The Chillblast Fusion Palomino's 3.3GHz Intel Core i5 2500K processor and 8GB of RAM powering it to an impressive 164 points in WorldBench 6. Sixty-four percent faster than the Braebo Athena and only 30 percent more expensive than that PC, it delivers good value for money if you need the speed.

The 'K' version of the processor used in the Chillblast Fusion Palomino isn't used for its overclocking capabilities, but for its enhanced HD3000 graphics which are faster than those on the standard edition of the chip.

The Inwin Z637 Micro ATX case augments the Chillblast Fusion Palomino's otherwise unremarkable looks with an attractive red piping effect around the drive bays, where you'll also find a pair of front-facing USB ports along with audio in/out jacks. Our sample arrived with the front ports disconnected.  See also: What's the best budget PC?

There are no troublesome or breakable flaps to be found. Inside the Chillblast Fusion Palomino, we find tool-free drive bays and slot retention clips. The case is also opened by means of tool-free latches, although you can add a couple of screws to make theft of the internals less tempting. Chillblast has done a good job of tidying up the internal cabling too.

The Asus P8H61-M LE/USB3 motherboard is the same model supplied by Arbico. It supports only two memory slots, but with 8GB installed as standard you're unlikely to need to upgrade the Chillblast Fusion Palomino's RAM any time soon.

The Chillblast Fusion Palomino includes a 22in AOC F22+ display which, while far from perfect, is a big step up from the 18.5 inch model supplied by Braebo, and comes with a DVI connector.

Chillblast's two-year collect-and-return warranty policy saves you the cost of couriers when returning a faulty system for repair. Available no later than January 5 2012.

Chillblast Fusion Palomino: Specs

  • Intel Core i5 2500K
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • Asus P8H61-M LE/USB3
  • AOC F22+
  • On-board HD Audio
  • 24x/24x (DVD-R/+R) 12x/16x (-R DL/+R DL) 6x/8x (-RW/+RW) 12x/16x (-RAM/-ROM)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Inwin Z637 Micro ATX Case
  • 500GB SATA
  • Logitech Keyboard and Mouse MK120
  • Standard Intel cooler, EZCool 500W
  • Intel Core i5 2500K
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • Asus P8H61-M LE/USB3
  • AOC F22+
  • On-board HD Audio
  • 24x/24x (DVD-R/+R) 12x/16x (-R DL/+R DL) 6x/8x (-RW/+RW) 12x/16x (-RAM/-ROM)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Inwin Z637 Micro ATX Case
  • 500GB SATA
  • Logitech Keyboard and Mouse MK120
  • Standard Intel cooler, EZCool 500W

OUR VERDICT

Fast and reasonably-priced, the Chillblast Palomino is well-constructed and offers a good balance of performance and features. No other system here can touch it in terms of application performance and its two-year collect and return warranty is the best available.

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