Chillblast Fusion Midgard review

Price when reviewed

The launch of a new generation of graphics cards is always an exciting time. It helps gamers to play the latest titles at previously unreachable quality levels and gives power users the chance to churn through intensive tasks such as HD video editing at record-breaking speed. ATI’s HD 5000-series of cards is the latest to top the performance charts, and Chillblast’s Fusion Midgard eagerly crams one on board.

Instead of the top-end HD 5870, though, this PC opts for the more reasonably-priced HD 5850, resulting in a PC with plenty of power, but also a reasonable price tag – lower than the Mesh Matrix II 5870XT, which comes with the more expensive HD 5870 card. Not that the cheaper card affects performance too much: as we expected it blitzed our gaming benchmarks, running through our 1,600 x 1,200 high quality test at 60fps and handling Crysis’ very high quality settings at a commendable 32fps.

These impressive scores are proof that the Chillblast can handle the most demanding games around and it’s not far behind the HD 5870-equipped Mesh, which scores 39fps in the same test.

The processor, an Intel Core i5-750, is another relatively new component and one that, along with the HD 5850, sits just below the top end in its respective range. But with the help of some judicious overclocking, the 2.66GHz core clock has been boosted to 3.6GHz, and the result is a rip snorting 2.48 in our application benchmarks. That makes it faster than most systems we’ve reviewed, including most systems on our A List.

The system gets its name from its case – the Xigmatek Midgard – which is a newcomer to the PC Pro Labs. And it comes with plenty of features designed to keep the powerful components cool and quiet. The 120mm fans at the front and rear of the chassis are boosted by a top fan designed to draw excess heat away from the huge CPU cooler, and the fans, PSU and hard disk all use rubber mountings to ensure vibrations are absorbed.

Chillblast Fusion Midgard

Despite the overclocking the Midgard manages to keep reasonably cool, though. An Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme HSF, keeps the four cores to 60˚C or below when rattling through our application benchmarks. Meanwhile,the GPU’s temperature peaked at just 71 degrees while running our most demanding 3D gaming tests. The Fusion Midgard was reasonably quiet too.

The Midgard is tidy inside: PSU cables and other wires are hidden away behind the motherboard, resulting in a spacious interior that’s as attractive as it is manageable. It has decent upgrade potential, with two DIMM slots, three 5.25in and four empty 3.5in HDD bays provided. The only downside is that the motherboard only has one PCI Express x16 slot and, therefore, there’s no opportunity to add a second graphics card.

But disappointment over the lack of graphics headroom soon expires as soon as you see the price. The Mesh Elite Ice 5 Pro, which currently sits atop the A List, may boast a 24in Iiyama monitor, keyboard and mouse, but it’s slower in all our benchmarks – and almost £100 more expensive. Add peripherals to the Midgard and you’ll be getting a more powerful, longer lasting package for not much more. It’s also a better deal than the recently-reviewed PC Specialist Vortex 860GTX, which costs £133 exc VAT more but is a less impressive performer.

Thanks to the dramatic changes that have swept through the components market in the past few months, it’s now possible to get more performance per pound than ever before, with the £779 Chillblast delivering some of the best benchmark results this side of £1,000. If you’re after a well-designed and powerful base unit, but don’t want to break the bank, then the Midgard is the only true contender.

The Midgard is listed on as including an ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics card and costing £695, but the specification reviewed here is available at the price quoted – simply specify the HD 5850 manually when ordering.


Warranty2yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity500
RAM capacity4.00GB
Screen sizeN/A


CPU familyIntel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency2.66GHz
CPU overclocked frequency3.60GHz
Processor socketLGA 1156
HSF (heatsink-fan)Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme


MotherboardMSI P55-CD53
Motherboard chipsetIntel P55 Express
Conventional PCI slots free3
Conventional PCI slots total3
PCI-E x16 slots free0
PCI-E x16 slots total1
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 SAS connectors1
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free2
Memory sockets total4

Graphics card

Graphics cardATI Radeon HD 5850
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingHigh
Graphics chipsetATI Radeon HD 5850
Graphics card RAM512MB
DVI-I outputs2
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs1
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskSeagate Barracuda 7200.12
Hard disk usable capacity465GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Cache size16MB
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 driveOptiarc AD-7240S
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A


Monitor make and modelN/A
Resolution screen horizontalN/A
Resolution screen verticalN/A
ResolutionN/A x N/A
Pixel response timeN/A
Contrast ratioN/A
Screen brightnessN/A
DVI inputsN/A
HDMI inputsN/A
VGA inputsN/A
DisplayPort inputsN/A

Additional Peripherals

Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardRealtek HD Audio


ChassisXigmatek Midgard
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions208 x 515 x 479mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyCooler Master RS-500
Power supply rating500W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)12
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

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

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardN/A

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodWindows disc
Software suppliedN/A

Noise and power

Idle power consumption53W
Peak power consumption377W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score2.48
Office application benchmark score2.17
2D graphics application benchmark score2.58
Encoding application benchmark score2.06
Multitasking application benchmark score3.11
3D performance (crysis) low settings60fps
3D performance settingHigh

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