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15,670 Reviews

DinoPC Fermisaur 870 review

£999 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Dino PC

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The only PC in this group test not to plump for a Core i7-950 processor and an X58-chipset-based motherboard, the DinoPC Fermisaur is powered by a Core i7-870 CPU and uses a P55-chipset motherboard.

The only PC in this group test not to plump for a Core i7-950 processor and an X58-chipset-based motherboard, the DinoPC Fermisaur is powered by a Core i7-870 CPU and uses a P55-chipset motherboard.

Power PCs buying advice

Processor: Intel’s Core i7 chip is taking this price bracket by storm. It’s a match for the best dual-core systems and will outpace any previous-generation quad-core machine. However, some i7-900-series chips require more expensive DDR3 memory and a new motherboard design, so expect to make sacrifices.

The latest Core i7-800-series processors use lower-cost motherboards but can still compete with the lower end of the Core i7-900-series on performance.

Intel’s dual-core Core i5 CPUs are also worth considering, offering higher clock speeds for your money.

Memory: Consider 4GB as a minimum. If you’re buying a Core i7-900-based PC, expect 3GB or 6GB of RAM (such PCs install memory chips in threes). The Core i7-800-series and Core i5 chips install memory sticks in twos, however, making them excellent value for money.

A 64bit OS will take full advantage of your RAM, but check that your software and drivers will be supported. If you opt for more than 4GB, a 64bit OS is essential.

Storage: With storage prices falling, expect 1TB. We’ve seen systems with 2TB that cost less than £1,000.

Get a multiformat DVD writer that can write to a dual-layer format if you want to store 8.5GB on a single disc. Look for a minimum of eight-speed DVD+R DL. Try to get eight-speed DVD+RW. At this price you may also find a drive that reads Blu-ray discs – note that it won’t burn to Blu-ray, and DVD burning speeds will be slower.

Keep an eye out for new motherboards with USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA support, enabling high-speed drives to be added.

Display: 24in flat-panels are the standard here. Many vendors supply cheap screens to leave more cash for other components, but it’s worth spending a little more on a display if you intend to work primarily with digital photos or video.

A screen with a response time of 8ms or less will minimise blur on fast-moving images. For image editing, contrast ratio and colour fidelity are more important.

A digital input can preserve picture quality, so think twice about displays that provide analogue inputs only.

Graphics card: At this price, the ATI Radeon HD 5850 is an almost unbeatable choice for gamers. It offers multiscreen and DirectX 11.0 support.

nVidia’s GeForce GTX 470 is also DirectX 11.0-compatible and delivers excellent performance, as well as support for the company’s 3D Vision glasses.
The GTX 460 is a good-value card, but it performs a little slower. It’s a superb choice if you intend to add a second card.

Look for souped-up versions with faster clock speeds or additional memory.

nVidia and ATI graphics cards can be upgraded to dual-card setups later. To take advantage of this, your motherboard and power supply must be compatible.

X58-based motherboards supporting Intel’s Core i7-900-series processors are better equipped to deal with multi-card graphics solutions because of their improved PCI Express bandwidth.

Ready-made dual-card setups are available but can be more expensive.

Power supply: The level of power you require will depend on the graphics card you want to use. Look for at least a 500W unit or 750W-plus if you plan to add another card or overclock the CPU.

Sound card and speakers: Onboard sound is no match for a sound card. Consider Creative’s Audigy 4 or X-Fi range.

Also see:

>> NEXT PAGE: Specification and our expert verdict

DinoPC Fermisaur 870 Expert Verdict »

2.93GHz Intel Core i7-870
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
8 x USB 2.0
2 x USB 3.0
Asus P7P55D-E LX
800W EZCool PSU
25in Hanns-G HH251DPB (0.28mm pixel pitch
1GB Palit nVidia GeForce GTX 460 (Crysis High/Very High: 80/30fps
Stalker: Call of Pripyat Medium/Ultra: 133/65fps)
onboard sound
2 x Gigabyte GP-S4600 speakers
max DVD speeds: 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: 146
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

DinoPC’s Fermisaur 870 PC is a welcome departure from the samey-samey competition. Performance isn’t top-notch, but it has a good selection of components.

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