Chillblast Fusion Photo OC III review

Price when reviewed

Eighteen months ago we reviewed the Chillblast Photo OC II, a PC that came with an overclocked quad-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and hard disks arranged in a RAID array, all designed with photographers in mind. It may have seemed a little over-specified then, but that seems positively tame by today’s enthusiast standards.

So Chillblast is back with the Photo OC III. As before, components have been chosen with performance computing and photo editing in mind, beginning with a 80GB Intel X-25M SSD that boots into Windows Vista Home Premium in a blistering 34 seconds.

There are practical benefits elsewhere, too, with intensive applications springing into life faster, and Vista feeling snappy and responsive at all times.

The rest of the rig is geared towards high performance computing. The Core i7-920 processor is a Chillblast favourite, here overclocked from 2.66GHz to a mighty 3.8GHz, and it returned a fantastic 2D benchmark score of 2.55 – a mere 0.03 points short of the current PC Pro record.

Those sick of waiting for Photoshop to load high-resolution images will be heartened by a massive 12GB of 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM, and plenty of standard storage has been provided alongside that SSD, in the form of two 1TB Hitachi Deskstar hard disks.

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC III

The ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card may be a mid-range part, but there’s plenty of power available for handling whole stacks of digital photographs: a score of 34fps in our 1,600 x 1,200 high-quality Crysis benchmark indicates the power available.

As usual, Chillblast’s meticulous attention to detail results in an exceptionally well-built PC. The Cooler Master Sileo chassis is a newcomer to the PC Pro Labs and makes an instant statement with its dramatic black façade.

Inside, the front, sides and bottom are all coated with sound-dampening foam, and the Intel stock CPU cooler has made way for a whisper-quiet Akasa Nero. The result is a PC that won’t even register when it’s tucked under or beside a desk – and is barely audible right up close.


Warranty 2yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,080
RAM capacity 12.00GB
Screen size N/A


CPU family Intel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency 2.66GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 3.80GHz
Processor socket LGA 1366
HSF (heatsink-fan) Akasa Nero


Motherboard Asus P6T SE
Motherboard chipset Intel X58
Conventional PCI slots free 2
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots free 2
PCI-E x16 slots total 3
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 1
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal SAS connectors 0
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec


Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 1
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card ATI Radeon HD 4850
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting High
Graphics chipset ATI Radeon HD 4850
Graphics card RAM 512MB
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Intel X25-M SSD
Capacity 80GB
Hard disk usable capacity 74GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed N/A
Cache size N/A
Hard disk 2 make and model Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B
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 16MB
Hard disk 3 make and model Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity 1,000GB
Hard disk 4 make and model N/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacity N/A


Optical drive LG GGW-H20L
Optical disc technology Blu-ray writer
Optical disk 2 make and model N/A
Optical disk 3 make and model N/A


Monitor make and model N/A
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 N/A
Speaker type N/A
Sound card Realtek HD audio


Chassis Cooler Master Sileo
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 200 x 480 x 437mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply OCZ GX5600
Power supply rating 600W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 4

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 9
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 1
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 3
Front panel eSATA 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 Recovery disc
Software supplied N/A

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 147W
Peak power consumption 230W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score 2.55
Office application benchmark score 2.16
2D graphics application benchmark score 2.86
Encoding application benchmark score 2.17
Multitasking application benchmark score 3.03
3D performance (crysis) low settings 34fps
3D performance setting High

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