DinoPC’s Ultrasaur 860 OC is the least expensive desktop PC in this month’s chart, costing nearly £250 less than Eclipse’s Reaper. You could be forgiven for expecting a lower-spec PC in return, but the Ultrasaur boasts one of the fastest graphics cards currently available.

DinoPC’s Ultrasaur 860 OC is the least expensive desktop PC in this month’s chart, costing nearly £250 less than Eclipse’s Reaper. You could be forgiven for expecting a lower-spec PC in return, but the Ultrasaur boasts one of the fastest graphics cards currently available.

Like the Arbico, the DinoPC Ultrasaur 860 OC desktop PC uses a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-860 and an Asus P7P55D-E LX motherboard. This means you’ll get the latest USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA interfaces. However, it comes with only 4GB of installed RAM and is unable to support a second graphics card.

The 23.6in AOC monitor offers a full-HD resolution. It comes with a handy USB port, but no digital connection. A Blu-ray drive and external speakers are also provided with the DinoPC Ultrasaur 860 OC desktop PC.

Performance was a little slower than we expected, with the DinoPC Ultrasaur 860 OC desktop PC's 135-point WorldBench 6 score falling well behind the Arbico, which uses the same processor. However, sold overclocked to 3.2GHz with a large CPU cooler to keep things running nicely, the Ultrasaur is actually capable of a very respectable 141 points.

A top-of-the-range nVidia GeForce GTX 480 graphics card helps the DinoPC Ultrasaur 860 OC desktop PC to deliver very good gaming performance. Although the CyberPower’s overclocked GTX 470 gave it a run for its money, there’s nothing to stop you doing the same with this card.

Power PCs chart ranking

  1. Chillblast Fusion Tracer
  2. Arbico Elite i7-8670 HSD
  3. CyberPower Infinity i7 Phoenix
  4. DinoPC Ultrasaur 860 OC
  5. Eclipse Reaper xFire i796r587

>> NEXT PAGE: Buying advice

DinoPC’s Ultrasaur 860 OC is the least expensive desktop PC in this month’s chart, costing nearly £250 less than Eclipse’s Reaper. You could be forgiven for expecting a lower-spec PC in return, but the Ultrasaur boasts one of the fastest graphics cards currently available.

Power PCs buying advice

Processor: Intel’s original Core i7 CPUs offer a number of speed boosts, although they require more expensive motherboards and memory than previous-generation chips. The Core i7-950 or -960 are good choices at this price, or you can save money by opting for an i7-930. Core i7-800-series chips are excellent value, delivering good performance while requiring less expensive motherboards.

Memory: A £1,001-plus Core i7 machine should come with at least 6GB of RAM, although 3GB may be acceptable if the manufacturer compensates with other extras. For dual-core machines, look for 4GB in two modules to allow expansion.

The triple-channel architecture of Core i7-900-based PCs requires you to install chips in threes. Core i7-800-series CPUs use a two-channel system.

A 64bit OS is essential to take full advantage of this memory, particularly if you’re running a dual-graphics setup.

Storage: Expect at least 1TB. Look for a pair or trio of drives to reduce the risk of total data loss, although noise levels will increase. Raid 0 setups boost speed at the expense of reliability.

Consider mirroring for added security. SSDs provide a speed boost, but offer limited capacity and are expensive. Go for an SSD with at least 60GB if you’re running Windows 7.

Dual-layer DVD+/-R capabilities are useful, preferably at eight-speed or above. Also look for eight-speed DVD+RW.

If you want Blu-ray playback, be prepared to compromise on DVD speeds or buy a dedicated Blu-ray drive.

Display: We’re seeing increasing numbers of 24in displays in our PC charts. This used to be the magic size at which 1080p (full-HD) playback became available, making these ideal partners for Blu-ray drives. However, some of the newest 22in (16:9) monitors can also display full-HD – and with a considerable saving.

Make sure you get a digital input for the best image quality, while an extra HDMI port is great for hooking up additional devices such as games consoles without having to switch cables.

Graphics card: For a thrilling gaming experience, choose between nVidia’s new GeForce GTX 480 and AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5870. It’s a close call between the two, with nVidia’s newer card often offering a performance edge, but costing considerably more. nVidia’s cards offer support for PhysX in-game effects and stereoscopic 3D using special glasses.

Also look out for pre-overclocked graphics cards, which can deliver excellent value and are approved by chip manufacturers. Buying a single-card setup keeps your options open and leaves more space for sound cards or TV tuners.

Motherboard: If you’re considering any upgrades, check that the motherboard offers enough memory slots to support the chips. SLI or CrossFireX support will enable you to add extra graphics cards to boost your gaming performance. If you’re using an Intel CPU, a motherboard with an X58 chipset will give you better performance in multicard setups.

Power supply: The level of power you require will largely depend on the type of graphics card you expect to use. Look for a known and respected brand, and consider from 750W upwards if you have any thoughts of moving up to a dual-card setup later. Any form of overclocking will also demand a powerful PSU.

>> NEXT PAGE: Specification and our expert verdict

DinoPC Ultrasaur 860 OC: Specs

  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-860 (sold overclocked to 3.2GHz)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • 10 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Asus P7P55D-E LX motherboard
  • 700W Thermaltake PSU
  • 23.6in AOC 2436SWA (0.25mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1,536MB Zotac nVidia GeForce GTX 480 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 80/44fps
  • Stalker: Call of Pripyat [Medium/Ultra] = 117/75fps)
  • onboard sound
  • 2 x Creative T10 speakers
  • 4x BD-ROM
  • 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: 135
  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-860 (sold overclocked to 3.2GHz)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB SATA
  • 10 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • Asus P7P55D-E LX motherboard
  • 700W Thermaltake PSU
  • 23.6in AOC 2436SWA (0.25mm pixel pitch
  • 1920x1080)
  • 1,536MB Zotac nVidia GeForce GTX 480 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 80/44fps
  • Stalker: Call of Pripyat [Medium/Ultra] = 117/75fps)
  • onboard sound
  • 2 x Creative T10 speakers
  • 4x BD-ROM
  • 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: 135

OUR VERDICT

The DinoPC Ultrasaur 860 OC desktop PC provides very good value for money, especially if you’re prepared to buy and run an overclocked system.

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