Chillblast Fusion Photo OC IV review

Price when reviewed

Chillblast’s debut X79 machine carries quite a weight of expectation on its shoulders: the firm’s previous Fusion Photo OC systems have all excelled in our Labs tests, and this is the first machine to arrive with one of Intel’s latest Core i7 chips in tow.

The i7-3930K is one step down the range from the Extreme Edition i7-3960X, but it has an enviable specification nonetheless: a 3.2GHz stock speed that will ramp up to 3.8GHz during Turbo Boost, six cores that will address twelve concurrent threads, and 12MB of L3 cache.

Chillblast has worked its usual magic on the chip, overclocking the i7-3930K to an eye-watering 4.7GHz. At the moment, and because no systems touting the i7-3960X have turned up yet, there’s simply nothing that can match this PC for speed. Its benchmark score of 1.39 is the best we’ve ever seen by a huge margin, and its scores of 1.52 and 1.56 in the Media and Multitasking components of our Real World Benchmarks are astonishing.

It’s even more impressive when the Chillblast is lined up against rivals. Our A-Listed Enthusiast machine, the £4,488 inc VAT Scan 3XS Carbon, also ran its Core i7 chip at 4.7GHz but, crucially, it’s an older Core i7-2600K, and it scored “only” 1.16 in the same tests.

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC IV

With much of the budget given over to the processor, the graphics are less impressive, however. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti is a decent card, but its score of 41fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis test can’t match the sort of frame rates we’ve seen on cheaper systems; the £1,199 Chillblast Fusion Flash included a AMD Radeon HD 6970 and it scored 53fps in the same test. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that Chillblast will replace the consumer card with a professional-friendly Nvidia Quadro 600 at no extra cost.

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit finds a home on a 120GB Corsair Force 3 SSD, and two 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 hard disks are arranged in a mirrored RAID1 array – ideal for ensuring photos and other work is backed up should one disk fail. There’s a Blu-ray writer, too, and 16GB of RAM, upgradable to an absurd 64GB maximum.

The Corsair Carbide 400R chassis looks like many of its rivals, with black metal and mesh liberally splashed about, but we’re a little disappointed such a powerful, expensive system has been built in a case of middling build quality. The sloped side panels flex uncomfortably when pushed, and there’s more give than we’d like in the meshed areas too.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,120GB
RAM capacity16.00GB


CPU familyIntel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency3.20GHz
CPU overclocked frequency4.70GHz
Processor socketLGA 2011
HSF (heatsink-fan)Corsair H100


MotherboardAsus Sabertooth X79
Motherboard chipsetIntel X79
Conventional PCI slots free1
Conventional PCI slots total1
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 free1
PCI-E x1 slots total1
Internal SATA connectors8
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free4
Memory sockets total8

Graphics card

Graphics cardNvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingMedium
Graphics chipsetNvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Graphics card RAM1.00GB
DVI-I outputs2
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskCorsair Force 3 SSD
Hard disk usable capacity111GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/600
Hard disk 2 make and modelSamsung Spinpoint F3
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity1,000GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity931
Hard disk 2 spindle speed7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 cache size64MB
Hard disk 3 make and modelSamsung Spinpoint F3
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity1,000GB


Optical disc technologyBlu-ray writer

Additional Peripherals

Sound cardRealtek HD Audio


ChassisCorsair Carbide 400R
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions201 x 531 x 498mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays2

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)8
eSATA ports2
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports4
Front panel memory card readeryes

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption208W
Peak power consumption679W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings135fps
3D performance settingMedium
Overall Real World Benchmark score1.39
Responsiveness score1.08
Media score1.52
Multitasking score1.56

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