An Evaluation of Acer Predator AG3-605-UR1

Many people consider home computers as ready-to-use desktops that benefit homework and surfing the web. However, they can do a lot more. You can stream media, download HD films and programs, modify video and audio, and even play computer games. Regrettably, many computers provide restricted functionality with these jobs. That’s what makes the Acer Predator such an outstanding desktop PC.

The Predator provides much better efficiency than many other computers, it can easily deal with the rigors of an it consulting company for example. This inexpensive gaming computer system has a top-end processor and a dedicated graphics card. It has less USB ports than some computer systems, and Acer does not have as many support alternatives as other computers. However, this computer system comes with outstanding parts and outstanding speed.

Performance

The base model Predator is still a much better video gaming computer system than many other computer systems. It uses a top-tier Intel i5-4590 processor, ranked among the best CPUs by Tom’s Hardware. This processor likewise makes excellent scores from Passmark’s benchmarking tests. On its own, the CPU is strong enough to run any task that you toss at it, but the Predator also gives you a strong mid-grade graphics card to help with the graphical processing. This allows you to play video games on high settings and run other graphics-intensive programs without putting pressure on the CPU.

Like the majority of the computers we reviewed, the Predator is also all set for upgrades. If you begin to discover significant slowing or your computer system cannot handle computer games you desire, it’s easy to open the casing and set up brand-new parts by yourself. Even if you pay an expert to install brand-new components, you’re still saving over buying a new desktop.

Memory & Storage

At this point, the standard setup for a computer is a SATA hard drive and 8GB of RAM. The Acer Predator does not roam from this formula with its high-speed 1TB hard drive. You can set up a secondary SATA or SSD in one of the offered storage bays. In addition to the set up 8GB of RAM, you can install up to 32GB in the 4 memory slots. The included memory is fantastic if you’re processing or compressing media, but generally, you don’t need more than 8GB to run a 64-bit operating system. Lastly, the computer includes a DVD player.

Connectivity

The Acer Predator has an interesting visual– it’s mostly black with orange highlights around the edges. On top of its appealing style, it is very simple to open and personalize. There are lots of bays readily available for new hard disk drives, RAM and hardware cards. It features a SD card slot, a HDMI port, a VGA display port and just five USB ports: three USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports. This is frustrating for a video gaming PC since a lot of peripherals require USB ports.

Assistance

Acer offers a 1-year service warranty with all brand-new desktop PCs, and if you desire a longer assistance duration, you can buy a two-year service warranty. This is not as long as lots of other companies offer for their extended warranties, though. There are a number of customer support alternatives readily available to customers, including cloud computing services. Telephone support lasts as long as you have your guarantee. You can also call support representatives by live chat. We could not discover an email address for assistance concerns. Acer’s assistance pages likewise provide user online forums and driver downloads.

Summary

The Acer Predator is a leading personal computer with far more emphasis on performance than any other computer system on our lineup. With its terrific parts, you can utilize it for video gaming and other resource-intensive jobs. It just has 5 USB ports, so you may lack ports when plugging in your peripherals. Still, the Predator is among the best house PCs we evaluated.

 


This NAS Box Can sStream 4K UHD Movies-Synology DiskStation DS216

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At a Look

NAS boxes are nigh on perfect gadgets for keeping and streaming your multimedia collections- including music, video, and photograph throughout your home. Generally, that streaming hasn’t consisted of UHD/4K/2160p video, which requires a reasonable bit of CPU power. Until  Synology’s DS216+  and it’s new DSM 6.0 os.

Prior to you getting too stoked. Synology’s NAS boxes can just transcode 2160p to 1080p (or a lower resolution, depending upon the gadget getting the stream). The very same opts for Synology’s primary competing QNAP. That implies you can stream UHD/4K, but not at its real resolution. Keep in mind that I’m speaking about using Synology’s incorporated Video Station player or its DLNA server. You can open any file and play it at complete resolution if your TELEVISION or gadget supports network browsing and has the computational horsepower.

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Tears of Steel playing inside Synology’s browser-based Video Station. Videos as much as 1080p play quite well in the app, though this 4K rendering was really jerky.

DS216+

Synology’s DS216+ is one of the faster customer NAS boxes for $300 (drives not included)- The business sent it to us to test the transcoding. It’s equipped with an Intel Celeron N3050, 1GB of memory, and with 2 drive bays, so you can add up to 16TB of storage. In our copy tests, composes and reads of a single 20GB file continued at about 109MBps, and with a more exhausting 20GB mix of smaller sized files and folders, at about 63MBps. That’s fast for consumer-grade NAS, and it makes the DS216+ a great repository for backups– more on that subject later on.

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The inclusion of an eSATA port on the DS216+ is a bit old-school for a modern SOHO NAS box.

The DS216+ has 2 USB 2.0 ports on the back and a single USB 3.0 port on the front for copying files to the box. There’s a dedicated copy button on the front panel: Pressing it will move all the files from a USB drive to the box. There’s likewise a single gigabit ethernet port, and somewhat unusually for a small office/home box of recent vintage– an eSATA port. A full-on USB 3.x (5Mbps/10Mbps) port would be much better suited for the desired market.

To check transcoding and streaming I loaded the DS216+ with numerous test files, consisting of about a dozen 2160p (UHD 3840 × 2160 and 4K 4096 × 2160) videos. Files were streamed to Windows Media Player enhanced with the LAV DirectShow filters using the in-browser Video Station player. Media Player Classic House Movie Theatre was also used as a test control. Which was likewise set to use the most recent variation of the LAV filters.

Everything up to and consisting of 1080p played or streamed fine. 2160p videos (AVC and HEVC) played well also, a minimum of those restricted to about 30 frames per second and around 6 megabits per second (HEVC) or 20Mbps (AVC). AVC is significantly easier to process than the more heavily compressed HEVC. Beyond that, both audio and video stutter started to sneak in; 60fps files weren’t acknowledged. My only other problem is that the downscaling in Video Station could have used more anti-aliasing in locations with lots of fine detail.

As I mentioned up front, you can bypass the streaming and transcoding to play files directly if your gadget supports playing files from network locations. Doing that with MPC-HC, everything played simply well, including 20Mbps/60fps 2160p.

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A 2160p video played directly, and rather efficiently, from the DS216+ using MPC-HC on a Windows PC. (Caught on a 1920 × 1200 display).

Synology’s audio support is absolutely great. The list of supported types consists of FLAC, MP3, WMA, M4A, Ogg, Ape, both Apple and Windows lossless, as well as all wave files from 44.1 kHz/16-bit to 96kHz/32-bit– including 5.1- and 7.1-channel surround types. That’s everything I have in my collection of test files outside of Opus and an ancient VQF file that’s long out-of-date. You can play any of the supported types using the included Audio Station app or streamed through DLNA.

Supported image formats include JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, and TIFF.

DSM 6.0

DSM or DiskStation Manager is the os for Synology’s NAS boxes. Just like competing QNAP’s QOS, it’s a full windowing system that works within your web browser. Below is a picture, which does it more justice than any word I could write. It works similar to Windows, Linux (which it in fact is), or OS X with clicking, dragging, lasso-ing, and so on

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No, that’s not Linux, it’s the DiskStation Supervisor running system that works inside of your browser. Opera in this case.

6.x brings the os into the 64-bit world, which is of limited worth to the majority of home users, however, will allow more onboard memory in the Synology’s high-end boxes. DSM 6.0 likewise supports Btrfs (B-tree file system) with its copy-on-write (COW) innovation that allows for simple cross-device storage pools and information snapshots.

Beyond streaming multimedia, a few of the other things you can do with a Synology NAS box are a record and search the output of a minimum of one Cam, create your very own email server, and– its most recent function– team up with other users on spreadsheets. It is inevitable that word processing and presentations will eventually be included as well. Then there’s the ability to watch and tape TELEVISION (with a USB tuner connected), Wi-Fi connection (with an 802.11 x dongle attached), and more.

There’s likewise a new MailPlus app and server that supports as much as five users for free. It’s quite a bit slicker than the typical MailServer application and has actually devoted apps for Android and iOS devices. Mentioning which, Synology provides mobile apps for seeing images, videos, etc. kept on the box. There’s a lot more, but I’ll have you check out Synology’s website for more details.

Save your stuff

Though this short article is concentrated on multimedia serving, the DS216+ and DSM 6.0 also offer outstanding backup services. In addition to Time Machine support for Macs, this Synology uses its own Cloud Station with customers for Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, and iOS. Which means the Synology box can be used to back-up all your PCs and mobile devices. My only issue with this was that throughout a rather big 400GB initial backup, the client used excessive bandwidth. There’s no throttle setting, so I had to stop briefly the sync process when I needed to use another network application.

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Synology’s backup alternatives are countless and impressively capable.

New to the mix are an enhanced variation of the Backup & Restore app called Hyper Backup Vault, and Snapshot Replication, which leverages the brand-new Btrfs file, system’s picture capabilities.You can likewise sync multiple NAS boxes (even other vendor’s, if they support RSync) throughout the world. There are also apps like S3, Glacier, DropBox and other online services that can be used to back-up or sync.

Conclusion

The Synology DS216+ is a fantastic little box and streams multimedia equivalently to any NAS box in its class. If you’re trying to find the main repository for your tunes, pictures, and films that any device in your house can access, you might do far worse.

But if you’re not dead set on the 2160p transcoding, you can get away far cheaper with other NAS boxes– Such as Synology’s less-expensive designs, which there are plenty. When just opening and playing files from a network drive, I have the ability to play 4K/UHD files just great from a far older Synology DS411 Slim.

DSM 6.0 brings Synology’s boxes up to date in terms of backup, replication, pictures and spreading storage across several gadgets. Those are functions more of interest to business users than multimedia mavens, however, they’re welcome nevertheless.

One caution on the whole NAS for multimedia offer: Streaming and accessing files on a NAS box is simple enough for anyone, however, setup needs a reasonable quantity of tech savvy.