Chillblast Fusion Tranquillity review

£1199
Price when reviewed

If you need evidence of the appeal of quiet computing, just look at the wealth of products available that claim to stifle the sound emerging from your PC. This kit isn’t just a boon for home tinkerers, though: Chillblast has also taken advantage of the growth in noise reduction kit to produce its latest PC – the Fusion Tranquility.

The Fractal Design Define R3 is a solid start. It’s a new case to the PC Pro Labs, but it’s a favourite with our sister title Bit-tech thanks to its excellent build-quality and superb acoustic dampening properties. Fractal Design has achieved this by using the most sound-absorbing material we’ve seen: it can be found lining the monolithic door, attached to both side panels, on the roof of the chassis and even occupying three of the system’s unused case fan mounts.

Quiet, please

Neat, noise-reducing touches abound elsewhere. The hard disk bays sport rubber pads to absorb vibration, and the PSU is mounted on similar disks. The bottom PCI blanker at the rear of the chassis includes a fan control that’s linked to the front and rear 120mm case fans to ensure they rotate at the slowest possible speeds.

Chillblast Fusion Tranquillity

Sitting atop the overclocked Intel Core i5-2500K processor is a Gelid Tranquillo heatsink – another part built with minimal noise in mind. Its 120mm fan is attached to the heatsink by clasps that are more forgiving than screws, and its fan rotates at lower speeds than rivals: its peak speed of 1,500rpm is 1,000rpm lower than the popular Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2.

The graphics card hasn’t escaped the attention of the noise police either: the Tranquility’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 is a Gainward-produced “Phantom” edition design with a three-slot cooler to accommodate a larger heatsink, six heatpipes and a trio of fans – a huge improvement over the dual-slot, single-fan models we’re used to seeing. Despite this, it’s still been tweaked, with its stock speed of 732MHz upped to 750MHz and the base memory clock of 3,800MHz improved by 100MHz.

A Scythe Quiet Drive case surrounds the hard disk with rubber, to absorb the whoosh of spinning platters and the chatter of heads accessing data. An SSD is used as the system drive, to further reduce noise, and Chillblast’s final tweak involves the PSU: a BeQuiet Straight Power CM unit running at 680W that claims to be semi-passive, with a 120mm fan that only spins up when the system’s stressed.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,120GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.30GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.20GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan) Gelid Tranquillo

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P8P67
Motherboard chipset Intel P67
Conventional PCI slots free 3
Conventional PCI slots total 1
PCI-E x16 slots free 1
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 2
Internal SATA connectors 4
Internal SAS connectors 1
Internal PATA connectors 0
Internal floppy connectors 0
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card Gainward GeForce GTX 570 Phantom
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GTX 570
Graphics card RAM 1.25GB
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 SSD
Capacity 120GB
Hard disk usable capacity 111GB
Internal disk interface SATA/600
Spindle speed 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 disc technology Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A

Additional Peripherals

Sound card Realtek HD Audio

Case

Chassis Fractal Design Define R3
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 207 x 521 x 442mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply BeQuiet Straight Power
Power supply rating 680W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 0

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 10
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

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 161W
Peak power consumption 424W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 180fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 1.07
Responsiveness score 1.12
Media score 1.05
Multitasking score 1.08

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