The Fusion Longbow is the first Ivy Bridge-based PC to reach us at PC Advisor and as such is at a distinct advantage over other contenders who were unable to get hold of the new chips in time for our review. See also Group test: What's the best family PC.
Based on the new Intel Core i5-3570K running at 3.4GHz, the Fusion Longbow pulls ahead to achieve a superb score of 189 points in our WorldBench 6 benchmark. We’ve seen faster, but only in overclocked gaming PC rigs. This score is also helped by the inclusion of 16GB of RAM, although you may not notice the benefit in normal use. See also: Intel launches Ivy Bridge processor family.
To support the processor, a new motherboard is required. Chillblast has chosen the Asus P8H77-M Pro, based on the Intel H77-Express chipset. The board supports a wealth of features, including PCI Express 3.0 for enhanced graphics bandwidth; Intel Smart Response Technology to enable the use of small SSDs to boost hard-disk performance; four USB 3.0 and ten USB 2.0 ports. It also supports overclocking of the processor for even faster potential speeds. See also: Intel Ivy Bridge processors tested.
An AMD Radeon HD 6850 graphics card is installed, fitted with 1GB of memory and running just a little faster than the similar card found in Eclipse’s system. However, the gaming performance of the Fusion Longbow is considerably higher than that of the Eclipse, and delivers graphics speeds closer to Arbico’s eXcel 2568 despite that system’s faster AMD Radeon HD 6870 card.
An LG Blu-ray reader/DVD writer drive is fitted as standard, and the excellent 23.6in Asus VS247H display is a great monitor for playing back high-definition films. It includes VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs so you can connect additional devices. A subwoofer-equipped Logitech S220 speaker set also comes as part of the package and an optional software bundle can be pre-installed, including Ahead Nero and CyberLink suites as well as free software such as Open Office and GIMP.
The Cit Vantage system case incorporates internal cable management and comes with a built-in memory-card reader. A useful Wi-Fi card has also been fitted.