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PC Specialist Fusion Gamer Lite review

Richard Easton
21 Dec 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
480
inc VAT

The PC Specialist Fusion Gamer Lite provides decent gaming performance for those on a tight budget

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 3.8GHz AMD FX-4300 , RAM: 8GB, Front USB ports : 1xUSB, 1xUSB3, Rear USB ports: 6xUSB, 2xUSB3, Total storage: 1TB hard disk, Graphics card: 2GB AMD Radeon R7 260X, Display: None, Operating system: Windows 8.1

Gaming systems don’t have to cost the earth; choosing components carefully and prioritising certain hardware can result in a capable all-round system that can handle desktop tasks as well as the latest games, without parting with a lot of cash. PC Specialist’s Fusion Gamer Lite is one of those systems.

Fitted with an AMD quad-core FX 4300 processor running at 3.8GHz, with the potential to turbo boost to 4GHz when temperatures permit, the Fusion Gamer Lite managed an overall score of 62 in our application benchmarks. That means that although it’s not the fastest budget system that includes a discrete graphics card we’ve seen, it’s more than respectable and will definitely be up to the task for most desktop operations.

PC Specialist has fitted an AMD Radeon R7 260X graphics card with 2GB of GDDR5 memory to provide the gaming grunt that gives the Fusion Gamer Lite its name. It acquitted itself very well in our Dirt Showdown test, managing an average frame rate of 73.9fps while running at 1,280x720 resolution, 4xAA and High settings. Even when increasing the resolution to 1,920x1,080 and bumping the graphics quality to Ultra we saw an eminently smooth and playable 55.6fps.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the incredibly demanding Crysis 3 was out of reach for the GPU when set to 1,920x,1,080 resolution, 4x anti-aliasing and High quality graphics. 23.3fps is just south of playable, so dropping the anti-aliasing to just 1x and reducing graphics quality to Medium resulted in a much smoother 40fps. More taxing games are definitely an option, as long as you’re prepared to sacrifice some image fidelity.

The Fusion Gamer Lite uses a relatively compact PC Specialist Dominator 6806B black case. Measuring 456x437x187mm it should comfortably fit on top of your desk. Concave detailing on the side panels and geometric ridged patterning on the front depart from the black boxes we typically see from budget PCs. The side panel has a vented window that extends out of the case giving it a 3D effect. The front I/O panel has a USB and USB3 port as well as headphone and microphone jacks. There are two spare USB3 headers on the motherboard if you need more.

The case is well finished and has lots of mounting points for fans on the front, back and top of the case. Beyond a single 80mm exhaust fan, two 120mm fans installed in the top have blue LED lighting. The two 120mm fans make a reasonable amount of noise during gaming that could prove a little distracting, however. There aren't any dust filters on the top and side panel vents, which could also prove an issue. The front panel at least has a filter fitted.

Inside, the Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 motherboard has six full-speed SATA3 ports, with two already occupied by the DVD-RW optical drive and 1TB hard disk. The hard disk operates at 7,200RPM so isn’t slow, but we would like to have seen an SSHD hybrid disk used for added responsiveness.

The motherboard has four memory modules and the Fusion Gamer Lite comes with one 8GB 1,600MHz module. Having one module installed makes your upgrade options easier if you’re planning on adding more memory but 8GB should be ample for most average users, so we would have preferred two 4GB modules instead.

There are two PCI-E x16 slots on the motherboard, although the second slot only operates at 4x speed. The R7 260X graphics card uses the full-speed slot. The size of the graphics card also obstructs the use of a PCI-E x1 slot directly below. There are otherwise two free PCI slots available for upgrades. 

Cable management isn't the best we've seen, even at this price. It's no quite messy but we've definitely seen more elegant cabling, and the cable routing around the back of the case hasn't been fully used.

On the rear, the motherboard has four USB ports and two USB3 ports, so there’s plenty of scope for connecting devices and peripherals. There is also Gigabit Ethernet for wired networking and a pair of PS/2 connections for a keyboard and mouse, as well as audio jacks for up to 7.1 audio. The graphics card has outputs for 2x DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort, so setting up multiple displays will be easy.

If your priority is gaming performance, the PC Specialist Fusion Gamer Lite provides very respectable gaming for a budget price. Desktop performance wasn't the highest we've seen for the price, but that's the trade-off for a better discrete graphics card. Alternatively, the Chillblast Fusion Thor is available system only for £400; it has an inferior graphics card that didn't provide quite as high frame rates, yet includes an SSHD and slightly superior desktop performance from its Intel Core i3 processor.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 3.8GHz AMD FX-4300
Processor socketAM3+
RAM8GB
Memory typePC3-12800
Maximum memory32GB
MotherboardAsus M5A97 LE R2.0
Motherboard chipsetAMD 970/SB950
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports1xUSB, 1xUSB3
Rear USB ports6xUSB, 2xUSB3
Other ports2xPS/2
Networking1x10/100/1000
Case typeMid-tower
Case size HxWxD456x187x437mm
PCI (free)2 (2)
PCIe x1 (free)1 (0)
PCIe x16 (free)2 (1)
Serial ATA (free)6x SATA3 (4)
Memory slots (free)4 (3)
Drive bays 2 1/2" (free)1 (1)
Drive bays 3 1/2" (free)4 (3)
Drive bays 5 1/4" (free)3 (2)
Storage
Total storage1TB hard disk
Memory card readerNone
Optical drive type24x DVD-RW
Graphics
Graphics card2GB AMD Radeon R7 260X
Graphics/video ports2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
Sound
Sound cardRealtek ALC887
Sound card outputsMicrophone, line in, line out
SpeakersNone
Display
DisplayNone
Native resolutionNone
InputsNone
Other hardware
KeyboardNone
MouseNone
ExtrasNone
Software
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying Information
WarrantyThree-year (One-month collect & return, one-year parts, three-year labour)
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£480
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)£480
Supplierwww.ebuyer.com
Detailswww.ebuyer.com
Part CodePC Specialist Fusion Gamer Lite

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