Chillblast’s Fusion Evolution is a heavy-duty desktop designed to tackle work and play. CPU power comes from a 6-core Intel chip, while gaming power is provided by a Palit GTX1080 card with RGB lighting, smart fan control and 8GB of GDDR5X memory, but no overclock – the core runs at its 1607MHz stock speed.
It’s still a formidable GPU, but Chillblast’s machine squares up against Scan’s 3XS X99 Carbon RGB (see Issue 160, p60), which added 114MHz to the GTX 1080’s core speed. The Chillblast also uses the same Core ¡7-6800K CPU as the Scan, overclocked from 3.4GHz to 4.1GHz. That’s 100MHz slower than the same chip in the Scan.
It’s more important to consider the ¡7-6800K itself. Its six Hyper-Threaded cores are impressive, but few games benefit from the extra cores – and not many work applications will use them either. However, If you do a lot of 3D rendering, or perhaps video encoding work with Handbrake, then this CPU will be great. Chillblast’s machine is also loaded with 32GB of 2133MHz memory, which is a good capacity but the speed is comparatively slow – the Scan also had 32GB of RAM, but it ran at2666MHz.
The Chillblast’s 256GB SM961SSD and 2TB hard disk also matches the Scan’s spec, and the two PCs use similar motherboards. The Chillblast has a Gigabyte GA-X99-Ultra Gaming, which has upgraded networking and audio circuitry, along with USB 3.1 ports, RGB LEDs and smart white heatsinks.
The Scan’s Asus motherboard shares these features, and Scan’s slab of PCB only pulls ahead with its on-board buttons and POST display. The two PCs are close in the PSU department too, both using modular 750W Corsair 80 Plus Gold PSUs.
It’s a close-run competition between the Chillblast and its key rival, which is no surprise considering the Chillblast costs £2,400, while the Scan is only £100 more. The price difference is small enough to see the Chillblast only lose out in minor areas, such as the memory speed and GPU clock, but this machine should still be very fast.
Where the Chillblast Is strong is in its build quality and design. The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv is mostly made from metal and the build is rock solid – only the PSU shroud feels a little flimsy. Meanwhile, the interior is illuminated by green LEDs at the front and bottom, with the same colouring used on the two intake fans, GPU heatsink, and motherboard PCI-E and memory slots. It’s bright and coherent, and It looks great when viewed through the tinted glass side panel.
The 240mm Corsair Hydro H100i V2 radiator is attached to the roof and overhangs the memory slots, but accessing other upgrade paths is easy, with accessible slots and drive bays. Once again, Scan’s machine is similar, being sturdy and smart, while offering ample upgrade room. The Chillblast is taller, wider and heavier, with a little more room for storage, but both machines are similarly tidy, with regimented cables and lashed-down wires.
Both machines also have customisable RGB lighting – the Scan’s lighting can be tweaked by a panel in the machine, and the Chillblast by a small remote control. However, the Scan has more illuminated fans, with an extra spinner in the front and LED fans attached to its CPU cooler.
Chillblast offers a decent five-year warranty too, with the first two years covering both parts and labour with a collect and return deal.
The stock-speed GTX 1080 remains formidable at every resolution. It blasted through every 1080p and 2,560 x 1,440 test, and even handled our 4K benchmarks, even registering a borderline playable 26 minimum in the demanding Deus Ex: Mankind Divided at Very High settings.
Scan’s machine was marginally quicker thanks to its GPU overclock, pulling 1-2fps ahead in The Witcher 3 at 4K, but the gaps were wider at lesser resolutions. There’s no denying that the Chillblast has the power for high-resolution gaming, as well as VR and ultra widescreen gaming, but the Scan is just that little faster.
CPU 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-6800K overclocked to 4.1G Hz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99-Ultra Gaming
Memory 32GB Crucial CT8G4DFD9213 2133MHz DDR4
Graphics Paiit GeForce GTX 1080 8GB
Storage 256GB Samsung SM961 M.2 SSD; 2TB Seagate Barracuda harddisk
Case Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX
Cooling CPU: Corsair Hydro H100i V2 with 2 x 120mm fans; GPU: 2 x 100mm fans; front: 2 x 120mm fans; rear: 1 x 140mm
Ports Front: 2 x USB 3,2 x audio; rear: 6 x USB 3,2 x USB 3.1,1x PS/2,1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x optical S/PDIF, 5 x audio
Operating system Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Warranty Two years parts and labor collect and return, followed by three years return to base labor only
The tables were turned in our application tests. Both machines are quick, but the Chillblast was slightly faster due to an improved image editing score and marginally quicker multi-tasking test. Its overall result of 159,913 is one of the best results we’ve seen in our system reviews. Likewise, the Samsung NVMe SSD is no slouch, with read and write speeds of 2,676MB/sec and 1,873MB/sec.
The Chillblast performed well in our thermal benchmarks too. Its CPU delta T of 39‘C is exceptional, and its GPU delta T of 44°C is almost as impressive – both results are cooler than those from the Scan, but that’s no surprise given the Chillblast”s slightly lower clock speeds. The Chillblast is quieter than the Scan too, although the margins are fine. The Fusion Evolution’s idle rumble is hard to hear, and it’s barely any louder when playing games. Comparatively, the Scan’s noise level increased during demanding tests.
The Chillblast Fusion Evolution is quick in games, the 6-core CPU is versatile and fast, and the other components are solid. The case is sturdy, there’s reasonable expansion room and clever RGB lighting. It also holds up well against the slightly pricier Scan 3XS X99 Carbon RGB. The Chillblast is a little slower in games and a tad quicker in applications, but the margins are small. The Chillblast has slightly lower clock frequencies, but gains in thermal and noise tests, and it’s £100 cheaper too. If s a near equal trade-off, really, with the Scan being a very slightly better (and slightly pricier) PC. If you want to save £100, rest assured that the Chillblast is a fast, quiet and well-designed gaming powerhouse.
The Chillblast Fusion Evolution is quick in games, the 6-core CPU is versatile and fast, and the other components are solid. The case is sturdy, there's reasonable expansion room and clever RGB lighting. It also holds up well against the slightly pricier Scan 3XS X99 Carbon RGB. The Chillblast is a little slower in games and a tad quicker in applications, but the margins are small. The Chillblast has slightly lower clock frequencies, but gains in thermal and noise tests, and it's £100 cheaper too. If s a near equal trade-off, really, with the Scan being a very slightly better (and slightly pricier) PC. If you want to save £100, rest assured that the Chillblast is a fast, quiet and well-designed gaming powerhouse.