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Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review

Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review

Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review 3You wouldn’t know it to look at the £1,999 price, but the Chillblast Fusion Fireblade is a budget PC. After all, for a little less than £2,000 you get a top-tier Intel processor, an overclocked GTX 1080 Ti graphics card and a beefy motherboard. Our Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC review will find out if this rig is worth the cash – or if too many corners have been cut. We’re also going to find out how it stacks up against rivals, like the £2,199 StormForce Crystal i7 8700K GTX 1080 Ti, and the £1,388 CyberPower Infinity X66 GTX Pro.

Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review – Components

Chillblast hasn’t cut back the specification when it comes to graphics. The GTX 1080 Ti is one of Nvidia’s best consumer cards, and the Chillblast Fusion Fireblade has a model that’s been built and overclocked by MSI.

That means the GTX 1080 Ti’s stock speed of 1,480MHz has been boosted to 1,544MHz, which means a revised boost average of 1,709MHz. There’s a huge 11GB of GDDR5X memory, and it’s been overclocked to 11,016MHz, which is a small improvement. Elsewhere, the card retains the usual 12 billion transistors and 3,584 stream processors.

The Stormforce also had a GTX 1080 Ti, but that card had no overclocks. And the CyberPower, which is much cheaper, made do with a GTX 1070 Ti. That card had just 2,432 stream processors and 8GB of memory.

Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review 1The GTX 1080 Ti sits alongside an Intel Core i7-8700K processor. It’s one of Intel’s Coffee Lake chips, which means you get various architectural improvements and six Hyper-Threaded cores – so multi-tasking will benefit from the chip’s ability to handle twelve concurrent threads.

However, there’s no room in the Chillblast Fusion Fireblade’s budget for overclocking. The chip runs at its stock speed of 3.7GHz. When using Turbo it peaks at 4.3GHz across all six cores and at 4.7GHz on one core.

This is one area where the Chillblast may fall behind the competition. The Stormforce system has the same price and the same processor, but that rig’s i7-8700K was overclocked to a mighty 4.8GHz. And CyberPower’s more affordable machine ran the mid-range i5-8600K with a 4.7GHz overclock.

Elsewhere, the Chillblast Fusion Fireblade is good – but not great. The 16GB of memory is a fine capacity, but its 2,400MHz speed is mediocre – many gaming machines offer pacier DDR4. The Samsung 960 EVO SSD offers plenty of speed, but its 250GB capacity will be tight after a few game installs.

Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review 2Chillblast has deployed an MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard in the Fusion Fireblade. It’s a solid bit of kit, with steel-reinforced slots, a second M.2 socket and good support for dual-graphics. There are the usual big heatsinks and RGB LEDs. There are a couple of memory slots free alongside ample room for adding storage and expansion cards.

There’s a healthy five USB 3.1 ports on the backplate alongside a Type-C connector and five audio jacks.

The Chillblast’s board is a little better than the Stormforce board when it comes to dual graphics, but elsewhere there’s little to choose between them. It’s the same situation with the CyberPower’s Asus Prime Z370-P board.

A 700W EVGA unit has ample power for this machine, but its 80Plus Bronze rating is middling.

Chillblast protects this machine with its usual five-year warranty – a longer deal than the three-year packages on offer with both rival rigs.

Want to know more about processors? Check out our guides to Intel Coffee Lake or AMD Raven Ridge APUs and Ryzen CPUs!

Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review – Design

The Chillblast Fusion Fireblade’s components are packed inside a Corsair Carbide SPEC-OMEGA enclosure. It’s one of the most unique towers on the market when it comes to aesthetics.

The front of the machine is divided into asymmetrical sections, with one built from plastic and the other filled with tempered glass. A bright, angled slash of red light divides the front panel’s two sections.

Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review 4The side panel is made from tinted, tempered glass, too. The red theme also continues elsewhere: Chillblast has configured the GPU lighting and the 120mm intake fan to glow with the same shade.

Get closer to the Carbide, though, and it becomes obvious that this component has also been picked for its lower price. The side panel is tricky to remove because it’s attached with awkward, six-sided screws – most other cases have more convenient thumbscrews. The PSU isn’t covered with a shroud, and the hard disks are stored in a plain cage. The cabling is fine, and tidy, but it’s nothing special.

On a positive note, it’s easy to access the single spare hard disk bay, and behind the motherboard you can fit three more SSDs. The water-cooling unit doesn’t impede the spare memory slots.

There’s not much difference between the Chillblast’s mid-range case and the hardware used by Stormforce and CyberPower Infinity X66 GTX Pro. Those machines may have had PSU shrouds, but elsewhere they’re very similar.

Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review gaming benchmarksChillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review – Gaming Performance

The Chillblast Fusion Fireblade may have a slightly better graphics overclock than the stock-speed card inside the Stormforce machine, but the Chillblast sometimes fell a little behind in gaming tests. That’s because the Stormforce has a huge processor overclock.

The Chillblast’s 1080p Battlefield 1 result of 166fps is good, for instance, but the Stormforce Crystal i7 8700K GTX 1080 Ti was fifteen frames quicker. And, while the Chillblast Fusion Fireblade managed 167fps in Crysis 3, the Stormforce was ten frames ahead.

Remember, though, that the Chillblast is never slow. Every 1080p average was beyond 120fps, and at 1440p the Chillblast’s averages ranged between 95fps and 152fps.

At 4K, the Chillblast’s minimum framerates ranged from 37fps to 75fps. That’s a clear indicator that the Fusion Fireblade will handle any of today’s top titles at 3,840 x 2,160. It also means that this machine will handle VR headsets and widescreen monitors. It’s also better when competing with the Stormforce – in these tests the two machines offered very even performance.

The Chillblast is also far quicker than the much cheaper CyberPower and its GTX 1070 Ti graphics card. That PC slipped below a 30fps minimum in two 4K tests, and its results elsewhere were consistently slower.

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Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC review application benchmarksChillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review – Application Performance

The Chillblast’s stock-speed Core i7 chip is never slow, even if it can’t compete with the Stormforce machine’s overclocked part.

For instance, the Chillblast Fusion Fireblade scored 1,400cb in the Cinebench test – but the Stormforce peaked at 1,560cb. The Chillblast was around 600 points behind in the Geekbench single-core test, and about 3,000 points back in the multi-core benchmark.

That’s not a surprise, but it’s not really a problem either. The stock-speed i7-8700K will not bottleneck any games, and it’ll run any general-purpose computing task. It’ll also handle the vast majority of productivity applications, from streaming to content creation.

More intriguing is the comparison between the Chillblast’s i7-8700K and the CyberPower’s overclocked i5-8600K. The Chillblast is a long way ahead in the Cinebench test and there’s very little to choose between them in the Geekbench multi-core test. However, in the Geekbench single-threaded test the CyberPower scored 5,623 – around 400 points ahead of the Chillblast.

The two machines will likely perform similarly in real-world situations. That means the CyberPower is worth considering if you don’t want to spend just under £2,000 for the Chillblast.

The Chillblast’s SSD delivered read and write speeds of 3,261MB/s and 1,594MB/s, which are as good as anything else on the market.

And, finally, there are thermal benchmarks. Chillblast’s stock-speed processor and modest graphics overclock saw the Fusion Fireblade perform well in all of these tests. The processor peaked at 59°C in a gaming test, with the graphics card topping out at 74°C.

Those temperatures are absolutely fine, although we’re a little wary about the processor, which peaked at 92°C in a full-system test. That’s a little high, but it won’t be an issue if you’re not running the CPU at 100% load for long periods of time – and if you don’t plan to overclock the chip.

The Chillblast was quiet during every test, which is impressive. Its rivals ran at similarly subtle levels, and that bodes well for gaming and working.

Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review 5Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review – Conclusion

Our Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC review reveals that there’s a lot to like about this machine – like the core components. The processor is extremely capable, even at stock speeds, and the graphics card will handle virtually any gaming task. The memory, SSD and motherboard are all fine, even if they don’t push the envelope.

The build is reasonable, too, even if it does lack a little panache – no surprise when you consider the cash.

The Stormforce system has a lot more processing power. The CyberPower offers decent gaming pace for a lot less money. Despite all of that, though, the Chillblast is excellent: well-balanced, subtle and relatively affordable considering the parts that are on offer.

The Chillblast Fusion Fireblade costs £1,999 in the UK from Chillblast.  Discuss our Chillblast Fusion Fireblade PC Review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or click here to read about the best desktop PCs.  

The GoodRecommended Award

  • Capable, overclocked graphics card
  • Solid six-core processor
  • Reasonable components throughout
  • Solid and easily accessible case

The Bad

  • No processor overclocking
  • Case lacks a little refinement
  • Processor became a little hot in some tests
  • Other machines offer more processing power

The Specs

CPU: 3.7GHz Intel Core i7-8700K
Memory: 16GB Crucial 2,400MHz DDR4
Graphics: MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
Motherboard: MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon
Storage: 250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSD, 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD
Warranty: 5yr labour with 2yr C&R

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Chillblast Fusion Fireblade

About Author

Mike Jennings

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