This handsome desktop specialises in processing power and multitasking, by way of a Ryzen 7 CPU
- Dashingly handsome
- Good multitasking capabilities
- Plenty of room for upgrades
- Unimpressive GPU performance
The Fusion Recoil sees Chillblast take a heavily CPU-favoured approach to PC building. Not that the graphics processor, storage and general design have all been ignored, but the GPU in particular is the lowly GTX 1050; the processor, by contrast, is the mighty AMD Ryzen 7 1700, a true high-end chip with eight cores, 16 threads and a full 16GB of RAM backing it up from the sidelines.
Sure, this particular Ryzen chip is last-gen nowadays, having been replaced by the Ryzen 7 2700X, but that’s not going to be making it into any £700 desktops any time soon. Looking slightly further into the past to get top performance on a budget is a perfectly legitimate strategy, especially when it outperforms the more modern competition.
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Chillblast Fusion Recoil review: CPU Performance
That’s exactly what the Fusion Recoil does, at least in our 4K benchmarks. Totting up 130 in the image test, 231 in the video test, 285 in the multitasking test and 241 overall, it’s the outright best PC of the eight systems here for serious compute-heavy tasks, while naturally keeping speeds up for less strenuous everyday activities.
Some others come close; the Palicomp AMD Abyss in particular scored 230 overall with what is technically a mid-range Ryzen 5 CPU. It also managed higher image test scores, pointing towards higher base clock speeds delivering on superior single-core performance. The Fusion Recoil remains on top for multithreaded work, however, so will have the advantage for things such as video editing and 3D modelling, regardless of how old the chip is.
Chillblast Fusion Recoil review: Design
This is also a very good-looking PC. The front panel is only a plastic approximation of brushed metal instead of the real thing, but there’s a genuine, full-size tempered glass side panel to class things up. This is tinted, too, and we love how the red ring light of the CPU cooler glows through the darkness, giving the whole thing an almost ominous look.
Thinking more practically, it’s a fairly good case for upgrading and customising, with two 3.5in drive trays under the PSU shroud (one of which already holds a 1TB hard disk) and two 2.5in mounts behind the right side panel.
Chillblast Fusion Recoil review: Features
Happily, the Fusion Recoil starts off with a strong combination of a 256GB SSD and that 1TB hard disk, so messing with additional hard disks isn’t immediately necessary unless you want to set up RAID. It’s an NVMe SSD, too, so it gets things done a lot quicker than the Nitro N50-600’s SATA drive: AS SSD put its read and write speeds at 1,072.6MB/s and 711MB/s.
Admittedly, these aren’t fantastic speeds by NVMe standards. The AMD Abyss and PC Specialist Apollo S2 both have significantly quicker SSDs. Still, it’s more than adequate for a home PC like this, and the fact that the SSD can be held in the motherboard’s M.2 slot means it can keep both of the 2.5in mounts free for future use.
However, the Fusion Recoil’s motherboard is only a microATX Asus Prime A320M-K, despite the chassis being able to hold full-size ATX boards. The upgrade potential it offers is therefore limited. Both RAM slots are full, there’s only one (already occupied) PCI-E x16 slot, and while there are two empty PCI-E x1 slots, only one is usable as the other is covered up by the graphics card.
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Chillblast Fusion Recoil review: GPU Performance
It’s not as if that slot has been lost in service of amazing graphical power, either. Once again, the GTX 1050 only really looks good compared to integrated graphics – next to the Radeon RX 570s and GTX 1060s deployed by the Fusion Recoil’s rivals, it’s lacking. Dirt Showdown performed very similarly as it did on the Nitro N50-600, with 75fps at 1,920×1,080 and 53fps at 2,560×1,440, so the Fusion Recoil can comfortably handle basic games.
However, it unsurprisingly struggled with Metro: Last Light Redux, producing 25fps at 1,920×1,080 and 15fps at 2,560×1,440 – in other words, well behind the rest of the pack. VR is playable, but not remotely recommended; with its 1.6 score in the SteamVR Performance Test, the Fusion Recoil will have serious trouble unless you turn the quality settings right down. Again, you could, but then you could have bought a more capable gaming system in the first place.
The graphics card is also quite stingy with its ports, being equipped with only one HDMI output, one DisplayPort output and one DVI-D output. Connectivity is decent elsewhere, however: the motherboard’s I/O port serves up two USB2 ports, four USB3 ports, two PS/2 connectors and three 3.5mm audio jacks. There’s no Wi-Fi, but a Gigabit Ethernet port will get you connected. The front panel is decently equipped, too, with two USB2 ports and a USB3 port.
Chillblast Fusion Recoil review: Verdict
If it weren’t already clear, we’re not recommending the Fusion Recoil as an all-rounder in the same vein as the AMD Abyss. Palicomp’s PC is better as a complete package, thanks to its far more powerful GPU and larger, faster SSD. We can, however, recommend the Fusion Recoil as a budget workstation; one with cursory graphical ability if needed, but much more focused on CPU performance. With a stronger processor and twice the RAM of the AMD Abyss, the Fusion Recoil can fill this role quite comfortably.
|Chillblast Fusion Recoil specifications|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 1700 3.7GHz|
|Storage||256GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Graphics||Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050|
|Motherboard||ASUS Prime A320M-K|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions (WDH)||201 x 435 x 435mm|