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Chillblast Fusion Elemental review

Barry de la Rosa
2 Nov 2010
Chillblast Fusion Elemental
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,699
inc VAT

With a chart-topping score of 200 overall, the Fusion Elemental is the fastest PC we've tested so far, but it's very expensive and most people don't need that much power.

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Specifications

4GHz Intel Core i7-930, 6GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Overclocking your PC is an inexpensive way of getting more power out of your processor, and can result in performance gains that would otherwise cost hundreds of pounds. Serious overclockers rely on water-cooling to keep the temperature of the processor below acceptable levels, but Chillblast has gone one further: the Fusion Elemental's Intel Core i7-930 processor is cooled by liquid metal, allowing an overclock from 2.8GHz to 4GHz.

This isn't as crazy as it first sounds; the metal in question is an alloy that's liquid at room temperature. As it's metal, it can be circulated around the cooler using an electro-magnetic pump, rather than a mechanical pump, which means that the system is closed so there is less likelihood of leakage, and that there aren't any moving parts to wear out. It also conducts the heat away from the processor more rapidly than water. This resulted in an overall score of 200 in our benchmarks, the first PC to hit this milestone.

Unlike a water-cooling system, the Danamics LMX Superleggera fitted in the Fusion Elemental doesn't have a complex system of pipes, but instead comes in the form of a massive heatsink, with clips for fans on both sides. It takes up a lot of room, and would stick out of the side of the PC if it wasn't for the 21cm-wide Silverstone case.

Chillblast Fusion Elemental

Inside, there's still tons of room for upgrades. There are three free RAM slots, so you won't have to throw any memory DIMMs away if you plan on upgrading. The drive bays all have quick-release, tool-free mechanisms, and there are even two SATA III headers free. Although one PCI slot is blocked by the graphics card, there are still plenty of free slots, and you could even fit a second graphics card.

You shouldn't need to think about upgrades for quite some time, however. Storage is catered for by a 1TB hard disk, with an 80GB SSD drive as a boot disk so that Windows loads up quicker. The graphics card is the fastest single-chip ATI card available, and it breezed through our benchmarks, scoring nearly 90fps in Call of Duty 4 and an incredible 67fps in Crysis. Even at Very High quality settings, at 1,920x1,080 and with 4x anti-aliasing, it managed 38fps.

In our Windows benchmarks, the overclocked Core i7 scored 207 in the video-encoding test, but only 190 in the single-threaded image-editing test. We're used to Core chips doing better in the single-threaded test, but that's when Turbo Boost is in effect. Because this processor is overclocked, Turbo Boost no longer applies - in fact, the maximum Turbo Boost speed for a stock Core i7-930 is 3.06GHz, which the overclock exceeds by almost a full 1GHz.

This level of Windows performance is totally unnecessary for most tasks, and even modern 3D games won't make use of it. The only reason to invest in such a massive amount of power is if you do a lot of processor-intensive tasks such as video production or 3D rendering work. We'd also question whether Chillblast has got the most out of this setup, as the Core i7-930 will go up to 4.3GHz; however, the company assured us that it had kept the speed down to preserve a safety margin, so as not to stress the processor too much.

There's no doubting the Fusion Elemental is a powerful PC with adequate storage and room for expansion. It's just incredibly expensive, especially as it doesn't come with a monitor, keyboard or mouse, which you'll have to pay extra for. Unless you're seriously into tasks that require such a powerful system, the Fusion Elemental is overkill, and we can't recommend it.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core i7-930
Processor external bus200MHz (3.6GHz QPI)
Processor multiplierx20
Processor clock speed4GHz
Processor socketLGA1366
Memory6
Memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory24GB
MotherboardAsustek P6X58D-E
Motherboard chipsetIntel X58

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear)1/1
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casetower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)1 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)3 (2)
Free Serial ATA ports4
Free memory slots3
Free 3.5in drive bays5

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD103SJ + Corsair Force F80 SSD
InterfaceSATA II
Total storage capacity1,080GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB ATI Radeon HD 5870
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Sound

SoundAsus Xonar DS
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

Supported memory cardsnone
Optical drive type(s)DVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM

Display

Screen modelN/A
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

KeyboardN/A
MouseN/A

Software

Software includednone
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years collect and return
Price£1,699
Detailswww.chillblast.com