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Chillblast Fusion Wolf review

Michael Passingham
27 Jun 2015
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Chillblast Fusion Wolf on a table
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,800
inc VAT

Compact and powerful, the Chillblast Fusion Wolf can handle the latest games at 4K resolutions

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 4.4GHz Intel Core i7-4790K (overclocked), RAM: 16GB, Front USB ports : 2x USB3, Rear USB ports: 4x USB2, 4x USB3, Total storage: 256GB M.2 SSD, 2TB hybrid hard disk (8GB SSD cache), Graphics card: 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti, Display: None, Operating system: Windows 8.1

As you'll have seen in last month's news coverage, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti is the new benchmark when it comes to Ultra HD gaming performance in a graphics card costing less than £600. There are no single GPU cards that can touch it, although it makes a considerably larger dent to your wallet than the £400 GTX 980. Either way, you're looking at a card that can handle all the 4K and virtual reality gaming you can throw at it.

The GPU is only one part of a dream PC build though. Chillblast's Fusion Wolf aims to complete the package, adding more top-spec components into a stylish mini ITX chassis.

With its matt black plastic fascia, black metal side panels and small vents in the top, the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX case exudes an aura of quiet, simmering power. Our unit didn't come with a plastic window, but for an extra £9 you can stare into what is easily one of the most compact yet powerful builds we've seen in quite some time.

A 750W Corsair power supply sits below the glowing green GeForce GTX logo on the graphics card as you'd expect, but the two 2.5/3.5in drive bays are unusually mounted on the opposite side of the motherboard tray. That means you'll have to remove the right side panel to access them. A 3.5in, 7,200rpm Seagate hybrid hard disk with 8GB of SSD cache is fitted to one of these bays, leaving the second available for adding extra storage.


Chillblast Fusion Wolf components

The operating system, which can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free when the OS is released at the end of July, is installed on a 256GB Samsung SM951 M.2 PCI-e SSD mounted to the back of the motherboard, which again can only be accessed via the right side panel. The maximum 1,600MB/s read speeds are absolutely blistering, and the 256GB capacity should be enough for most gamers who want super-fast loading times, as long as you manage your installations reasonably carefully.

A Corsair Hyrdro H80i water cooler quietly cools the overclocked, 4.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-4790K. Even under extreme load, the watercooler remained unfazed and pulled away excess heat with ease.

As you'd expect from a top-end Intel LGA1156 chip, system response is incredibly quick, with programs opening in the blink of an eye and web pages going from loading to fully scrollable in no time at all. It easily ran through our multimedia benchmarks, too, scoring 144, 142 and 155 in the photo conversion, video rendering and multitasking tests respectively. In short, you'll have no problems with running multiple moderately strenuous tasks at the same time.

It'll come as no surprise that the graphics card made mincemeat of our gaming benchmarks at Full HD resolution, powering through the Dirt Showdown benchmark at an average frame rate of 152fps. Even in Metro: Last Light Redux at maximum settings, it managed 71fps. We ramped things up to 3,840x2,160 Ultra HD resolution in Metro, and after turning SSAA off we were able to reach an average of 37fps. This is a gaming rig built with high resolution gaming or multi monitor setups in mind, and pairing it with a Full HD display simply wouldn't be doing the graphics card justice.

Internal expansion is very limited because of the compact case dimensions and Mini-ITX motherboard, making it tricky to add extra components in the future. There are only two RAM slots on the Asus Z97l-Plus motherboard, so you'll need to remove the two 8GB, 1,600MHz DDR3 memory modules Chillblast has installed if you want to make the jump to 32GB. With only one PCI-Express x16 slot, you can't add a second graphics card either, although three of the four SATA3 connectors are free for adding extra storage disks.

Chillblast Fusion Wolf ports

There are mounts for three more 2.5in disks or one more 3.5in disk in the case, so you can pick whatever form factor you fancy. There's no space for an optical drive though, so if you want to use DVDs or Blu Ray discs you'll need a USB disc drive.

External connectivity is much more generous. There are two USB3 ports on the front of the chassis, with a further four USB3 connectors at the rear along with four USB ports, gigabit Ethernet, three 3.5mm audio jacks and an optical audio port. There are also two connectors for the included 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna, which will be really useful if your router isn't in the same room as your gaming setup.

The Chillblast Fusion Wolf is a great compact system ready for the toughest games you can throw at it, on 2,560x1,440 or even 4K displays. The incredibly compact case might limit expansion options in the future, but when the stupendous graphics card and overclocked processor inside are so powerful, it's perfect for gamers who want the best kit currently available. If it doesn't quite suit your needs then check out our Best PCs and buying guide.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 4.4GHz Intel Core i7-4790K (overclocked)
Processor socketLGA1156
RAM16GB
Memory type1600MHz DDR3
Maximum memory16GB
MotherboardAsus Z97I-Plus
Motherboard chipsetZ97
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports2x USB3
Rear USB ports4x USB2, 4x USB3
Other ports1x PS/2
Networking1x 10/100/1000 ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Case typeMini ITX
Case size HxWxD375x230x395mm
PCI (free)None
PCIe x1 (free)None
PCIe x16 (free)1 (0)
Serial ATA (free)4x SATA3 (3)
Memory slots (free)2 (0)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)3 (2)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)2 (1)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)None
Storage
Total storage256GB M.2 SSD, 2TB hybrid hard disk (8GB SSD cache)
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive typeNone
Graphics
Graphics card6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti
Graphics/video ports3x DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI
Sound
Sound cardIntegrated Realtek ALC892
Sound card outputs3x 3.5mm audio jacks, S/PDIF optical audio port
SpeakersNone
Display
DisplayNone
Native resolutionN/A
InputsN/A
Other hardware
KeyboardNone
MouseNone
ExtrasNone
Software
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionWindows 8.1 restore
Buying information
WarrantyTwo years collect and return with parts, three years labour-only RTB
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£1800
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)N/A
Supplierwww.chillblast.com
Detailswww.chillblast.com
Part CodeFusion Wolf