DinoPC's Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC uses a quad-core Intel Core i5-750 processor overclocked to 3.4GHz to produce a stunning performance score.

New to our PC Charts, DinoPC is already shaping up to be a strong contender. Its Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC uses a quad-core Intel Core i5-750 processor overclocked to 3.4GHz to produce a stunning WorldBench 6 score of 146 points.

Of course, our PC charts don’t allow overclocked machines; the 750’s stock speed of 2.66GHz resulted in a considerably lower but still very fast 133-point tally for the DinoPC Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC.

The CPU is mounted to an Asus P7H55-M motherboard – sadly not the USB 3.0 version. In addition to the PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot housing the graphics card, the motherboard provides a pair of PCI Express x1 slots and a single PCI slot for further expansion. A pair of memory slots are also available should you wish to expand beyond the DinoPC Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC's supplied 4GB of RAM.

Gaming performance is on a par with the competition – all bar the Arbico are fitted with an ATI Radeon HD 5770 and 1GB of video memory. In its overclocked guise the DinoPC Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC may demonstrate slightly faster framerates, but in the most taxing graphics modes it’s still the graphics card that becomes the limiting factor.

Although the 22in LG W2243S-PF display supplied with the DinoPC Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC is smaller than the 23in and 23.6in screens provided by Chillblast and CyberPower respectively, it’s a stylish model with an excellent design and strong build quality. It offers a full-HD image, but we’d like to see a digital input to supplement its single analogue connection.

Like the Chillblast, the DinoPC Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC comes with a set of external speakers. While the DinoPC’s Creative T10s aren’t the most exciting speakers to grace our Test Centre, they’re a considerably better offering than the £7 Gigabyte units supplied with the Fusion Nautilus.

The DinoPC Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC's system case is a smart black affair without any fancy coloured illumination or transparent side panels.

Budget PCs chart ranking

  1. Chillblast Fusion Nautilus
  2. Arbico i7-9250 XL
  3. DinoPC Elmisaur 750 OC
  4. Eclipse Matrix i567r577
  5. CyberPower Infinity i3 Apollo

>> NEXT PAGE: Buying advice

DinoPC's Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC uses a quad-core Intel Core i5-750 processor overclocked to 3.4GHz to produce a stunning performance score.

Budget PCs buying advice

Processor: Intel’s latest naming scheme is confusing: if you want a quad-core PC, look for a Core i5-700-, 800- or 900-series CPU; the newer Core i5-600 series are dual-core.

Quad-core chips offer greater multiprocessing capabilities, but the higher clock speeds of dual-core chips mean they can run single-threaded applications faster. Non-gamers should note that their integrated graphics chips will allow them to play full-HD video without a discrete graphics card installed.

The dual-core Core i3-540 provides great performance and is compatible with the most up-to-date motherboards and DDR3 memory, but it lacks the integrated graphics and performance boosting features of the Core i5. AMD’s quad-core Phenom II X4 920, 940 and 965 also offer good value for money, although they can’t match the Core i5 in our tests.

Some AMD processors contain hidden extra cores that can be enabled in the Bios. Ensure that any tweaks are backed by the vendor.

Memory: If fast processors speed up your PC, a large bank of memory stops it from slowing down. Get the most out of your CPU by including at least 4GB of RAM. You can get by with 2GB, but your PC will run more smoothly with more.

Core i5- and i7-800-series CPUs use DDR3 memory rather than DDR2, but there’s no need to buy the chips in threes as you do with i7-900-series systems.

Storage: Digital media will quickly fill a reasonably sized hard drive; buy the biggest you can afford. At least 500GB should be expected at this price point.

Consider using a pair of smaller hard drives rather than one large drive – a terabyte (1TB) is a huge amount of information to lose in one go.

Your DVD drive should write to the +/-R formats at 18-speed or better. Eight-speed rewriting is good; if you want to copy up to 8.5GB at once, look for fast DVD+/-R dual-layer drives. Blu-ray readers are becoming more affordable, but they’re still quite rare at this price.

Display: Note that 19in screens offer a lower resolution than 20in/22in monitors; 22in models display larger icons. Newer 21.6in (16:9) flat-panels are capable of displaying full-HD content, but onscreen elements will be even smaller. You may be able to get a 23.6in display at this price if you make compromises elsewhere.

A DVI or HDMI connector will provide a considerably better image than a VGA port; if you want to connect additional devices, you’ll need at least two.

Finally, look for a good response rate: 8ms or below is fast enough for games.

Graphics cards: We test graphics with Crysis and Stalker: Call of Pripyat, the latter able to benchmark DirectX 11.0-capable graphics cards. Although 25fps is enough to make a game playable, you can set your sights higher at this price point – look for 50fps.

Current pricing will limit you in this area, but ATI’s Radeon HD 5770 and nVidia’s GeForce GTX 260 both deliver great performance and value for money, making the latest games playable if you drop the resolution and settings a notch.

nVidia cards offer support for realistic object interactions in games supporting PhysX and are able to display 3D content.

If you don’t play games at all, consider using only the integrated graphics of Intel’s Core i5-600-series processors.

Power supply: A large PSU is less vital at this price point, but look for a model with a full set of SATA and PCI Express connectors to make later upgrades easier.

Sound card and speakers: Most motherboards at this price point depend on onboard sound. To get surround sound, look for a 5.1-channel system (five speakers and a subwoofer).

>> NEXT PAGE: Specification and our expert verdict

DinoPC Elmisaur 750 OC: Specs

  • 2.66GHz Intel Core i5-750 (sold overclocked to 3.4GHz)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • 8 x USB 2.0
  • Asus P7H55-M motherboard
  • 700W EZCool PSU
  • 22in LG W2243S-PF (0.25mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB XFX ATI Radeon HD 5770 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 65/23fps
  • Stalker: Call of Pripyat [Medium/Ultra] = 109/45fps)
  • onboard sound
  • 2 x Creative T10 speakers
  • 22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 133
  • 2.66GHz Intel Core i5-750 (sold overclocked to 3.4GHz)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • 8 x USB 2.0
  • Asus P7H55-M motherboard
  • 700W EZCool PSU
  • 22in LG W2243S-PF (0.25mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1GB XFX ATI Radeon HD 5770 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 65/23fps
  • Stalker: Call of Pripyat [Medium/Ultra] = 109/45fps)
  • onboard sound
  • 2 x Creative T10 speakers
  • 22x/22x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • three-year return-to-base warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 133

OUR VERDICT

The DinoPC Elmisaur 750 OC desktop PC is a strong quad-core system with good all-round features and performance, which becomes all the faster overclocked.

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