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DinoPC i7-Osaurus Gaming PC - DinoPC i7-Osaurus Gaming PC
Enough with the hardware and software analysis though, it's time to check out whether this PC is a devil or a dinosaur when it comes to actual games. Starting off with Call of Duty 4, the £1,000 i7-Osaurus outperformed the £1700 PC-Specialist Vortex i950 Gaming PC (with its nVidia GTX 295 dual-chip graphics card) as long as anti-aliasing (AA) was left off - scoring an average of 171 frames per second (fps) at 1,920 x 1,200 with details turned up to maximum, compared to 156fps for the more expensive machine. Incidentally it also achieved a record-breaking maximum of 300fps with (AA) turned off.
Crysis is usually where heads start rolling though, both in the game and the real world. Indeed, here DinoPC's system failed to beat the mighty Vortex on any level. The good news is that even at 1,920 x 1,200 with details cranked up to Very High, it still managed a playable 28fps, trailing PC Specialist's machine by only two frames. Considering the price, heat and power differences, not to mention the extra DirectX 11 future-proofing the 5870 provides, this is impressive.
So does it mean that this dinosaur should be taken permanently off the extinction list? Well, yes, actually. DinoPC has intelligently gone for the best graphics card its budget of under £1,000 would allow, though overall it's not necessarily the most well-balanced configuration we've come across. If you want to save a little money, for example, you could go for a Core i5 CPU and 1,333Mhz RAM, which after adding on Windows 7 would come to £891.95.
If you don't mind slightly less graphics grunt, meanwhile, downgrading to a Radeon HD 5850 takes that down to £770.85 while it should maintain game-destroying performance in all but the most intensive titles. Still, the specifications that the i7-Osaurus offers would set you back around £1,200 from many assemblers, so it's definitely decent value as-is. Also, DinoPC has a price-matching scheme in place, so if you find a better deal elsewhere the company will try to match it.
A well-built machine with an appealing mix of components, including the most powerful single-chip graphics card on the planet, DinoPC's i7-Osaurus presents a good choice for under a grand.
The review specification can be found here.
Addendum: Unfortunately the Asus P7P55D motherboard used in this PC does not support CrossFire 8x/8x as stated in the review. Unlike the Deluxe version it only allows 16x/4x. However, this does not affect the scores as the DinoPC is already fitted with the most powerful single-chip graphics card available (making future upgrades less likely) and still represents excellent value.