Chillblast Fusion Titan review

£2586
Price when reviewed

This month has seen plenty of eye-catching PCs arrive in the PC Pro Labs – the Acer Predator Crusher and CyberPower Liquid Gamer Black Pearl offering examples of particularly extravagant design. These are machineswhose brightly-coloured metallic panels and neon lights instantly command attention.

Chillblast Fusion Titan review

Chillblast’s effort, at least initially, appears more subdued. There areno bright lights and not many eye-catching design features, either; although at a huge 680mm in height, thechassis is one of the most physically imposing cases we’ve seen for a while. The beauty of the Lian Li TYR PC-X2000 chassis, however, lies in its understatement, and we’d argue that its dark and stealthy profile looks more stylish than that of any other PC on test this month.

The interior is full of good design, ensuring that the Chillblast remains cool, despite the explosive power within. The chassis is split into three sections, which help to maintain airflow as well as keeping heat-generating components – such as the CPU and graphics cards – separated, and there are plenty of small touches throughout to aid both cooling and noise reduction.

The one traditional hard disk in the Chillblast – the A-Listed Samsung SpinPoint F1 drive with a capacity of 1TB – is held in place by rubber washers that absorb vibrations, and the twin SSDs, which are configured in a lightning-quick RAID 0 array, emit no sound at all. The side of the case is coated with a layer of 2mm-thick sound-absorbing foam, and the various 140mm fans also run relatively quietly, with their larger width allowing for lower rotational speeds.

This means that the Chillblast is the quietest PC on test this month: the insulated side panels, quality components – such as the impressive Noctua NH-U1 2P CPU cooler – and deft touches throughout result in an average noise rating of 33dBA; especially quiet when most other machines this month neared 40dBA. You can boost the fan levels to cool things down further, but we found that keeping the Chillblast on its lowest settings provided sufficient cooling, as well as making sure whirring fans and rumbling hard disks aren’t too distracting in quieter moments.

The chassis is also user friendly, and provides excellent access to all of the internal components. The hard disk caddies easily slide in and out of their respective bays and simply removing the front panel enables you to access the fan controls. The motherboard tray slides in and out of the chassis for quick access and upgrades, and there’s also a vertical graphics card holder – handy if your GPU is particularly weighty, like the cards supplied here.

The excellent design is backed up by an impressive set of components. The Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 is one of the quickest processors in Intel’s range and in this machine also benefits from being overclocked to 3.7GHz, from the stock 3GHz speed. This results in a score of 1.91 in our application benchmarks – not as fast as the water-cooled CyberPower or Core i7-equipped Scan, but still more than enough to cope with the most demanding of applications.

Gaming performance, meanwhile, is among the best on test. This is the first rig we’ve seen with a pair of ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics cards running in CrossFire X, and the huge potential of these cards – especially with graphically demanding titles – is highlighted in our extensive 3D benchmark results.

Crysis saw the Chillblast initially provide unimpressive scores – it was outpaced by the Acer, Mesh and CyberPower machines in our 1,620 x 1,050 high-quality test. However, the power of this pair of cards came to the fore as we increased the resolution and quality. Once we reached very high settings – running tests at resolutions of 1,920 x 1,200 and above – the Fusion Titan resolutely kept up around 40fps while other machines began tostruggle.

Warranty

Warranty2yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,060
RAM capacity8.00GB
Screen sizeN/A

Processor

CPU familyIntel Core 2 Duo
CPU nominal frequency3.00GHz
CPU overclocked frequency3.70GHz
Processor socketLGA 1366
HSF (heatsink-fan)Noctua NH-U1 2P

Motherboard

MotherboardAsus Rampage Formula Republic of Gamers
Motherboard chipsetIntel X48
Conventional PCI slots free1
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots free0
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 total3
Internal SATA connectors6
Internal SAS connectors0
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors0
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory typeDDR2
Memory sockets free0
Memory sockets total4

Graphics card

Graphics cardHIS Radeon HD 4870 X2
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?yes
3D performance settingMedium
Graphics chipset2 x ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
Graphics card RAM1.00GB
DVI-I outputs4
HDMI outputs0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cards2

Hard disk

Hard diskSamsung Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ
Capacity1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity931GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA 300
Spindle speed7,200RPM
Cache size32MB
Hard disk 2 make and modelOCZ Core V2 SSD
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity30GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity27
Hard disk 2 spindle speedN/A
Hard disk 2 cache sizeN/A
Hard disk 3 make and modelOCZ Core V2 SSD
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity30GB
Hard disk 4 make and modelNone
Hard disk 4 nominal capacityN/A

Drives

Optical driveLG GGW-H20L
Optical disc technologyBlu-ray writer
Optical disk 2 make and modelSamsung SH-S223F
Optical disk 3 make and modelNone

Monitor

Monitor make and modelNone
Resolution screen horizontalN/A
Resolution screen verticalN/A
ResolutionN/A x N/A
Pixel response timeN/A
Contrast ratioN/A
Screen brightnessN/A
DVI inputsN/A
HDMI inputsN/A
VGA inputsN/A
DisplayPort inputsN/A

Additional Peripherals

SpeakersNone
Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardCreative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium
PeripheralsNone

Case

ChassisLian Li TYR PC-X2000
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions230 x 430 x 680mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply rating1,000W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)10
FireWire ports2
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Modemno
3.5mm audio jacks7

Front ports

Front panel USB ports1
Front panel memory card readeryes

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardN/A

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows Vista
Recovery methodWindows disc
Software suppliedNone

Noise and power

Idle/eco noise level33.0dB(A)
Idle power consumption347W
Peak power consumption711W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score1.91
Office application benchmark score1.82
2D graphics application benchmark score2.22
Encoding application benchmark score1.62
Multitasking application benchmark score2.40
3D performance (crysis) low settings64fps
3D performance settingMedium

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