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Chillblast Fusion Raptor review

Richard Easton
18 Feb 2015
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,099
inc VAT

The Fusion Raptor is a great value gaming system with decent application performance and plenty of storage

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 4.4GHz Intel Core i7-4790K, RAM: 16GB, Front USB ports : 2x USB3, Rear USB ports: 2x USB, 4x USB3, Total storage: 120GB SSD, 2TB hard disk, Graphics card: MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming 2G, Display: None, Operating system: Windows 8.1

There’s an awful lot to like about the Chillblast Fusion Raptor, but its Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV case is particularly deserving of our admiration. It’s a high quality case with a glossy metal exterior that’s cool to the touch. We loved the way the side panels are hinged from the back so they swing open like doors; it makes it incredibly easy to access the internals and you can lift each panel off its hinge to remove it completely. It takes tool-free access a step further than simple thumbscrews.

A massive 200mm fan installed in the front of the case and a 140mm fan installed in the top make the Fusion Raptor a near silent system. Phanteks usually fits this fan to the rear, but Chillblast has moved it to accommodate a Corsair H55 liquid cooling system. The cooler’s 120mm fan is also pleasingly quiet. Dust filters are installed on the front and base, but not in the top of the case. There aren’t even grilles covering the top fan, which could be hazardous if you pop off the top of the case while the 140mm fan is spinning.

The viewing window in the side panel is a little under-utilised, with the only internal illumination coming from the logo on the MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G graphics card. Otherwise the rest of the internals are awash in darkness.

What the Fusion Raptor lacks in visual flourish, however, it more than makes up for with its other specifications. Inside, an Intel Core i7-4790K has been overclocked to 4.4GHz and paired with 16GB of 1,600MHz memory. In our new 4K-ready benchmarks it scored an excellent 151 overall, doing particularly well in the tough multitasking segment with a score of 157. This is an excellent result and means the Fusion Raptor will be up to any desktop task.

Gaming performance was no slouch either. In Dirt Showdown at 1,920x1,080, 4x anti-aliasing and Ultra graphics it produced 106fps. In Crysis 3 it managed a very respectable and eminently playable 51fps at 1,920x1,080, 4x anti-aliasing and High graphics. Bumping the graphics quality up to Very High produced 31fps.

For storage Chillblast has opted for a 120GB Samsung Evo 850 SSD on which to install Windows 8.1 and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda 7,200RPM hard disk to store all your media. We would have liked to see a larger system drive, as after you’ve taken into account the operating system, you’re not left with a massive amount of storage capacity for your application and games to take advantage of the faster speeds of an SSD.

The Fusion Raptor uses an Asus Z97M-Plus microATX motherboard, which has four memory slots. Two are already occupied, and the motherboard will support up to a maximum of 32GB, leaving room to upgrade later. There are six SATA3 ports, with the two storage drives occupying the first two ports. There is also an M.2 port for an M.2 SSD.

Connectivity on the rear I/O panel is fairly standard, with 4x USB3 ports, 2x USB, a legacy PS/2 port for keyboard and mouse, and Gigabit Ethernet for networking. There are six audio jacks for up to 7.1 audio. The case has an additional 2x USB3 ports on the front I/O panel connected to a header on the motherboard, and the usual headphone and microphone jacks. These connections are on the right side of the case, rather than the front or top, which is a little unusual. You’ll therefore need to make sure you have clearance if you want to connect things like USB flash drives.

There’s one spare 3½in bay with a drive tray that will let you mount a drive without tools if you want to add in extra storage. There’s also space to mount another 2½in drive on the back of the motherboard tray. With the side bracket attached, you can vertically mount another two 2½in drives or a single 2½in and 3½in drive pairing.  The side bracket can be removed to install a longer graphics card and you’ll need to remove it first if you want to swap out the GTX 960.

The case technically also supports one external 5¼in drive, but you won’t be able to use it unless you remove the fan installed in the roof. If you move the top fan towards the front of the case there’ll be enough clearance to install an optical drive. The 5¼in bay is actually mounted at the rear of the case, which helps maintain the clean and uncluttered front. However, it could be awkward if you frequently need access to an optical drive.

The design and the performance of the Chillblast Fusion Raptor don’t disappoint. It marries great application performance with smooth gaming frame rates and it’s keenly priced considering the components used. It compares very favourably with our previous Best Buy winner, the Scan 3XS Z97 Performance GTX, and also deserves a Best Buy award.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 4.4GHz Intel Core i7-4790K
Processor socketFCLGA1150
RAM16GB
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsus Z97M-Plus
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z97
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports2x USB3
Rear USB ports2x USB, 4x USB3
Other portsPS/2
Networking1x 10/100/1000
Case typeMid-tower
Case size HxWxD450x230x400mm
PCI (free)2 (1)
PCIe x1 (free)0 (0)
PCIe x16 (free)1 (1)
Serial ATA (free)6 (4)
Memory slots (free)4 (2)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)3 (2)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)3 (2)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)0 (0)
Storage
Total storage120GB SSD, 2TB hard disk
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeNone
Graphics
Graphics cardMSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming 2G
Graphics/video portsDVI, HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
Sound
Sound cardRealtek ALC887
Sound card outputsHeadphone, microphone, line out, line in, subwoofer
SpeakersNone
Display
DisplayNone
Native resolutionNone
InputsNone
Other hardware
KeyboardNone
MouseNone
ExtrasNone
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)£1,099
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£1,099
Supplierwww.chillblast.com
Detailswww.chillblast.com
Part CodeFusion Raptor