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Chillblast Fusion Shadow review

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

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 1,920×1,080 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 1,280×720 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.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Core i5-2500K
Processor external bus 100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplier x46
Processor clock speed 4.6GHz
Processor socket LGA1155
Memory 4
Memory type PC3-10666
Maximum memory 32GB
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V LE
Motherboard chipset Intel Z68

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support none

Internal Expansion

Case midi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 2 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports 4
Free memory slots 2
Free 3.5in drive bays 6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Samsung HD103SJ
Interface SATA2
Total storage capacity 1,000GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s) 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6670
Graphics/video ports HDMI, DVI, VGA

Sound

Sound Realtek ALC892
Sound outputs 7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo line out, mic in
Speakers none

Removable Drives

Supported memory cards none
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Screen model none
Native resolution N/A
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Keyboard Cherry KU-0556
Mouse Cherry M-5400

Software

Software included none
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty two years collect and return
Price £450
Details www.chillblast.com