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SteelSeries Arena 3
6:25 pm | September 23, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming PCs | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: September 2022
• Still on sale
• Launch price:
$149 / £149 / AU$289
• Official price now: $129 / £129 / AU$199

Update: February 2024. These remain some of the best computer speakers you can buy right now - especially as since their launch back in 2022, there have been some decent price cuts, making them better value than ever. As PC speaker tech doesn't move that quickly, we can safely continue to recommend the SteelSeries Arena 3 nearly two years after we first reviewed them.

SteelSeries Arena 3: One-minute review

The SteelSeries Arena 3 joins a line of PC audio peripherals that has long-established a legacy of delivering great sound to users who aren't very discerning in terms of audio quality. In many ways, SteelSeries, more specifically its Arctis gaming headset family, has helped elevate not just the gaming headset scene but also the way gamers experience sound in gaming.

That means that the SteelSeries Arena 3 has a lot to live up to and massive shoes to fill especially in a world where even the best PC speakers are no longer as compelling to gamers as PC gaming headsets

Luckily, SteelSeries is also a master at offering a wide range of options in a way that’s inclusive to all gamers, not just the ones who have the money to splurge. And, alongside the Arena 3, it also rolled out the 2.1 Arena 7 that comes with a subwoofer and the expansive (and impressive) Arena 9 whose surround sound prowess absolutely blew us away. 

Those two speaker systems take the pressure off the Arena 3 whose main job is now to meet the needs of PC users and gamers who just want an affordable pair of PC speakers that will get them through their daily listening needs. And, as that, it’s a great option, one that has a cute design, good soundstage, and a lot of volume.

It isn’t going to blow you away like the Arena 9 does, but it’s a great pair of PC speakers in its own right.

SteelSeries Arena 3: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? $149 (£149, AU$289)
  • Where is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, the UK, and Australia
SteelSeries Arena 3: SPECS

Frequency range: 50-20,000 Hz
Drivers: 4-inch full range
Supported Connectivity: Bluetooth
Audio Inputs: 3x 3.5mm for PC wired, aux, and wired headset audio
Outputs: N/A

Now available for purchase in the US, UK, and Australia, the SteelSeries Arena 3 will set you back $149 (£149, AU$289), putting it squarely in the mid-range. 

If you’re on a budget, there are definitely cheaper options available that will deliver comparable audio quality. There are also some bookshelf speakers that are around the same price that deliver better sound – although those typically have a larger footprint. However, if you do want that nice balance in sound quality, portability, and cost, the SteelSeries Arena 3 is a good choice.

If you want better and more immersive audio with a bit of oomph – and have the space and the budget for it, the SteelSeries Arena 9 is the ticket. Although, it is much more expensive as well.

  • Value: 3 / 5

SteelSeries Arena 3: Design

SteelSeries Arena 3 in a gaming setup

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
  • Egg-shaped design
  • Multiple inputs and adjustable stand
  • Not very customizable via Sonar

We appreciate SteelSeries’ attempt to come up with an appealing and unique design. Shaped like an egg mounted on a stand, the SteelSeries Arena 3 speakers actually remind us of soft-boiled eggs served in egg cups at breakfast, which we don’t mind as we love eggs, and these speakers are undeniably adorable.

Granted, there are smaller and more portable speakers out there, but these don’t take up a lot of space either. At least not as much as the boxy bookshelf speakers that some people do use as PC speakers. It helps that these have smaller adjustable stands that still keep them stable. These stands also allow you to tilt the speakers for better listening.

SteelSeries Arena 3 in a gaming setup

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Above the four-inch driver on each speaker is a bass port, which is basically a directional empty space designed to amplify certain sounds, usually the bass frequency. Unfortunately, they don’t help that much in terms of sound quality. 

SteelSeries Arena 3 in a gaming setup

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

The right speaker comes with a volume wheel-slash-multifunctional button that serves as the main speaker control for muting, switching input sources, and more. And, in the back, it has three audio ports – PC wired, aux, and wired headset – to plug in three different audio inputs simultaneously. That’s on top of the Bluetooth connectivity these speakers also come with.

SteelSeries Arena 3 in a gaming setup

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

There’s a fair amount of customizability here thanks to Sonar, the new add-on to SteelSeries’ GG software that’s specifically designed for the brand’s audio devices. With Sonar, you can customize the Arena 3 to do things like toggle the ChatMix, adjust the Master Volume, and experiment with the parametric EQ to fine-tune the sound. 

The presence of the Parametric EQ in Sonar is a treat. It’s not something gamers see often, as only audiophiles and audio engineers utilize it. So, having it handy is a big deal and allows for A LOT of finetuning. 

There’s also a Gain and Smart Volume (compressor), which makes loud bits quieter and quiet bits a little louder – you know, the thing that Christopher Nolan almost always forgets exists when mixing his movies. Finally, Sonar allows you to enable and fine-tune Spatial Audio – although on the Arena 3, it merely expands the soundstage just a touch.

  • Design: 4 / 5

SteelSeries Arena 3: Performance

SteelSeries Arena 3 in a gaming setup

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
  • A lot of volume
  • Mids are the fairly well balanced, not a lot of bass
  • Soundstage is good

For a small-ish pair of PC speakers, the SteelSeries Arena 3 speakers have a powerful set of pipes and can fill a medium-sized room when its volume is turned all the way up. That’s without a lot of distortion. Turn that volume up halfway, and it can fill a small room as well.

Sound quality is good, but you’ll definitely miss the absence of a subwoofer, however, especially when playing tunes like Dua Lipa’s ‘Levitating,’ which, being a dance song, usually has a punchy kick, and Tierra Whack’s ‘Unemployed,’ a song with a lot of low end. If you’re expecting a lot of rumble, you might be disappointed. There’s no sub bass here because, well… there’s no subwoofer.

SteelSeries Arena 3 in a gaming setup

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

To make up for that missing real low end, the lower mids are pretty prominent and boosted. It’s not a very effective solution, but it works for certain things. Maneskin’s ‘Mammamia’ isn’t as punchy either, but because this is essentially a rock song, you don’t miss the bass as much. Rock is more mid-focused musically, and because these speakers have boosted lower mids, the song sounds fuller.

The rest of the mids are fairly well-balanced. However, the highs are rounded off so there isn’t as much detail here or brightness and treble is rolled off so you’re losing a little bit of presence as well.

Even though you’re not getting that nice rumble when playing Cyberpunk 2077, the environmental elements come through pretty clearly, which is a nice surprise since the high end is rounded off in music. The soundstage is about what you’d expect from bookshelf speakers – there’s obviously no real surround sound here, just your typical stereo soundstage. But, you can hear elements going from left to right, or moving away or towards you.

Turn on the Spatial Audio feature on GG’s Sonar, and the soundstage becomes wider, if only just a little, and the addition of the reverb almost sounds like there are more elements as it gives sound elements space, which in effect gives them more dimension and a little more weight.

  • Performance: 3.5 / 5

Should I buy the SteelSeries Arena 3?

SteelSeries Arena 3 in a gaming setup

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

SteelSeries Arena 3: Report card

  • First reviewed September 2022

How we test

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

Acer Predator Orion 3000 (2022)
2:05 pm | July 18, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming PCs | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: July 2022
• New model is out with updated components
• Launch price: $1,449 / £1,099
• Official price now: $1,449 / £1,099 (with new components)

Update: February 2024. We originally reviewed this model of the Acer Predator Orion 3000 almost two years ago, and we were so impressed that it went straight to the top of our best budget gaming PCs guide. Now in 2024, it is still in that list, but it has slipped down a few places, thanks to some more modern gaming PCs coming out. However, it remains a great budget buy, especially if you're looking for a compact gaming PC to play on. If you can find the model we reviewed here with the same components, you should be able to get it for a very good price as well. If you like the look of this machine but want more modern components, the good news is that Acer has released new models with 13th generation Intel processors, giving you a bit more future-proofing while keeping the same affordable price.

Acer Predator Orion 3000: One-Minute Review

The Acer Predator Orion 3000 desktop PC presents newer players with one of the best and most affordable opportunities to make their mark in the PC gaming scene. After all, there’s a reason why it sits comfortably at the top of TechRadar’s list of the best budget gaming PCs

Acer’s latest Predator Orion 3000 line-up offers gamers the ability to choose from several mid-tier configurations that now include a 12th Gen Intel processor, an Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics card, and up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, all packed neatly into a compact micro ATX case. 

Understandably, this PC series makes a few compromises in terms of its components that can only be described as cost-saving measures. For example, although the Orion 3000 features both HDD and SSD storage, the most basic configurations tend to include just 256GB of the latter. Similarly, the Predator Orion 3000 series also features DDR4 RAM as opposed to the newer industry standard of DDR5. 

Still, minor shortcomings aside, the hardware featured as part of the Acer Predator Orion 3000 series lends itself well to the average gamer. Plus, the PC is relatively easy to upgrade, should the need or desire to do so ever arise. 

Acer Predator Orion 3000 desktop gaming PC on a desk with RGB lighting turned on.

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Predator Orion 3000: Price and Availability

  • Starting at $1,449 / £1,099
  • Available now from the Acer store and third-party retailers
  • You can buy it in the US, UK and worldwide
Spec Sheet

Here is the Acer Predator Orion 3000 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12400F (2.50 GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti 
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
Optical drive: N/A
Ports front: 1 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x USB-C, 1 x headphone jack and 1 x microphone jack
Ports back: 2 x USB-A 3.1, 4 x USB-A 3.0, 3 x analog audio jacks, 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, Ethernet
Operating system: Windows 11 Home
Connectivity: Intel Killer E2600 Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.0
Weight: 21 pounds (9.5 kg)
Size: 15.4 x 15.2 x 6.9 inches (392 x 386 x 175 mm) 

The Acer Predator Orion 3000 gaming PC series can be found on sale in the US, UK, and worldwide, with a range of slightly varying configurations available depending on each gamer’s individual needs. 

The latest iteration of the Orion 3000 series features the new Intel Alder Lake chipsets. The starting configuration is priced at $1,449 / £1,199 and includes a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU, an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU and 16GB of RAM, as well as 256GB of SSD and 1TB of HDD storage. Pricier variations allow users to opt for either an Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti or 3070 for the GPU and a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor for the CPU. 

The configuration that TechRadar reviewed is a slightly more powerful model available in the UK for £1,299 (approximately $1,600 in the US). The Predator Orion 3000 arguably presents one of the best values for money especially when you take into account its decent gaming performance and esports-ready hardware. It could be even better value if any currently available Acer promo codes bring the price down more.

  • Price and Availability: 5/5

Acer Predator Orion 3000 desktop gaming PC shown side-on on a desk with RGB lighting turned on.

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Predator Orion 3000: Design

  • Neat, compact design
  • Configurable RGB lighting
  • Loud cooling fans

The Acer Predator Orion 3000 features the classic gaming black-and-RGB design within the confines of a compact micro ATX chassis. 

At the front of the case, you’ll find a single USB Type-C port, alongside a Type-A USB 3.1 and two 3.5mm headphone and microphone ports. The PC’s back panel contains all the basic ports you can expect from your average gaming computer: four 3.0 USB Type-As, two 3.1 USB Type-As, and three analog audio ports. The back of the Nvidia RTX 30-series GPU allows gamers to connect their favorite display through either HDMI or DisplayPort.

In terms of software, the PC comes with a pre-installed version of Acer’s PredatorSense, which gamers can use to monitor internal temperatures, control the cooling fans and configure the RGB lighting system. It should be noted that on full blast, the PC’s cooling fans are extremely loud almost to the point of being distracting, even when using headphones on near-full volume. 

In terms of hardware and affordability, the Acer Predator Orion 3000’s closest competitor would likely be the latest HP Omen product range, which can typically be found on offer for a similar price. However, it should be noted that in terms of design, the Predator Orion 3000 is the likely winner in the match-up. 

The HP Omen comes equipped with a full ATX case, which – despite its slight upgradability advantage – will wind up taking up much more desk space. Another key aspect within the match-up is that the HP Omen series often receives criticism for its uninspiring design – something the Predator Orion 3000 excels at with its sleek appearance.

  • Design: 4/5

Acer Predator Orion 3000 desktop gaming PC shown from the rear. A Snorlax Pokemon plushie sits next to it.

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Predator Orion 3000: Performance

  • Great gaming performance
  • Decent CPU benchmarking results
  • Minimal SSD storage on cheapest configurations
Benchmarks

 Here is how the Acer Predator Orion 3000 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 50,215; Fire Strike: 22,948; Time Spy: 10,381
Cinebench R23 multi-core: 11,164 points
GeekBench 5: 1,436 (single-core); 7,537 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Modern Office):
7,160 points
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 78 fps; (1080p, Low): 246 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 76 fps; (1080p, Low): 115 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 98 fps; (1080p, Low): 219 fps 

Although the Acer Predator Orion 3000 can be considered an affordable option, this certainly doesn’t mean that it compromises on gaming performance as much as you would expect from a budget PC. Thanks to the inclusion of an Nvidia 30-series graphics card, the Predator Orion 3000 is capable of coasting through even the most graphically intensive games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Total War: Warhammer III, consistently hitting over 70 fps on both titles on Ultra settings. 

The Acer Predator Orion 3000’s performance in our usual benchmarking tests exceeded expectations too. For example, our review unit’s duo of Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and Intel Core i5 processor achieved 7,160 points in the PCMark 10 test. This meant that the Predator Orion 3000’s hardware scored higher than 93% of other PCs and placed higher than the average premium gaming PC from two years ago. 

Overall, given the wide range of configurations available for purchase, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 line-up is perfectly capable of catering to most players looking to break into the world of PC gaming. Despite its lack of DDR5 RAM across the series and its base models including just 256GB of SSD storage, both are arguably minor shortcomings and can be easily overlooked considering the product’s reasonable price. 

Although those on the lookout for more premium hardware would likely benefit from exploring other options, this gaming computer is a solid choice for those looking to balance a decent gaming performance with a more than palatable price range. 

  • Performance: 4/5

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider...

First reviewed July 2022.

How We Test

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

Acer Predator Orion 3000 (2022)
2:05 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers Gaming PCs | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: July 2022
• New model is out with updated components
• Launch price: $1,449 / £1,099
• Official price now: $1,449 / £1,099 (with new components)

Update: February 2024. We originally reviewed this model of the Acer Predator Orion 3000 almost two years ago, and we were so impressed that it went straight to the top of our best budget gaming PCs guide. Now in 2024, it is still in that list, but it has slipped down a few places, thanks to some more modern gaming PCs coming out. However, it remains a great budget buy, especially if you're looking for a compact gaming PC to play on. If you can find the model we reviewed here with the same components, you should be able to get it for a very good price as well. If you like the look of this machine but want more modern components, the good news is that Acer has released new models with 13th generation Intel processors, giving you a bit more future-proofing while keeping the same affordable price.

Acer Predator Orion 3000: One-Minute Review

The Acer Predator Orion 3000 desktop PC presents newer players with one of the best and most affordable opportunities to make their mark in the PC gaming scene. After all, there’s a reason why it sits comfortably at the top of TechRadar’s list of the best budget gaming PCs

Acer’s latest Predator Orion 3000 line-up offers gamers the ability to choose from several mid-tier configurations that now include a 12th Gen Intel processor, an Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics card, and up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, all packed neatly into a compact micro ATX case. 

Understandably, this PC series makes a few compromises in terms of its components that can only be described as cost-saving measures. For example, although the Orion 3000 features both HDD and SSD storage, the most basic configurations tend to include just 256GB of the latter. Similarly, the Predator Orion 3000 series also features DDR4 RAM as opposed to the newer industry standard of DDR5. 

Still, minor shortcomings aside, the hardware featured as part of the Acer Predator Orion 3000 series lends itself well to the average gamer. Plus, the PC is relatively easy to upgrade, should the need or desire to do so ever arise. 

Acer Predator Orion 3000 desktop gaming PC on a desk with RGB lighting turned on.

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Predator Orion 3000: Price and Availability

  • Starting at $1,449 / £1,099
  • Available now from the Acer store and third-party retailers
  • You can buy it in the US, UK and worldwide
Spec Sheet

Here is the Acer Predator Orion 3000 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: 12th Gen Intel Core i5-12400F (2.50 GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti 
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
Optical drive: N/A
Ports front: 1 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x USB-C, 1 x headphone jack and 1 x microphone jack
Ports back: 2 x USB-A 3.1, 4 x USB-A 3.0, 3 x analog audio jacks, 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, Ethernet
Operating system: Windows 11 Home
Connectivity: Intel Killer E2600 Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.0
Weight: 21 pounds (9.5 kg)
Size: 15.4 x 15.2 x 6.9 inches (392 x 386 x 175 mm) 

The Acer Predator Orion 3000 gaming PC series can be found on sale in the US, UK, and worldwide, with a range of slightly varying configurations available depending on each gamer’s individual needs. 

The latest iteration of the Orion 3000 series features the new Intel Alder Lake chipsets. The starting configuration is priced at $1,449 / £1,199 and includes a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU, an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU and 16GB of RAM, as well as 256GB of SSD and 1TB of HDD storage. Pricier variations allow users to opt for either an Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti or 3070 for the GPU and a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor for the CPU. 

The configuration that TechRadar reviewed is a slightly more powerful model available in the UK for £1,299 (approximately $1,600 in the US). The Predator Orion 3000 arguably presents one of the best values for money especially when you take into account its decent gaming performance and esports-ready hardware. It could be even better value if any currently available Acer promo codes bring the price down more.

  • Price and Availability: 5/5

Acer Predator Orion 3000 desktop gaming PC shown side-on on a desk with RGB lighting turned on.

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Predator Orion 3000: Design

  • Neat, compact design
  • Configurable RGB lighting
  • Loud cooling fans

The Acer Predator Orion 3000 features the classic gaming black-and-RGB design within the confines of a compact micro ATX chassis. 

At the front of the case, you’ll find a single USB Type-C port, alongside a Type-A USB 3.1 and two 3.5mm headphone and microphone ports. The PC’s back panel contains all the basic ports you can expect from your average gaming computer: four 3.0 USB Type-As, two 3.1 USB Type-As, and three analog audio ports. The back of the Nvidia RTX 30-series GPU allows gamers to connect their favorite display through either HDMI or DisplayPort.

In terms of software, the PC comes with a pre-installed version of Acer’s PredatorSense, which gamers can use to monitor internal temperatures, control the cooling fans and configure the RGB lighting system. It should be noted that on full blast, the PC’s cooling fans are extremely loud almost to the point of being distracting, even when using headphones on near-full volume. 

In terms of hardware and affordability, the Acer Predator Orion 3000’s closest competitor would likely be the latest HP Omen product range, which can typically be found on offer for a similar price. However, it should be noted that in terms of design, the Predator Orion 3000 is the likely winner in the match-up. 

The HP Omen comes equipped with a full ATX case, which – despite its slight upgradability advantage – will wind up taking up much more desk space. Another key aspect within the match-up is that the HP Omen series often receives criticism for its uninspiring design – something the Predator Orion 3000 excels at with its sleek appearance.

  • Design: 4/5

Acer Predator Orion 3000 desktop gaming PC shown from the rear. A Snorlax Pokemon plushie sits next to it.

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Predator Orion 3000: Performance

  • Great gaming performance
  • Decent CPU benchmarking results
  • Minimal SSD storage on cheapest configurations
Benchmarks

 Here is how the Acer Predator Orion 3000 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 50,215; Fire Strike: 22,948; Time Spy: 10,381
Cinebench R23 multi-core: 11,164 points
GeekBench 5: 1,436 (single-core); 7,537 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Modern Office):
7,160 points
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 78 fps; (1080p, Low): 246 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 76 fps; (1080p, Low): 115 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 98 fps; (1080p, Low): 219 fps 

Although the Acer Predator Orion 3000 can be considered an affordable option, this certainly doesn’t mean that it compromises on gaming performance as much as you would expect from a budget PC. Thanks to the inclusion of an Nvidia 30-series graphics card, the Predator Orion 3000 is capable of coasting through even the most graphically intensive games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Total War: Warhammer III, consistently hitting over 70 fps on both titles on Ultra settings. 

The Acer Predator Orion 3000’s performance in our usual benchmarking tests exceeded expectations too. For example, our review unit’s duo of Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and Intel Core i5 processor achieved 7,160 points in the PCMark 10 test. This meant that the Predator Orion 3000’s hardware scored higher than 93% of other PCs and placed higher than the average premium gaming PC from two years ago. 

Overall, given the wide range of configurations available for purchase, the Acer Predator Orion 3000 line-up is perfectly capable of catering to most players looking to break into the world of PC gaming. Despite its lack of DDR5 RAM across the series and its base models including just 256GB of SSD storage, both are arguably minor shortcomings and can be easily overlooked considering the product’s reasonable price. 

Although those on the lookout for more premium hardware would likely benefit from exploring other options, this gaming computer is a solid choice for those looking to balance a decent gaming performance with a more than palatable price range. 

  • Performance: 4/5

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider...

First reviewed July 2022.

How We Test

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test