Chillblast Fusion Vista 6600 OCTV review

£1526
Price when reviewed
The Chillblast is one of two overclocked systems in this group, pushing a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 up to 2.93GHz for a stunning result in our benchmarks. That it does so with the standard Intel cooler shows just how power- and heat-efficient the Core 2 Duo family is, but it also means it can’t quite match the other overclocked beast from Gladiator in the quest for silence.

Like its rival, the Chillblast topped 1.70 in our benchmarks, putting them both streets ahead of the competition, while 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard disk will cope with whatever you have in store. It also has a DVD-RAM drive and a combined floppy drive and media card reader, so all bases are covered.

Chillblast bundles the same 20in Belinea TFT as the Eclipse. Image quality is impressive, even if the brightness could perhaps be a little higher. It has a built-in USB hub to add to the two hidden on the front of the Akasa case, so peripherals can easily be connected.

Odd as it sounds, Chillblast falls down slightly with the inclusion of a Radeon X1950 XTX; this is an extremely powerful graphics card in its own right, but remarkably sits bottom of the pile in the present company. However, it’s the only card here to offer video inputs, so this may add to the appeal for those wanting to capture analogue sources.

The bottom of three PCI slots houses a hybrid Hauppauge TV tuner to take advantage of Vista’s Media Center, and there’s a set of 5.1 Creative speakers to enjoy the full entertainment experience. With a two-year collect-and-return warranty adding to the value, there’s little between the two 2D performance kings, but the Gladiator’s slightly superior graphics power just tips the scales.

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