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Chillblast Fusion Thrust review

Kat Orphanides
9 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
999
inc VAT

Chillblast has put together an excellent PC, but it's not the perfect graphics station we were hoping for

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Specifications

4.8GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 8GB RAM, 23in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Chillblast's Fusion Thrust is a powerful PC that's designed for image editing. A key feature is the 23in 1,920x1,080 LG Flatron IPS231 monitor, a stunning matt flatscreen display that reproduces images with perfect detail and shading, deep blacks and beautifully natural colour. Even our magazine's art department were impressed. The monitor lacks the intensely vibrant colours of many gloss displays, but as it uses IPS rather than the cheaper TN technology colours are accurate and viewing angles wide. Its 23in diagonal widescreen span and 1080p resolution also provides plenty of space for both editing at high zoom levels and keeping multiple images and toolbars open at once.

Chillblast Fusion Thrust

8GB of RAM qualifies this PC for heavy duty batch processing of huge images, such as those produced by a camera shooting in raw mode. Chillblast has used two 4GB modules of 1,333MHz DDR3 and there are two spare slots, but these are blocked by one of the CPU cooler's fans. Along with a 1TB hard disk, there's a 40GB Corsair Fusion Power F40 SSD, which is set up as a cache for the hard disk using the Smart Response Technology (SRT) features built into Intel's Z68 motherboard chipset. This can help to improve application performance, as your most frequently used data will be cached for fast access.

Chillblast Fusion Thrust open side

In terms of performance, the Fusion Thrust is, if anything, overqualified as a graphics editing rig. With a powerful Intel Core i5-2500K processor that's been overclocked to a huge 4.8GHz, it's hardly surprising that the PC scored 138 overall in our benchmarks - 38% faster than our reference PC, which pairs a Core i5-2500K running at its stock speed with 4GB RAM. Its score in our image batch processing test was a fantastic 150, possibly thanks to the PC's fast storage.

Chillblast Fusion Thrust monitor portrait

The Fusion Thrust's graphics card is a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti, which is a powerful gaming card and seems like overkill for the system. Adobe Photoshop uses some hardware graphics card features, but as long as your graphics chipset supports OpenGL 2.0 and Shader Model 3.0 you'll be fine - and both of these are supported by the Intel Core i5-2500K processor's built-in graphics. Nevertheless, having a discrete card with dedicated graphics memory is useful so you don’t take up system RAM with graphics information and, as 57fps in our Dirt 3 benchmark shows, you'll be able to play the latest games.