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Chillblast Fusion Bandit review

Kat Orphanides
21 Jun 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,349
inc VAT

This PC has an excellent specification but we think its processor could perform better

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Specifications

4.6GHz Intel Core i5-4670K, 16GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 8

The Chillblast Fusion Bandit is the first PC we've reviewed that uses one of Intel's new 4th generation Core processors - also known as Haswell. It's also the first to contain an Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 graphics card, so this PC is very much comprised of the latest technology.

Chillblast Fusion Bandit

The Fusion Bandit has a quad-core Intel Core i5-4670K processor, which is the successor to the very successful 3rd generation Core i5-3570K. The 4670K is available factory-overclocked to 4.7GHz if you want maximum performance or 4.6GHz if prefer a quieter PC. Either way, it's aided by a liquid cooling system mounted at the top of the case.

Chillblast Fusion Bandit

Intel's latest processor is yet another predictable stride forward

It performed well in our application benchmarks, scoring 132 in our image- and video-editing tests, 127 in the multitasking test and 130 overall. However, we've obtained higher scores using the same processor and motherboard in our test rig.

The installed motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-Z87-D3HP. As it's designed for 4th-generation Core processors, it uses Intel's new LGA1150 processor socket, which isn't backwards compatible with older Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge CPUs. We were pleased to see that the motherboard has six SATA3 ports, rather than the mixture of SATA2 and SATA3 ports familiar to users of the last generation of LGA1155 boards. This means that you no longer need to worry about running out of faster SATA3 ports. If you buy a new SSD drive, for instance, you can plug it into the motherboard and be confident that it will perform at the best possible speed.

Chillblast Fusion Bandit

Another notable feature is the presence of two USB3 headers mid-board. One of these is connected to a pair of USB3 ports on the front panel, but the other is vacant, giving you scope to add an additional USB3 backplane. There are also two USB2 headers, both of which are occupied. The rest of the motherboard's specification is a little less exciting. It has two PCI-E x16 slots, but only one runs at x16, the other runs at x4. There are also two PCI-E x1 slots, one of which is blocked by the graphics card, and two PCI slots. There are four memory slots, two of which are occupied by 8GB Crucial modules running at 1,600MHz. The motherboard can handle up to 32GB of RAM.

At the back of the PC are eight USB ports, of which only two are USB2. There's also a PS/2 port should you need to connect an older mouse or keyboard. The motherboard uses a Realtek ALC892 audio codec chip, which has 7.1 analogue audio and optical S/PDIF outputs in addition to the obligatory 3.5mm microphone and headphone ports on the front panel. There are also DVI, VGA and HDMI ports for the processor's on-chip Intel HD 4600 graphics, but you’ll obviously want to use the installed Nvidia GeForce GTX 770.

Chillblast Fusion Bandit

The GeForce GTX 770 has 2GB of onboard graphics memory and is certainly fast. It provided us with frame rates of 81.5fps in Dirt Showdown and 50.5fps in Crysis 2, both at Ultra quality, 4x AA and a resolution of 1,920x1,080. You’ll have no problem playing the latest games.

The graphics card is massive, but there's plenty of room for it in the extremely sturdy Fractal Design case. Should you want to install an even larger graphics card, the drive cage immediately opposite the top PCI-E x16 slot can be unscrewed and removed.

In total, there are eight bays on vibration-damped rails that can be used for either 3 1/2in or 2 1/2in hard disks. Two of these are occupied by a 128GB SSD and a 2TB hard disk. There are also two 5 1/4in bays, one of which contains a Blu-ray drive.

Although the case has heavy-duty sound-proofing built into it, the Fusion Bandit isn’t quiet. It has lots of fans, great airflow and a liquid cooling system, which means there's a constant low hum when the PC is idle. If you opt for the 4.6GHz quiet overclock, it never gets any louder than that. If you instead opt for the 4.7GHz performance configuration, the noise rises when you encode video or play games. It's not a particularly annoying sound, but you'll definitely want to keep this PC on the floor rather than the desk next to you.

The Fusion Bandit is an extremely well-made system that contains all the latest components. It performed well enough to act as a decent baseline standard by which we can judge future 4th-generation Core-based PCs and its gaming performance is outstanding. However, given that we've squeezed higher scores out of the processor ourselves we can't give this PC are unequivocal recommendation with an award.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core i5-4670K
Processor external bus100MHz (DMI)
Processor multiplierx46
Processor clock speed4.6GHz
Processor socketLGA1150
Memory16
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z87-D3HP
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z87

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)4/8
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking supportnone

Internal Expansion

Casemidi tower
PCI-E x1 slots (free)2 (1)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)2 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports3
Free memory slots2
Free 3.5in drive bays6

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Samsung SSD 84 128GB + Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001-1C
InterfaceSATA3

Graphics

Graphics card(s)1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 770
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC892
Sound outputs7.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, stereo line out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

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

Other Hardware

KeyboardN/A
MouseN/A

Software

Operating systemWindows 8
Operating system restore optionWindows disc

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years collect and return
Price£1,349
Detailswww.chillblast.com