Thanks to a large hybrid hard disk, this PC is great for those with lots of media to store
4GHz AMD A10-6790K, 8GB RAM, 21.5in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 8.1
The Chillblast Fusion Jet is a budget PC with an AMD A-series processor that combines capable on-chip graphics with all the processor power the average home user is likely to need. Unusually, given the recent launch of AMD’s new Kaveri processor range, the Jet uses an older Richland model from last year.
Chillblast has opted for a Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H motherboard, which is better equipped than many of the motherboards we see in budget systems. It has four memory slots, where many other budget PCs make do with two, a PCI slot, a PCI-E x1 slot and two PCI-E x16 slots. Note, though, that the second PCI-E x16 slot actually runs at x4 speed, and that the x1 slot will be blocked by almost any graphics card you install in the full speed x16 slot above it.
You’ve got eight SATA3 ports to play with, so there’s plenty of room to add extra storage. Not that you’ll need it. The PC comes with a massive 2TB SSHD, which is a hybrid drive that combines the low cost, high capacity storage of a standard hard disk an 8GB NAND flash cache. This proved to make a big difference when loading Windows; when compared to a PC with a standard hard disk, the Chillblast could boot Windows in 24s compared to 45s.
The PC has three vacant 3 1/2in drive bays and one empty 5 1/4in bay, the other 5 1/4in bay being taken up by a DVD-RW drive. The drive cages end half-way down the internal bay, giving you around 350mm length in which to install even the most powerful graphics cards in the future, and there’s also a vertical mounting point that’s ideal for an SSD.
The case is compact, attractive and well finished inside and out – it’s a cut above most of those we see at this price. There’s no sound proofing to speak of, but the system is still fairly quiet, despite its whirring PSU fan. There’s only one case fan installed as an exhaust, but there are front and side panel mounting points if you need more airflow.
The processor is an AMD A10-6790K, which is one of the last Richland CPUs to be put out before AMD switched to its new Kaveri chips. The 6790K did well in our benchmarks, with an overall score of 67, making its performance near-identical to that of the newer A10-7700K. However, the 6790K didn’t perform quite as well as the newer AMD processors when it came to 3D gaming. In Dirt Showdown at a resolution of 1,280×720 and High quality, we saw a smooth 44.5fps, but our 1,920×1,080 Ultra quality test showed the older processor’s limitations compared to Kaveri. At this higher resolution the chip produced a frame rate of just 15.5fps. Dropping the quality from Ultra to High produced an average of 29.5fps, but the game still juddered and jerked occasionally, sometimes dropping as low as 23.9fps.
The system is equipped with two 4GB modules of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM, which serves as your graphics memory as well as your system RAM. 8GB is plenty for most home computing tasks, and two vacant memory slots mean that you can upgrade with ease if you ever need to. Also worth noting is the vacant USB3 header on the motherboard. The case’s front panel ports only use standard high speed USB, so if you invest in a backplate USB3 connector (£8.50 from www.ebuyer.com), you can add a couple more super-speed ports.
|Processor external bus||100MHz (HyperTransport)|
|Processor clock speed||4GHz|
|Motherboard chipset||AMD A88X|
|USB2 ports (front/rear)||2/6|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||none|
|PCI-E x1 slots (free)||1 (1)|
|PCI-E x16 slots (free)||2 (2)|
|Free Serial ATA ports||6|
|Free memory slots||2|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||3|
|Hard disk model(s)||Seagate Barracuda (ST2000DL003-9VT166)|
|Graphics card(s)||integrated AMD Radeon HD 8670D|
|Graphics/video ports||HDMI, DVI, VGA|
|Sound outputs||5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, headphone, microphone|
|Supported memory cards||none|
|Optical drive type(s)||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
|Viewable size||21.5 in|
|Screen model||AOC e2250Swda|
|Screen inputs||DVI, VGA|
|Operating system||Windows 8.1|
|Operating system restore option||Windows disc|
|Warranty||five years (two years collect-and-return and parts, plus three years labour-only RTB)|