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Chillblast Fusion Slipstream review

Kat Orphanides
10 Jun 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
699
inc VAT

New hardware and outstanding performance make this a great gaming PC

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Specifications

4.2GHz Intel Core i5-4670K, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 8.1

Competition is tight in the world of mid-range gaming PCs, with each new generation of hardware bringing small but significant advances in performance. The Chillblast Fusion Slipstream, priced at £699, is a perfect example of this, equipped as it is with an Intel Z97 chipset motherboard.

Chillblast Fusion Slipstream

Much of the Fusion Slipstream’s specification is exactly what we’d expect from a performance system at this price, and includes 8GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 memory in two 4GB modules and an Intel Core i5-4670K processor. The processor has been overclocked to 4.2GHz from its standard 3.8GHz, which provides a hefty performance boost, giving us an overall score of 128 in our standard desktop application benchmarks. The processor is air cooled, but the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU cooler is quieter than many liquid cooling systems and isn't unduly large.

The power supply is a decent 500W model from FSP, which provides plenty of power to the graphics card, which is this PC's crowning glory. The Slipstream is equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. It's this that sets the Fusion Slipstream apart from many similarly priced rivals, and it put in an impressive performance in our gaming tests.

Chillblast Fusion Slipstream

In Dirt Showdown with graphics quality set to Ultra, 4x anti-aliasing and a 1,920x1,080 resolution, the Fusion Slipstream produced a fast average frame rate of 71.3fps. Our Crysis 3 is more of a challenge, but the Fusion Slipstream sailed through it with an average frame rate of 53.3fps at 1,920x1,080 with graphics quality set to High with 4x anti-aliasing. To test this PC full we went above and beyond our usual tests and set Crysis 3’s graphics quality to its maximum setting of Very High at 1,920x1,080 with 8x anti-aliasing. This punished the Fusion Slipstream, with the machine producing an average frame rate of just 22.8fps. This shows that you’ll be able to play the all the latest games, but you’ll have to make some slight compromises on graphics quality for the most graphically challenging games.

The Fusion Slipstream is a great mid-range gaming system, but it’s also well equipped for desktop use. A 120GB SSD helps ensure lightning-quick boot times, but it’s worth noting that 120GB doesn’t give you much space for installing software or storing media. Thankfully, the Fusion Slipstream also has a 1TB hard disk installed.

The Corsair Carbide Spec-01 case is a model we haven't seen before, but it has the solid build quality we expect from Corsair, along with an unventilated plastic side panel and plenty of fan mounting points. We'd actually have liked the case to be slightly less ventilated. Two fans are fitted to the case: an intake behind the front panel and an exhaust at the back, with room to fit three more 120mm fans. Both the case and CPU fans are very quiet, producing the slightest of hum.

The Fusion Slipstream’s case has drive bays stacked behind the front panel at the top and bottom, with a clear space in the middle that lines up with the motherboard's main PCI-E x16 slot and provides plenty of space for long graphics cards. Above are two 5 1/4in bays, one of which is home to a DVD-RW drive. At the bottom, you get four drive trays that can accommodate either 3 1/2in or 2 1/2in disks. Two of the bays are occupied.

With three drives connected to the Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SLI motherboard, there are still three SATA3 ports available for future expansion. There are also two unused memory slots and plenty of expansion slots. There are two PCI slots for older cards, an unused PCI-E x8 slot with a PCI-E x16 form factor, and three PCI-E x1 slots. Sadly, one of these is blocked by the dual-height graphics card that occupies the main PCI-E x16 slot. Note that the second x16 slot is designed for graphics cards paired using SLI or CrossFire. When you install two graphics cards, both of the x16 slots run at x8.

Chillblast Fusion Slipstream

The motherboard’s mid-board USB3 header is hooked to the front panel, where you'll also find a SuperSpeed USB port alongside a standard USB port and the usual 3.5mm microphone and headphone connectors. At the rear of the PC is another six USB ports, four of which are USB3. There's also a Gigabit Ethernet port, six 3.5mm stereo outputs for analogue surround sound and a PS/2 port for a legacy mouse or keyboard. The motherboard's back plate houses four USB3 ports, two USB ports, a PS/2 port for legacy mice and keyboards, a Gigabit Ethernet port and six 3.5mm analogue audio outputs which can be used for 7.1 surround sound.

Priced at a very reasonable £699, the Fusion Slipstream’s fantastic performance in both desktop applications and 3D games marks it out as a great-value system. If you're shopping for a new gaming PC and don’t want to spend a fortune, buy the Chillblast Fusion Slipstream.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-4670K
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx42
Processor clock speed4.2GHz
Processor socketLGA1150
Memory8
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z97X-SLI
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z97

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)3 (2)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports3
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays2

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung 840 EVO 120GB + Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003-1CH162
InterfaceSATA3

Graphics

Graphics card(s)2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 760
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC892
Sound outputs7.1 line out, headphone, microphone
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

KeyboardN/A
MouseN/A

Software

Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantyfive years (two years collect-and-return and parts, plus three years labour-only RTB)
Price£699
Detailswww.chillblast.com