Chillblast Fusion Pro 6300 OC 2.56GHz review

£1174
Price when reviewed

Chillblast knows a thing or two about high-performance PCs, yet has chosen the comparatively modest 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 for its PC.

Chillblast Fusion Pro 6300 OC 2.56GHz review

But instead of leaving it at its default frequency, Chillblast uses its overclocking experience to boost the clock speed to a whopping 2.56GHz. The effect in our 2D application benchmarks is staggering. At stock speed, the Fusion Pro managed just 1.12 overall. When overclocked, we saw an incredible 44% boost to 1.62, beating the PC Nextday with its 2.66GHz E6700.

You’d expect the fans to be noisy, but if you disconnect the front fan (which we did) the Fusion produced a little over 30dBA. With the front fan this rises to 40dBA, since it isn’t temperature controlled. But without it running, the PC was stable during benchmarking, although the passive north bridge cooler did become very hot. For peace of mind, though, the Fusion is backed by a two-year collect-and-return warranty.

A Gigabyte 965P-DS3 motherboard is installed with 2GB of 667MHz memory, and there’s a 320GB hard disk, a DVD writer with DVD-RAM support. The media card reader is handy, although it doesn’t add another USB or FireWire port.

Chillblast chooses Belinea’s 20.1in 10 20 35W display. The stand has no adjustment save tilting, but there’s a useful four-port USB 2 hub. The speakers are redundant given Logitech’s S200 2.1 speaker set, which offer reasonable quality. Importantly, the Belinea’s image quality is above average, with good brightness and colour accuracy. While there’s no DVI cable in the monitor’s box, Chillblast adds one to the system.

At the other end of the cable sits a 512MB Leadtek 7950 GT graphics card. Performance is above the group average, only beaten by the 7900 GTXs. It flew through Far Cry and Call of Duty 2 at 1,280 x 1,024. Even at 1,600 x 1,200 it was fast at 43fps and 35fps. Akasa’s Zen case doesn’t look as good in black as in white, but Chillblast will supply a white version if you prefer. Inside, there’s a modular power supply with quality cables for a tidy finish.

Besides the average warranty, the Fusion Pro is a bargain at £999. Chillblast squeezes maximum performance from a comparatively modest CPU, without adding too much noise. Throw in the great TFT and the Chillblast wins out.

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