A few Bios tweaks could be all the Chillblast Fusion Scimitar needs to deliver performance that's on par with the fastest PCs at this price point.

Chillblast's Fusion Scimitar harnesses the quad-core processing power of Intel's Core i5 750. Our top two PCs use the same chip, but Chillblast was unable to squeeze the same level of performance from it and lags five points behind the Arbico and Mesh in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test. We suspect that a few tweaks in the Bios would put the Scimitar back on track, however.

The Chillblast Fusion Scimitar rejects the DirectX 11.0 capabilities of AMD's latest 57xx-series graphics cards in favour of an older HD 4890. This card was, until recently, AMD's fastest single-GPU model. While you won't benefit from depth-of-field effects and DirectCompute 11.0 processing advantages, the 4890 can still hold its own against an HD 5770. Indeed, many current games will run considerably faster on the Chillblast.

The 4GB allocation of DDR3 memory, 500GB hard drive, 650W PSU and ASRock motherboard are dwarfed by the Chillblast Fusion Scimitar's Xigmatek Asgard case (named after the home of the Norse gods, of course), which is finished in black inside and out.

The 22in BenQ G2220HD monitor, meanwhile, is one of the best displays here. Its full-HD 1080p screen resolution produces a fantastic image for the price. A set of stereo speakers means you won't have to rely on the tinny models built into the screen but, as with the Arbico, note that no subwoofer is included with the Chillblast Fusion Scimitar.

Chart ranking: Budget desktop PCs (issue 177)

  1. Arbico HD 7577 XL
  2. Mesh Ice5 5750 HD
  3. Chillblast Fusion Scimitar
  4. CyberPower Infinity i3 Apollo
  5. Eclipse Matrix Crossfire i786R577

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