Processing duties for the i7-Osaurus are handled by a very capable Core i7 860 running at 2.80GHz, though with Intel’s Turbo mode and multithreading enabled it can give more performance than its gigahertz rating would suggest. Mind you, in most scenarios a Core i5 is more than up to the task of running any game at full tilt, but the i7 860 is a good compromise between price and performance.
At this stage it’s worth noting that despite the excellent case ventilation, you won’t get too much overclocking from the CPU as one of the few real price concessions DinoPC has made with the i7-Osaurus is that it has decided to stick with the stock Intel cooler. However, while the company doesn’t offer water-cooling solutions on this specific configuration, you can upgrade to a CoolerMaster Hyper TX3 or V8 fan for £23.45 or £56.59 respectively.
Backing up the CPU is 4GB of speedy 1,600MHz Corsair XMS3 DDR3 RAM, which will be plenty for most. If it isn’t enough for you though, there’s always the option to upgrade to 8GB for £84.10 when configuring the PC – or you can just add some DIMMs yourself at a later date, which is probably the cheaper alternative.
Taking care of storage is a single-partition 1TB 7,200rpm Samsung hard drive, leaving six 3.5in drive bays free. DinoPC offers plenty of options here, allowing you to downgrade to a 160GB drive or up to a 2TB one (for £162.56), not to mention the option of 10,000rpm 300GB WD VelociRaptors.
Any hardware-savvy gamer should know that it’s the graphics card that really makes or breaks a gaming machine. As already mentioned, the i7-Osaurus uses AMD/ATI’s latest powerhouse card, the Radeon HD 5870. While it’s not necessarily the best value proposition around, with that honour going to its cheaper, award-winning Radeon HD 5850 sibling, it’s the most powerful single-chip graphics card around.
Not only does it wipe the floor with the competition in current titles, but AMD’s 5800 series is – for now – the only hardware that can handle DirectX11. Though DinoPC has stuck with Windows Vista, we would most definitely recommend upgrading to Windows 7 Home Premium for the mere £1.30 that privilege demands. Either OS will (eventually) support DirectX11 and run the same games, but as you might glean from our review, Windows 7 is simply the superior experience in every other way.
Aside from Windows we’re dealing with a clean install here, just the way most gamers prefer it. Unlike some assemblers, DinoPC even lets you forego an OS altogether, saving you £83.89 (a great option if you had the foresight to nab an extra copy of 7 at its pre-order price of £45 a few months back).