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DinoPC Stealth Sentinel review

Michael Passingham
3 Apr 2015
DinoPC Stealth Sentinel with keyboard, mouse and monitor
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
599
inc VAT, £499 without monitor

A big SSD and quality monitor help to elevate the modest and quiet DinoPC Stealth Sentinel, but 2D performance is a little lacking

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Specifications

Processor: Dual-Core 3.6GHz Intel Core i3-4160, RAM: 8GB, Front USB ports : 2x USB3, Rear USB ports: 4x USB3, 2x USB, Total storage: 240GB SSD, Graphics card: Zotac GeForce GTX 750Ti, Display: 24in Iiyama ProLite GE2488HS-B1 , Operating system: Windows 8.1

DinoPC's Stealth Sentinel is one of the quietest budget gaming PC's we've seen, which is largely thanks to its quality Corsair 100R Silent case and the quiet case fans. It also helps that DinoPC hasn't included the most potent components in its build, but the Stealth Sentinel can still put in decent performance that makes it a great desktop PC.

The Corsair case isn't just well insulated from noise, it also manages to combine simplicity with style. Due to the lack of front intake fans, the case has no honeycomb panels on the front or side, which gives the matt black chassis a stylish and uniform look. Take the left side off the case and you'll be presented with a surprisingly bare build. This is largely due to the use of a microATX motherboard and the fact that the graphics card is only the length of a PCI-E x16 slot.

The use of an SSD over a hard disk also means the drive bays appear less cluttered, and the lack of a DVD-RW drive (which some buyers may miss) means there's not much going on inside. Still, it's a neat build and there's a bit of room for future expansion.

A side-on view of the DinoPC Stealth Sentinel

There are two USB3 ports and two 3.5mm audio jacks at the front of the chassis while at the rear you'll find a further four USB3 connectors and two slower USB ports. Here there are also three 3.5mm audio jacks. The graphics card has a fairly limited selection of ports; there are two DVI connectors and a mini HDMI port.

There's a dual-core Intel Core i3-4160 processor running at its base clock speed of 3.6GHz, which means is whizzes through most basic tasks with relative ease. More complicated multimedia jobs are hampered by its lack of cores, however. There is Hyper-threading that adds two more virtual cores, but it wasn't enough to save this PC from a merely average performance in our multimedia benchmarks. Image editing was its strong point; the Stealth Sentinel scored 93 in this test. Scores of 57 and 45 in the video rendering and multitasking tests respectively, while not exactly slow, do fall some way short of some of the Core i5 processors we've seen in other similarly-priced PC builds.

Just below the processor is the 2GB Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti graphics card. This model is no slouch and is widely regarded as an excellent and highly-efficient budget graphics card.

We put the 750Ti through its paces in our Dirt Showdown benchmark first, where it achieved a very playable 47.7fps average frame rate. Metro: Last Light caused the card a few problems and it turned in an average frame rate of just 18.5fps. Disabling supersample anti-aliasing improved this somewhat to 32fps, but we found turning texture filtering down from 16x to 4x and overall quality down to High was the best bet, improving to a more stable 46fps.

DinoPC has ditched mechanical hard disks in favour of a 240GB Kingston SSD. It's an interesting decision and one that should pay off for those who have a limited number of programs and games they want quick access to. Those who have large photo or video collections may be less happy with this (solid) state of affairs, although if you're migrating from an older PC there's no reason why you can't move your high-capacity HDD into this case and connect it to one of the three free SATA connectors.

A rear view of the DinoPC Stealth Sentinel

Because the Gigabyte GA-H81M-S2H motherboard is in the small microATX form factor, there's less room for future expansion than a full-size card, which means this cost-saving measure may cause issues in the future. For most buyers who have no desire to expand, this will be less of a problem. In addition to the three free SATA connectors, there's a PCI-E x1 slot for a small soundcard or wireless adapter, and there's also room for three more 3.5in or 2.5in hard disks or SSDs, and there's also room for two optical disk drives.

The Iiyama ProLite GE2488HS-B1 monitor is excellent for the price: it's a 24in Full HD panel with fast response times and decent colour accuracy (92.5% sRGB) and high contrast levels of 1,243:1. If you're in the market for a monitor upgrade, you could do worse than buy it in this PC bundle.

DinoPC's three-year warranty isn't the most generous you'll find among the UK's system builders. You get a year of parts and labour cover followed by two more years of labour only cover. The whole three years is covered under an RTB warranty, meaning you're responsible for the delivery of the PC to the manufacturer for repair if a fault develops after 30 days of ownership.

The DinoPC Stealth Sentinel is good all-round package encompassing a quiet PC, high-quality monitor and a generous SSD. However, aside from its strengths, it lacks the overall processing power that other PCs in this price range offer and the Chillblast Fusion Cyborg is a better choice. Alternatively, check out our regularly-updated Best desktop PCs and buying guide.

Core specs
ProcessorDual-Core 3.6GHz Intel Core i3-4160
Processor socketLGA1150
RAM8GB
Memory type1600MHz DDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardGigabyte H81M-S2H
Motherboard chipsetIntel H81
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports2x USB3
Rear USB ports4x USB3, 2x USB
Other ports2x PS/2
Networking1x 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Case typeATX
Case size HxWxD430x200x471mm
PCI (free)0
PCIe x1 (free)2 (1)
PCIe x16 (free)1 (0)
Serial ATA (free)4 (3)
Memory slots (free)2 (0)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)4 (3)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)4 (3)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)2 (2)
Storage
Total storage240GB SSD
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeNone
Graphics
Graphics cardZotac GeForce GTX 750Ti
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, 1x mini HDMI
Sound
Sound cardIntegrated
Sound card outputs3x 3.5mm audio ouput
SpeakersNone
Display
Display24in Iiyama ProLite GE2488HS-B1
Native resolution1,920x1,080
InputsDVI, HDMI, VGA
Other hardware
KeyboardLogitech K120
MouseLogitech M120
ExtrasNone
Software
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionWindows 8 restore
Buying information
WarrantyThree years RTB including one year of parts cover
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£599
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£499
Supplierwww.dinopc.com
Detailswww.dinopc.com
Part CodeStealth Sentinel

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