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Dino PC Ceratops 2500K review

Kat Orphanides
18 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
450
inc VAT

With a Blu-ray drive and a hefty overclock, the Ceratops can keep you entertained and is easily upgradable in the future

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Specifications

4.5GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 4GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Dino PC's Ceratops 2500K delivers plenty of bang for your buck thanks to its Core i5-2500K processor which is overclocked to a hefty 4.5GHz. This gives it an edge over the vast majority of similarly-priced PCs, with an overall score of 131 in our benchmark tests.

Dino PC Ceratops 2500K

The guts of the system look very sparse, but the advantage is plenty of room to upgrade. The Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 motherboard has two PCI-E x16 slots, three PCI-E x1 slots and a couple of PCI slots. If you want to add a dedicated graphics card to a PCI-E x16 slot, you'll need a Molex to PCI-E power adaptor to connect it, as the 500W power supply has neither 6-pin nor 8-pin PCI-E power connectors. Two of the board's four memory card slots are occupied by 1,600MHz 2GB memory modules for a total 4GB of RAM and the motherboard can handle a maximum 32GB. There are six SATA ports, two of which are SATA3. Only two ports are currently in use: one for the 1TB hard disk and the other is hooked up to a Blu-ray reader.

Dino PC Ceratops 2500K inside

The absence of a dedicated graphics card means that the Core i5's integrated GPU has to shoulder the load. With a frame rate of 18.5fps in our 1,280x720 high quality Dirt 3 test, you'll have to select low-quality settings to see smooth gameplay in the latest titles. Our main concern is that the motherboard has only a single HDMI graphics output, and no DVI or VGA. That means that you're limited to a single display, and old analogue monitors can't be used.

Dino PC Ceratops 2500K

The motherboard also has both parallel and serial ports, which few will need. However, there are also six USB ports - two of them USB3 - as well as 5.1 analogue audio outputs, an optical S/PDIF audio output, a PS/2 port and the obligatory Gigabit Ethernet port. There are another two USB ports at the front, along with mic and headphone ports.

Dino PC Ceratops 2500K back

The glossy case looks pleasant enough on the outside. The bare metal interior is rather stark, but is properly finished, with no sharp edges. There are six vacant 3 1/2in bays and three spare 5 1/4in ones. The system is certainly quiet, as there are no case fans, but can become rather warm after being switched on for a few hours. If you add a graphics card, you should add a couple of fans to help with ventilation.

The supplied Logitech wired keyboard and mouse are among the best budget options around - both are responsive and comfortable to use. The Ceratops 2500K looks a good choice, but the Palicomp Phoenix i5 Supreme is virtually identical yet has a trio of video outputs plus a three-year parts-and-labour warranty. However, if gaming is a priority, then the Chillblast Fusion Shadow is even better at the same price.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx45
Processor clock speed4.5GHz
Processor socketLGA1155
Memory4
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardGigabyte Z68AP-D3
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z68

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)3 (3)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (2)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Western Digital Caviar (WD10EARX-00N0YB0)
InterfaceSATA2
Total storage capacity1,000GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Intel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics/video portsHDMI

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC889
Sound outputs5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, line out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

Screen modelnone
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

KeyboardLogitech Internet 350 Keyboard
MouseLogitech B110

Software

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

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB parts, three years RTB labour
Price£450
Detailswww.dinopc.com

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