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The Acer Predator X32 FP sits right in the middle of the new Mini-LED monitors that are taking PC gaming to new heights. As they say, competition leads to better, and gaming monitors are the perfect definition of that premise. Since late 2021, it’s been hard to find a horrible gaming monitor, even in the budget category, they’re flowing with extras and game-enhancing features, with only subtle differences at all price points.
But once in a while, one comes along and becomes the industry metric system by which all others are judged. In my experience, most of these gaming monitors usually come from Asus or Acer. The Asus ROG Swift and the Acer Predator lines have always been our favorites, and we often recommend those flagships for those looking for ultimate gaming performance. Well, they don’t come cheap, but both brands offer tremendous bang for the buck.
The same can be said for gaming PCs, although it’s a crowded category right now with boutique-built systems packing lots of gaming power than mainstream machines, and ring much lower prices. In the case of gaming monitors, Asus and Acer have maintained a clear lead for years now. 4K on the display, for instance, first arrived on the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX and the Acer Predator X27 – both monitors feature full-array local-dimming backlights, 144Hz refresh rates, Adaptive-Sync, HDR1000, and wide color gamuts. To date, the Predator X27 remains my 4K monitor of choice, anytime.
Now, Acer is back with a new monitor to dethrone most of our best widescreen monitors from last year. The Predator X32 FP has a 32-inch IPS Mini LED panel with a 4K resolution, 160Hz refresh rate, Adaptive-Sync, HDR1000, wide color gamut, and 576 dimming zones. And yes, Acer is selling it for a fortune. Not insanely expensive as you might think, at around $1,200 as of writing this review. We’ve reviewed monitors that cost almost double, but the value here is worth it. Every dollar you’re going to spend.
For the price, though, you’re getting almost every feature you’d expect in a gaming monitor, with a single notable exception: the Predator X32 FP doesn’t have a backlight strobe. We’re not surprised at all, as most gaming rigs are dropping the RGBs and the same is overflowing to the monitors, but it doesn’t make gaming any less immersive.
Picture quality is as good as required to run the current generation of RTX 40 series GPUs, and the design is simply gorgeous; however, are these features enough to keep the 32 FP’s price above $1, 000, or is it worth the cash?
About the Acer Predator X32 FP
The Acer Predator X32 FP looks much like its predecessor, but a lot has changed on the inside. It now features a 4K panel, a higher refresh rate, and a Mini-LED backlight, although it keeps it limited to 576 dimming zones, while more expensive monitors like the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX pack in 1,152 zones.
Here are the specs on the X32 in this review:
- Display size: 32-inch
- Native resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
- Panel type: IPS LCD with Mini-LED backlight and 576 dimming zones
- Refresh rate: Up to 160Hz
- Adaptive-Sync: AMD FreeSync Premium Pro
- HDR: Yes, VESA DisplayHDR 1000 Certified
- Ports: 1x USB-C with DisplayPort Alternate Mode and 90 watts Power Delivery, 4x HDMI 2.1, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x 3.5mm audio-out
- Stand adjustment: Height, swivel, tilt
- VESA mount: Yes, 100x100mm
- Speakers: Yes, two 7-watt
In addition to the solid feature set, Acer adds a plethora of connectivity options to this monitor. It gets lots of HDMI ports and supports DisplayPort and USB-C, which we only see in most high-end monitors, but pretty rare in a gaming monitor.
Design & Features
The X32 FP looks imposing at first, especially when we’re used to svelte yet widescreen monitors like the 34-inch Alienware AW3423DW, but it still looks great. One thing you should know, it’s a large piece of kit so you’ll need some space on your desk, and the wide base makes it further forward than most stands. Still, the base does a good job holding the screen in place, and no chance will the monitor fall over in any direction.
The aluminum base offers good ergonomic adjustments: up to 5.1 inches height adjustment, 30 degrees of tilt, and 40 degrees swivel. It lacks portrait mode, but you’ll not be needing that when gaming. When viewed from the front, the stand looks slender, but practically it isn’t. It gets a passthrough for cable management under the screen as well.
For the screen, it has thin bezels – 9mm around the top and sides, with a wider 22mm strip at the bottom that holds the Predator logo. There are two USB ports on the side for easy peripheral management, and there’s another Predator graphics around the back and lots of ventilation. Unlike most gaming monitors, the Predator X32 FP doesn’t have any LED lighting on the body, a bit surprising, but it’s something I won’t miss. And it keeps the price down a little, and it means you can use the monitor at the office when not gaming.
When you press the X32’s joystick or any of the keys, the quick menu pops up and offers – brightness, color mode, and input selection. If you press again, the extensive OSD options emerge including the Picture menu that has all basic image controls except local dimming that’s found in the Gaming menu. On this monitor, HDR has an Auto mode; the Color menu has two screens that include all possible calibration options.
The Gaming menu presents overdrive options, an Adaptive Sync toggle, and game enhancements like a frame rate counter and a selection of aiming points. In short, you can adjust and select one of the three programmable picture modes, as they appear in the selector as the first three choices. User is the default when you make any change to either of the picture controls. Also, you’ll need to switch back and forth between HDR and User when viewing HDR and SDR, respectively.
SDR Image Quality
The Acer Predator X32 FP is among the latest wave of Mini-LED monitors released into the market after CES 2023. Compared to its closest peers, it’s reasonably priced, and it achieves that by limiting the number of dimming zones to a mere 576, much lower than the 1,152 zones we’ve seen in some earlier models, but that doesn’t compromise other aspects of image quality.
The monitor delivers a maximum SDR brightness of 461 nits, once again, a bit lower than some cheaper competitors, and certainly not the highest the monitor can achieve. We just wish the max SDR brightness was better, it falls behind some recent Mini-LED monitors including the ViewSonic Elite XG341C-2K and the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM, both released around the same time.
When viewed in a bright, sunlit room, the 461 nits brightness should be comfortable enough to finish tasks. However, I just prefer that monitors offer a higher level of brightness, especially when they cost top dollar and are capable of achieving it.
The monitor’s contrast ratio maxes at 3233:1, which is great for an IPS monitor, and is in the same ballpark as the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM, but less than some other Mini-LED monitors like the ViewSonic Elite XG341C-2K, which benefits from more dimming zones. OLED monitors also perform better thanks to their ability to achieve better black levels with zero luminance.
Color gamut coverage is great too, with the monitor spanning 100 percent and 96 percent of DCI-P3. This performance is at par with some of the best monitors we’ve reviewed lately, including OLED alternatives, and it should be a suitable choice for high-end professional content creation. For real-world use, the wide color gamut suffices for an immersive and oversaturated look that most users will enjoy.
HDR Image Quality
HDR performance is equally great on this monitor, too. The Acer Predator X32 FP is a VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certified panel, and it doesn’t struggle to achieve a sustained brightness of 1056 nits, which is fantastic and well-suited for HDR content on a PC.
The X32 delivers good detail around bright elements, but its contrast ratio falters in HDR content. This is unlike the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM which offers an enhanced contrast ratio of 4192:1 in HDR, but it still performs better than most Mini-LED monitors out there. Notably, OLED can’t cope with the X32 FP’s peak brightness, but it somehow manages to deliver better results in dark scenes. If you’ll be playing games with dark scenes like Valheim more than Overwatch 2, for example, then you’re better off with OLED.
Overall, while the Acer Predator X32 FP doesn’t offer top-tier HDR performance, mostly due to its limited contrast ratio, it remains one of the best HDR monitors. It’s bright enough and has the color gamut needed to deliver enjoyable color quality in HDR scenes.
With a 160Hz refresh rate, the Predator X32 FP handles modern AAA gaming with higher clarity, but the high refresh rate is only available over DisplayPort; the other ports are restricted to 144Hz. That’s fine, and to be honest, most of us can’t tell the difference between 144Hz and 160Hz. Nonetheless, motion clarity is impressive thanks to the refresh rate and the monitor’s low pixel-response times.
The monitor supports AMD FreeSync Pro; G-Sync isn’t supported officially but it worked in a CyberpowerPC GXiVR8080A34 with an RTX 4060 GPU. The monitor also arrives with an overdrive mode, which is a bit of an oddity, as it is forced on when FreeSync is in use. While it enhances clarity, it creates a minor overshoot, that makes images look a little over-sharpened and noisy in motion. There’s also an Extreme overdrive mode that further increases clarity but sacrifices image quality. Some pro gamers will want to use this feature, but I bet most gamers will steer clear.
That said, the X32 FP’s motion clarity is a little underwhelming. Most 240Hz or 360Hz monitors deliver better motion performance, but that doesn’t imply Acer delivers an awful performance here. Motion is pretty clear and crisp, with good detail and smooth frame pacing when AMD FreeSync is being used.
Should you buy the Acer Predator X32 FP?
When buying a premium gaming monitor like the Acer Predator X32 FP, there are many factors to consider. The most important consideration is the system you’ll use to drive the monitor. If you’re looking to enjoy the ultimate in picture quality, you’ll need lots of power in the tower, and luckily anything with the latest Nvidia RTX 40 Series GPU or equivalent from AMD will not be a letdown. And with a PC that can drive a 4K image at 160fps, then it means truly impressive imagery is possible.
With 574 dimming zones and almost 1,200 nits peak output, the Predator X32 FP delivers a good level of HDR that many monitors only dream of. It also covers a massive color gamut of over 80 percent, and that makes it a perfect candidate for media creation when not driving modern titles. Imply said, it is a colorful monitor that will run games and productivity tasks, I just wish its out-of-the-box mode was more accurate.
Overall, the Acer Predator X32 FP delivers class-leading gaming performance and has the lowest input lag I’ve ever seen on a 4K monitor. For the pro gamers looking to add a punch to their arsenal, this is one top-tier monitor to invest in. And for everyone else with a high-end system that will benefit from a speedy 4K panel, the Acer Predator X32 FP is peerless at this point in time. Check it out.
Acer Predator X32 FP
The Acer Predator X32 FP is a Mini-Led monitor with class-leading gaming performance and the lowest input lag I’ve ever seen on a 4K monitor.
- Six video inputs, including USB-C
- Good range of image quality options
- Very wide color gamut
- Sharp, crisp 4K image
- Needs calibration for the best picture
- Fixed overdrive with Adaptive-Sync