Acer is by far one of the biggest names in the monitor game, providing the market with some of the best gaming monitors we’ve tested in recent times. Their Predator lineup is Acer’s flagship range of gaming monitors, offering only the best performance-tailored specifications and features.
In today’s article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Acer Predator XB323U gaming monitor – one of the latest 32″ 1440p monitors to come out of the series. The XB323U comes equipped with all the specifications you would expect from a high-end gaming monitor of this price point; including a 2560 x 1440 screen resolution, 170Hz refresh rate, and a rapid 0.5ms MPRT. Pair all the above with a hugely impressive IPS panel which offers up to 99% of the Adobe RGB color space and a fully versatile stand that provides superb ergonomics, and you’re left with one of the best 32″ gaming monitors the market has to offer.
As always, we’ll be testing the XB323U for color accuracy, picture quality, build quality, and overall gaming performance – comparing it to similarly priced alternatives as and when we can.
So, with plenty to get through, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!
Acer Predator XB323U
0.5ms – MPRT
2560 x 1440
0.5ms – MPRT
2560 x 1440
99% Adobe RGB, 90% DCI-P3
100 x 100mm
727 x 466 x 289 mm with stand
2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 (a), 4 x USB 3.0 (Type-A; downstream), 1 X USB 3.0 (Type-B; upstream), 1 x 3.5mm audio out
Impressive 170Hz (overclock) refresh rate
Low 0.5ms response time (minimum)
Fantastic build quality
Agile-splendor IPS technology
Very accurate color reprodcution
High price point
The Acer Predator XB323U comes in an extremely robust box that showcases the monitor and many of its features on the outside. It’s definitely worth mentioning that the box for this monitor is massive – and that’s mainly due to the pre-assembled form it comes in.
Inside the box, the monitor is already attached to the stand – all you need to do to get it up and running is remove it from the styrofoam it sits in. No assembly required.
Below is the full list of accessories that come with the Acer Predator XB323U:
- Acer Predator XB323U Monitor
- Kettle Plug
- HDMI 2.0
- DisplayPort 1.4
- Quick Start Guide
Acer Predator XB323U
0.5ms – MPRT
2560 x 1440
With specifications out the way, let’s take a closer look at the build quality, design, and mechanical features this monitor comes equipped with.
The XB323U comes to the table equipped with Acer’s textbook Predator design. The familiar stand has been seen numerous times before, boasting a fully metallic construction that feels robust and extremely sturdy. The face of the monitor is equipped with a near borderless design, with the bottom bezel housing Acer’s Predator branding alongside some of the monitor’s features – ‘Agile-splendor IPS technology + Nvidia G-sync’. The base of the stand uses a very wide ‘Y’ shaped design that is definitely on the large side – so just keep that in mind if you are considering this monitor.
Moving to the rear of the monitor is where many of the Predator’s design features can be found. The first thing that catches the eye is the impressive stand which really does look like something out of an Arnie movie.
The back of the stand offers more Predator branding alongside an aggressive scale-like armor which is reminiscent of something alien. Halfway down the stand, you’ll find a cool-looking cylinder that houses the mechanism for the monitor’s swivel functionality. It is finished in a shiny metallic style but is plastic by design. There is a small cutout for cable management near the base of the stand which does offer some functionality too.
Horizontal lines make up the majority of the rear of the panel, with Acer’s logo found in the top right-hand corner – finished in chrome. There are no obvious color elements apart from a gunmetal grey powder coating that is found on the stand itself. All-in-all, whilst the design of the Predator XB323U is fairly simple, it still ticks all the right boxes and looks very premium.
Acer’s Predator range is always extremely reliable when it comes to the build quality of their panels. The XB323U is no exception. Starting with the panel itself, it feels absolutely rock solid. Despite a decent amount of plastic being used in this monitor’s design, it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy in the slightest. The plastic used at the rear offers excellent support for the panel’s interior components, with little to no flex experienced during build quality testing.
The stand, as we mentioned earlier, is constructed primarily from metal. Whilst this does add a bit of weight to the monitor’s makeup, it also offers an incredibly steady frame for the panel to sit on. The monitor itself didn’t move during use, something other monitors of this size have been plagued with in the past. The plastic used for the scale-like armor is probably the most lackluster on this panel – but that is purely there for aesthetic purpose and nothing else.
At the top of the stand, users will find a handy carry handle that enables you to transport this monitor will relative ease.
All-in-all, you can’t really knock the build quality of this monitor – it is, as you’d expect, extremely well-built.
Like most modern panels, the XB323U comes equipped with an anti-glare coating that is finished in matte with a 3H hardness. This is not only great for mitigating both natural and manmade light sources, but it also adds another layer of protection to the more delicate interior components.
One downside to this coating is, it does pick up a tonne of fingerprint marks quite quickly. You might want to keep some monitor cleaner on hand as the fingerprints do show during usage.
As you’d expect, the bezels on this monitor are very good – especially the top and sides. The bezels are dual-stage, with a thin plastic exterior (around 2 mm) wrapping around the top and sides. The total measurements of the bezels come in at 8mm (top), 9mm (sides), and 25mm (bottom). Whilst this isn’t the thinnest we’ve ever tested, the bezels do seem a little smaller – mainly because of the 32″ scale of the screen itself.
Like we said earlier, the stand on this monitor is extremely good – providing great stability and excellent aesthetics, respectively. That being said, the versatility of the stand might be what impresses me most.
Normally, monitors of this size don’t have great stand versatility – mainly because they weigh quite a bit. Fortunately, that isn’t the case with this monitor. It offers all the adjustments you could want, including height, tilt, swivel, and pivot adjustments – with the latter being great for inserting input cables.
Below are the exact specifications of the stand:
- Forward Tilt – 5 degrees
- Backward Tilt – 23 degrees
- Left Swivel – 20 degrees
- Right Swivel – 20 degrees
- Pivot – 90 degrees
- Height – 130mm
Acer Predator XB323U
0.5ms – MPRT
2560 x 1440
Inputs can be found at the rear of the monitor and are inserted in a vertical fashion, as you’d expect. The display inputs and the USB Hub can be found at the rear, however, there are two additional USB slots on the left-hand side of the panel.
This monitor provides all the inputs you could require, with multiple display inputs for those looking to use this monitor with several devices.
The OSD (on-screen display) is controlled by a number of buttons and a joystick – all of which can be found on the rear of the monitor on the right-hand side. Navigating the OSD is very easy and self-intuitive thanks to the joystick. Buttons have also been added for exiting the menu and offering some shortcuts to quick color presets, HDR, and volume.
Inside the menu, users will find all the usual suspects, including brightness, contrast, game modes, on-screen crosshairs, color presets, overdrive settings, and a whole host of other options that allow you to tailor this monitor to your exact requirements.
We will go into more detail on the performance-altering features of the OSD further down the article.
Great colors and excellent picture quality are two of the main factors that help create immersion whilst your gaming. Whilst this is the case, gaming monitors don’t always calibrate the color to what is deemed accurate within certain color spectrums – sRGB/Rec.709 for example.
We like to test each monitor for color reproduction to see how they would perform in color-accurate 0scenarios.
Here are the results.
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||Gamma|
|Out The Box – Color Temp Warm||6994K||0.1153 cd/m²||1048.6:1||4.15||2.13|
|Game Mode 1 (Action)||6926K||0.1203 cd/m²||1009.3:1||4.15||2.14|
|Graphics Preset||7035K||0.4325 cd/m²||1065.3:1||5.06||2.03|
|User Color Preset||7253K||0.3189 cd/m²||1067.4:1||4.17||2.12|
We started off by testing the monitor in the factory ‘out the box’ settings. In this scenario, it was set to ‘Standard’ color preset with ‘Warm’ color temperature at 360 nits of brightness – much higher than what you’d recommend for everyday use.
We ran a quick test and the figures were poor, to say the least. Despite white point being much higher than the 6500K ideal, black depth and contrast ratio were what you would expect (1048:1). More disappointing, however, was the 4.15 average deltaE it recorded. When examining the results, you could clearly see the difference between each slide, making it a poor preset for color-accurate work.
Game mode 1 (action) didn’t really offer a great deal more if truth be told. Actually, looking at the results, the two presets were almost identical in color accuracy. It’s worth mentioning that the ‘out the box’ preset was a lot brighter. However, that was about the only difference on offer.
The ‘Graphics’ preset did feel a little saturated and the results confirmed this. Average deltaE of 5.06 was the worst of the results we tested. With white point being well about the 6500K ideal (7035K). Contrast ratio was good at 1067:1 but black depth was a little high (0.31).
User profile was up next, with more bad results to follow. Average deltaE of 4.17 and a white point of 7253K actually made it one of the worst profiles we tested – again the RGB spectrum.
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||Maximum ΔE*00||Gamma|
|User Color Preset||7410K||0.1184 cd/m²||1003.9:1||5.58||12.09||2.12|
|Calbirated User Profile||6421K||0.1306 cd/m²||919.7:1||0.23||1.17||2.11|
We quickly calibrated the monitor (using User color temperature) to see how accurate the Acer Predator XB323U could become. For best results, we changed the RGB values to 55/41/41 and ran the calibration.
After calibration, the Acer Predator was greatly improved – showcasing massive uplifts in almost every area. We recorded a white point of 6421K and an impressive 0.13 black depth. Contrast ratio did take a small dip down to 919:1 and gamma was still low at 2.11. Average DeltaE saw the biggest drop, now offering a perfect 0.23 score – resulting in a maximum deltaE of 1.17 (extremely good).
Panel uniformity is a test we run to check how uniform the luminance and color is across the entirety of the screen. During this test, the center square is used as the reference space. Every other square is then tested to see how far it differentiates from the reference.
In an ideal world, we want every square to be green, meaning it hasn’t broken the differential threshold – something we can set at the start of the test.
Note: results will differ from panel to panel.
The Predator XB323U actually performed quite poorly in this particular test, resulting in a ‘mish-mash’ of results that were far from uniform.
As you can see from the graph above, large portions of the left and right channels are showcasing a red score (determined poor by color accuracy and luminance uniformity). Many of the internal quadrants did return a positive score, but that is no saving grace for this panel.
It’s worth mentioning that panel uniformity can differ from panel to panel, so take these results with a slight pinch of salt.
The viewing angles of this panel were extremely good, with almost no color shift when viewing this monitor from obscure angles. Both vertical and horizontal viewing angles were consistent, showing no real signs of color shift or brightness deviation.
You could easily use this monitor for multi-person use – great for co-op gaming and general browsing.
Acer Predator XB323U
0.5ms – MPRT
2560 x 1440
As part of the calibration process, the DisplayCal will give an accurate measurement of the color gamut the monitor can provide. Below are the results of the color gamut test:
As you can see from the results above, this monitor offers a huge color gamut indeed. For those wondering, this monitor offers one of the widest color gamuts I’ve tested – beating every other gaming monitor I’ve tested.
Looking at the physical color gamut graph, the XB323U offers almost double the sRGB volume. That translates to 99.6% coverage of the Adobe RGB spectrum, and 92.8% DCI-P3 spectrum, respectively. Overall, I would definitely recommend purchasing a colorimeter for this monitor. Whilst the presets aren’t overly accurate right out the box, the calibrated profile offers excellent color accuracy and an extremely wide color gamut.
Maximum And Minimum Brightness
We ended the color accuracy and picture quality testing by checking the maximum brightness, minimum brightness, and 120 candelas points on this panel. The results are below:
|100% Brightness (Non HDR)||471cd/m²|
|120 Brightness||120 cd/m²|
|100% Brightness (HDR enabled)||735cd/m²|
For those who want to use our calibrated color profile, you will find a link below where you can download the zip file.
With color accuracy out of the way, it’s time to put the Predator XB323U through a number of different gaming scenarios to see how it stacks up in pixel response, input lag, and HDR content. Seeing as though this is Acer’s high-end gaming lineup, I expect only the best gaming experience from it. Here are the results.
Before we started, we enabled the maximum fresh rate (170Hz) in the display settings. We also turned the Variable refresh rate on (G-sync) which enabled Over drive and Ultra-low latency.
I started off by playing CS:GO – a fast-paced first-person shooter that would push the XB323U to its limits from a response standpoint. I joined a deathmatch server and was immediately impressed by the fluid feel that the monitor provided. Despite the monitor’s large size and intense resolution 2560 x 1440, I was still able to maintain a steady 170 frames per second in CS:GO. For comparison’s sake, I tested this monitor alongside 60Hz and 144Hz monitors to see if we could see any noticeable difference between various refresh rates on offer. Going from 60Hz to 170Hz was like night and day. That being said, the difference in 144Hz to 170Hz wasn’t so apparent – with only slight differences being felt during gameplay.
Impressively, the 32″ predator did offer a tonne of immersion in games like CS:GO, mainly thanks to the smoothness of the gameplay. Holding big sprays through smokes whilst several enemies charged you was incredibly fluid – allowing you to feel more connected with your gaming. In these particular settings, I hardly experience any ghosting or trailing – maybe some minor haloing when bright objects were subject to dark backgrounds. However, for the hobbyists, this was barely noticeable and in no way offputting. Removing the variable refresh rate feature and cranking the Over drive up to extreme did lead to some trailing and overshoot. Whilst the experience wasn’t overly offputting, it was noticeable.
We loaded up Shadow of the Tomb Raider shortly after this, testing out the immersive qualities of the monitor alongside the HDR 600 certification it offers. The mid-range high dynamic range standard offered a significant boost in performance when compared to the entry-level VESA DisplayHDR 400 standard. Playing Shadow Of The Tomb Raider felt fantastic, with both dark and light areas benefiting from the HDR 600 standard. When paying closer attention to these areas, it was clear that a tonne of additional detail was now available. Furthermore, with 16 dimming zones, the detailed clarity in those areas of extreme contrast was much clearer to identify.
We went on to test a number of other games, including Battlefield V, CyberPunk, and Call Of Duty, with each offering an enjoyable experience with no obvious visual artifacts.
Overall, from a gaming standpoint, it’s very hard to knock this monitor too much – it performed extremely well to say the least.
So, there you have it, our comprehensive review of the Acer Predator XB323U – one of the market’s best 32″ 1440p gaming monitors. The only thing left to answer is, do we feel the XB323U is good value for money. Well, that comes down to a number of different factors, but for me personally, you’d have to say absolutely. The Acer Predator XB323U is a superb monitor when it comes to gaming scenarios – equipped with all the features you could want from a monitor geared towards both immersive and competitive gameplay.
Despite some individuals frowning upon the combination of 32″ screen size alongside 1440p resolution, it really did offer a great overall experience. The resolution doesn’t apply too much pressure on the GPU, still allowing you to reach high frame rates in a number of different gaming titles. Furthermore, thanks to this pairing, users will also have decent desk real-estate to play with – great for working and multitasking situations.
Gaming in both SDR and HDR was a real joy, with HDR offering a superb visual experience in games that supported it. Cranking the refresh rate up to 170Hz also added another layer of immersion to the theoretical pie, allowing you to slip into your virtual world with almost no trailing or ghosting. A wide color gamut also enables you to experience certain color shades that lesser monitors (in this case most monitors) simply couldn’t replicate.
So, all-in-all, whilst this display does reside in the higher end of the price spectrum, it still manages to showcase excellent value for money – ticking all the right boxes when it comes to high-end gaming performance.
Acer Predator XB323U
0.5ms - MPRT
2560 x 1440
The Acer Predator XB323U is a fantastic 32″ (flat) gaming monitor. It offers up all the high-end specifications you could want to take your gaming experience to the next level. With a 170Hz refresh rate, 0.5ms MPRT (moving picture response time), and extremely low input lag, this big gaming monitor isn’t just tailored towards immersive gameplay. It goes toe-to-toe with some of the best 144Hz competitive gaming monitors, making the XB323U a fantastic all-rounder that really doesn’t put a foot wrong.