Available from 6/12/12
This system from Dino PC is not only a Dark Claw, but also a bit of a dark horse combining as it does those two rather desired qualities in a gaming PC – high performance and low price. See Group test: What's the best gaming PC?
The Dark Claw shows that you don’t need a GTX 680 to compete against the big boys. Dino PC has instead opted for a less expensive GTX670 which has been more than a little bit overclocked, giving it real-world performance levels high enough to challenge higher-spec GPUs. Take a look at Yoyotech Warbird 3570XTA too.
In several test scenarios the Dark Claw outperforms systems fitted with GTX 680s and costing much, much more. See all PC reviews.
Graphics performance is backed up by a 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K which has been pushed to 4.5GHz – a sensible upper limit for an air-cooled system built into a relatively small case such as the Corsair Carbide 200R housing used here. See also Arbico 5300-HD Media Centre
The Carbide 200R offers a very clean minimalist design which lends it a rather classy and unassuming look. Its front panel is largely blank save for the DVD drive (sorry, no Blu-ray) and power/reset switches. There are also a couple of audio jacks and a pair of USB 3.0 ports provided here.
Inside, the system is equally clean and tidy. Cables are all tucked away neatly and the matt back internal finish is continued through to the equally matt and equally black Xigmatek Knighthawk processor cooler. There’s also room for extra fans to be fitted top and bottom, should you feel the need.
An Asus P8Z77-V LX motherboard forms the backbone of the system, but lacks support for multiple nVidia graphics cards so you won’t be able to add a second one later. It also omits the built-in Wi-Fi you get with these systems.
Also Asus-branded, the supplied 23.6in VS247H is a very stylish and good-looking monitor with pleasingly good image quality for a TN panel.
The system includes some impressive input devices too – why enter battle with a mere mouse, when you could instead use a Cyborg Rat 3? It’s full of programmable buttons and switchable DPI settings and looks pleasantly hard-core ridiculous. The Cyborg V.7 keyboard is equally bonkers, with multi-colour backlit keys and a touch-sensitive backlit control panel.