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PC Specialist Fusion 6550D review

Kat Orphanides
14 May 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
579
inc VAT

This tiny tower is a high quality media PC with enough power to play the latest games at moderate quality

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Specifications

3GHz AMD A8-3870K Black Edition, 8GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

PC Specialist's Fusion 6550D looks just like a miniature version of a tower PC. It's sturdily built and has its main cooling outflow fan at the top of its case. The Fusion 6550D’s a little noisy, but the noise isn’t too obtrusive. Inside, the case doesn't look quite as neat, but that’s because there's plenty crammed into this small space. Astonishingly, it has two hard drives: a 1TB 3.5in disk mounted in a bay at the bottom of the PC and a 2.5in 120GB SSD mounted above it. There's also a slim laptop-style Blu-ray rewriter and, below it, a second 3.5in bay.

PC Specialist Fusion 6550D

The motherboard is a socket FM1 Asus F1A75-I Deluxe model with two memory slots. Both are occupied by 4GB 1,333MHz memory modules, but are capable of supporting a maximum 32GB of RAM between them. There are also four SATA3 ports, of which three are in use, leaving one spare in case you ever want to make use of the extra drive bay. There's even a PCI-E x16 slot, but it's worth noting that there's only enough room in the case for a low-profile graphics card. The processor is a 3GHz AMD A8-3870K Black Edition, one of our favourites from AMD's Llano range.

The system performed adequately in our benchmark tests, getting an overall score of 66. This means that it's powerful enough to run most applications and its quad-core processor makes for effective multi-tasking. Like other processors in its range, the A8-3870K has a remarkably powerful onboard graphics processor that can easily cope with most modern games at reasonable settings. When we ran Dirt 3 at high quality and a resolution of 1,280x720, we saw an average frame rate of 29fps, which is smooth enough for comfortable play.

PC Specialist Fusion 6550D

At the rear of the case are six USB ports, of which two are USB3, as well as a PS/2 port, eSATA2 port, 5.1 analogue audio outputs and an optical S/PDIF output. It also has a Gigabit Ethernet port and a pair of antenna connectors for the motherboard's integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi. On the front of the PC are two USB2 ports and 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks. The supplied antennas are rather nifty, being two long wires with magnets on the end that you can wrap tidily around the outside of the PC.

PC Specialist Fusion 6550D

The PC comes with a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium installed. You don't get a keyboard or mouse, but there's a little media centre remote control that has a very tiny keyboard built into the back of it. You wouldn't want to use it to write a blog post, but it's certainly handy if you connect the PC to your TV to play media and want a convenient way of entering short strings of text, such as when searching YouTube.

If you want a system that’s compact but powerful enough for gaming and multimedia entertainment then the Fusion 6550D’s a great PC, but the Chillblast Fusion Dagger has a much more powerful processor, a high-end graphics card and almost twice as much disk space. It costs just over £100 more, but it’s a better buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorAMD A8-3870K Black Edition
Processor external bus100MHz
Processor multiplierx30
Processor clock speed3GHz
Processor socketFM1
Memory8
Memory typePC3-10666
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsus F1A75-I Deluxe
Motherboard chipsetAMD A75

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/6
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n

Internal Expansion

Casemini PC
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)1 (1)
Free Serial ATA ports1
Free memory slots0
Free 3.5in drive bays1

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Intel SSDSC2CT120A3 + Seagate ST1000DM003-9YN162
InterfaceSATA2
Total storage capacity1,120GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)AMD Radeon HD 6550D
Graphics/video portsHDMI, DVI, DisplayPort

Sound

SoundRealtek ALC892
Sound outputs5.1 line out, optical S/PDIF out, line out, mic in
Speakersnone

Removable Drives

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

Display

Screen modelnone
Native resolutionN/A
Screen inputsN/A

Other Hardware

Keyboardnone
Mousenone

Software

Software includedCyberLink PowerDVD 10, Microsoft Office Starter 2010
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionoperating system disc

Buying Information

Warrantythree years RTB (one year parts, three years labour)
Price£579
Detailswww.pcspecialist.co.uk

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