Chillblast Fusion Katana review

Price when reviewed

Chillblast’s latest machine, the Katana, is described by its Bournemouth-based creators as “the spiritual successor to [the] legendary Juggernaut“, the PC that broke our benchmark records on its unstoppable march to the top of the A List just over a year ago. That’s a lot to live up to, but Chillblast is counting on a good, old-fashioned dose of raw power to get the job done: an Intel Core i7 920 overclocked from 2.66GHz to 3.6GHz.

Performance is suitably stratospheric: in our 2D benchmarks, the Katana sliced through our benchmarks with a score of 2.55, which included a score of 2.95 in our multi-tasking test. This puts the Katana ahead of its A List competition: the Chillblast Fusion Spitfire managed a still-stunning 2.28, and the PC Specialist Fusion 945 X2 managed only 1.78 with its AMD processor. It’s not the quickest PC we’ve ever seen – that honour belongs to the Wired2Fire Hellspawn, which scored 2.58 – but it’s only a sliver behind.


The Fusion Katana won’t let gamers down, either, thanks to a pair of ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics cards running in CrossfireX. The combined power of these two cards, which each have 2GB of GDDR5 memory to play with, results in our best Crysis results ever: our high-quality test, run at 1,600 x 1,200, ran at 71fps, and the very high quality run at the same resolution produced a score of 49fps. The Katana didn’t flinch when the resolution was up to 1,920 x 1,200, either, where it scored 41fps.

A strong package

As usual, Chillblast has included a tempting specification around these core components. A Creative X-Fi sound card, 1TB hard disk and Blu-ray drive – along with a 24in monitor, which has a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 – mean that the Katana is fully kitted out for high-definition movies and has plenty of space for large media collections. Six gigabytes of DDR3 RAM is also included and clocked at 1,600MHz, the highest speed possible for this type of memory.

It’s worth mentioning, though, what this powerful specification does to power draw: when idling the Katana still managed to suck 252W from the mains, with this figure rising to 513W at peak usage. It’s almost twice as high as the 274W peak draw of the PC Specialist, and could cause a serious dent in your electricity bill.

Chillblast’s choice of chassis is commendable, with Antec’s revised Nine Hundred Two being used to good effect. It may look virtually identical to its predecessor, the Nine Hundred, but there are plenty of enhancements. One of the most visible is the inclusion of manual fan controls, which have always been present on the larger Twelve Hundred chassis, and are a welcome addition here.

The chassis pales in comparison to the Cyberpower Gamer Ultra Stealth’s Silverstone Raven, but Chillblast has done a good job of building a neat, organised system. Cables have been routed around the back of the motherboard and tied together, so it’s easy to work inside the chassis despite the pair of double-height graphics cards and large Akasa Nero heatsink.

The proliferation of components, though, means that there’s limited upgrade potential. There’s room for additional RAM, hard disks and optical drives, but the graphics cards limit motherboard upgrades: there may be two free PCI slots and a further free PCI Express x4 slot, but they’re impossible to install anything in.


Warranty2yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,000
RAM capacity6.00GB
Screen size24.0in


CPU familyIntel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency2.66GHz
CPU overclocked frequency3.60GHz
Processor socketLGA 1366
HSF (heatsink-fan)Akasa Nero


MotherboardAsus P6T SE
Motherboard chipsetIntel X58
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3

Graphics card

Graphics cardATI Radeon HD 4890
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?yes
3D performance settingHigh
Graphics chipsetATi Radeon HD 4890
Graphics card RAM1MB
Number of graphics cards2

Hard disk

Hard diskSamsung Spinpoint F1
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
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 technologyBlu-ray/HD-DVD combo drive
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A


Monitor make and modelSamsung SyncMaster 2433
Resolution screen horizontal1,920
Resolution screen vertical1,200
Resolution1920 x 1200
Pixel response time5ms
Contrast ratio1,000:1
Screen brightness300cd/m2
DVI inputs1
HDMI inputs0
VGA inputs1
DisplayPort inputs0

Additional Peripherals

Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardCreative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme


ChassisAntec Nine Hundred Two
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions212 x 500 x 472mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyCooler Master M850
Power supply rating850W

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)8
eSATA ports2
PS/2 mouse portyes

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardRazer Arctosa Gaming Keyboard / Razer diamondback 3G Gaming Mouse

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows Vista

Noise and power

Idle power consumption252W
Peak power consumption513W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score2.55
Office application benchmark score2.47
2D graphics application benchmark score2.71
Encoding application benchmark score2.07
Multitasking application benchmark score2.95
3D performance (crysis) low settings71fps
3D performance settingHigh

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