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Dino PC Sandyfoot 2500 OC review

Kat Orphanides
19 Mar 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
650
inc VAT

Dino PC’s Sandyfoot provides plenty of overclocked processor power for your money, but most people will prefer to live with a slower version in return for a better graphics card and monitor.

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Specifications

4.5GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 4GB RAM, 21.5in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

With the Sandyfoot 2500 OC, Dino PC has put the emphasis firmly on processor power. The focus is on the overclocked Intel Core i5-2500K, a powerful processor that can be pushed to some of the fastest speeds we've seen. Dino PC has overclocked this one to a blistering 4.5 GHz, producing a score of 213 overall in our benchmarks. That's phenomenal at this price.

Despite the speed and a slightly flimsy case, the Sandyfoot makes remarkably little noise. Unfortunately, it’s easy to see where sacrifices have been made to absorb the cost of the processor. The hard disk has a rather meagre capacity of 500GB, rather than the terabyte we’re used to seeing, and the 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 430 graphics card is something of a token gesture. You can use it to play older or less-demanding 3D games like Call of Duty 4, but it’ll struggle with the latest titles.

Dino PC Sandyfoot 2500 OC

The monitor is a similarly low-budget selection: an AOC F22s+. In terms of quality, it’s identical to the F22+ with its DVI port, but this version has only a VGA input. It has a resolution of 1,920x1,080 and produces a decent but unremarkable image. Its backlighting is a little uneven, colours are a bit muted and you can’t vary its height or position much. We liked its matt display and it's good enough for work, playing games and watching movies.

If the graphics card and monitor are cut-price, at least the motherboard provides little cause for complaint. The only PCI-E x1 slot is blocked by the Nvidia card above, but there’s a second PCI-E x16 slot that you can use for a sound card, TV tuner or similar upgrade. There’s also a vacant PCI slot, further increasing the motherboard’s expandability.

Dino PC Sandyfoot 2500 OC ports

4GB of RAM is fitted, but both the motherboard and the 64-bit version of Windows Home Premium can handle up to 16GB, not that many people will need that amount. There are four free SATA2 ports; a pair of SATA3 ports is already in use. At the back of the PC you’ll find a pair of USB3 ports alongside six standard USB2 ports, one eSATA port and a FireWire port. That lot provides plenty of connectivity for fast storage. If you want to save USB ports, you also have the option of using a PS/2 keyboard and mouse. The supplied Microsoft Basic Keyboard and Optical Mouse have USB connectors and are exactly as described: basic, but they’re also well designed and pleasant to use.

The Sandyfoot is a sterling effort from Dino PC and a great buy, perhaps with an extra 4GB of memory, if you're more interested in processor-intensive tasks like virtualisation and video editing than games. However, most users will benefit from a slightly more balanced system and a better monitor with a digital input, such as the Chillblast Fusion Aurora.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K
Processor external bus100MHz (Sandy Bridge DMI)
Processor multiplierx45
Processor clock speed4.5GHz
Processor socketLGA1155
Memory4
Memory typePC3-10700
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsus P8P67-M
Motherboard chipsetIntel P67

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/8
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/1
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Seagate Barracuda (ST350041)
InterfaceSATA II
Total storage capacity500GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 430
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC892
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo line out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size21.5 in
Screen modelAOC F22s+
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsVGA

Other Hardware

KeyboardMicrosoft Basic Keyboard 1.0A
MouseMicrosoft Basic Optical Mouse

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB (three years labour, one year parts)
Price£650
Detailswww.dinopc.com

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