This otherwise well-equipped system is let down by the monitor
4.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K, 8GB RAM, 22.5in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 8
The Dino PC Velociraptor 3570K is a powerful desktop PC that’s capable of turning its hand to gaming as well as processor intensive desktop applications.
As we’ve come to expect from PCs at this price, the processor is an overclocked Core i5-3570K. Dino PC has upped the clock speed from the stock 3.4GHz to 4.4GHz. As you’d expect, this has a big effect on performance. Combined with the 8GB of RAM, the Velociraptor 3570K scored an impressive 123 in our application benchmarks, showing that this computer can cope with any task you throw at it.
There’s plenty of RAM for every application, but if you do want to install more, it’s good to see that the excellent Gigabyte Z77-HD3 motherboard has two free RAM slots. It’s well equipped otherwise, with two PCI, two PCI-E x1 and two PCI-E x16 slots. One of the x16 slots is occupied by the graphics card and the other actually runs at x4, making it better suited for expansion cards, rather than dual graphics. One of the x1 slots is blocked by the graphics card.
Dino PC has installed a 1GB XFX AMD Radeon HD 7770 graphics card, which has two DVI ports, an HDMI port and a DisplayPort output. The card did reasonably well in our 3D gaming tests, producing a frame rate of 45fps at Ultra quality in Dirt Showdown at a resolution of 1,920×1,080, although it managed just 22fps at Ultra quality in Crysis 2, running at Full HD. However, dial down the detail settings or resolution and playable frame rates are achievable in this graphically demanding game.
The motherboard has six SATA ports, of which four are SATA2 and two are SATA3. Both SATA3 ports are in use, connected to a 128GB SSD and a 500GB hard disk. The SSD means that you’ll get fast boot times from Windows 8, while there’s enough room to install your own applications. The 500GB hard disk, which you can use for storing files, is a little disappointing, as we’d really expect to see a 1TB model. That said, 500GB should be enough for most people and only those with a large media collection will find it a little tight.
The case has six 3.5in drive bays, but two of them are fitted with trays for 2.5in disks, one of which is permanently riveted into place, the other of which is screwed in. One 2.5in tray and two standard 3.5in bays are still free. There are also four 5.25in bays, of which only one is in use, occupied by a DVD-RW drive. The case feels a bit cluttered, with power cables tethered into place along the 5.25in bays.
On the motherboard’s back panel are six USB ports, two of which are USB3. There are another three USB ports on the front panel, including one more USB3 connection. At the rear are also a PS/2 port, three 3.5mm analogue audio outputs for 5.1 surround sound and a Gigabit Ethernet port. There are mic and headphone ports at the front of the PC.
The PC comes with a 21.5in Benq GW2250 monitor with a 1,920×1,080 resolution. It’s a matt screen, so you don’t need to worry about unwanted reflections while you’re gaming in a dark room, and its contrast is an excellent 1,371:1 – all the better to sneak through dark corridors. Unfortunately, its colour gamut at default settings is distinctly poor at 80.4 per cent of the sRGB standard, and the monitor has a marked yellow cast at default settings, which is particularly visible on pale areas in black and white images. The keyboard and mouse are budget Logitech peripherals. They’re comfortable to use and do the job, although most users will want to upgrade to something better suited to their particularly needs and typing style in the future.
The Benq display does this system no favours, particularly when compared to PCs, such as the Best Buy winning Chillblast Fusion Sprite, which comes with a monitor that’s both larger and has more accurate colour. Given the slower graphics card here, too, the Fusion Sprite is the better buy.
|Processor||Intel Core i5-3570K|
|Processor external bus||100MHz (DMI)|
|Processor clock speed||4.4GHz|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel Z77|
|USB2 ports (front/rear)||3/6|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||none|
|PCI-E x1 slots (free)||2 (1)|
|PCI-E x16 slots (free)||2 (1)|
|Free Serial ATA ports||3|
|Free memory slots||2|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||4|
|Hard disk model(s)||Plextor PX-128M5S + Seagate Barracuda (ST500DM002-1BD142)|
|Graphics card(s)||1GB AMD Radeon HD 7770|
|Graphics/video ports||2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort|
|Sound outputs||5.1 line out, stereo line out, mic in|
|Supported memory cards||none|
|Optical drive type(s)||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
|Viewable size||22.5 in|
|Screen model||BenQ GW2250|
|Screen inputs||DVI, VGA|
|Operating system||Windows 8|
|Operating system restore option||Windows disc|
|Warranty||three years RTB (one year parts, three years labour, one month collect and return)|