Chillblast Fusion Quasar review

Price when reviewed

Chillblast is no stranger to serving up high-performance desktop PCs, so we had high expectations for its latest Fusion desktop. With a strong showing in all categories, the Fusion Quasar doesn’t disappoint.

Chillblast hasn’t skimped on the core hardware. It starts with a hefty dose of gaming grunt. Rather than relying on Intel’s somewhat anaemic on-CPU graphics, the Quasar has a discrete, Sapphire-branded AMD Radeon R7 260X graphics card. The R7 260X came out swinging in our Crysis graphics benchmark, achieving an average of 123fps on Medium quality settings and 71fps on High. Those are great scores for a PC of this price.

Chillblast Fusion Quasar

This system isn’t all about gaming, however, as evidenced by the inclusion of a Haswell Intel Core i5-4670K processor, overclocked to 4.3GHz and supported by two sticks of 4GB DDR3 RAM. This setup yielded a barnstorming Overall score of 1.14 in our Real World Benchmark tests, placing the Fusion Quasar in first place for application performance.

It isn’t all down to the CPU, though; Chillblast’s choice of storage plays a part as well. Instead of a standard mechanical hard disk, the Quasar features a Desktop hybrid HDD. This “SSHD” combines an 8GB SSD cache with a 7,200rpm, 1TB mechanical disk and some clever firmware to speed up the loading of common files, such as application executables. It has the effect of boosting the system’s score in the Responsiveness element of our benchmarks to SSD-like levels, while keeping costs down.

The build

The Fusion Quasar’s powerful components are housed in a plain-looking Zalman Z3 Plus tower case. But while the design doesn’t catch the eye, it majors on practicality.

Externally, this is achieved thanks to a decent array of ports. At the top of the chassis are 3.5mm audio and microphone jacks, plus one USB 3 and two USB 2 ports. At the back, you’ll find Gigabit Ethernet, two more USB 2 and four USB 3 ports. There are also HDMI, VGA and DVI video outputs on the motherboard back plane, with two DVI, one HDMI and a DisplayPort output on this graphics card.

Chillblast Fusion Quasar

Unscrew the thumbscrews and the side panels slide off with ease, revealing a spacious and clutter-free interior. The motherboard is mounted on a tray that leaves around an inch of space between it and the rear wall, which has been used here for stashing cables neatly out of sight.

There’s a danger with an approach like this that it will be more difficult to access power cables when you need to add drives, yet this isn’t the case. Remove the right-hand panel and you’ll see that all you need to do to free the relevant cable is snip open a zip tie or two.

At the bottom of the chassis, towards the front, there’s a tool-free, four-bay drive cage. For those who wish to add extra drives or upgrade from the hybrid drive that’s already installed, the Fusion Quasar has you covered.

Chillblast Fusion Quasar

The Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3 motherboard also has plenty of upgrade potential with five SATA/600 sockets, two free RAM slots, a free PCI Express x4 slot and two free conventional PCI slots. Once again, there’s plenty of room to expand, should you wish to.

Where the Chillblast really impresses, however, is with its noise control. The cooling system’s intake and exhaust fans produce little more than a soft rush of air, even with the CPU and GPU running flat out.


The Chillblast Fusion Quasar offers a great all-round package: stalwart processing power, great gaming capability and a well-balanced build with serious upgrade potential.

It’s a terrifically good PC for £600, and it claims our A-List top spot for best budget PC as a result.


Warranty 5 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB


CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.40GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.30GHz
Processor socket LGA 1150
HSF (heatsink-fan) Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro


Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3
Conventional PCI slots free 2
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots free 0
PCI-E x16 slots total 1
PCI-E x8 slots free 0
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots free 1
PCI-E x4 slots total 1
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 2
Internal SATA connectors 0
Internal PATA connectors 0
Internal floppy connectors 0
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec


Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card AMD Radeon HD R7 260X
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics card RAM 2.00GB
DVI-I outputs 3
HDMI outputs 2
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Seagate Desktop ST1000DX001 SSHD
Capacity 1.00TB
Internal disk interface SATA/600
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 64MB


Chassis Zalman Z3 Plus
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 192 x 465 x 430mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply FSP Aurum 80 Plus FSP600-50ARN
Power supply rating 600W
Power supply efficiency 80%

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 2

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 4
PS/2 mouse port no
Modem no

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 3
Front panel memory card reader no

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 8

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 41W
Peak power consumption 252W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 204fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 1.14
Responsiveness score 1.01
Media score 1.29
Multitasking score 1.11

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