Computer monitors beat the heck out of TV sets for gaming. Sure, there are going to be exceptions, but in my most recent experience, a computer monitor allows for fast response times and a smoother experience. Acer makes some awesome monitors, and I’ve long been dreaming of getting my hands on a giant 4k monitor.
Therefore, when Acer offered up the Predator CG437K gaming monitor for review – well – I think we can all assume I said “yes” and happiness ensued during my time with it. In this review I attempt to determine if “bigger is better” in the land of gaming, and the answer is interesting.
My first thoughts trying the monitor were “Holy cow, I’m going to hate this monitor, it’s just way too big”. That initial feeling died relatively quickly though as I continued to use it. Doom Eternal was absolutely beautiful on the Predator. The monitor features G-sync compatibility and an overclocked refresh rate of 144Hz. This resulted in silky smooth action that some other monitors out there simply cannot achieve(more on this in “My Reality”) . This combined with a 1ms response time had me slaying demons faster than ever before.
There isn’t a ton of peripheral focus for me in the game, so finding my target in the middle of the screen, aiming, and shooting (then running around like a crazed madman trying to escape – forgive me – “certain doom”) felt like a dream come true in gaming.
On the flipside, battle royale style games such as Apex felt almost more challenging while gaming at a desk because it takes so much more peripheral focus for me and the screen feels almost too large. Again, keep in mind I had this on my desk throughout the review.
Rocket League was superb (though I feel like I may have seen some occasional minor screen tearing with quick camera movements in RL). My favorite games to play on the monitor were RPGs and slower action-based games.
I also chose to use the monitor for work projects. I miss it already. There is an amazing amount of real estate to get work done. My initial complaints of it being too big were replaced with shouts to my wife, “Babe, you gotta come see this!” as I worked through multiple documents and felt like a multitasking powerhouse. I would show her games, but she’d be less impressed.
In addition, the screen is brilliant and images really pop. The monitor has a wide color gamut of 90 percent and colors are accurate. HDR 1000 on this monitor is gorgeous and the contrast is unrivaled. It sincerely made me sad when I went back to my old 2k monitor. I feel like I switched from a 120W bulb to a 40W bulb. I keep thinking I messed up the settings because my actual monitor feels so dim after using the Predator.
I tested the speakers, and they were less than impressive for my taste. They certainly do the job if you don’t have any other sound output. If you game and don’t have a better option these speakers will certainly work, but you won’t love them.
Okay. It’s no secret – 43 inches is big for a computer monitor. I tend to sit about 2 feet away from my 27 inch monitor depending on the task (sometimes a bit closer when gaming). I had to move the monitor to the back of my desk to feel comfortable with it initially. Otherwise, the monitor and stand are both incredibly well made, sturdy, and clearly well designed.
If I had to choose to use this monitor all of the time, I would probably use it for all console and PC gaming in more of a living room format as opposed to having it sit on my desk. In order to avoid the amount of space it takes up I would also choose to mount it on a wall.
Overall, the monitor is sleek for its size and should fit well with any gaming rig.
The Beauty vs. My Reality
Is there really a downside? As far as specs go – not really. This monitor is ready to rock. Hold on though. There may be one problem for a lot of PC users. When you upgrade to a large monitor, it requires a lot from your graphics card, and may change what your card is able to handle. For example – I run a Ryzen 7 3700x, 16Gb Ram, and an RTX 2070 Super GPU (and an SSD).
It is a 4k capable graphics card, but the amount of power games like Red Dead Redemption 2 require on a large 4k monitor forced me to turn down the graphical settings in order to get my frames per second rate to a point where gaming felt smooth and comparable to what I was used to. So even though I was “gaming in 4k” I couldn’t put settings quite as high graphically to get the same experience of 30 to 60 FPS.
Let me summarize as best I can in simple terms. Did the game look bad? No. Was it in 4k? Yes. Were the graphics as detailed? No – I had to turn down some quality in order to keep frames up and enjoy a smooth session. That being said, if you have more horsepower in your GPU and PC, you may not have to do this. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to afford an RTX 3090 Super GPU.
Oh by the way – that GPU will only set you back ~$1500 if you can find one – oh aanndd – that’s the same price for this fantastic monitor.
The Acer Predator CG437K gaming monitor is superb – it truly is. I loved my time with it. I just don’t know if it is worth the money for someone that doesn’t already have a stacked PC gaming rig.
If you are able to afford one and have the graphical power to put behind it – go for it. Honestly with my current rig (which isn’t necessarily a slouch by any means), I’d still consider the purchase if I had the money. For now though, I will be hunting for a smaller 4k monitor with great refresh rates to find a great balance of graphical power and visual fidelity. Happy Gaming!