Chillblast Fusion Spartacus budget gaming PC review

Chillblast Fusion Spartacus

Chillblast's Fusion Spartacus stands out from the gaming PC crowd with its gleaming white mini tower case and eye-lasering lensed LED indicators. Its AvP Viper chassis (also available in black) is one of the more compact PCs and its bedroom-friendly proportions are therefore rather densely packed inside, although this seems not to have had any negative effect on airflow. See what's the best gaming PC?

A relatively modest overclock from 3.2GHz up to 4.3GHz sees the Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition processor running at a slower speed than we typically see from gaming PCs, and this is reflected in correspondingly lower results in some our application-based PC Mark tests.

However, this less ambitious overclock allows the Fusion Spartacus to run considerably cooler and quieter then its rivals, with the CPU reaching a maximum temperature of only 75 degrees.

When it comes to gaming, the MSI-branded GeForce GTX 760 graphics card places it right at the top of the field, alongside Cyberpower and Scan whose PCs also use the same graphics adapter. The fast graphics card does result in greater overall system power consumption than those PCs using a GeForce GTX 750 Ti or AMD Radeon R7 265.

The Fusion Spartacus is the only system we have tested with the Pentium Anniversary chip to use a motherboard with an Intel B85 Express chipset aimed at low-cost business systems. The Asus B85M-G motherboard supports overclocking, but this features lacks official support from Intel (see above). The board does offer a few advantages over the H81 Express chipset used elsewhere, including a total of four memory slots, rather than two, and four Intel USB 3.0 ports (three of which are presented externally). No optical drive is provided but there's a 5.25 inch external bay available if you'd like to fit your own.

Chillblast's PC is also the only one of the gaming rigs we have tested recently to be supplied with an IPS monitor. The 23in Asus VS239HV is slightly smaller than some of the competition and can't match the response times of the faster TN-based competition, but does offer superior overall image quality and wider viewing angles which may be of interest if you spend any of your on-gaming time in front of your PC.

Other accessories include a Zalman ZM-K200M multimedia keyboard, with coloured WASD and arrow keys for gamers, and a matching 1000dpi ZM-M200 gaming mouse with five buttons.

The system is backed by Chillblast's fabulous 5-year warranty, the first two of which include a free collect and return service. (See also: best laptops for games.)

CHILLBLAST FUSION SPARTACUS: Specs

  • 3.2GHz Intel Pentium G3258 (@4.3GHz)
  • Akasa Nero 3 CPU Cooler
  • 8GB DDR3 1,600MHz RAM
  • 1TB SATA 7200rpm HDD (Seagate ST1000DM003)
  • 500watt 80+ Aerocool PSU
  • Asus B85M-G
  • 3 x USB 3.0, 5 x USB 2.0
  • 23in ASUS VS239HV, 1920x1080, IPS, HDMI, DVI
  • MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB VRAM, Core: 1085MHz (1150 boost), RAM: 1502Mz
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports
  • AvP Viper Black or White
  • Zalman ZM-K200M Gaming Keyboard, Zalman ZM-M200 Gaming Mouse
  • Windows 8.1 64bit
  • Free copy of Watchdogs and Grid 3
  • 5 years - 2 years collect and return with 3 years further labour-only. Lifetime phone support
  • 3.2GHz Intel Pentium G3258 (@4.3GHz)
  • Akasa Nero 3 CPU Cooler
  • 8GB DDR3 1,600MHz RAM
  • 1TB SATA 7200rpm HDD (Seagate ST1000DM003)
  • 500watt 80+ Aerocool PSU
  • Asus B85M-G
  • 3 x USB 3.0, 5 x USB 2.0
  • 23in ASUS VS239HV, 1920x1080, IPS, HDMI, DVI
  • MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB VRAM, Core: 1085MHz (1150 boost), RAM: 1502Mz
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2x DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports
  • AvP Viper Black or White
  • Zalman ZM-K200M Gaming Keyboard, Zalman ZM-M200 Gaming Mouse
  • Windows 8.1 64bit
  • Free copy of Watchdogs and Grid 3
  • 5 years - 2 years collect and return with 3 years further labour-only. Lifetime phone support

OUR VERDICT

If you can get past the fact that the 4.3GHz clock speed will gain you no bragging rights whatsoever, the Chillblast Fusion Spartacus is actually a rather sensible choice at a very reasonable price. Gaming performance is right up there with the fastest systems you will see.

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