Also based on the Intel Core i5-3570K like the Arbico i5357 Pro, the Chillblast Fusion Sapphire delivers a combination of powerful quad-core system performance and capable graphics thanks to an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor.
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Although the processor used is the same as that found in Arbico’s i5357 Pro, Chillblast’s PC performs much slower in the PCMark 7 benchmark test (4217 points), largely because it comes with only a hard disk for storage.
While an SSD undoubtedly offers a very noticeable improvement in system responsiveness it’s also a more expensive option which is currently less common in today’s office PCs.
The alternative would be to build a system like the Eclipse eBiz Precision i322H61 which does offer an SSD, but combined with a slower dual-core processor to achieve a similar overall performance score.
Which is best for you will depend on whether you’re primarily number-crunching or processing larger amounts of data on disk.
The system is built inside a matt black CIT Fortress case which looks the part – until you turn it on, whereupon the less-than-subtle blue LED illumination gives away that this is in fact a gaming case.
Aesthetics aside, it’s tidy and well-constructed inside, although it does lack cable management and tool-free access. Four front-facing USB ports are provided, one of which supports USB 3.0. The selected motherboard features the Intel B75 Express chipset, featuring Intel Small Business advantage features.
The Fusion Sapphire comes with an excellent 23.6in Iiyama monitor, featuring IPS panel technology. This is a boon if you work with multimedia content as it delivers more accurate colour and wider viewing angles. It may be less important for general office applications, but is generally much easier on the eyes than a cheaper TN-based display. It features a pair of integrated stereo speakers to provide basic system sound.
Also commendable is Chillblast’s two-year collect-and-return warranty which will save you from having to return the system at your own cost should something go wrong.