Chillblast Fusion Dominator review

Price when reviewed

Chillblast has carved out a deserved reputation for delivering PCs that push the boundaries of both performance, but recently it has also coupled speed with good prices and sound design. It’s Fusion Juggernaut and Fusion Interceptor machines are both examples of fast yet well thought-out PC packages.

Chillblast Fusion Dominator review

Aside from another silly name, first impressions suggest that the new Fusion Dominator isn’t going to divert from this successful formula. The specifications, for one, are bursting with potential power. Inside the angular case you’ll find the second quickest card in Nvidia’s range – a GeForce GTX 26 – and this is accompanied by 4GB of RAM, a terabyte of hard disk space and an Asus P5Q Deluxe motherboard complete with Intel’s recently-released P45 chipset.

Overshadowing all of these expensive parts, however, is the processor. An Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 is a hugely powerful CPU and, as usual, Chillblast has boosted the standard clock speed of 2.66GHz by overclocking it. The Dominator’s Q9450 runs at 3.4GHz and, when coupled with a 1,333MHz FSB and 12MB of level two cache, it offers a ferocious amount of power.

Our 2D benchmarks were, accordingly, blown away. An overall score of 2.01 is one of the quickest we’ve ever seen, and is only beaten by a handful of systems. The record-breaking Chillblast Fusion Juggernaut topped out a slightly-quicker 2.1, for instance. There’s more than enough power here for the most demanding of applications, even if you’re running several at once.

The graphics card doesn’t let the side down, either, delivering exceptional performance in our demanding Crysis benchmarks. The low and medium tests were blown away with scores of 135fps and 68fps respectively, and the intensive high-quality test, run at a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200, was perfectly playable at 34fps.

It’s not the best result we’ve ever seen – the Cyberpower Gamer Ultra M2 Quad ran a frame quicker in high settings, and the Fusion Juggernaut managed 53fps thanks to its GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics. Nevertheless, the Dominator is still more than quick enough to handle any title on the market today.

The rest of the specification is similarly impressive. A massive 1TB hard disk offers enough storage for the largest of game and media collections, and the discrete sound card – a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme – offers better audio quality than the typical integrated chip.

All of this is housed in the superb Antec 900 chassis. Cooling is handled by an enormous 200mm fan rotating in the top of the case, and there are four more 120mm fans dotted around the front, back and sides of the chassis to maintain airflow throughout.

An Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 is normally a good bet for keeping a processor chilled, but it struggled a little here. The overclocked processor idled at 49 degrees Celsius, with this figure rising to a toasty 69 degrees when the Chillblast was running through our multiple applications benchmark.

There’s plenty of scope for expansion, though, even with the considerable CPU cooler and double-height graphics card inside. You have two free DIMM slots to augment the 4GB of RAM. Several free 5.25 and 3.5in drive bays cater for additional optical drives, hard disks or card readers, and there’s a pair of PCI Express16x and standard PCI slots free on the Asus motherboard – so another GTX 260, and a potentially powerful SLI setup, could be on the cards.


Warranty2 year(s) return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,000
RAM capacity4.00GB
Screen size24.0in


CPU familyIntel Core 2 Quad
CPU nominal frequency2.66GHz
CPU overclocked frequency3.40GHz
Processor socketLGA 775
HSF (heatsink-fan)Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro


MotherboardAsus P5Q Deluxe
Motherboard chipsetIntel P45
Conventional PCI slots free2
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots free2
PCI-E x16 slots total3
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free2
PCI-E x1 slots total2
Internal SATA connectors6
Internal PATA connectors2
Internal floppy connectors1
Wired adapter speedN/A


Memory typeDDR2
Memory sockets free2
Memory sockets total4

Graphics card

Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingHigh
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce GTX 260
Graphics card RAM896MB
DVI-I outputs2
HDMI outputs0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cardsN/A

Hard disk

Hard disk usable capacity1.00TB
Internal disk interfaceSATA
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 2 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 formatted capacityN/A
Hard disk 2 spindle speedN/A
Hard disk 2 cache sizeN/A
Hard disk 3 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 3 nominal capacityN/A
Hard disk 4 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacityN/A


Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A


Monitor make and modelDell 2408WFP
Resolution screen horizontal1,900
Resolution screen vertical1,200
Resolution1900 x 1200
Pixel response time6ms
Contrast ratio3,000:1
Screen brightness400cd/m2
DVI inputs1
HDMI inputs1
VGA inputs1
DisplayPort inputs1

Additional Peripherals

Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardCreative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme


ChassisAntec 900
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions206 x 536 x 493mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays2

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)8
FireWire ports1
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel FireWire ports6
Front panel eSATA ports1
Front panel memory card readerno

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardLogitech Desktop Wave

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows Vista

Noise and power

Idle power consumption182W
Peak power consumption285W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score2.01
Office application benchmark score1.73
2D graphics application benchmark score2.28
Encoding application benchmark score1.63
Multitasking application benchmark score2.42
3D performance (crysis) low settings34fps
3D performance settingHigh

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