Offering a balanced feature set and excellent performance in both office use and gaming, Chillblast’s Fusion Flame is well worth its Best Buy award. All the systems in this month’s chart use a Core 2 Duo E8500 processor, but their performance varies quite significantly. UPDATE, November 17, 2008: Chillblast informs PC Advisor that the Fusion Flame is no longer available in the specification submitted for review. As a consequence, PC Advisor has removed the Best Buy award initially proffered to the Chillblast Fusion Flame. As ever, check the specifiation closely before you buy. See also: Chillblast stripped of Best Buy award.

The Chillblast Fusion Flame delivered 126 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test. Although this score was narrowly beaten by the Zoostorm 62-3311's 128 points, the Chillblast’s performance is consistent in both work and play. This desktop PC has enough power to run demanding games at playable speeds.

Indeed, nVidia’s GeForce 9600 GT produced chart-topping framerates in our gaming tests, despite stiff competition from ATI’s Radeon HD 4670, as seen in the Arbico Elite 4685HD and CyberPower Gamer Infinity 600 computers. Your exact mileage will vary depending on the games you play but the Chillblast Fusion Flame's nVidia chip delivered healthy scores in both Crysis and Fear.

The Chillblast Fusion Flame is supplied with a 19in Hannspree XM New York. This popular display comes with four out of the five machines in this month’s budget PCs chart.

Rather than relying on the Hannspree’s built-in speakers, however, Chillblast has thrown in a pair of Logitech S220 speakers – and it’s the only vender in this price bracket to do so. The subwoofer gives an enormous boost to sound quality, making the Chillblast Fusion Flame a far better multimedia PC than its rivals in the chart.

The Octigen Case Pro 337 chassis is rather basic but it’s relatively capacious, with plenty of free drive bays and a 400W power supply. Meanwhile, the Chillblast Fusion Flame's motherboard offers three PCI slots and a PCI Express slot for expansion, as well as a pair of memory slots in case you wish to upgrade the 4GB allocation of DDR2 RAM.


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