Dino PC Primal GSX ReviewManufacturer: Dino PC
UK price (as reviewed): £899.00 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed):
We'd imagine it must be quite tricky for PC manufacturers such as Dino PC - they've got an absolute mountain of hardware to choose from and need to make their systems appeal not only to spur of the moment gamers who may not know much about the hardware and just go for something that looks good, but also to the seasoned enthusiast and PC reviewer too.
Dino PC isn't one to shy away from using edgy tech though so we were pleased to see its latest PC, the Primal GSX, which arrived in our lab recently, was built into a SilverStone Raven RVX01. Now, if were we building a system for ourselves, this wouldn't be our first choice of case. As you can read in our review of it,
the RVX01 is a little cramped inside and there's no PSU dust filter either.
However, cooling was excellent so if someone's building the system for you, all you need to worry about are the other little niggles and you'll have an excellent, if a little bulky chassis; and Dino PC has done just that. It's sorted out an interesting set of hardware, including a Corsair H55 all-in-one liquid cooler, neatly installed everything else and even applied an extra dust filter - someone has clearly been reading these pages.
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The RVX01 still might not be to everyone's taste, but you can't argue with its uniqueness and cooling. Its rotated ATX internal layout makes for an interesting place to build a PC and there are plenty of 120mm fans included as standard, with a bottom-to-top airflow direction rather than the usual front-to-back. This also means that the ports, I/O panel and indeed the rear of the PSU all face upwards and sit under a large removable shell. Again, getting inside can be tricky compared to standard tower cases, but as this is a ready-built system, this isn't so much of an issue.
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As you'd expect from Dino PC, the Core i5-6600K CPU has been overclocked, reaching 4.6GHz using a vcore of 1.35V - you won't get much higher than that and it should stand it in good stead in our benchmarks too. This is paired with 16GB of Corsair 2,666MHz Vengeance DDR4 memory slotted into an Asus Z170-K motherboard. It's worth pointing out that there's no WiFi as standard, so you'll either need your own or get some using Dino PCs online configurator
, which you can do for less than £10.
To deal with those all-important games, we're please to see an Asus Strix R9 380 4GB, which should provide playable framerates at decent settings in most games up to a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. If you're planning on gaming higher than this then you'd be well-advised to spend an extra £70 and opt for an Nvidia GTX 980 or GTX 980 Ti instead. Storage is perhaps the most interesting area of PCs at the moment as we essentially have three distinct segments vying for your cash. Dino PC sensibly includes a 1TB hard disk, which is the most sensible option for storing your bulky data.
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We'd expect an SSD for the OS drive at this price and we're not disappointed - Dino PC has opted for the ludicrously-fast Samsung SM951 M.2 SSD. However, it's perhaps not the best choice in the overall scheme of things. The 128GB model just doesn't offer enough space once Windows is installed. You'd only need to install a couple of big games such as GTA V and you'd be worrying about running out. Yes you have the hard disk as backup, but ideally you want all you games and regularly-used programs on the SSD. Even a 256GB SSD would make things much easier, so while the SM951 is fast, we'd much rather see a decent 2.5in SATA 6Gbps SSD in here instead.
Super-fast M.2 SSDs are extremely lustworthy, but the compromises you need to make to get them into a sub-£1,000 system usually outweigh the benefits. We suspect its Dino PC showcasing the fact these and other swoon-worthy options are available in its configurator; on a £1,500+ system it would make sense (although we'd still prefer a 256GB or 515GB model), but thankfully it's a two-second job to switch to a Samsung 250GB 850 Evo SSD, doubling your OS drive space, netting a still very decent SSD and saving around £40 in the process.
A 650W Corsair RMx PSU powers the system and the machine comes with a 3-year warranty with parts covered for the first two years. Windows 10 is the OS of choice too and as the case lacks a 5.25in slot, there's no optical drive either. Sound is usually adequate on mid-range to high-end motherboards these days so we're not surprised or displeased to see the GSX making use of the onboard Realtek ALC887 sound.
There's not much particularly custom about this effort from Dino PC - you'd need to spend a bit more to see that and the company does a good job with some of its modding too. However, despite the tight confines of the RVX01 case, cable tidying is done to a high standard and the view through the side window is clean and clutter-free.
- CPU Intel Core i5-6600K (4.6GHz)
- CPU cores Four physical
- Memory 16GB (2 x 8GB) 2,666MHz Corsair Vengrance DDR4
- Graphics Asus Strix R9 380 4GB OC
- Storage 1 x 128GB Samsung SM951 NVMe SSD (OS), 1 x 1TB 7,200rpm hard disk
- Motherboard Asus Z170-K
- PSU Corsair 650W RMx modular
- Optical DriveNone
- Cooling Corsair H55 all-in-one liquid cooler
- Case / Dimensions (mm) SilverStone Raven RVX01215 x 500 x 485 (W x D x H)
- Networking Gigabit LAN
- Audio Realtek ALC887 8-channel Codec (on-board)
- Operating system Windows 10 64-bit
- Audio and USB Ports 2 x USB 2, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 3 x audio out + headphone and mic
- Warranty 3 years (2 years parts, 3 years labour, Return to base (free carriage for 6 months)