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
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.