LT Panel
RT Panel
Just Visiting
Thursday | September 20, 2018
Popular Review Links:
Chillblast Fnatic Ryzen Gaming PC – Review

Chillblast Fnatic Ryzen Gaming PC – Review

The latest build from Bournemouth-based Chillblast isn’t just a high-end gaming PC – it’s a rig built in collaboration with Fnatic. That’s one of the world’s biggest esports teams, and it means that this rig is designed for the rigours of high-end competition and today’s top games.

Chillblast and Fnatic have deployed a new AMD Ryzen processor and a GTX 1080 Ti graphics card to ensure that games run smoothly, and it’s paired with rapid storage and a solid case. That said, £2,500 is a lot to spend on a PC – can this rig justify the cost?


The Chillblast rig is a world apart from the last desktop we reviewed – the HP Omen X. The Chillblast machine is a big unit with understated design and serious power – whereas the HP was a disappointing rig that placed style over substance.

The Chillblast uses a Fractal Define R5 chassis. This chassis has been around for a long time, but with good reason: its aluminium is sturdy, it’s packed with features, and it looks good.

The front panel is a door with sound-absorbing material on the inside and the AMD and Fnatic logos on the exterior, and that noise reduction material is also used on the main side panels. Air intakes on both sides of the front panel draw air towards a 140mm fan, and there’s a single exhaust. The roof houses a Corsair H110i water cooler with two more 140mm spinners.

The subtle exterior gives way to a dark and practical interior. The front section houses the hard disk and a whopping seven free drive bays, which use sturdy metal trays and can accommodate 2.5in and 3.5in drives – and most can be removed, too, if airflow is more important. There are two vacant 5.25in bays, and a pair of free 2.5in bays behind the motherboard.

There’s a wealth of storage room, and upgrading is easy throughout. The motherboard has pairs of PCI-Express x16 and x1 slots free alongside a second empty M.2 connector – a boon of AMD’s new X370 chipset. It helps that Chillblast has done an impeccable job with cabling: wires at the front of the case are tied down, and around the rear they run in neat lines. Even the two tubes from the water-cooling unit are routed sensibly.

The only slight issue is the lack of space for more memory – but that’s because Chillblast has already loaded this system with RAM.

This machine is a world apart from the HP Omen. The cabling is neater, there are far more upgrade opportunities, and we’d wager that the Chillblast both looks better and is more practical – it’s a brooding, conventional tower rather than an extravagant and oddly-shaped cube.

Full Specification

CPU: 3.6GHz AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
Memory: 32GB 2,133MHz DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
Motherboard: MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon
Sound: On-board
Hard disk: 512GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD, 2TB Seagate HDD
Ports: 6 x USB 3.1, 2 x USB 2, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x PS/2, 1 x optical S/PDIF, 5 x audio
Case: Fractal Design Define R5
Dimensions: (W x D x H): 232 x 451 x 531mm
Extras: Dual-band 802.11n WiFi
Warranty: 5yr RTB, 2yr C&R


It’s been a long time since we’ve seen an AMD chip inside a high-end gaming PC, so we’re pleased to see the Zen architecture making such a huge impact. That’s no surprise given the new 14nm manufacturing process, smarter automatic boosting and improved cache – along with a huge leap in the number of instructions per clock cycle.

The Ryzen 7 1800X is a beast: eight cores capable of supporting two threads each, and a 3.6GHz base speed that boosts to 4GHz. It has more cache than equivalent Intel chips, and it’s unlocked for overclocking – although Chillblast hasn’t tweaked it here.

It’s paired with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. It’s one of the most powerful cards to emerge from Nvidia’s latest Pascal range, and it makes a fine companion for the high-end CPU. The new architecture makes huge leaps in efficiency to deliver more power, which means the GTX 1080 Ti has 12 billion transistors in a die that’s smaller than last year’s equivalent card.

The GTX 1080 Ti has 11GB of Nvidia’s improved GDDR5X memory, and 3,584 stream processors. Here they’re clocked to 1,544MHz thanks to MSI’s gaming mode, which also improves the memory clock from 11,000MHz to 11,016MHz.

The components attach to MSI’s Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard. It’s a solid slate of black PCB that uses AMD’s latest chipset, which means improved support for USB 3.1, multiple M.2 drives, dual graphics and more ambitious RAID arrays.

The Pro Carbon ticks many of the boxes we expect from high-end gaming motherboards. It’s got beefed-up audio circuitry and game-friendly Ethernet, spare fan headers and smart heatsinks. Its PCIe sockets are supported by steel borders, and the backplate is packed with USB 3.1 connectors. There’s RGB lighting, too, although this case has no window. The HP’s motherboard missed out on almost all of these features.

Chillblast has used 32GB of DDR4 memory, which is great for multi-tasking like gaming and streaming, although its 2,133MHz pace is a tad slow. The storage is great: Samsung’s 960 EVO is a market-leading SSD, and the 2TB hard disk is capacious.

The Chillblast outpaces the HP in every department. Its AMD processor is newer, it has twice as much memory, and its GTX 1080 Ti graphics card is a step above the Omen’s standard GTX 1080. The Chillblast’s motherboard has more features, and its SSD is larger.

The Fnatic system has a better warranty, too: Chillblast protects this machine with two years of collect-and-return coverage followed by three years of RTB service.

And, as a final nail in the coffin, there’s barely any difference between the machines at the checkout.


The GTX 1080 Ti is designed to scythe through games at any resolution, and the overclocked Nvidia card didn’t disappoint in benchmarks.

It averaged 99fps or more in every 1080p test, and managed 80fps or better in every 1440p benchmark – with three scores stretching way behind 100fps. The poorest minimum at 2,560 x 1,440 was 55fps in Witcher 3, which means any current game will play smoothly at this more modest resolution.

The Chillblast passed our 4K tests with flying colours. It scored a mighty 90fps in Shadow of Mordor, and even returned an average of 56fps in the demanding Crysis 3. Its minimum of 37fps in Fallout 4 means that tough title will run smoothly, and it managed at least 39fps in Witcher 3 at its toughest settings.

The Omen X was several frames slower in Fallout 4, with larger gaps in most of our other games. 3D Mark also demonstrates the Chillblast’s better pace: its Extreme score of 12,789 is around 3,000 points better than the HP.

The Chillblast fell behind in Witcher 3, though, where the Omen was ten frames quicker at 4K. Chillblast’s machine also fell in Cinebench’s OpenGL test, where its score of 114.8fps was a little behind the 131.6fps scored by the HP machine.

Those scores indicate that the Ryzen processor isn’t the a market-leading gaming chip, even with the Chillblast’s better GPU. There’s already evidence, though, that AMD is working on patches – it’s already delivered more than 20% more performance in Ashes of the Singularity. That gives us faith in the red team, as that’s not the kind of service you’d get from Intel.

Despite small missteps, the GTX 1080 Ti’s power will easily handle 4K screens alongside widescreen and multi-monitor setups. It’s got the grunt for VR too.

AMD’s Ryzen chip excels in tougher application benchmarks. Its Cinebench CPU score of 1,608cb destroyed the 789cb scored by the HP machine, and its Geekbench multi-core result of 19,799 is nearly 3,000 points ahead of the Omen X. Remember, though, that the HP rig has a Skylake processor – expect Kaby Lake chips to close the gap a little.

The Chillblast machine is a little slower than the HP in single-threaded tests, but that’s no surprise given that the HP’s processor had a higher raw speed.

The Ryzen chip is designed for intense workloads, then, and it’s hardly a slouch in less demanding scenarios. It did this while proving cooler than its rival: the 1800X peaked at 66°C in a stress-test, while the HP topped out at 82°C. The GTX 1080 Ti was chillier in this machine, too, despite it having more power – its peak temperature of 69°C was five degrees lower than the Omen X.

The Chillblast wasn’t loud, with a low rumble from the CPU cooler the noisiest element of the rig. That’s on a par with the HP, which also kept the noise down.

Our final tests saw the Chillblast outpace its rival in storage benchmarks. The Samsung SSD’s read and write speeds of 2,758MB/s and 1,702MB/s are some of the best we’ve ever recorded, and hundreds of megabytes better than the older NVMe drive inside the Omen. The Chillblast’s multi-threaded memory bandwidth of 25.4GB/s was exactly 3GB/s ahead of the HP, despite the systems sharing 2,133MHz memory – that’s because the Chillblast has quad-channel memory while the HP made do with dual-channel.


This is an expensive bit of kit, but it’s easy to see how Chillblast and Fnatic justify its price.

The GTX 1080 Ti blasts through games at any resolution, and the new Ryzen processor is a multi-threaded monster. It’s not quite as quick in single-threaded tasks and the occasional game, but AMD promises updates – and, regardless of those, it’s hardly sluggish.

Chillblast has paired those parts with great components elsewhere and a solid, quiet case. It’s expensive and not everyone needs a traditional gaming tower, but this is one of the best high-end gaming rigs on the market.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Chillblast Fnatic Ryzen Gaming PC
Author Rating

Review Overview

About Author

Mike Jennings

It appears you have AdBlocking activated

Unfortunately AdBlockers interfere with the shopping cart process

To continue with the payment process can we ask you to

deactivate your AdBlocking plugin

or to whitelist this site. Then refresh the page

We thank you for your understanding

Hardwareheaven respect you right to employ plugins such as AdBlocker.
We would however ask you to consider whitelisting this site
We do not allow intrusive advertising and all our sponsors supply items
relevant to the content on the site.

Hardwareheaven Webmaster