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’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

Warranty 2yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,060
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Screen size N/A

Processor

CPU family Intel Core 2 Duo
CPU nominal frequency 3.00GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 3.70GHz
Processor socket LGA 1366
HSF (heatsink-fan) Noctua NH-U1 2P

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus Rampage Formula Republic of Gamers
Motherboard chipset Intel X48
Conventional PCI slots free 1
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots free 0
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 3
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal SAS connectors 0
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 0
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR2
Memory sockets free 0
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card HIS Radeon HD 4870 X2
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? yes
3D performance setting Medium
Graphics chipset 2 x ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
DVI-I outputs 4
HDMI outputs 0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0
Number of graphics cards 2

Hard disk

Hard disk Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ
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 OCZ Core V2 SSD
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity 30GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity 27
Hard disk 2 spindle speed N/A
Hard disk 2 cache size N/A
Hard disk 3 make and model OCZ Core V2 SSD
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity 30GB
Hard disk 4 make and model None
Hard disk 4 nominal capacity N/A

Drives

Optical drive LG GGW-H20L
Optical disc technology Blu-ray writer
Optical disk 2 make and model Samsung SH-S223F
Optical disk 3 make and model None

Monitor

Monitor make and model None
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 None
Speaker type N/A
Sound card Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium
Peripherals None

Case

Chassis Lian Li TYR PC-X2000
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 230 x 430 x 680mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply rating 1,000W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 10
FireWire ports 2
eSATA ports 1
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 7

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 1
Front panel memory card reader yes

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard N/A

Operating system and software

OS family Windows Vista
Recovery method Windows disc
Software supplied None

Noise and power

Idle/eco noise level 33.0dB(A)
Idle power consumption 347W
Peak power consumption 711W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 1.91
Office application benchmark score 1.82
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.22
Encoding application benchmark score 1.62
Multitasking application benchmark score 2.40
3D performance (crysis) low settings 64fps
3D performance setting Medium

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