K monitor. For certain, 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 process. However, it appears to be like nearly sure that the following era of graphics playing cards from AMD and Nvidia will ship within the order of double the efficiency of current GPUs. If that occurs, 4K is out of the blue 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 expertise at the moment will get. The brightness score 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 greatest 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 area. But as a gaming-centric panel somewhat than one thing aimed toward content material creation professionals, that’s most likely adequate.
Elsewhere, you get adaptive sync assist, however no Nvidia G-Sync module, which is arguably no nice loss. Connectivity consists of DisplayPort 1.4 and a pair of HDMI 2.1 sockets, making certain entry to a minimal 120Hz refresh both approach. You’ll want to make use of the DisplayPort 1.4 socket for the complete 144Hz 4K. 240Hz can also be accessible at 1080p if decrease latency however at an interpolated decision is your factor.
Acer Predator XB3 XB323QK specs
Screen dimension: 32-inch
Panel sort: IPS
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 400 nits
Response time: 1ms
Refresh price: 144Hz
Colour protection: 90% DCI-P3
HDR assist: 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 software for tag-teaming a PC with one of many newest 4K@120Hz-capable consoles. Acer has additionally included not solely USB Type-C connectivity with energy supply but additionally a KVM swap. It actually is complete connectivity, albeit the USB Type-C interface is proscribed to 65 watts, which is okay for a thin-and-light laptop computer however is slightly mild 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 principle chassis. Speaking of which, it is a barely dated wanting creature regardless of the slim bezels. Still, the plush metallic stand is well-engineered and gives a full vary of changes together with top, tilt, swivel, and rotation.
But what of the actually vital bit, particularly how this beast behaves? It’s not a zinger out of the field, that’s for certain. Running in default SDR mode, the utmost brightness is miles off the claimed 400 nits. It’s fairly boring and disappointing, even with the backlight set to most.
To unlock some visible pop, you should toggle HDR within the Windows show properties dialogue, after which crank up the SDR brightness setting. At which level, yup, that is way 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 photographs. More to the purpose, the flexibility to extend the brightness additional in standard SDR mode could be preferable by far. Having to run HDR mode to get SDR content material wanting fairly vibrant actually is a bit kludgy.
If the final picture high quality has the odd quirk, the gaming expertise is a extra unambiguous win. For starters, this panel will probably be fast sufficient for all however probably the most demanding esports addicts. Yes, it’s now exhausting to neglect the unbelievable velocity and sharpness of Alienware’s new and solely barely costlier OLED monitor. But as IPS panels go, the Acer Predator XB3 is up there with one of the best. For the report, you get the choice of two ranges of pixel overdrive within the OSD menu. The quickest setting unleashes some apparent and ugly overshoot however ‘normal’ mode provides good, low-blur outcomes.
Of course, the 144Hz refresh makes for fluid, low-latency gameplay supplied you may have a GPU that’s as much as the job of driving all eight million pixels. Speaking of which, the sheer visible element delivered by the native 4K res by no means will get previous. Don’t let anybody inform you it’s not a big step up from 1440p. It actually 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 way more reasonable.
As upscaling expertise like Nvidia’s DLS and AMD’s FSR enhance, that may solely develop into extra true. Once you’ve seen one thing like Cyberpunk 2077 working in all its ray-traced glory at 4K on a top quality IPS panel, properly, it’s exhausting to return to 1440p, not to mention 1080p. Notably, Alienware’s OLED panel gives nothing just like the element and pixel density on provide right here.
All of which implies the Acer Predator XB3 is hard to price total. The barely 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 properly underneath $1,000 (£1,000). But then so many merchandise are costly proper now. And but the gaming expertise and total function set together with USB Type-C connectivity is stellar. A minor firmware tweak is all it might take to make this a really nice monitor. Here’s hoping.