Based on Intel’s Core 2 Duo E8600, which has now well and truly stolen the crown from the formerly dominant E8500, Chillblast’s Fusion Osiris is an excellent performer, scoring a superb 131 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test.

This month’s budget desktop PCs chart is even tighter than usual: the top two are so close in specification that they’re very nearly the same PC.

Based on Intel’s Core 2 Duo E8600, which has now well and truly stolen the crown from the formerly dominant E8500, Chillblast’s Fusion Osiris is an excellent performer, scoring a superb 131 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test.

The Chillblast Fusion Osiris's 500GB hard drive is complemented by 4GB of system memory and fitted in a case that includes a pair of front-facing USB ports alongside two 3.5mm audio jacks.

The Chillblast Fusion Osiris's graphics duties are taken care of by an ATI Radeon HD 4850 with 512MB of RAM. This mid-range card is capable of playing many games at acceptable quality settings, although it struggles a bit on more demanding titles such as Crysis at higher settings and screen resolutions.

You get a set of stereo speakers and a subwoofer with the Chillblast Fusion Osiris, while Creative’s entry-level Audigy SE 7.1 card provides full surround-sound capabilities in case you wish to add rear speakers.

Arbico's Elite 8850 Pro offers the same processor, RAM allocation and performance. Even the monitors are almost identical to those of the Chillblast Fusion Osiris: they come from different manufacturers but share a case design. With both DVI and VGA connectors, however, the Chillblast Fusion Osiris's monitor is capable of sharper text and better contrast when using a digital cable.

The Chillblast Fusion Osiris also has a slight edge on warranties; both last two years, but Chillblast provides a collect-and-return service not offered by the Arbico Elite 8850 Pro.

Finally, the Chillblast Fusion Osiris’s MSI P43 Neo3-F motherboard features two pairs of memory slots and two free sockets, allowing a less expensive upgrade should you need to add memory later. It also comes with a spare 1x PCI Express slot and two unused PCI slots not available on the Arbico Elite 8850 Pro.

These are minor issues, but they’re just enough to separate these superb PCs.

Chart ranking: Budget desktop PCs (Feb 09 issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Osiris
  2. Arbico Elite 8850 Pro
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity XT Elite
  4. Mesh Elite 9600 GT
  5. Acer ASM3201

>> NEXT PAGE: Budget desktop PCs buying advice


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