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Chillblast Fusion Shadow review

Kat Orphanides
13 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
450
inc VAT

This powerful, versatile and easily upgradable PC is one of the best deals you can get for £450

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Specifications

4.6GHz Intel Core i5-2500K, 4GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

*** PLEASE NOTE: Due to the recent floods in Thailand, hard disk prices have doubled, and there is now a £60 surcharge on the Fusion Shadow, bringing its total price including delivery to £510. ***

We wouldn't expect a £450 PC to include both a decent graphics card and a fast Intel Core i5-2500K processor, but Chillblast has done just that with the Fusion Shadow. The AMD Radeon HD 6670 graphics card looks rather toy-like with its cherry-coloured plastic casing, but it's a significant improvement on Intel's already good integrated graphics.

Chillblast Fusion Shadow

At a resolution of 1,920x1,080 with quality set to Ultra, we saw a frame rate of 21.9fps in Dirt 3. This isn't quite fast enough for smooth play, but reducing the resolution to 1,280x720 and the quality to High boosted the score to a blistering 69.3fps. Its outputs include the usual DVI, VGA and HDMI ports at the back.

The Fusion Shadow's Core i5-2500K processor is overclocked to 4.6GHz. It means that, despite its relatively low cost, this PC is among the fastest we've reviewed. Our test results bore this out with an overall score of 137. The chunky Arctic Cooling heat sink keeps the chip cool while emitting a low, unobtrusive hum. The case, although solidly made and well finished, does little to keep sound in or dust out, but noise from the CPU and case fans wasn't loud enough to bother us.

Chillblast Fusion Shadow inside

Both the case and the Asus P8Z68-V LE motherboard allow for plenty of upgrades. There are three empty 51/4in bays and six spare 31/2in bays (two of which are external), along with four empty SATA ports. Two are of these SATA3: ideal for ultra-fast SSD storage. Chillblast has connected a DVD-RW drive and a 1TB hard disk to the remaining ports.