DinoPC offers a wide variety of pre-built systems that can be tailored to your specific needs. It’s the turn of their Predator Extreme 3570K OC gaming system to be put through its paces at KitGuru labs. Can the 3570K and GTX 670-based system prove its worth in such a heavily-contested market?
One of DinoPC’s heaviest-hitting gaming systems, the £1,249 Predator Extreme sports a 4.5GHz overlocked i5 3570K processor, 16GB of Corsair Vengeance memory, a Gigabyte GTX 670 OC WindForce graphics card and 64GB Crucial M4 SSD. Housed in the critically-acclaimed Arctic White Carbide 500R case from Corsair, the Predator Extreme certainly has a delectable specification sheet.
Can this professionally-overclocked, gaming-orientated beast rip, shred and tear its way to a KitGuru award?
Specifications:
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 3570K @ 4.5GHz (Our sample is overclocked to 4.7GHz using a 1.400V VCore)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H
  • Memory: 16GB (2x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz
  • Graphics Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 OC WindForce 3x
  • SSD: 64GB Crucial M4 (OS)
  • Hard Disk Drive: 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green (ST2000DL003)
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair H100
  • Case: Corsair Carbide 500R Arctic White
  • Power Supply: Xigmatek Centauro 700W Modular
  • Optical Drive: 22x Samsung SH-222BB DVD RW
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
DinoPC ships the Predator Extreme system in a large box with streams of protection. The system itself resides in the Corsair 500R case’s box which acts as a secondary barrier against impact blows and potential damage.
Documentation and a driver CD for the Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H motherboard, Corsair 500R case and H100 CPU cooler manuals and the Windows 7 Home Premium installation disc are all provided.
Many different screws for Corsair’s 500R case accompany cables for the modular Xigmatek power supply, three zip ties and a flexible SLI bridge, to complete the supplied bundle.
Don’t expect to use the H100 CPU cooler with another system in the future. Neither the Intel LGA 2011 nor AMD mounting hardware is present.
Ensure that you posses a kettle-style power lead before purchasing the Predator Extreme; sadly, the system isn’t supplied with this essential cable.
Before proceeding further on into the review, we feel that it is necessary to outline the problems and damage suffered when our sample was shipped. These difficulties may be courier specific, but there is a clear design issue that has caused the trouble to occur.
Corsair’s flimsy and entirely inadequate drive trays were not fit for the purpose of securing even Crucial’s minute 75g M4 SSD, let alone the hefty 2TB hard drive. Both of the drives’ trays gave way and, in the HDD’s instance, took out the rack below.
Multiple points of weakness were evident in the feeble design, with breakages occurring at 8 different locations for the HDD’s tray, and 4 for the SSD counterpart (as depicted by the red circles in the above image). There is no other way to describe the trays’ fastening attempts thansubstandard.
We were forced to re-mount the 64GB Crucial M4 SSD and 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green HDD on a pair of unaffected drive trays. Luckily, even after the beating they had taken, the drives functioned correctly without any sign of lasting damage.
It’s hard to blame DinoPC for this. Surely somebody at the 500R’s design centre had expected the chassis to be shipped as part of a full system?
There are methods of ensuring that shipping problems such as this are prevented. The drives could be packaged separately, or extra padding could be installed in the system to prohibit movement. Unfortunately, these methods are far from ideal, and are unfavourable for a product that is intended to be used without any prior installation or hassle.
Our advice to DinoPC would be: either employ a case that provides enhanced security for its HDD/SSD mounting methods, or be prepared to pay the price in returned systems and unhappy customers.
DinoPC makes use of the Arctic White variant of Corsair’s remarkably beautiful Carbide 500R case. The perfectly-poised white and black style creates an elegant and striking appearance that will be a delight to glance at on a daily basis.
Desk-users will be overjoyed to note that the case is equally attractive head-on. The black bezel of Samsung’s DVD RW drive matches the Carbide 500R’s front panel mesh, accordingly.
2x USB 3.0 and firewire ports reside either side of a pair of audio jacks. Power and reset buttons are located at opposite sides of the case, eliminating the possibility of pressing the wrong one.
A fan LED switch and speed-controlling slider are also utilised on the 500R’s front panel.
The Predator Extreme’s rear connectivity should suffice for a clear majority of users.
Motherboard rear IO:
  • 1x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
  • 1x D-Sub port
  • 1x DVI-D port
  • 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
  • 1 x HDMI port
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors (provided by the Marvell 88SE9172 chip)
  • 6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
  • 1 x RJ-45 port
  • 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In/Mic In, Line Out)
Graphics card outputs:
  • 1x DisplayPort
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x Dual Link DVI-D
  • 1x Dual Link DVI-I
Without wanting to offer too much of a spoiler when we outlined the shipping damage earlier in this review, we refrained from posting a picture of the entire system. This is exactly how the Predator Extreme arrived – with the drives dislodged.
DinoPC has done an outstanding job in building a clean, tidy and aesthetically pleasing system. Cable management is unparalleled; there truly is nothing to complain about. Not a single cable-concealment trick has been overlooked.
A huge amount of deliberation has been put into the component choice, ensuring that the parts’ colour schemes complement one another.
Gigabyte’s 269mm-long GTX 670 OC WindForce 3x managed to survive shipping, even though it appeared to sag by a rather large degree. This issue is common amongst modern video cards with their preposterously-sized coolers. To completely eliminate the possibility of any type of damage or PCI slot-breakage, DinoPC could use a more secure fastening mechanism, aided by an additional self-designed support bracket. On the other hand, this would increase the system’s cost by a marginal amount.
Corsair’s Carbide 500R provides an excess of cable management clearance on its rear side. An ingenious design that recesses the motherboard panel presents extra space for bundles of cables to reside near the tightly-packed cable-routing holes. An extrusion to the side panel also ensures that space directly behind the recessed motherboard tray isn’t limited.
Clear access to the Corsair H100′s backplate has been granted. This condenses the quantity of time required to carry out any CPU-related installation tasks.
A factory-overclocked Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB graphics card provides the power to shred through today’s games at their highest settings.
Making use of the company’s superb WindForce 3x cooler which utilises a trio of 75mm fans, temperatures and noise output should be kept to a minimum.
Why Gigabyte still insists on using a blue PCB for its graphics cards perplexes us. The decision to switch their motherboard PCB design to a matte black colouring was universally-welcomed and helps their products appeal to a much larger target audience. A similar move needs to be made with their graphics cards. In this instance, the blue PCB doesn’t destroy the Predator Extreme system’s aesthetic appearance, but a matte black variant would certainly be favourable. This is a fact that DinoPC needs to contemplate.
DinoPC chooses to use a 700W 80 Plus Bronze modular power supply unit from Xigmatek. The Centauro is more than capable of powering an extra GTX 670 graphics card, should you feel the upgrade bug taking effect in the near future.
Installing a 120/140mm fan in the floor mount is made difficult by Xigmatek’s physically-large power supply. It certainly isn’t impossible, but some of the modular cables may require removal prior to the fan installation process.
A firm favourite amongst system builders, Corsair’s H100 CPU cooler is mounted to the case, rather than motherboard, drastically reducing the likelihood of damage occurring. The large heatspreaders of Corsair’s Vengeance 8GB memory modules aren’t a problem thanks to the H100′s accommodating design.
DinoPC makes an inspired decision to mount the pair of 2600 RPM 120mm fans above the radiator, in an intake configuration. This allows the All-In-One liquid cooling unit to unleash its full heat-dissipating potential. And good job – it’ll be a necessity with the i5 3570K operating at 4.7GHz.
If the 64GB Crucial M4 SSD isn’t enough, or, if like us, you happen to be short of drive trays, you can mount an mSATA SSD in the Z77X-UD3H motherboard’s dedicated slot. This port will render one of the SATA 2 connectors inoperative as its connection lanes are re-directed.
Dimming the lights reveals the hypnotic white LED fans housed in the Carbide 500R’s front and side panels.
The main, or M.I.T., page of Gigabyte’s 3D BIOS relays information regarding the current BCLK, CPU and memory frequencies. CPU temperature, voltages and memory size are also outlined.
Moving into the ‘M.I.T. Current Status’ tab allows us to view a more in-depth analysis of the chief system information.
DinoPC has made full use of Gigabyte’s impressive Z77X-UD3H motherboard, overclocking the Core i5 3570K CPU to a whopping 4.7GHz. A multiplier of 47x combines with the 100.05MHz BCLK frequency to reach this dizzying height.
Turbo Boost is disabled, with preference being made for a high static overclock.
DinoPC uses a very high CPU Vcore voltage of 1.400V to ensure maximum stability. While this setting may be rapidly approaching the lofty heights of Ivy Bridge’s ‘safe’ operational voltage limit, we have the utmost of faith in the Corsair H100′s heat dissipation abilities.
The majority of power and voltage control settings are kept at their ‘Auto’ configuration. This shows that the DinoPC engineers have confidence in Gigabyte’s default tuning capabilities.
Voltages, temperatures and even fan speeds are publicized on the ‘PC Health Status’ page. Users can tailor the fan speed and warning settings to suit their own personal preference.
DinoPC pre-configures the boot device settings to allow for a hassle-free first-use procedure; no changing of the primary boot device is required.
DinoPC refrains from supplying resource-hogging bloatware such as virus scanners and marketing material. This is one of the cleanest installed programs pages that we have seen for a long time! Well done to DinoPC for allowing the customer to install exactly what they want to use.
Windows gives the Predator Extreme system a rating of 7.6, which, according to the index, is dragged down by its 4.7GHz Core i5 3570K processor. We’ll let you decide upon the importance of this score.
When being used in an OS environment, the CPU Core Voltage is actually slightly below the BIOS-set level of 1.400V, at 1.392V.
All 16GB of the dual-channel Corsair Vengeance memory is operating at a DRAM frequency of 800.3MHz (1600MHz Double Data Rate) with timings of 10-10-10-27-1T.
The DinoPC Predator Extreme 3570K OC system’s validation can be found here.
Gigabyte’s ultra-fast and highly-acclaimed GTX 670 OC WindForce 3x operates at a default GPU clock frequency of 980MHz – a 65MHz increase over the reference GTX 670′s speed. The card’s Boost frequency is able to break the 1GHz barrier at 1059MHz – 79MHz higher than its reference counterpart. Memory speed remains unchanged over the default GTX 670 setting, with the 2048MB of GDDR5 operating at 1502MHz.
Oddly enough, the GTX 670′s PCI-E link operates at only x8, rather than the usual x16. This is likely down to the motherboard’s PCI-E lane-hogging controllers for USB 3.0 and eSATA ports. Thankfully, the real-world performance difference between PCI-E 3.0 x8 and x16 is non-existent.
46.6GB of storage remains untouched on the 64GB Crucial M4 SSD. This quantity is eclipsed by the 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green’s 1.81TB of unused space.
DinoPC has labelled the 2TB hard drive as ‘DATA’ hoping that users will store their large files on this drive. We would have preferred it if they had located the default directories such as Documents, Music, Pictures and Downloads on the larger E Data drive, rather than the small 64GB SSD. I would advise you to move the directories to the 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green HDD; otherwise you will quickly fill up C’s 59.4GB of storage.
System specifications:
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 3570K @ 4.7GHz using a 1.400V VCore (A retail sample is overclocked to 4.5GHz)
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H
  • Memory: 16GB (2x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz
  • Graphics Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 OC WindForce 3x
  • SSD: 64GB Crucial M4 (OS)
  • Hard Disk Drive: 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green (ST2000DL003)
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair H100
  • Case: Corsair Carbide 500R Arctic White
  • Power Supply: Xigmatek Centauro 700W Modular
  • Optical Drive: 22x Samsung SH-222BB DVD RW
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Software Suite:
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • 3DMark 11
  • PCMark 7
  • SiSoft Sandra
  • SuperPI
  • Cinebench 11.5 64 bit
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark
  • ATTO
  • CrystalDiskMark
  • VLC Media Player
  • Cyberlink MediaEspresso
  • Battlefield 3
  • Dirt 3
  • Crysis 2
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software.
Sandra is a (girl’s) name of Greek origin that means “defender”, “helper of mankind”. We think that’s quite fitting.
It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what’s really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (PCI Express), database, USB, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.
Native ports for all major operating systems are available:
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x86)
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x64)
  • Windows 2003/R2, 2008/R2* (IA64)
  • Windows Mobile 5.x (ARM CE 5.01)
  • Windows Mobile 6.x (ARM CE 5.02)
All major technologies are supported and taken advantage of:
  • SMP – Multi-Processor
  • MC – Multi-Core
  • SMT/HT – Hyper-Threading
  • MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX, FMA – Multi-Media instructions
  • GPGPU, DirectX, OpenGL – Graphics
  • NUMA – Non-Uniform Memory Access
  • AMD64/EM64T/x64 – 64-bit extensions to x86
  • IA64 – Intel* Itanium 64-bit
Impressive performance is shown throughout the suite of Sandra benchmarks. This gives us an indication that the 4.7GHz Core i5 3570K is going to be a processing powerhouse.
PCMark 7 includes 7 PC tests for Windows 7, combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed to cover the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7 offers complete PC performance testing for Windows 7 for home and business use.
The lightning-fast GTX 670 and speedy Crucial M4 help boost the DinoPC Predator Extreme system to an excellent PCMark 7 score of just under 6000.
CINEBENCH R11.5 64 Bit is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.
CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and Mac OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.
A CPU score of 7.80 is very good for this quad core part. Aided by its 1.3GHz speed increase, the 3570K can be a formidable 3D rendering processor.
Super Pi is used by a huge audience, particularly to check stability when overclocking processors. If a system is able to calculate PI to the 2 millionth place after the decimal without mistake, it is considered to be stable in regards to RAM and CPU.
Completing the Super Pi benchmark in 7 minutes and 21 seconds shows that the 4.7GHz 3570K’s single-threaded performance is similar to that of a 4.6GHz i7 3770K… in this benchmark at least.
Unigine provides an interesting way to test hardware. It can be easily adapted to various projects due to its elaborated software design and flexible toolset. A lot of their customers claim that they have never seen such extremely-effective code, which is so easy to understand.
Heaven Benchmark is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on advanced Unigine engine from Unigine Corp. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. Interactive mode provides emerging experience of exploring the intricate world of steampunk.
Efficient and well-architected framework makes Unigine highly scalable:
  • Multiple API (DirectX 9 / DirectX 10 / DirectX 11 / OpenGL) render
  • Cross-platform: MS Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7) / Linux
  • Full support of 32bit and 64bit systems
  • Multicore CPU support
  • Little / big endian support (ready for game consoles)
  • Powerful C++ API
  • Comprehensive performance profiling system
  • Flexible XML-based data structures
We use the following settings: 1920×1080 resolution. Anti Aliasing off. Anisotrophy 4, Tessellation normal. Shaders High. Stereo 3D disabled. API: Direct X 11.
An average of 91.6 FPS, with Tessellation levels set to normal, speaks volumes for the GTX 670 GPU’s processing might.
Futuremark released 3DMark Vantage, on April 28, 2008. It is a benchmark based upon DirectX 10, and therefore will only run under Windows Vista (Service Pack 1 is stated as a requirement) and Windows 7. This is the first edition where the feature-restricted, free of charge version could not be used any number of times. 1280×1024 resolution was used with performance settings.
Almost 30,000 3DMarks is a superb result for DinoPC’s gaming-orientated system. Gigabyte’s overclocked GTX 670 sets off at an alarming pace with a GPU score of nearly 35,000. The Core i5 3570K isn’t able to maintain a similar tempo, but it does manage to respectably rupture the 20,000 marks barrier.
3DMark 11 is designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware running on Windows 7 and Windows Vista the benchmark includes six all new benchmark tests that make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.
After running the tests 3DMark gives your system a score with larger numbers indicating better performance. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.
If you want to learn more about this benchmark, or to buy it yourself, head over to this page.
3DMark 11 allows the GTX 670 and overclocked 3570K to unleash their power and retrieve an admirable score of P9369.
A very important part of overall system responsiveness is down to hard drive performance. We use one of our favourite benchmark utilities - Crystalmark X64 Edition - to rate performance from the onboard SATA controller.
Crucial’s ultra-fast M4 solid state drive has the ability to achieve over 530MB/s sequential read scores, irrelevant of whether the data is compressible or not. It is one of the few SSDs on the market that offers the trait of not slowing down when used with data of an incompressible nature. Write scores are somewhat lacking in comparison, but this isn’t an area of particular concern for an OS drive.
To say that this editor was congenially surprised by a ‘Green’ hard drive reaching 150MB/s sequential scores, would be an understatement. Seagate has outdone itself by packing such a formidable punch into a large, low-power drive. Some of our readers may question the relevance of sequential read/write speeds, but for a drive that is intended to be used for storage (i.e. continually transferring large quantities of data), they are imperative.
The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.
ATTO shows more of the same remarkable sequential results.
The Matroska Media container is a very popular, open standard Multimedia container which is usually found as .MKV files. It is a very popular format in enthusiast circles and can be played directly in VLC or Windows Media Player with suitable codecs installed.
We played our 1080P MKV rip of The Dark Knight using the latest version of VLC Media Player.
Only 6% CPU utilisation is required for 1080P MKV playback. This diminutive load allows the overclocked CPU’s temperature and power consumption to remain at idle-like levels.
Many people using this system will be enjoying Flash related content so we feel it is important to test with some of the more demanding material available freely online. Full hardware acceleration is enabled.
Plenty of CPU clock cycles are conserved for other tasks; Flash HD playback only utilises 8% of the processor.
CyberLink MediaEspresso 6 is the successor to CyberLink MediaShow Espresso 5.5. With its further optimized CPU/GPU-acceleration, MediaEspresso is an even faster way to convert not only your video but also your music and image files between a wide range of popular formats.
Now you can easily playback and display your favourite movies, songs and photos not just on your mobile phone, iPad, PSP, Xbox, or Youtube and Facebook channels but also on the newly launched iPhone 4. Compile, convert and enjoy images and songs on any of your computing devices and enhance your videos with CyberLink’s built-in TrueTheater Technology.
New and Improved Features
  • Ultra Fast Media Conversion – With support from the Intel Core i-Series processor family, ATI Stream & NVIDIA CUDA, MediaEspresso’s Batch-Conversion function enables multiple files to be transcoded simultaneously.
  • Smart Detect Technology – MediaEspresso 6 automatically detects the type of portable device connected to the PC and selects the best multimedia profile to begin the conversion without the need for user’s intervention.
  • Direct Sync to Portable Devices – Video, audio and image files can be transferred in a few easy steps to mobile phones including those from Acer, BlackBerry, HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Palm, as well as Sony Walkman and PSP devices.
  • Enhanced Video Quality – CyberLink TrueTheater Denoise and Lighting enables the enhancement of video quality through optical noise filters and automatic brightness adjustment.
  • Video, Music and Image File Conversion – Convert not only videos to popular formats such as AVI, MPEG, MKV, H.264/AVC, and FLV at the click of a button, but also images such as JPEG and PNG and music files like WMA, MP3 and M4A.
  • Online Sharing – Conversion to video formats used by popular social networking websites and a direct upload feature means posting videos to Facebook and YouTube has never been easier.
For our testing today we are converting a 4.4GB 720p MKV file (1h:58mins) to Apple Mp4 format for playback on a portable device. This is a common procedure for many people and will give a good indication of system power.
Hardware acceleration is enabled.
The 4.7GHz 3570K crunches through our 4.4GB MKV test file in a time of 7 minutes and 15 seconds. This is an excellent result, especially given the CPU’s quad core design.
According to EA, Battlefield 3 garnered 3 million pre-orders by the day of its release. It is unknown at present whether these figures are worldwide or just for the US. The pre-order total makes it “the biggest first-person shooter launch in EA history”, according to the publisher. The engine is beautiful on the PC and very demanding of the partnering hardware.
Even the most demanding image quality settings that Battlefield 3 has to flaunt are no match for the DinoPC Predator Extreme system.
Released in March 2011, Crysis 2 was the highly-anticipated sequel to Crytek’s triumphant predecessor. The CryEngine 3 game engine is able to deliver stunning visuals of New York’s urban scenery as well as the intense conflict. Those stunning visuals and intense battles demand powerful PC hardware.
We are utilising the DX11 and High Res Textures pack as well as the latest patch – 1.9.
The GTX 670 and 4.7GHz 3570K partnership is able to tear through Crysis 2′s most challenging settings without dropping below the 50 FPS mark.
DiRT 3 was released in 2011 and has received a lot of praise from gamers and reviewers across the globe. It is the second most recent iteration of the Colin McRae Rally series, despite Codemasters dropping the Colin McRae branding. It supports DirectX 11 which enhances detail and brings a number of other visual enhancements to the gaming experience.
We used the game’s Ultra preset.
Dirt 3 fans will be licking their lips at the sight of the above chart. Over 100 FPS, on average, is astounding.
We measured the acoustic output of the entire system when idling and when under the intense load of Prime95′s Small FFTs setting and FurMark. As this is a gaming system, we also decided to measure the acoustic output while playing Battlefield 3.
We measure from a distance of around 1 metre from the chassis with our digital sound level meter to mirror a real world situation. Corsair’s H100 was utilising its ‘Performance’ speed setting, as applied by the DinoPC engineers.
Please refer to our KitGuru noise guide for a comparison between the noise levels of this system and everyday scenarios.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA - Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA - High Quality Computer fan
40dBA - A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA - Normal Conversation
60dBA - Laughter
70dBA - Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA - City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA - Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA - MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA - Orchestra
120dBA - Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA - Threshold of Pain
140dBA - Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA - Instant Perforation of eardrum
Corsair’s H100 is anything but a quiet CPU cooler when configured for use with its ‘Performance’ mode. Idle acoustic levels are high and the gaming/load results have firmly surpassed the irritating point.
Switching to the H100′s ‘Balanced’ fan speed setting reduced the acoustic output to 41.7dbA when idling, and 46.6dbA when operating during load/gaming conditions.
The tests were performed in a controlled environment with the temperature maintained at a constant 21°C. Idle temperatures were measured after sitting at the desktop for 30 minutes. Load measurements were acquired by running FurMark and Prime95′s Small FFTs setting together. As this is a gaming system, we also decided to measure the temperatures while playing Battlefield 3.
Corsair’s H100 was utilising its ‘Performance’ speed setting, as applied by the DinoPC engineers.
From criticism to praise, cooling potential is exactly where the H100 excels. Being able to keep a hot and heavily-overclocked i5 3570K processor under the 90°C mark is good.
The 2000 RPM limit imposed by the H100′s ‘Balanced’ mode resulted in an increased CPU temperature of 3°C. This is an impressive statistic because, as mentioned on the acoustics page, noise levels were noticeably lower.
Gigabyte’s first-rate WindForce 3x cooler is also thoroughly deserved of praise. At no point did GPU temperatures exceed 70°C, and all this while maintaining inaudible (albeit over the Corsair H100 unit) operation.
We measured the power consumption of our entire test system at the wall while loading the CPU using Prime95′s Small FFTs setting and GPU using FurMark.  We also measured the power consumption with the system resting at the Windows 7 desktop. As this is a gaming system, we also decided to measure the power consumption while playing Battlefield 3.
Idle power consumption will please environmentally-friendly users such as myself. With an increased load comes amplified power draw. We did register a peak rating of 400W being drawn from the wall, but that was only for a split-second.
On the bright side, Xigmatek’s 80 Plus Bronze Centauro 700W PSU will be operating at peak efficiency when tasked with the gaming and load power draws.
DinoPC‘s Predator Extreme 3570K OC gaming system is an ultra-fast, aesthetically-pleasing and user-friendly machine. Combining an Intel Core i5 3570K processor with Gigabyte’s class-leading GTX 670 provides the foundation for a formidably powerful system.
The system comes heavily-overclocked, courtesy of DinoPC’s engineers. A praiseworthy 1.3GHz (1.1GHz for retail samples) speed boost has been provided to the Core i5 3570K making it a frighteningly fast quad core CPU. Gigabyte’s GTX 670 is factory-overclocked, augmenting the GPU’s already remarkable gaming performance.
Not once did the Predator Extreme drop below 50 FPS in any game, throughout our testing. Considering the fact that we were repeatedly making use of the highest possible image quality settings and a 1920 x 1080 resolution, this is an commendable feat.
High-quality 2560 x 1600 gaming is certainly a possibility with the DinoPC Predator Extreme gaming system.
Productivity is also an area in which DinoPC’s product shines. 16GB of Corsair Vengeance memory, Crucial’s outstanding M4 SSD and a faster-than-anticipated 2TB ‘Green’ hard drive from Seagate, offer the exceptional performance required when not gaming.
A swift 22 second boot time and rapid file transfers will keep most users happy when using the Predator Extreme as their day-to-day system.
An ever-growing importance on the enthusiast and gaming scenes, attractiveness is a characteristic that the Predator Extreme possesses in abundance. Based around the Arctic White variant of Corsair’s gorgeous Carbide 500R, DinoPC has created, by far, one of the cleanest system builds that this editor has ever seen or had the pleasure of working with.
Thoughtful touches such as tucking away the fan headers and concealing front panel cables don’t go unnoticed; they speak leaps and bounds for a company’s quality.
The Predator Extreme isn’t a faultless system, though. Noise is an issue when using the Corsair H100′s ‘Performance’ mode due to the loud 2600 RPM fans. Switching to the unit’s ‘Balanced’ fan speed mode limited the 2600 RPM beasts to 2000 RPM, decreasing the load/gaming acoustic output by a noticeable 4.3dbA. The impact on CPU temperature was only 3°C increase, too. We would advise DinoPC to make use of the Corsair H100′s ‘Balanced’ fan speed setting, rather than the louder ‘Performance’ alternative.
Using both the ‘Balanced’ fan speed mode and a lower CPU Core voltage of 1.375V, load temperature of the i5 3570K decreased by 2°C in comparison to the default configuration of ‘Performance’ mode and 1.400V VCore. By itself, the 0.25V Core voltage reduction decreased CPU temperature by 4°C and had no effect on system stability. DinoPC should take note and make the necessary tweaks.
A 64GB SSD is on the border of sensible for a modern gaming system. With games such as Battlefield 3 demanding over 15GB of storage, the M4′s 46.6GB of free space will rapidly diminish. A preferable configuration would be to decrease the storage drive’s size to 1.5TB, and increase the SSD to a 90/96 or 120/128GB model. This change shouldn’t warrant an increase in the system’s price, either.
Another small negative comes from the quantity of installed memory. 16GB kits consisting of 2x 8GB DIMMS aren’t cheap, but have yet to prove their worth in today’s gaming environments. 8GB of RAM is still plenty for a large majority of users, especially gamers. There is, however, the option to ‘downgrade’ to 8GB of 1866MHz memory, removing £52.90 from the system’s price. This money could be put towards a larger, or extra, SSD that is of more use to a primarily-gaming system.
As much as we’d like to criticise the Carbide 500R’s ability to securely house its installed drives, the issue remains Corsair’s fault, not DinoPC’s. As we pointed out earlier in the review, DinoPC should now be aware of this potentially-problematic issue and work towards some type of solution. They could ship the drives separately, use more protective padding to reduce movement during transit or employ a completely different case. The Carbide 500R is an excellent chassis, but the drive bays need some careful protection for shipping.
Available for £1,249 and customisable to your preference, the DinoPC Predator Extreme 3570K OC is a competitively-priced, formidable gaming system. Buying the components separately from Overclockers UK would cost just over £1,300, and that’s without the guaranteed overclock. This makes the system good value, although it does meet stiff competition from Palicomp’s Alpha Pulse gaming system.
Making use of a great Z77 motherboard, 16GB of Corsair memory, an overclocked i5 3570K processor and Gigabyte’s GTX 670 OC graphics card, modern games have met their match in the DinoPC Predator Extreme 3570K OC system.
Pros:
  • Excellent gaming performance.
  • Fast for general usage.
  • High overclocks.
  • Attractive and tidy build.
  • Plenty of storage.
  • Good value.
  • SLI capability.
  • 3 year PromoCare warranty.
Cons:
  • Loud CPU cooler when using the default ‘Performance’ mode.
  • 64GB SSD will fill quickly.
  • Corsair 500R has the potential for damage to occur during shipping.
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