Chillblast Fusion Mirage review

£959
Price when reviewed

Chillblast has become known for its all-conquering performance PCs, but its latest model, the Fusion Mirage, is much more focused on all-round appeal.

Its monitor, the Iiyama ProLite E2472HD, is one of the best we’ve seen in a PC at this price. Its colours are vibrant almost to the point of oversaturation thanks to its LED technology, and the backlight is even, and there’s no sign of it bleeding through to the front of the panel. Combine this with the 24in diagonal and 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution and you’ve got a screen that’ll please most users.

That’s not to say that performance has been ignored entirely. At the heart of the Fusion Mirage is the Core i5-2500K which, temporary Sandy Bridge problems aside, has been the most popular of Intel’s latest generation of processors. It’s been overclocked to 4.5GHz for an overall benchmark result of 3.2 which, while not as speedy as rivals like the Palicomp Phoenix i5 Sniper, is still more than enough for most users.

Gaming performance from the AMD Radeon HD 6870 is good rather than spectacular. The Chillblast ran through our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality test at 41fps and still returned a playable frame rate when we enabled 8x anti-aliasing. Other systems are faster, though; Chillblast’s own Fusion Dimension, which currently sits atop the A List and included an Nvidia GeForce GTX 580, managed 56fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality test.

Chillblast Fusion Mirage

Chillblast makes up for its lack of headline performance with a fine set of components. The Fusion Mirage packs 8GB of DDR3 – twice as much as we’re used to seeing, even in more expensive machines – across its four DIMM sockets, and there’s a Blu-ray drive as well as the standard 1TB hard disk.

The Cooler Master Elite 370 chassis isn’t the most stylish and its build quality is mediocre, but Chillblast has made the best of it. It’s reasonably tidy, and there’s plenty of room thanks to the vacant PCI Express x16 slot and four tool-free hard disk bays – although it’s a shame that the processor heatsink hangs over one of the DIMM sockets, even if all four are occupied.

The rest of the peripherals are good, too. Logitech’s MK300 wireless keyboard and mouse is extremely comfortable to use and features a good range of media and shortcut buttons and, while the firm’s S220 speaker set is on the budget side, its sub-woofer delivers decent base alongside two fine satellite units.

Overall, the Chillblast Fusion Mirage does little wrong. While the Palicomp system offers more for your money thanks to its faster components and better chassis, the Chillblast’s two –year collect-and-return warranty, backed up by six-star ratings for customer support, make it an excellent alternative.

Warranty

Warranty2yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,000GB
RAM capacity8.00GB
Screen size24.0in

Processor

CPU familyIntel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency3.30GHz
CPU overclocked frequency4.40GHz
Processor socketLGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan)Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2

Motherboard

MotherboardAsus P8P67
Motherboard chipsetIntel P67
Conventional PCI slots free3
Conventional PCI slots total3
PCI-E x16 slots free1
PCI-E x16 slots total2
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free1
PCI-E x1 slots total2
Internal SATA connectors4
Internal SAS connectors1
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total4

Graphics card

Graphics cardSapphire HD 6870 1GB GDDR5
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetAMD Radeon HD 6870
Graphics card RAM1.00GB
DVI-I outputs2
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs1
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskSamsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ
Capacity1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity931GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Cache size32MB
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

Drives

Optical driveSamsung SH-B123L
Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader/DVD writer combo
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A

Monitor

Monitor make and modelIiyama Prolite E2427HD
Resolution screen horizontal1,920
Resolution screen vertical1,080
Resolution1920 x 1080
Pixel response time2ms
Contrast ratio1,000:1
Screen brightness250cd/m2
DVI inputs1
HDMI inputs1
VGA inputs1
DisplayPort inputs0

Additional Peripherals

SpeakersLogitech S220
Speaker type2.1
Sound cardRealtek HD Audio
PeripheralsN/A

Case

ChassisCooler Master Elite 370
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions190 x 481 x 424mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyXigmatek NRP-VC503
Power supply rating500W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)8
FireWire ports1
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
Modemno
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports2
Front panel memory card readerno

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardLogitech MK300 wireless keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodWindows disc
Software suppliedN/A

Noise and power

Idle power consumption84W
Peak power consumption387W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score3.20
Office application benchmark score2.43
2D graphics application benchmark score3.34
Encoding application benchmark score2.76
Multitasking application benchmark score4.26
3D performance (crysis) low settings191fps
3D performance settingLow

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