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

Warranty 2yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Screen size 24.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.30GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.40GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan) Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P8P67
Motherboard chipset Intel P67
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 2
Internal SATA connectors 4
Internal SAS connectors 1
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 0
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card Sapphire HD 6870 1GB GDDR5
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 6870
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

Hard disk Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ
Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
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

Drives

Optical drive Samsung SH-B123L
Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A

Monitor

Monitor make and model Iiyama Prolite E2427HD
Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Pixel response time 2ms
Contrast ratio 1,000:1
Screen brightness 250cd/m2
DVI inputs 1
HDMI inputs 1
VGA inputs 1
DisplayPort inputs 0

Additional Peripherals

Speakers Logitech S220
Speaker type 2.1
Sound card Realtek HD Audio
Peripherals N/A

Case

Chassis Cooler Master Elite 370
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 190 x 481 x 424mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply Xigmatek NRP-VC503
Power supply rating 500W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 8
FireWire ports 1
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Logitech MK300 wireless keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Windows disc
Software supplied N/A

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 84W
Peak power consumption 387W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 3.20
Office application benchmark score 2.43
2D graphics application benchmark score 3.34
Encoding application benchmark score 2.76
Multitasking application benchmark score 4.26
3D performance (crysis) low settings 191fps
3D performance setting Low

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