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Chillblast Fusion Obelisk review

Michael Passingham
10 Oct 2014
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

The Fusion Obelisk is a terrific all-round PC with top-notch gaming performance and a quality IPS monitor

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 4.2GHz Intel Core i5-4690K (overclocked), RAM: 8GB, Front USB ports : 2x USB2, 1x USB3, Rear USB ports: 4x USB2, 2x USB3, Total storage: 1TB hard disk, 120GB SSD, Graphics card: 2GB AMD Radeon R7 265, Display: 23in Asus VS239HV, Operating system: Windows 8.1

Chillblast has opted for a well-rounded system with the Obelisk, including a quality monitor, a modestly overclocked processor and a capable graphics card, giving it strength in both application performance and mid-range gaming punch. The PC's components are found inside Zalman's Z3 Plus mid-tower chassis, which is available in both black and white. Our unit was the white version with blue lighting around the front air intake and, while the plastic feels and looks somewhat cheap when viewed close up, it's a well-insulated and distinctive case.

Despite the system being whisper-quiet and cool even under intense load, the components are anything but tepid. For a start, the processor is a quad-core Intel Core i5-4690K, with the K suffix signifying that it's an unlocked, enthusiast's processor. Chillblast has overclocked the model from its 3.5GHz base speed to 4.2GHz, adding a large Akasa CPU heat sink and 12mm fan to cope.

The processor flew through our application benchmark tests, scoring 128 overall, some 28 points higher than our own Core i5 reference PC. It excelled in the multitasking test, achieving a score of 133. This PC is ready for any tough multi-core processing challenges you throw at it. 8GB of DDR3 RAM is provided in the form of two 4GB sticks, so if you're going to be doing particularly intensive multimedia tasks you may wish to upgrade to 16GB using Chillblast's system configurator.

The graphics card is similarly well-specified: the AMD Radeon R7 265 is an excellent mid-range graphics card with 2GB of memory, allowing it to achieve stellar results in our gaming benchmarks. Tackling Dirt Showdown on Ultra settings at Full-HD resolution, it achieved a terrific 73.4fps. Crysis 3 at High settings with 4x anti-aliasing at the same resolution ran at 39.7fps with a minimum frame rate of 29fps, meaning this benchmark-setting game is easily playable at these settings. The Chillblast Fusion Obelisk is therefore a very competent gaming machine and should remain so for quite some time.

The Asus B85M-G motherboard doesn't leave any room for graphics expansion: there's only one PCI-E x16 slot which is occupied by the graphics card, so you won't be able to create a dual-graphics behemoth later on an SLI or CrossFire setup. If you decide to replace the graphics card, there's plenty of space inside for an even bigger card.

There's a pair of PCI-E x1 slots, although one of these is rendered inaccessible by the graphics card. If you want to add more of your own storage one of the four SATA3 slots is free. You probably won't need more storage, as the 120GB SSD provides a fast boot and application drive, while a 1TB hard disk should be plenty for your other files.

The rear of the PC has four USB2 and two USB3 ports attached to the motherboard, along with serial ports and three 3.5mm audio jacks.The graphics card, meanwhile, has two DVI outputs, an HDMI port and a DisplayPort connector, as you'd expect from a mid-range card.

The case has space for two externally-accessible 5.25in bays, one of which is used by the included DVD drive. There is space for three 3.5in hard disks in addition to the one supplied by Chillbast, but only space for one 2.5in drive, which is filled by the SSD. From the front of the case you can access three USB ports, one of which is USB3, as well as separate 3.5mm audio input and output jacks.

The Fusion Obelisk comes with a 23in, Full-HD Asus VS239HV monitor. Instead of the typical cheap TN screens we see with some PC bundles, this monitor uses IPS technology for better colour performance and viewing angles. While our colour calibrator detected the monitor was only able to display 89 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, this figure is slightly misleading as it was mostly reds that failed to hit the mark, with most other colours being well served. Contrast levels were 1,051:1, making this an above-average bundled monitor. The bundled Zalman-branded keyboard and mouse are adequate, although they don't match the quality of the rest of the system. It would be worth upgrading to a better set of peripherals if you can afford it.

The Chillblast Fusion Obelisk is an excellent-value performance PC, with more than enough power for top-end multimedia work and gaming prowess. It's also quiet and comes with a great monitor, meaning it's a brilliant all-round package, making it highly recommended.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 4.2GHz Intel Core i5-4690K (overclocked)
Processor socketFCLGA1150
RAM8GB
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsus B85M-G
Motherboard chipsetIntel B85
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports2x USB2, 1x USB3
Rear USB ports4x USB2, 2x USB3
Other portsNone
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet
Case typeMid Tower
Case size HxWxD465x192x430mm
PCI (free)None
PCIe x1 (free)2 (1)
PCIe x16 (free)1 (0)
Serial ATA (free)4x SATA3 (1), 2x SATA2 (2)
Memory slots (free)2 (0)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)1 (0)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)4 (3)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)2 (1)
Storage
Total storage1TB hard disk, 120GB SSD
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeDVD RW
Graphics
Graphics card2GB AMD Radeon R7 265
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
Sound
Sound cardRealtek ALC887-VD2
Sound card outputs5.1 line out, headphone, microphone
SpeakersNone
Display
Display23in Asus VS239HV
Native resolution1,920x1,080
InputsHDMI, VGA, DVI
Other hardware
KeyboardZalman ZM-K200M
MouseZalman ZM-M200
ExtrasNone
Software
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
WarrantyTwo-years collect and return, three-years parts and labour
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£700
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£598
Supplierwww.chillblast.com
Detailswww.chillblast.com
Part CodeFusion Obelisk