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.


Warranty2yr collect and return

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity1,080
RAM capacity12.00GB
Screen sizeN/A


CPU familyIntel Core i7
CPU nominal frequency2.66GHz
CPU overclocked frequency3.80GHz
Processor socketLGA 1366
HSF (heatsink-fan)Akasa Nero


MotherboardAsus P6T SE
Motherboard chipsetIntel X58
Conventional PCI slots free2
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots free2
PCI-E x16 slots total3
PCI-E x8 slots free0
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots free0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots free1
PCI-E x1 slots total1
Internal SATA connectors6
Internal SAS connectors0
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free1
Memory sockets total4

Graphics card

Graphics cardATI Radeon HD 4850
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingHigh
Graphics chipsetATI Radeon HD 4850
Graphics card RAM512MB
DVI-I outputs2
HDMI outputs0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0
Number of graphics cards1

Hard disk

Hard diskIntel X25-M SSD
Hard disk usable capacity74GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Spindle speedN/A
Cache sizeN/A
Hard disk 2 make and modelHitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B
Hard disk 2 nominal capacity1,000GB
Hard disk 2 formatted capacity931
Hard disk 2 spindle speed7,200RPM
Hard disk 2 cache size16MB
Hard disk 3 make and modelHitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B
Hard disk 3 nominal capacity1,000GB
Hard disk 4 make and modelN/A
Hard disk 4 nominal capacityN/A


Optical driveLG GGW-H20L
Optical disc technologyBlu-ray writer
Optical disk 2 make and modelN/A
Optical disk 3 make and modelN/A


Monitor make and modelN/A
Resolution screen horizontalN/A
Resolution screen verticalN/A
ResolutionN/A x N/A
Pixel response timeN/A
Contrast ratioN/A
Screen brightnessN/A
DVI inputsN/A
HDMI inputsN/A
VGA inputsN/A
DisplayPort inputsN/A

Additional Peripherals

Speaker typeN/A
Sound cardRealtek HD audio


ChassisCooler Master Sileo
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions200 x 480 x 437mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyOCZ GX5600
Power supply rating600W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays4

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)9
FireWire ports1
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports3
Front panel eSATA ports1
Front panel memory card readeryes

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboardN/A

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows Vista
Recovery methodRecovery disc
Software suppliedN/A

Noise and power

Idle power consumption147W
Peak power consumption230W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score2.55
Office application benchmark score2.16
2D graphics application benchmark score2.86
Encoding application benchmark score2.17
Multitasking application benchmark score3.03
3D performance (crysis) low settings34fps
3D performance settingHigh

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos