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Chillblast Fusion Ares review

Richard Easton
7 Nov 2014
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,400
inc VAT

The Chillblast Fusion Ares is equipped with powerful, high-quality components and is an ideal Full HD games machine

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Specifications

Processor: Six-core 4.2GHz Intel Core i7-5820K, RAM: 16GB, Front USB ports : 2x USB3, 2x USB2, Rear USB ports: 6x USB3, 4x USB2, Total storage: 250GB SSD, 2TB Hard disk, Graphics card: 2GB VTX3D Radeon R9 285 X-Edition, Display: N/A, Operating system: Windows 8.1

The Chillblast Fusion Ares is a breathtakingly beautiful and well put together PC that uses a powerful six-core Intel Core i7 “Haswell-E” processor and a high-quality Intell X99-based board. The Fusion Ares is housed within the elegant and understated NZXT H440 case. The entire case is coated in a glossy white paint, and there’s little to break up the design save for the large windowed side panel that gives a glimpse to the equally attractive internal casing, which also has a white finish.

Inside, the Fusion Ares is equipped with a six-core 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7-5820K processor that has been overclocked from its standard 3.5GHz. Chillblast has installed a Corsair Hydro Series H100i liquid cooler to help keep CPU temperatures under control. This is paired with 16GB of 2,133MHz DDR4 memory, and the system scored a good 127 overall in our PC benchmarks. However, our regular benchmarks can’t stress the multiple cores of a Haswell-E processor enough, so we ran a tougher version of our regular benchmarks, in which the Fusion Ares scored 203 overall. This is a great score compared to our reference Intel Core i5-4670K, which scored 100 in the same test, and its score of 228 in the multitasking segment shows that the Core i7-5820K is ideal if you’re using multicore-capable software.

Chillblast has installed a 250GB Samsung 840 Evo SSD that helps Windows 8.1 feel super-responsive, with fast boot up and shutdown speeds. It also has a 7,200RPM, 2TB hard disk for storing videos, pictures and music.

As for graphics, the Fusion Ares has a 2GB VTX3D Radeon R9 285 X-Edition, which performed well in our Dirt Showdown benchmarks. With the game running at 1,920x1,080 resolution, 4x anti-aliasing and Ultra quality graphics, the Fusion Ares produced a silky 93fps. Crysis 3 is always much more taxing on a system’s resources but we still saw an eminently playable 49fps with the game running at 1,920x1,080, 4x anti-aliasing and High quality graphics.

The Fusion Ares uses a Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5 motherboard that unsurprisingly has a number of gaming-oriented features, such as AMD CrossFire and Nvidia SLI multiple graphics card support and a Killer E2201 LAN controller and a high-end audio chip with a TI Burr Brown OPA2135 op-amp.

There’s good scope for expansion, as there are four PCI-E x16 slots, two of which can run at x16 with two cards installed. However, because the Fusion Ares uses a Core i7-5820K, slot 2 is only able to operate at x8. The other PCI-E x16 slots can run up to x8 speed. You should read the motherboard’s manual before buying if you plan on using this PC as a base for a multi-GPU setup. The remaining PCI-E x1 slots run at x1, but one is obscured by the installed graphics card.

There are also 10 SATA3 ports, so you’ll have no problem attaching extra storage. Two ports are already used for the SSD and hard disk. In addition, there’s a SATA Express connector that you can use to attach compatible drives, as well as an M.2 connector. Both the SATA Express and M.2 ports can transfer data at a fast 10GB/s, but you can't use them both at the same time; you must choose one or the other. Either way, this gives you tremendous scope for upgrading and speeding up your system in the future.

There are a total of eight DIMM slots, with four already occupied. The motherboard has support for up to of 64GB, so there's plenty of room to upgrade if you intend on using the system for applications that will benefit from extra memory like video editing.

The NZXT case doesn’t have any external drive bays for optical drives, card readers and so on, so you’d have to use an external optical drive or card reader with the Fusion Ares. Inside the case are five 3.5in drive bays that can also accommodate 2.5in drives, and one of these bays is occupied by the hard disk. At the bottom of the case are two mounting points for 2.5in drives, and one is already occupied by the Samsung SSD. The case tidily hides the Fusion Ares’ 750W power supply in a separate compartment, which keeps things neat. The Fusion Ares uses a 750W PSU so there's plenty of scope for upgrades.

The Fusion Ares has plenty of connection ports on its top and back panel, with two USB3 and two USB ports on top in addition to 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks. On the back panel you’ll find a pair of PS/2 ports, six USB3 ports and four USB ports, five audio jacks for up to 5.1 surround sound audio, an optical S/PDIF connection and a gigabit Ethernet port.

The Chillblast Fusion Ares is a great PC with a strong processor, motherboard and Full HD gaming performance. However, the Scan 3XS Z97 Performance GTX is also worth considering as it provides better gaming performance at a lower price, and is a better buy if you don’t need the extra multitasking power of an X99-based system.

Core specs
ProcessorSix-core 4.2GHz Intel Core i7-5820K
Processor socketLGA2011-v3
RAM16GB
Memory typePC4-17000
Maximum memory64GB
MotherboardGigabyte X99-Gaming 5
Motherboard chipsetIntel X99 Express
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports2x USB3, 2x USB2
Rear USB ports6x USB3, 4x USB2
Other ports2x PS/2
Networking1x 10/100/1000
Case typeMid-tower
Case size HxWxD475x220x510mm
PCI (free)0 (0)
PCIe x1 (free)3 (2)
PCIe x16 (free)4 (3)
Serial ATA (free)10x SATA3 (8), 1x SATA Express (1), 1x M.2 (1)
Memory slots (free)8 (4)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)2 (1)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)5 (4)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)0 (0)
Storage
Total storage250GB SSD, 2TB Hard disk
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeNone
GRAPHICS
Graphics card2GB VTX3D Radeon R9 285 X-Edition
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
Sound
Sound cardCreative Sound Core3D
Sound card outputsS/PDIF, Headphone, Microphone, Line out, Subwoofer
SpeakersNone
Display
DisplayN/A
Native resolutionN/A
InputsN/A
Other hardware
KeyboardN/A
MouseN/A
ExtrasCorsair Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Software
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
BUYING INFORMATION
WarrantyFive-year (Three-year collect and return, two-year RTB)
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£1,400
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£1,400
Supplierwww.chillblast.com
Detailswww.chillblast.com
Part CodeFusion Ares