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Chillblast Fusion Photo OC IV review

Verdict

The world’s fastest PC doesn’t come cheap but, if you’re an early adopter, the sheer speed makes it a price worth paying

Review Date: 14 Nov 2011

Reviewed By: Mike Jennings

Price when reviewed: £1,499 (£1,799 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Chillblast’s debut X79 machine carries quite a weight of expectation on its shoulders: the firm’s previous Fusion Photo OC systems have all excelled in our Labs tests, and this is the first machine to arrive with one of Intel’s latest Core i7 chips in tow.

The i7-3930K is one step down the range from the Extreme Edition i7-3960X, but it has an enviable specification nonetheless: a 3.2GHz stock speed that will ramp up to 3.8GHz during Turbo Boost, six cores that will address twelve concurrent threads, and 12MB of L3 cache.

Chillblast has worked its usual magic on the chip, overclocking the i7-3930K to an eye-watering 4.7GHz. At the moment, and because no systems touting the i7-3960X have turned up yet, there’s simply nothing that can match this PC for speed. Its benchmark score of 1.39 is the best we’ve ever seen by a huge margin, and its scores of 1.52 and 1.56 in the Media and Multitasking components of our Real World Benchmarks are astonishing.

It’s even more impressive when the Chillblast is lined up against rivals. Our A-Listed Enthusiast machine, the £4,488 inc VAT Scan 3XS Carbon, also ran its Core i7 chip at 4.7GHz but, crucially, it’s an older Core i7-2600K, and it scored “only” 1.16 in the same tests.

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC IV

With much of the budget given over to the processor, the graphics are less impressive, however. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti is a decent card, but its score of 41fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis test can’t match the sort of frame rates we’ve seen on cheaper systems; the £1,199 Chillblast Fusion Flash included a AMD Radeon HD 6970 and it scored 53fps in the same test. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that Chillblast will replace the consumer card with a professional-friendly Nvidia Quadro 600 at no extra cost.

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit finds a home on a 120GB Corsair Force 3 SSD, and two 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 hard disks are arranged in a mirrored RAID1 array – ideal for ensuring photos and other work is backed up should one disk fail. There’s a Blu-ray writer, too, and 16GB of RAM, upgradable to an absurd 64GB maximum.

The Corsair Carbide 400R chassis looks like many of its rivals, with black metal and mesh liberally splashed about, but we’re a little disappointed such a powerful, expensive system has been built in a case of middling build quality. The sloped side panels flex uncomfortably when pushed, and there’s more give than we’d like in the meshed areas too.

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User comments

CM 690 II case also available!

For those that would prefer it, we have added the system to our site today with a CM690 II case option at no additional charge. :-)

Chillblast

By Chillblast on 14 Nov 2011

Impressive specs on this machine but.....

considering that its aimed at enthusiasts or professionals why did Chillblast install the Home premium version of Windows ? Surely wouldnt it make sense to have the professional version of Windows 7 instead?

By DeanC on 14 Nov 2011

memory?

Seems a shame to restrict quad channel memory to 1333 and the upgrade to 1600 is £79, for the same price, 4x2GB should run at 2,133MHz. I'd imagine people would prefer speed over volume, especially after spending £480 on a CPU.

Mike

By mikes87 on 15 Nov 2011

Awesome!

Sounds like a powerful machine that will do the job nicely and a lot cheaper than a similarly powered Mac!

By KurtCobain on 15 Nov 2011

@KurtCobain

Not to mention the fact that Apple seem to have given up producing desktop towers.

By SirRoderickSpode on 15 Nov 2011

Good PC but...

I bought the last version of this PC earlier in the year, it wasn't delivered as specced and had a number of faults with it, eventually had to be replaced. Once I got a working version it was a fine PC but I wouldn't touch this company again.

By AndyBanana on 16 Nov 2011

My Fusion Photo lll is great

I too have the previous version and got mine earlier this year.
Placed the order by phone, customised a few things, and it was delivered on time.
Works very well, and after sales support is excellent.
Can't speak for warranty repair service because I haven't needed it and hope I don't.
I'd certainly buy again from this company.

By trishahardwick on 18 Nov 2011

Jokers!

This platform is about performance and upgradability.

Yet this system is held back with a 560Ti and a measly 600W CX PSU making upgrades near on impossible.

Personally this is a bad choice of components, a 2500K/2700K is more fitting for this setup.

By KingMuppet on 1 Dec 2011

Jokers!

This platform is about performance and upgradability.

Yet this system is held back with a 560Ti and a measly 600W CX PSU making upgrades near on impossible.

Personally this is a bad choice of components, a 2500K/2700K is more fitting for this setup.

By KingMuppet on 1 Dec 2011

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