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Chillblast Fusion Cyborg review

Michael Passingham
28 Mar 2015
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
600
inc VAT, £500 without monitor

Powerful, compact and with a great warranty, the Chillblast Fusion Cyborg is a terrific desktop PC

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 3.2GHz Intel Core i5-4460, RAM: 8GB, Front USB ports : 1x USB, 1x USB3, Rear USB ports: 4x USB, 2x USB3, Total storage: 1TB SSHD (8GB SSD cache), Graphics card: PowerColor Radeon R9 270X, Display: 22.5in AOC e2250wda, Operating system: Windows 8.1

Chillblast's Fusion Cyborg is an unusual looking PC that uses the Zalman T4 Mini case. The chassis is outrageously cheap, costing just £15, but it’s well made and has room inside for future expansion. It's just 364mm long and 427mm tall, which makes it look a bit squashed, but its compact microATX form factor means it'll fit on or under most desks.

Despite its low price, the chassis looks reasonably sturdy with a matt black plastic front and metal sides. Remove the side of the case and you are greeted by a compact but tidy PC that has plenty of power.

It’s relatively quiet in use, too, as there's only one case fan, which is a 120mm exhaust fan at the rear of the chassis. The stock Intel CPU cooler runs quietly and the graphics card fan only kicks in after several minutes of gaming, but even then it's only a background whoosh that'll easily be drowned out by your desktop speakers or headphones. In fact, the noisiest part of the PC is the hard disk, a 1TB Seagate SSHD, which twitters away even while the PC is idle.

Processing performance comes from a quad-core Intel Core i5-4460 processor that runs at its base clock speed of 3.2GHz, turbo boosting to 3.4GHz when thermal conditions allow. Paired with 8GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM in the form of two 4GB sticks, the processor clocked in some great performances in our new, tougher benchmarking tests. It scored an excellent 98 in the image-processing test and managed respectable scores of 82 and 71 in the video conversion and multitasking tests. If you're planning on editing a bit of video and editing high-resolution photographs, you'll have no problem doing so on the Chillblast Fusion Cyborg.

If you plan to play a few games on your new PC, the Fusion Cyborg can do the job easily. Graphics are handled by a 2GB PowerColour AMD R9 270X graphics card, which is a strong mid-range GPU that sits just behind the current-generation Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 in terms of performance.

It impressed in our latest gaming benchmarks, managing to produce an average frame rate of 75.5fps in our Dirt Showdown benchmark running at a Full HD resolution and Ultra settings. It also performed handily in the Metro: Last Light benchmark, managing an almost-playable 27.7fps in with the game turned up to Very High settings with extremely challenging SSAA switched on. Turning SSAA off raised the frame rate to a smooth 50.5fps and proves that the R9 270X still has some life in it for several years to come.

The Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H motherboard leaves a little room for expansion. The motherboard has a single PCI-E x16 slot and two x1 slots, although the graphics card obstructs the top slot. There are four RAM slots, two of which have been filled, so you have room for more RAM if you need it in the future; 8GB should suffice for most moderately challenging tasks, however.

Elsewhere, there are four SATA3 connectors, of which three are unused, and a further two SATA2 connectors. However, the case only leaves room for one more 3.5in or 2.5in hard disk or SSD, which will have to be mounted awkwardly facing upwards in the case. There's also no DVD drive included, which won't be a problem if you obtain your games and movies digitally. If you really want an optical drive, you can spend £20 using Chillblast's online configuration tools or buy and fit your own later.

Externally, there are plenty of USB ports although only three of them are high-speed USB3 connectors. One of these is found on the front of the case while the remaining two are at the rear of the PC. There are four more USB ports at the rear and a fifth on the front of the case alongside the 3.5mm audio input and output. There are three more 3.5mm connectors at the rear of the case, a PS/2 port and a Gigabit Ethernet port, too. The graphics card has two DVI connectors and single HDMI and DisplayPort connectors.

The supplied AOC e2250wda monitor is fine, with decent viewing angles and good colour accuracy. We measured a contrast ratio of 1,046:1 and the display capable of producing 88.8% of the sRGB colour gamut. Our one minor issue is that we found a small amount of backlight bleed around the edges of the screen when it was displaying darker scenes. The supplied Zalman keyboard and mouse are perfectly usable but ultimately unspectacular.

You get Chillblast's excellent five-year warranty as standard, too, which is collect and return for two years and labour for an additional three years.

The Chillblast Fusion Cyborg is a compact and quiet gaming PC capable of some excellent performances considering its small prices. While there isn't much room for future expansion, it's a well-balanced system that we'd heartily recommend to anyone on a tight budget. If you're looking for something a bit different, check our our regularly-updated best desktop PC guide.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 3.2GHz Intel Core i5-4460
Processor socketLGA1150
RAM8GB
Memory type1600MHz DDR3
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardGigabyte GA-B85M-DS3H
Motherboard chipsetIntel B85
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports1x USB, 1x USB3
Rear USB ports4x USB, 2x USB3
Other portsPS/2
Networking1x 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Case typeMini tower
Case size HxWxD427x189x364mm
PCI (free)0
PCIe x1 (free)2 (1)
PCIe x16 (free)1 (0)
Serial ATA (free)4x  SATA3, 2x SATA2
Memory slots (free)4 (2)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)2 (1)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)2 (1)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)1 (1)
Storage
Total storage1TB SSHD (8GB SSD cache)
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeNone
Graphics
Graphics cardPowerColor Radeon R9 270X
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
Sound
Sound cardIntegrated
Sound card outputs3x 3.5mm
SpeakersNone
Display
Display22.5in AOC e2250wda
Native resolution1,920x1,080
InputsDVI, VGA
Other hardware
KeyboardZalman ZM-K350M
MouseZalman ZM-M300
ExtrasNone
Software
Operating system
Windows 8.1 or Windows 7
Operating system restore optionWindows 8.1 recovery
Buying information
WarrantyTwo years collect and return with parts, three years labour-only RTB
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£600
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£500
Supplierwww.chillblast.com
Detailswww.chillblast.com
Part CodeFusion Cyborg