Despite using Intel's older E8600 chip, Chillblast's Fusion Rage isn't threatened by the new Core i5-based systems.

Chillblast has nabbed both the Best Buy and Recommended awards in our £501-£750 PCs category this month. And it's hardly surprising: kitted out with the same monitor and system case as the Best Buy Fusion Strider, you'd be forgiven for thinking that machine and this, the Chillblast Fusion Rage, were one and the same.

But despite being identical on the outside, things get more interesting within. The Chillblast Fusion Rage is based on Intel's tried-and-tested Core 2 Duo E8600 chip, which enables it to best its Core i5 sibling's WorldBench 6 score by one point. And with few apps taking full advantage of multithreaded processors, at first glance the Rage may indeed appear to be just as fast as the new Core i5-based beasts.

Windows 7 PCs will be available from 22 December 2009

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The Chillblast Fusion Rage is a very well-rounded system and will prove perfectly adequate for anything you might reasonably want to do with a home PC. It fights off some strong competition from the Core i5-based Arbico and Eclipse machines, but those systems are unable to match its full-HD display, excellent graphics and set of external speakers.

Other features are fairly standard at this price point: a 500GB hard drive and 4GB of DDR2 RAM aren't exciting, but they are in line with the competition. The Chillblast Fusion Rage's system case is the same CCIVO 980 model that's supplied with the Fusion Strider. It's a rather basic design, but its smart black finish and subtle red details are easy on the eye.

Chart ranking (December 09 issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Strider
  2. Chillblast Fusion Rage
  3. Eclipse Matrix i57R489
  4. Arbico HD5750 XL
  5. CyberPower Gamer Ultra Triton

Chillblast Fusion Rage: Specs

  • 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit (choose XP or Windows 7 64bit at no extra cost)
  • 4GB DDR2 RAM
  • 500GB SATA
  • ASRock 775 4Core 1600-GLAN motherboard
  • 6 x USB 2.0
  • 600W CCIVO PSU
  • 22in BenQ E2200HDA (0.25mm pixel pitch
  • 1,920x1,080 native resolution)
  • 1,024MB PCI Express PowerColor ATI Radeon HD 4890 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 67/29fps
  • Fear = 254fps)
  • Creative Audigy SE 7.1 sound card
  • 2 x Genius speakers and subwoofer
  • 24x/24x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • two-year collect-and-return warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 131
  • 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit (choose XP or Windows 7 64bit at no extra cost)
  • 4GB DDR2 RAM
  • 500GB SATA
  • ASRock 775 4Core 1600-GLAN motherboard
  • 6 x USB 2.0
  • 600W CCIVO PSU
  • 22in BenQ E2200HDA (0.25mm pixel pitch
  • 1,920x1,080 native resolution)
  • 1,024MB PCI Express PowerColor ATI Radeon HD 4890 (games scores: Crysis [High/Very High] = 67/29fps
  • Fear = 254fps)
  • Creative Audigy SE 7.1 sound card
  • 2 x Genius speakers and subwoofer
  • 24x/24x/12x/16x/6x/8x/12x/16x (DVD-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM/-ROM)
  • two-year collect-and-return warranty
  • WorldBench 6 score: 131

OUR VERDICT

Were it not for the emergence of the Core i5 750, the Chillblast Fusion Rage would have been a class-leading system. However, given that the Fusion Strider offers everything the Rage has with the addition of faster, more up-to-date hardware, we’d have to recommend you go for that instead.

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