Chillblast Fusion Chaos review

Price when reviewed

Cheap PCs are getting more powerful by the week, and the Chillblast Fusion Chaos is no exception. It comes complete with a 32nm Intel Core i3-530 processor overclocked from its standard speed of 2.93GHz to 3.8GHz, and this makes it the fastest Core i3-based machine we’ve yet tested, scoring a blistering 2.29 in our application benchmarks.

It’s also quicker than the systems bearing Core i5 chips we’ve reviewed: the £680 exc VAT PC Specialist Aurea i5-650 HD scored 1.94 and the Cyberpower Gamer Infinity i5 Hercules SE returned a score of 1.93.

Chillblast has also found room in its budget for a top-quality graphics card. The Bournemouth-based firm has picked a Radeon HD 5850, a high-end card, and the Chaos produced stellar results in our Crysis 3D gaming tests.

With High quality settings enabled and at a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200 it achieved an average frame rate of 60fps; with Very High settings at the same resolution it scored 37fps, and it maintained a smooth performance of 37fps even when we boosted the resolution to 1,920 x 1,200. In each test, the Chillblast outstripped the Aurea i5-650 by some margin. The rest of the core specification is solid, with 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard disk and a DVD writer, plus external peripherals that include a comfortable Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse set and a pair of S220 2.1 speakers, also from Logitech. The latter, though clearly a budget set, have surprisingly good sound quality.

In terms of build quality, there’s more good news. The Chaos’ Xigmatek Midgard case is solid and looks great. Its matte-black finish, topped off by meshed panels and an orange case fan at the front, is at least as attractive as any of its rivals from Antec and Cooler Master. Inside is an Asus P7P55D-LE motherboard with a PCI-Express 16x slot, three PCI slots and two empty DIMM sockets for future expansion. Three 5.25in bays lie empty, and there are four spare 3.5in hard disk bays, all fitted with plastic caddies so you can add drives without a screwdriver.

Chillblast Fusion Chaos inside

Other nice touches include rubber washers on the hard disk trays and power supply to absorb vibrations. The included case fans are among the quietest we’ve heard. The CPU cooler – an Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro Rev. 2 – isn’t too loud either.

The ATI graphics card, however, throws a spanner in the works. While the default fan speed of just over 1,000rpm was enough to keep the chip cool without much noise when idle, it shot up to over 1,800rpm when under load. That’s enough to generate an intrusive amount of noise.

And that’s not the only problem. The Chillblast’s monitor is distinctly below par. It’s a DGM model and, while the 23in screen diagonal and 1,920 x 1,080 resolution are both fine, there’s a noticeably grainy finish across lighter areas, the backlight bleeds along all four edges, and it has a weak, wobbly non-adjustable stand.

It’s a disappointing monitor, then, but it isn’t a complete disaster for the system as a whole. The Chillblast Fusion Chaos provides blistering performance in a superb chassis for an excellent price and that’s just enough to gain it a Recommended award. Upgrade the monitor when you buy it and it will be even better.


Warranty 2yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 500
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Screen size 23.0in


CPU family Intel Core i3
CPU nominal frequency 2.93GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 3.80GHz
Processor socket LGA 1156
HSF (heatsink-fan) Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2


Motherboard Asus P7P55D-LE
Motherboard chipset Intel P55
Conventional PCI slots free 3
Conventional PCI slots total 3
PCI-E x16 slots free 1
PCI-E x16 slots total 2
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 1
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal SAS connectors 1
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec


Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card ATI Radeon HD 5850
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset ATI Radeon HD 5850
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Capacity 500GB
Hard disk usable capacity 465GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 32MB
Hard disk 2 make and model N/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity N/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speed N/A
Hard disk 2 cache size N/A
Hard disk 3 make and model N/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity N/A
Hard disk 4 make and model N/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacity N/A


Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A


Monitor make and model DGM L-2362WD
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Pixel response time 5ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Screen brightness 300cd/m2
DVI inputs 1
HDMI inputs 0
VGA inputs 1
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Speakers Logitech S220
Speaker type 2.1
Sound card Realtek HD Audio


Chassis Xigmatek Midgard
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 208 x 515 x 479mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply OCZ
Power supply rating 750W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 10
eSATA ports 2
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel eSATA ports 1
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Logitech Deluxe 660 keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 87W
Peak power consumption 222W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 2.29
Office application benchmark score 2.10
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.31
Encoding application benchmark score 2.00
Multitasking application benchmark score 2.74
3D performance (crysis) low settings 144fps
3D performance setting Low

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