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Got $20K? Acer’s Got a Pro-Creation Uber-Workstation for You

Tired of relying on gaming PCs to get your best creations out into the world? The dual-Xeon ConceptD 900 (and its much cheaper ConceptD 500 sibling) are power towers that aim to remedy that.
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Got $ 20K? Acer's Got a Pro-Creation Uber-Workstation for You

When Acer took the stage to introduce its new line of creator-centric desktop workstations in Brooklyn this week, company reps cited an interesting statistic: 15 percent of folks who buy gaming PCs never actually install a game on them.

This is because, for a long time, one of the few ways to get a pre-built PC powerful enough to handle tasks like leading-edge 3D rendering was to buy a machine marketed at gamers, but still packed with enough high-end componentry to handle anything you threw its way.

Acer’s new ConceptD 500 and ConceptD 900 workstations aim to upset that norm: beautifully designed, moderately compact desktop PCs that come with everything creators need to do their best work.

But all that hardware comes at a cost. The ConceptD 500 (made for prosumers and semi-pros) has modest beginnings, starting at just $ 1,699 and ramping up from there. But the powerhouse ConceptD 900, aimed at 3D-graphics production elites, is where things really start to snowball straightaway. This decked-out, dual-CPU workstation desktop starts at, wait for it…$ 19,999. Breaking out the piggy bank isn’t going to cut it; you’ll have to talk to your loan officer about this one.

  • The More Petite of the Powerhouses

    The first entry in the ConceptD desktop line, the ConceptD 500 holds a whole lotta power in a very small frame. Only 16 inches high and 17 inches deep, the chassis of the ConceptD 500 is hiding a ton of hardware in a suspiciously quiet package.
  • Quiet for the Office, But Shouts Performance

    A big selling point that Acer is pushing for its ConceptD line? Noise, or lack thereof. Gaming machines are almost never concerned with how much operating noise they output, because (1) the more noise, the more power behind it, right? and (2) you’re probably wearing a gaming headset, anyway.

    Graphics pros are not so keen on this approach, however. They usually prefer to keep things a little quieter, whether it be in a crowded office or at home, and this is why Acer worked to keep the noise footprint of the ConceptD 500 fans and other cooling hardware to under 40dB, even at full load.

  • Wood-Grain, and Wireless Charging

    Now here’s a first: Ever seen a wireless charging dock built in to your desktop? Well, maybe. Under a layer of wood or faux-wood, though? Okay, then: Now you have.

    The ConceptD 500 is not only stylish, with its matte-white casing, but the top is a “woodgrain-inspired” panel. (We touched it, it’s not real wood.) The wireless charging pad beneath the surface (to the left of the ports panel) lets you drop on your compatible devices during the workday. But in case you don’t have a device that charges wirelessly, you can also plug in on the front panel, where you’ll find two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a USB Type-C port, and 3.5mm audio in/out jacks for easy headphone access. (A spring-loaded headphone hanger also pops out from the front.)

  • Expandable to Your Needs

    Despite its small exterior, you can cram a bunch of beefy hardware into the ConceptD 500. Creators will have the option to equip their ConceptD 500 with up to a 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K processor clocked up to 5GHz, up to 64GB of 2,666MHz DDR4 RAM, a 2TB hard drive (backed with an Intel Optane Memory module), and a 512GB NVMe SSD.

    An Nvidia GeForce Quadro RTX 4000 is the across-model graphics choice, and with that, you’ve got a machine that would blow almost any standard gaming rig clear out of the water for pro tasks.

  • Pretty…But Still a PC

    Around the back of this (admittedly gorgeous) machine, you’ll find the nuts and bolts exposed. Here the ConceptD 500 will come with four DisplayPort 1.4b slots, two HDMI 2.0 ports, six USB ports of various flavors, 3.5mm audio out/in/mic jacks, and Gigabit Ethernet. Interior connectivity includes an integrated 802.11ac wireless chip and a Bluetooth 4.0 module.
  • Break Out the Wallet

    One step up from the ConceptD 500 is Acer’s flagship creator machine: the ConceptD 900. This is an elite-level workstation made for only the top end of the top-end tasks, including complex 3D rendering, supercomputer-grade simulations, and anything else you can think to do, as long as you’ve got nearly $ 20,000 to spare on your next big project.
  • The Gold Standard in Power

    Considering that the ConceptD 900 is a few inches deeper than the ConceptD 500, it’s pretty incredible how much horsepower Acer managed to fit into such a tight space.

    The ConceptD 900 comes stocked with dual-Intel Xeon Gold 6148 processors, giving you 40 cores and up to 80 threads to play with, next to 12 DIMM slots that will support up to 192GB of ECC memory. The workstation will also come equipped with an Nvidia GeForce Quadro RTX 6000 GPU, but you won’t be limited to the one GPU if you want to expand into the other PCI Express x16 slots.

    This makes the ConceptD 900 a good choice for high-level, studio-grade animation work, as well as potential for AI and deep machine learning applications that are on the cutting edge of compute power. Acer was also keen to tout the 900’s PTC certification, which means both machines are ready to handle a subset of augmented-reality, 3D, and CAD applications with ease.

  • Not So Quiet Under the Hood

    Though Acer was all about touting the whisper-quiet noise profile of the ConceptD 500, the ConceptD 900 wasn’t lumped into the same sub-40dB category, and for good reason.

    Despite the ambient noise of people shuffling about on the show floor, just standing next to this beast, you could hear its fans whirring at full speed to keep so much horsepower cool in such a tight space. We couldn’t measure exactly how loud it was, but assuming we can get our mitts on one of these ultra-towers, you can expect those figures in our review of this monster when it launches next month.

  • More From Acer’s Big Event:

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