Advertisement
Advertisement

Dino PC Jurassic 3470 review

Kat Orphanides
4 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
499
inc VAT

Plenty of desktop power, but the lack of SATA3 is disappointing, particularly as there's an SSD fitted

Advertisement

Specifications

3.2GHz Intel Core i5-3470, 8GB RAM, 21.5in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 8

There's nothing to say that a low-cost PC can't provide plenty of power, as the Dino PC Jurassic 3470 proves. Its 3.2Ghz Core i5-3470 processor isn't unlocked, so it can't be overclocked very far, but it packs enough power to achieve an overall score of 92 in our application benchmarks. This puts the PC in the same performance bracket as a lot of mid-range PCs.

Dino PC Jurassic 3470

The downside is that to keep the price down Dini PC has relied on the processor's integrated Intel HD Graphics 2500. This GPU is seriously underpowered and failed all our graphics benchmarks. You'll be able to play older 3D games at low quality settings, but decent graphics in the latest releases are out of reach. If you want to use this as a family PC, you should probably look to get a budget third-party graphics card such as a £90 Nvidia GTX 650E.

The PC's case doesn't provide much sound or dust proofing and its rear case fan is rather more noisy than we'd have liked. However, the PC is well finished inside, has enough room for even a fairly large graphics card and the 500W power supply means there's a fair bit of upgrade potential too. There are also plenty of vacant 3.5in bays for extra storage and one spare 5.25in bay.

The system is kitted out with a DVD-RW drive, but it's the 120GB SSD that really caught our eye, as it makes Windows 8 and applications start quickly. For file storage there's a 500GB hard disk, which should most people, although it's a little stingy and we'd really expect to see a 1TB model. Our hard disk came unformatted, so you'll need to configure the way you want to use and configure Windows Libraries if you want to change the location of your documents folder.

Dino PC Jurassic 3470

Sadly, Dino PC has opted for a motherboard which doesn't have any SATA3 ports - just four SATA2 ports, three of which are already in use. This limits both your upgrade potential and the maximum throughput of your drives, so you don't get the full benefit of the SSD.

It's not all bad when it comes to the Asus P8H61-MX USB3 motherboard, though. It's cleverly designed to ensure that neither of its PCI-E x1 slots will be blocked even if you put a large graphics card into the PCI-E x16 slot. There's no PCI slot, which is worth bearing in mind if you have older expansion cards that you'd like to transfer across from an older system.

Although the motherboard's name mentions its USB3 capabilities, it only has two rear USB3 ports and no additional header for ports on the front of a case. There are also four USB2 ports at the back and two on the front panel. There's also a PS/2 port for a mouse or keyboard on the back, plus the usual set of three 3.5mm analogue audio outputs, which can be configured for up to 5.1 channel surround sound. There are also 3.5mm mic and headphone ports on the front panel.

Dino PC Jurassic 3470

The keyboard and mouse are a comfortable and accurate Logitech set - a long way from being top-of -the-range but absolutely fine for standard desktop use. Unfortunately, Dino PC has seriously scrimped on the monitor. The LG Flatron 22EN33S-B's picture looks a little greyish and gritty, appearing to have a film across the panel. It's a 21.5in matt flatscreen and we found that its colour reproduction wasn't very good. It's also disappointing that it has only a VGA input.

We'd rather save £80 on the PC's asking price and buy without the monitor, adding a better model at a later date.

Although the Jurassic 3470 is a reasonably powerful desktop PC, its poor 3D graphics means that it lacks the gaming capabilities we'd want from a family PC, while its VGA-only monitor is a definite disappointment.

If you're prepared to upgrade your graphics almost immediately, it's a good buy, but still not as good as the Palicomp Alpha Laser, which has a more powerful processor and costs £500. Meanwhile, for a very capable out-of-the-box all-rounder, we prefer the Wired2Fire Velocity VX.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core i5-3470
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx32
Processor clock speed3.2GHz
Processor socketLGA1155
Memory8
Memory typePC3-10600
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsus P8H61-MX USB3
Motherboard chipsetIntel H61

Ports

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

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports1
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)SanDisk SDSSP128G + Seagate ST500DM002-1B142
InterfaceSATA3

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Intel HD Graphics 2500
Graphics/video portsVGA, DVI

Sound

SoundVIA VT1708S HD Audio
Sound outputs5.1 line 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 modelLG Flatron 22EN33S-B
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsVGA

Other Hardware

KeyboardLogitech K120
MouseLogitech B110

Software

Operating systemWindows 8
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB
Price£499
Detailswww.dinopc.com

Read more

Reviews