Chillblast Fusion Elixir review

9 Feb 2012

An extremely impressive budget PC that's a jack of all trades - and a master of those that really matter at this price

Price when reviewed: 
599(£599 inc VAT)
5

While some PCs concentrate on specific aspects to the detriment of others, Chillblast has put together a very well-rounded machine – at least for the relatively modest price of £599.

We’re used to seeing Intel’s mid-range Core i5-2500K dominate the mid-range, but here it gets a boost from some hefty overclocking: a boost from 3.3GHz to 4.5GHz is enough to return a benchmark score of 1.1, enough to see to all but the toughest of applications and equal to the excellent Palicomp Phoenix i5 Destiny.

The graphics card, an Asus-branded Radeon HD 6850, is equally impressive thanks to a core that’s been overclocked from 775MHz to 790MHz. Its average of 36fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 Very High quality Crysis test means the Fusion Elixir means it’s got the grunt to play games at 1080p – and easily trumps the Palicomp, which included a weaker HD 5670.

Chillblast Fusion Elixir

The EZCool A200D chassis is a Chillblast favourite for budget machines, and it’s easy to see why. The meshed, chrome-effect design looks dearer than it is, and build quality is good. The luxury of a neat, painted interior and a motherboard tray is a rarity this month, and it helps create a PC that’s both tidy and aesthetically pleasing.

Upgrade room is generous, although not perfect. While there are two spare DIMMs, one of them is impeded by the CPU’s Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2 heatsink, and you won’t be able to easily add a second graphics card: the vacant PCI Express x16 slot runs at just x4 speed, and the EZCool power supply has no spare 6-pin power connectors, despite a healthy 650W rating.

Details

Price ex VAT £499
Price inc VAT £599
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 3.30GHz
CPU overclocked frequency 4.50GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan) Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2

Motherboard

Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V LE
Motherboard chipset Intel Z68
Conventional PCI slots free 3
Conventional PCI slots total 3
PCI-E x16 slots free 1
PCI-E x16 slots total 2
PCI-E x1 slots free 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 2
Internal SATA connectors 4
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 2
Memory sockets total 4

Graphics card

Graphics card AMD Radeon HD 6850
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 6850
Graphics card RAM 1.00GB
DVI-I outputs 2
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Hitachi DeskStar 7K1000.C
Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Cache size 32MB

Drives

Optical drive Sony Optiarc AD-5280S
Optical disc technology DVD writer

Case

Chassis EZCool A200D
Case format Full tower
Dimensions 191 x 475 x 440mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supply EZCool JSP-650
Power supply rating 650W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays 3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 7
PS/2 mouse port yes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Modem no
3.5mm audio jacks 8

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 3
Front panel memory card reader no

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 102W
Peak power consumption 357W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 197fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 1.10
Responsiveness score 1.05
Media score 1.14
Multitasking score 1.10