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Acer Predator X34 Curved 34-in IPS 3440x1440 G-Sync Monitor Review

Author:
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: Acer

UltraWide G-Sync Arrives

When NVIDIA first launched G-Sync monitors, they had the advantage of being first to literally everything. They had the first variable refresh rate technology, the first displays of any kind that supported it and the first ecosystem to enable it. AMD talked about FreeSync just a few months later, but it wasn't until March of 2015 that we got our hands on the first FreeSync enabled display, and it was very much behind the experience provided by G-Sync displays. That said, what we saw with that launch, and continue to see as time goes on, is that there are a much higher quantity of FreeSync options, with varying specifications and options, compared to what NVIDIA has built out. 

This is important to note only because, as we look at the Acer Predator X34 monitor today, the first 34-in curved panel to support G-Sync, it comes 3 months after the release of the similarly matched monitor from Acer that worked with AMD FreeSync. The not-as-sexyily-named Acer XR341CK offers a 3440x1440 resolution, 34-in curved IPS panel and a 75Hz refresh rate. 

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But, as NVIDIA tends to do, they found a way to differentiate its own products, with the help of Acer. The Predator X34 monitor has a unique look and style to it, and it improves the maximum refresh rate to 100Hz (although that is considered overclocking). The price is a bit higher too, coming in at $1300 or so on Amazon.com; the FreeSync-enabled XR341CK monitor sells for just $941.

Continue reading our review of the Acer Predator X34 G-Sync Monitor!!

Here are the specifications for the Acer Predator X34 G-Sync display.

  Acer Predator X34 Specifications
Screen Size 34 inch
Screen Mode UW-QHD
Response Time 4ms
Aspect Ratio 21:9
Backlight Technology LED
Panel Technology In-plane Switching (IPS)
Tilt Angle -5 to +35 degrees
Maximum Adjustable Height 5.12 inches
Video
Maximum Resolution 3440x1440
Standard Refresh Rate 60 Hz (overclockable to 100 Hz)
Color Supported 1.07 Billion
Contrast Ratio 100,000,000:1
Brightness 300 nits
Tearing Prevention Technology G-Sync
Audio
Speakers Yes
Interfaces/Ports
DisplayPort Yes
HDMI Yes
3.5mm Audio Output Yes
Power Description
Energy Efficiency Class C
Operating Power Consumption 54 watts
Standby Power Consumption 500 mW
Off-Mode Power Consumption 400 mW
Physical Characteristics
Color Black
Miscellaneous
Package Contents X34 Monitor
1 x DisplayPort cable
1 x HDMI cable
Power cord
1 x USB 3.0 Cable

The key specs here are the huge 34-in horizontal width and the massive 3440x1440 resolution that will make gamers drool over the possibilities. If you haven't experienced an UltraWide display yet, you should find a friend or a retail location that can demo it for you, because the difference between that and a standard 16:9 monitor are drastic. In my opinion, they are well worth the upgrade.

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Though it lists its refresh rate at just 60Hz, lower than the standard refresh rate of the XR341CK, both Acer and NVIDIA advertising the Predator X34 has being overclockable to 100Hz refresh rate. That process is done with a combination of OSD options and Windows driver settings, and it is simple enough to do - it's just annoying that it isn't how the monitor comes out of the box.

The panel is based on in-plane switching, so you are going to get a great quality screen with excellent viewing angles, although that comes at the expense of a bit higher response time. You'll see in our testing of overdrive, though, that the Acer Predator X34 makes for a great gaming monitor regardless.

Video News


January 15, 2016 | 09:54 AM - Posted by Ophelos

It got a Response Time of 4ms. So no thank you on this monitor. To me having a higher refresh rate, an low Response Time is much more important then having a IPS panel.

January 15, 2016 | 06:14 PM - Posted by NPtech (not verified)

I honestly don't think you're going to be able to tell the difference between 1ms and 4ms...

January 15, 2016 | 06:23 PM - Posted by Ophelos

1ms is very useful for online fps games. It can make a huge difference between you getting killed or not. Which is why all e-sports events use 1ms monitors even for consoles

January 16, 2016 | 06:30 AM - Posted by JohnGR

For someone who plays FPS games online as a pro or semi-pro, 1ms is probably important. For the rest of the world, their eyes are more important.

January 16, 2016 | 10:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Response time has no significant impact for gaming in terms of latency (between 1 and 4ms). In real world use it simply means a bit more GHOSTING of moving objects which is shown to be quite minimal with a high refresh, IPS 4ms screen.

A 3ms difference in how long it takes for the screen to update is insignificant.

At 100Hz each frame is being updated 100X per second, meaning each frame takes 10ms so 3ms is well under the time just for the screen to update once!

For reference, if you SEE something new on the screen it takes about 250ms average for you to click your mouse in response to that (about 125ms to respond to auditory input).

January 24, 2016 | 08:03 PM - Posted by hosko

Its for this reason that a sprinter in athletics is deemed to have false started if they react quicker than 100ms after the electronic gun is triggered.

January 19, 2016 | 08:15 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you think you're a good enough gamer that you "need" 1ms vs 4ms, you're either kidding yourself or don't really understand how ghosting works and how response times are calculated.

January 15, 2016 | 09:57 AM - Posted by E.L. Crisler (not verified)

Ryan I am curious did you get one that was a loaner from Acer and the package had been opened before you got it? The reason I ask is my experience and those I have spoke with is the actual consumer monitors have a high incident of issues ranging from a whine, to very bad IPS glow, flickering during gaming, standby mode issues and more.

Few reviewers I have spoke with said they got preopened models with no issues. Couple of reviewers I know that bought the monitor for review had issues. This appears to be the case with the Freesync and Gsync models.

January 15, 2016 | 10:01 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

No, actually, this one was completely sealed, hadn't been opened yet.

I do have a photo that shows pretty minimal IPS glow and bleed - I'll post it in a bit.

January 24, 2016 | 08:06 PM - Posted by hosko

there is a huge thread on acers forum about the wake from sleep issue. My X34 is currently boxed up waiting for the courier to pick it up to take it to acer to have a hardware fix.

January 15, 2016 | 10:09 AM - Posted by Leo (not verified)

I see no much sense in G-Sync. Who will buy G-sync monitor paying additional $200-300? Only owners of most expensive systems. But with such systems you have already high fps and G-sync is not adding to much to experience. With FreeSync there is no additional cost. FreeSync can be used with cheap systems where adaptive synchronization is game-breaking and give us great experience.

January 16, 2016 | 12:53 AM - Posted by ol1bit

I have a Nivida 980, and to be honest, their drivers just work, the last ATI card I had just didn't work with Stronghold. I have a PG278Q as my first g-sync monitor, but if ATI's next round of cards kicks ars I might decide to switch and get the freesync of this monitor. It is a ton cheaper and would almost pay for the new card.

January 15, 2016 | 10:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Gingers have no souls!

January 15, 2016 | 12:32 PM - Posted by Batismul (not verified)

Please go fuck off and die somewhere you pos scum

January 16, 2016 | 08:51 PM - Posted by Speely

Aww, did he hurt your feelz?

January 18, 2016 | 07:56 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't think that it was appropriate to comment that about ginger people in the first place on a tech site...

January 18, 2016 | 12:20 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Swing and a miss, the running gag goes way over your head.

January 15, 2016 | 10:28 AM - Posted by Bakath

We need a real 10bit not the 8+, I have the 27" Acer and that 8+ crud still gives me tons of color banding.

Ryan, did they remove the silly splash screen advert when you power it on? Nothing like seeing your desktop for a split second to have to then wait for a splash screen telling you what monitor you own :P

January 15, 2016 | 11:36 AM - Posted by Striker (not verified)

I returned 2 of these monitors and have given up. Gonna try the ASUS PG348Q when it comes out. There are people who have gone through 7 of these monitors are are still having issues. Check out the overclock.net forum also for more info.

Acer has now posted their comments on some issues here:
http://community.acer.com/t5/Predator-Discussions/MULTIPLE-Problems-with...

Basically here is what they say:

Wake from Sleep (Backlight) - Send it in for the fix

Color Banding - Send it in for the fix

Problems with Overclocking at 100hz - They say up to 100hz, so even if your monitor only does 65hz, its considered normal

Coil Whine - This is normal and not a defect according to them:
"This is caused by the strain and release of a capacitor that is designed to absorb electical charges from the powering of the device. That release from the capacitor can cause vibrations which can be audible in certain environments. This activity is considered normal and does not require any action from the user or Acer."

Scanlines- Currently being evaluated

January 15, 2016 | 11:39 AM - Posted by Ghostmop

I'm holding out for the PG348Q too.

January 15, 2016 | 12:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This, and the other 1440p ultrawides, are far too expensive, as you can get a good 4k monitor for less. These need to be priced between 2560x1440 and 4k, but instead they cost more than larger, higher resolution panels.

January 15, 2016 | 12:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I was enjoying the review until the very end with this line :

"The fact that you can find a nearly identical monitor, without G-Sync and with a slightly lower 75 Hz refresh rate, for more than $300 less is unfortunate, and you'd be forgiven for going that route"

The way this phrase is worded makes it seem you are saddened the XR341CK even exists!

Damn this Freesync for existing because it always makes g-sync pricing look horribly overpriced, which it is.

January 15, 2016 | 12:25 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Not at all - just disappointed that the G-Sync monitor is that much more expensive.

January 24, 2016 | 08:10 PM - Posted by hosko

the freesync version has started the natural price drops, the X34 is still mostly out of stock so no discount. Not really apples to apples.

January 15, 2016 | 02:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It is over priced I can buy 2 LGmu67-b freesync 4k notiors and have $300 dollars left over.

February 28, 2016 | 11:23 AM - Posted by Pepijn (not verified)

And have a max of 60 hz refresh, minimum of 40 hz so no low frame rate compensation for you (assuming you get an AMD GPU to begin with). It can certainly be that this monitor is too expensive for you, but your alternative does nothing but offer a whole lot of pixels and doesn't come close to the experience that this display offers, making it a pointless comparison. You might as well say that you could buy 1000 McDonald's hamburgers and have 300 bucks left over.

January 15, 2016 | 09:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It is still implemented with an FPGA, which seems to be a rather expensive device. If you already have an expensive Nvidia GPU, then a g-sync display may still make sense, even with the price premium. This specific display is too expensive though. I would want a 4K display if upgrading now.

January 16, 2016 | 06:52 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Many many years ago I saw a USB cable with golden contacts from SONY costing 55 euros. It was meant to be used with their high end video cameras, but in fact it was a ridiculous overpriced typical - nothing special about it - USB cable. "If someone can pay 1000 euros for our camera he will probably pay 55 for a simple USB cable that costs 2-3 euros".

The same is the case with these monitors. That FPGA and the whole board plus what Nvidia gets, doesn't add more that $150 to the final price and that $150 was when GSYnc came out. Today should be lower. But These monitors target those with Titan X or 980Tis and deep pocket who would gladly pay $300 more just to brag that they have a top GSync monitor. Anyone with more brains than money should avoid it and search for another GSync monitor.

January 16, 2016 | 07:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't know if the price would fall that much when implementing it with an FPGA. If they are really selling enough units, then they should implement the scaler as an ASIC. I don't see that much of a reason for them to do this, since using standard adaptive sync is almost exactly the same now.

January 16, 2016 | 07:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't know if the price would fall that much when implementing it with an FPGA. If they are really selling enough units, then they should implement the scaler as an ASIC. I don't see that much of a reason for them to do this, since using standard adaptive sync is almost exactly the same now.

January 20, 2016 | 12:41 AM - Posted by VeritronX (not verified)

Remember this isn't the same module that gdsync launched with, it's a brand new one that also has hdmi input and overclocking support.. so it is in a similar expense situation as the launch anyways.

Also Acer is marketing these as higher end and setting their own pricepoint, being the only curved ultrawide overclockable gsync panels on the market atm.

January 15, 2016 | 09:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It is still implemented with an FPGA, which seems to be a rather expensive device. If you already have an expensive Nvidia GPU, then a g-sync display may still make sense, even with the price premium. This specific display is too expensive though. I would want a 4K display if upgrading now.

January 15, 2016 | 12:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hold out for the OLED version.

January 15, 2016 | 12:25 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

That could get a very long time....

January 15, 2016 | 12:30 PM - Posted by Batismul (not verified)

I can definitely wait as I'm rocking an ACER Predator xb270hu IPS 1440p 144HZ Gsync so...

January 16, 2016 | 06:00 PM - Posted by Zabojnik

If there's hope for 10c/gig before Trump is elected president of the United States, there's hope for OLED.

January 15, 2016 | 12:28 PM - Posted by Batismul (not verified)

What a beauty but way too overpriced if the OD is not perfect IMHO.

January 15, 2016 | 12:55 PM - Posted by Bezzell

I'd suggest getting some retail samples somehow. Huge number of problems on the overclock.net forums.

January 15, 2016 | 03:27 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Actually we did get two of these in the office, both of which look pretty much the same. Of course, both were samples, one from Acer and one from NVIDIA, but were sealed when they arrived, I just double checked.

January 15, 2016 | 09:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I recall vendor provides samples don't always equal retail shipments

Since last year TFT and various forums have been reporting issues and even a firmware update was issued but you had to send in the monitor.

Still un sure if US shipments are effected since last reported by TFT last year.

The 2 samples you received could have had the updated firmware. It will be a pain in the ass to buy a 1300 monitor to have to ship it to Acer to get an updated firmware.

January 15, 2016 | 02:14 PM - Posted by FuzzDad

I'm a card-carrying member of the geek crew (I love building hard-loop water-cooled hi-end mini pc's)but the more I look at this the more I think...just get the biggest GPU you can afford, spend the $1200 on a 65" 4K TV and do movies AND gaming on that. I know there are trade-off's and G-Sync is the latest greatest thing...but w/that one 65" 4K TV I get everything on one mongo monitor. It's sufficient for casual gaming

January 15, 2016 | 02:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thats just insane $350 more dollars to overclock 25hz and have alot of problems doing it.

January 15, 2016 | 04:16 PM - Posted by RGSPro (not verified)

I have one and love it. Unfortunately it doesn't go over 95Hz without flickering. Rather disappointing for a $1300 monitor.

January 15, 2016 | 04:31 PM - Posted by RoyalK (not verified)

Does that mean you can return it?

January 18, 2016 | 12:35 AM - Posted by RGSPro (not verified)

Yeah, I am swapping it out to see if another does better and then I will be trying the ASUS that comes out next month.

January 15, 2016 | 09:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Oculus robs us... sony will crush them.... but what about the pr0n.... damn you shrimp

January 15, 2016 | 10:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ryan, what refresh rate do you test the overdrive? Given the nature of variable refresh, I would expect that the effectiveness of the overdrive will vary depending on the refresh rate used to test it. Also, I was wondering how much the overdrive varies from display to display of the same model. There seems to be quite a bit of variation in other aspects of displays. How well the overdrive works would be dependent on how well the actual sub-pixels response matches the model being used to determine the overdrive. I would think that the actual response characteristics would vary between different displays. There will be some variation even within the same display.

January 16, 2016 | 08:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Is this not a possibility? Is it a stupid question? I have to wonder if Nvidia's overdrive really is perfect (seems unlikely since I don't think it is a linear relationship), or you just happen to be checking it at a refresh rate where it is working well. If it is the most accurate at the highest refresh rate, then it may be a good idea to adjust you game settings to run mostly at the high end of the range rather than going for an average 60 fps or so. Although, less than perfect overdrive may not be that noticable anyway.

January 16, 2016 | 12:17 AM - Posted by Gregorio (not verified)

Ryan,
Could you test something please.

Several reviewers have reported that the Acer XR341CK (freesync) can be overclocked to 85 FPS with Nvidia software through the custom resolution option.

Could you test if that works in the new Crimson software and if freesync stil works. That would put the XR341CK even closer with the X34.

Thanks,

January 16, 2016 | 10:51 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I think we had to send hte XR341CK back to Acer...but I'll check to see if its still in the office after the weekend.

January 25, 2016 | 02:41 PM - Posted by Gregorio (not verified)

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for all this quality work.

Do you have any news regarding the proposed test (overclocking XR341CK with Crimsom software)?

Kind regards

January 16, 2016 | 04:53 PM - Posted by mLocke

Is the "Predator" badge just a sticker?

January 20, 2016 | 12:48 AM - Posted by JCCIII

Thank you... to all at PCPer!

January 26, 2016 | 01:23 AM - Posted by DanielC (not verified)

I got this monitor 2 days ago.

Replaced my Swift Rog ASUS PG278Q 1440p GSYNC 144hz.

Here are my initial thoughts of the x34 powered by a pair of MSI 980Ti (SLI)

1) light bleed minimal
2) my eyes cannot notice any difference gaming in 100hz vs 144hz 1440p
3) great to have the extra width for productivity and makes gaming so much more immersive
4)Far too expensive
5) design far too aggressive for my liking. I think it is the logo.
6) no idea whether I needed gsync. I have never seen screen tearing before with any my precious SLI setups.
7) logo is not a sticker. Looks very kiddy.
8) Some games like FIFA16 doesn't support 21:9
9) don't expect all games to run at 100fps with this resolution, even with 980ti in SLI
10) the back of the monitor is made with some shiny black plastic. Argghhh.

January 29, 2016 | 12:03 PM - Posted by supertzar (not verified)

What's the minimum GPU recommendation to drive this monitor at 60fps with the latest games?

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