Chillblast Fusion Storm Trooper review

£1409
Price when reviewed

No two ways about it, the Chillblast Fusion Storm Trooper has an exceptionally silly name. Take a look at the system’s NZXT Phantom chassis, though, and it begins to make a little more sense. The white and black look is more than reminiscent of the Empire’s finest, and if you squint hard enough you can almost make out a face.

It’s as imposing as a phalanx of troops, and at 540mm tall and 623mm from front to back it’s one of the largest desktop PCs we’ve come across. A mixture of meshed panels and angled sections set off the stark colour scheme nicely, and the imposing size is backed up by superb build quality. The side panels are constructed from thick sheets of steel, and the rest of the structure is similarly sturdy. Even the plastic door on the front feels tough.

Chillblast Fusion Storm Trooper

Adding to the industrial effect are five fan controls on the enclosure’s roof for adjusting the speed of the case fans. And this unconventional addition is joined by a host of other useful features. The motherboard tray is scattered with rubber-rimmed cable holes, and there’s also a gap for accessing the Titan Fenrir CPU cooler’s backplate for removal and replacement. The power supply sits on rubber feet to reduce noise, and the system also features pairs of USB 3 and eSATA ports alongside more conventional options.

Given the chassis’ titanic proportions, it’s hardly suprising to find there’s masses of room inside. You get five vacant hard disk bays for starters, there’s also four free 5.25in bays and all feature tool-free mounting systems.

The Asus Sabertooth X58 motherboard provides plenty of upgrade space. Two PCI Express x16 sockets lie vacant, and there’s a pair of PCI Express x1 slots alongside five SATA/300 ports and three vacant DIMM sockets. Note that one of these is impeded by the chunky CPU cooler, making access difficult.

The rest of the specification is as befits a £1,199 exc VAT PC. Six gigabytes of RAM is plenty to keep things ticking over, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit is loaded onto an 80GB Corsair Force solid-state drive. Traditional storage is provided by a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 disk and there’s a Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo drive for HD movie duties.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,080GB
RAM capacity 6.00GB
Screen size N/A

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency 3.07GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.00GHz
Processor socket LGA 1366
HSF (heatsink-fan) Titan Fenrir

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus Sabertooth X58
Motherboard chipset Intel X58
Conventional PCI slots free 0
Conventional PCI slots total 0
PCI-E x16 slots free 2
PCI-E x16 slots total 3
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 2
PCI-E x1 slots total 2
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal SAS connectors 1
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 0
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 3
Memory sockets total 6

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvida GeForce GTX 580
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GTX 580
Graphics card RAM 1.46GB
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Corsair Force 80GB SSD
Capacity 80GB
Hard disk usable capacity N/A
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed N/A
Cache size N/A
Hard disk 2 make and model Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity 1,000GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity 931
Hard disk 2 spindle speed 7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 cache size 32MB
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 N/A
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 N/A
Resolution screen horizontal N/A
Resolution screen vertical N/A
Resolution N/A x N/A
Pixel response time N/A
Contrast ratio N/A
Screen brightness N/A
DVI inputs N/A
HDMI inputs N/A
VGA inputs N/A
DisplayPort inputs N/A

Additional Peripherals

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

Case

Chassis NZXT Phantom
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 220 x 623 x 540mm (WDH)

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 4

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 8
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 2
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 eSATA ports 1
Front panel memory card reader no

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard N/A

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 124W
Peak power consumption 483W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 2.80
Office application benchmark score 2.51
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.94
Encoding application benchmark score 2.35
Multitasking application benchmark score 3.42
3D performance (crysis) low settings 162fps
3D performance setting Low

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