Chill­blast Fu­sion Photo OC VIII

Over- clocked In­tel i7 octa- core chip / Ex­cel­lent edit­ing & multi- task­ing per­for­mance / GPU ac­cel­er­a­tion / RAID- 1 back- up

Digital SLR Photography - - Gear - Test: JAMES ARCHER

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS Guide price: £ 2,300 Pro­ces­sor: In­tel Core i7- 7820X 'Sky­lake- X' Pro­ces­sor Over­clock­ing: Up to 4.6GHZ CPU Cool­ing: Cor­sair H100i V2 CPU Liq­uid Mem­ory: 32GB RAM OS Drive: 250GB solid- state drive Stor­age: Twin 3TB hard drives Back- up: RAID- 1 con­fig­ured Op­ti­cal Drive: Blu- ray rewriter Web­site: www. chill­blast. com

THERE’S NO TWO ways around it: the Fu­sion Photo OC VIII is a might­ily ex­pen­sive PC. For­tu­nately, this isn’t hubris – you’re get­ting the kind of high- end com­po­nents that make speedy photo edit­ing an ab­so­lute breeze.

The brains of the op­er­a­tion is the In­tel Core i7- 7820X pro­ces­sor. Chill­blast has over- clocked this so that each of its eight cores run even faster than usual, and this showed in our bench­mark tests, which sim­u­late var­i­ous im­age and video edit­ing tasks as well as heavy multi- task­ing. It sailed through the im­age por­tion, in­di­cat­ing a sys­tem that will eas­ily run any edit­ing soft­ware you can throw it at, stay­ing fast and re­spon­sive all the while.

Even more im­pres­sive was its per­for­mance in the video edit­ing and multi- task­ing por­tions of the bench­mark; if you ever use your cam­era to shoot video footage, this PC will let you keep on work­ing at a com­fort­able pace while video en­codes in the back­ground. The gen­er­ous 32GB of RAM cer­tainly helps; it runs at a rel­a­tively slow speed of 2133MHZ, but there’s so much to go around that this doesn’t make much of a dif­fer­ence.

Chill­blast has also in­cluded a Ge­force GTX 1060 graph­ics card. This is de­signed for gam­ing rather than me­dia edit­ing, but it does mean you can take ad­van­tage of GPU ac­cel­er­a­tion for bet­ter per­for­mance in cer­tain ap­pli­ca­tions, such as Adobe Light­room CC. It also pro­vides a healthy mix of HDMI, DVI and Dis­play­port out­puts, for var­ied mon­i­tor set- ups.

A breath­lessly fast solid- state drive en­sures that Win­dows 10 boots and loads quickly, but the dual 3TB hard drives are even bet­ter for pho­tog­ra­phers. They come pre- con­fig­ured in RAID- 1, so any files you save on one drive will be mir­rored on the other – an easy way of cre­at­ing back- ups.

There are other qual­ity- of- life in­clu­sions as well, such as the 17- in- 1 multi- card reader and Blu- ray rewriter drive hid­den be­hind a door on the front. There aren’t a huge num­ber of USB ports for a PC of this price, but there’s still more than enough to suf­fice for most users. The case has also been lined with sound- ab­sorb­ing fab­ric, to pre­vent the fan noise from dis­turb­ing you as you’re touch­ing up your shots.

Chill­blast hasn’t held back when cre­at­ing this PC, and while it is ex­pen­sive, it’s no more so than com­pet­ing Win­dows- based sys­tems with a sim­i­lar spec­i­fi­ca­tion. It’s also a much smarter buy than, say, the Ap­ple Mac Pro, which is pricier at £ 2,999, yet gives you a slower pro­ces­sor, half the RAM and only a sin­gle SSD for stor­age.

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