Chillblast Fusion Rogue review

£499
Price when reviewed

Chillblast’s usual fare consists of expensive gaming rigs, so we were surprised when this machine arrived for our sub-£500 Labs. Nevertheless, an excellent processor contributes to some impressive benchmark scores.

Chillblast Fusion Rogue review

The Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 is among the fastest CPUs on show in this Labs – only this PC and the Mesh provide anything so high-end. The processor’s 45nm die, 6MB cache and fast FSB of 1,333MHz contribute to a lightning score of 1.54, beating the Mesh by a couple of points. This indicates that the Fusion Rogue will be able to handle demanding applications for years to come.

Sadly, that extravagant processor has left little in the budget to spend on other components, which, while competent, are decidedly mid-range. A GeForce 8600 GT graphics card, for instance, allows older games to be played in all their glory, but expect to reduce quality settings if you want to play newer titles.

The Hannspree New York monitor features in two other systems in this month’s Labs, and the styling divides opinion. Exposed screws down each side contribute to an “industrial” look, but the matt-black plastics feel decidedly cheap.

While we can’t say we love its aesthetics, image quality is acceptable. Darker colours provide deep, warm tones, although bright whites exhibit a slight red hue. Detail is relatively sharp, which makes the New York a decent screen for work or play.

The case is one of the smallest we’ve seen this month, thanks to the Asus P5GC-MX microATX motherboard. It’s unobtrusive but offers limited upgrade potential: the GPU blocks access to one of the PCI slots, and half of the case is empty where rival systems provide more expansion bays. This is also the only system this month that doesn’t offer a pair of extra DIMM slots.

The processor is really the stand-out component in this competent but undeniably bland PC. It’s an ideal system if sheer performance is important, but there are more well-rounded systems on test this month that offer better overall value.

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