A powerhouse of a system that provides a showcase for the Core i5-9600K and Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics
- Runs quietly
- Stunning power
- Good connectivity
- Cramped case
- More expensive than similar Scan machine
Big. Brassy. Breakneck speed. Those are the words I’d reach for if someone asked me to describe the Chillblast Fusion Hero Gaming PC (and, for some reason, restricted me to words beginning with B).
And it really is big. It towers over rivals such as the Scan 3XS Gamer RTX, while its angular black-and-white design is only outshone by the light show Chillblast provides by default. Switch this PC on and you’re hurtled back to the disco days, with a strip light up the front, an LED-lit fan at the rear and even the edges of the Corsair RAM pulsating with coloured light.
Naturally, you can customise these as you wish – turn them all white and the Fusion becomes almost classy – and we shouldn’t get distracted by cosmetics. What matters is what’s inside, and Chillblast makes a crucial inclusion: it’s the first manufacturer to give us a system based on Intel’s Core i5-9600K processor.
This is our first chance to see how this chip performs in practice. The key thing to note is that it includes six cores, but there’s no Hyper-Threading, so once those cores are utilised, that’s your lot. But we also know that each core is powerful, more powerful than an equivalent core in the Ryzen 7 family, which is reflected in our media-creation benchmarks.
Chillblast Fusion Hero Gaming PC review: Performance
In our photo-editing test, which gives an excellent reflection of a machine’s single-core power, the Chillblast scored 165 to the aforementioned Scan’s 141. Significantly faster, as befits a chip overclocked to 4.6GHz.
Head over to benchmarks that exploit as many threads as possible, though, and the Ryzen-powered Scan skips into the lead. This is enough to give the Scan a significant winning margin overall in our benchmarks, but note that most people, most of the time, are looking for single-task power.
The Core i5-9600K looks to be a stronger gaming chip than the Ryzen 7 2700X and, if you’re looking for a 1440p gaming machine, then frankly both the Chillblast and Scan systems will fulfil the role brilliantly. Likewise for VR, with both machines scorching through VR benchmarks with outstanding scores.
Chillblast opts for a motherboard based on Intel’s new Z390 chipset, which has been introduced to partner the ninth-gen Intel Core processors. It’s a high-spec board, too, with a ludicrous name of Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero. If you want to overclock this system then, together with the Corsair H100x watercooling unit, it provides an excellent base. The only mild disappointment is that there’s no Wi-Fi module built into the board.
With a 750W PSU in place, there’s potential to add another graphics card if the single GeForce GTX 2070 graphics card isn’t enough for you. This will likely block two of the three empty PCIe 2 x1 slots, but one will remain free above the existing graphics card, with a PCIe 3 x16 slot sitting empty at the bottom of the board.
You can also take advantage of the two empty DIMM sockets and the spare M.2 slot, with room for a second drive to keep the supplied 3TB Seagate hard disk company.
My single criticism of the Chillblast is the case, and this comes down to personal taste. There are some great touches here, including a tempered glass front panel that provides a glimpse into the internals.
Naturally, bearing in mind this is quite an expensive case, there’s a tempered glass side panel too. It’s a shame, then, that the plastic white fascia cheapens it a little. I wouldn’t want to work for long inside this chassis, either, with conditions cramped despite its size.
Chillblast Fusion Hero Gaming PC review: Verdict
Personally, I’d be tempted to call Chillblast and discuss other case options, but don’t throw out the DNA of the Fusion Hero Gaming PC in the process.
Yes, it’s £250 more expensive than the similarly powerful Scan, but it also runs much more quietly – even when pushed playing games, it never hits disturbing noise levels. If you value peace and quiet, and you don’t need the heavily multithreaded performance of the Ryzen 7 2700X, then this should be your pick of the two RTX 2070 machines.