Insane or genius: or possibly both? Chillblast’s Fusion Powerpack isn’t an all-in-one PC at all. But coupled with the right monitor it can pretend to be one. See also Group test: what's the best all-in-one PC?

The Fusion Powerpack itself is a discrete Windows PC based on the Mini ITX form-factor, housed in a small case which attaches to the back of any monitor with a standard VESA mount point.

It’s attached simply by inserting four screws into the VESA mount and fixing the PC onto them via holes in a back-plate screwed to the PC. It’s tight enough not to come off by accident, but the PC still lifts off when required.

Essentially, this bracket and accompanying screws are all that distinguish this setup from a regular desktop and monitor combo.

The PC is connected to the monitor via an HDMI cable which also enables audio output through the monitor’s built-in speakers. We were supplied with a 27in Asus VE278Q 1080p monitor, but you could use any monitor with a VESA mount provided the stand is strong enough to support the weight of the PC.

With the PC safely tucked out of the way, your system now has the footprint of a tidy AIO, albeit with two power cables instead of one.

Being tucked away like this does come with several disadvantages. A total of eight USB ports are provided, two of which are USB 3.0 and all of them now behind the monitor and really awkward to reach.

On the other hand, having a full set of ports on both the PC and the monitor means that you’re not restricted at all in what you can connect to. The PC has HDMI, DVI and VGA outputs and the monitor mirrors all three, plus an additional DisplayPort.

Mounted on the tiny Asus P8H67 I Deluxe motherboard is an Intel Core i5-2500K processor. It’s the standard desktop model which runs at 3.3GHz and incorporates an Intel HD Graphics 3000, the faster version of Intel’s integrated graphics solution.

It’s still far from speedy in games – we couldn’t get Crysis to run at all, although we suspect a software issue was to blame here.

However, the high-end CPU, combined with a speed-boosting, but small 128GB SSD ensured that the Fusion Powerpack achieved the fastest WorldBench score of the group with 169 points. Unfortunately, the cooling required in such a small case made it also very noisy in operation.

Chillblast Fusion Powerpack: Specs

  • Intel® Core™ i5-2500K quad-core processor, 3.3GHz / 3.7GHz (Turbo) 6MB cache
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • 120GB SSD
  • Asus P8H67-I Deluxe motherboard
  • 6x USB 2.0 (rear), 2x USB 3.0 (rear)
  • 27inch Asus VE278Q monitor (1,920 x 1,080)
  • Intel® HD Graphics 3000
  • On-board Realtek® ALC892 sound card
  • SONY NOTEBOOK BD-COMBO BC-5500H
  • Windows 7 Home Premoum 64 bit
  • SPDIF optical (out)
  • HDMI audio
  • HDMI, VGA, DVI (out), HDMI, DVI, VGA, DisplayPort (in)
  • 643 x 445 x 320, 10kg
  • Intel® Core™ i5-2500K quad-core processor, 3.3GHz / 3.7GHz (Turbo) 6MB cache
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • 120GB SSD
  • Asus P8H67-I Deluxe motherboard
  • 6x USB 2.0 (rear), 2x USB 3.0 (rear)
  • 27inch Asus VE278Q monitor (1,920 x 1,080)
  • Intel® HD Graphics 3000
  • On-board Realtek® ALC892 sound card
  • SONY NOTEBOOK BD-COMBO BC-5500H
  • Windows 7 Home Premoum 64 bit
  • SPDIF optical (out)
  • HDMI audio
  • HDMI, VGA, DVI (out), HDMI, DVI, VGA, DisplayPort (in)
  • 643 x 445 x 320, 10kg

OUR VERDICT

This is a cheeky entry to our all-in-one group test, but a solution worth considering if you want the maximum flexibility to choose your own monitor, or save money by using an existing one. Application performance is excellent, but the whole system is very noisy and 128GB is simply not enough storage.

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