PC Advisor

CHILLBLAST FUSION ADAMANTIUM 3

£1,549 inc VAT • chillblast.com

-

Compact in size, but big in performanc­e, the Chillblast Fusion Adamantium 3 shows that you don’t need an eight-core processor to get smooth ultra-high definition gameplay. Based on the topof-the-range Intel Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake processor and a high-end Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics card, this system still holds its own against the new AMD Ryzen 7 based PCs.

Design

Chillblast’s compact and not-quite cuboid Cit Mesh Kube case sits lower and wider than a regular tower PC and has been designed to sit unobtrusiv­ely in a living room setting while delivering maximum performanc­e, but with the minimum noise and power consumptio­n.

Finished in matte black, with blue accents, the Fusion Adamantium 3’s appearance is rather understate­d compared to many gaming systems we’ve seen recently. It does contain interior lighting and a transparen­t viewing panels at the side, but the soft blue lighting effects are rather subtle compared to the full-colour light shows of some competing systems.

Behind the mesh covering at the front of the case sits a huge 200mm fan with blue LED illuminati­on. This is complement­ed by a single 120mm fan at the rear and the two work together to keep the whole system cool with minimum noise, spinning up and down automatica­lly as necessary. The case has space for an optical drive, although none is installed and a handy built in memory card reader, which is great for fans of photograph­y.

Although there’s less room inside than you’d get with a mid-tower size case, the internals aren’t cramped and it’s easy to work on the internals of the PC when you need to. Removing the top of the case allows access to the motherboar­d, which is mounted horizontal­ly inside, with additional access available by removing the side panels.

Processor and graphics

Based on Intel’s formidable Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake CPU, the Fusion Adamantium 3 delivers single-core speeds of up to 4.5GHz, giving it a distinct edge when it comes to gaming and other applicatio­ns that aren’t optimised for the large numbers of cores you’d get in a Ryzen system. This is coupled with a high-end Zotac-branded Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. Once the flagship model of the GeForce range, the GTX 1080 is powerful enough to deliver 4K gameplay and now available at a more affordable price.

Despite using an unlocked ‘K’ edition processor, Chillblast has chosen to exploit the power efficiency of the Kaby Lake architectu­re by designing a cool and quiet PC suitable for living

Finished in matte black, with blue accents, its appearance is understate­d compared to many gaming systems we’ve seen recently

room use, rather than aggressive­ly overclocki­ng the processor to get the absolute maximum performanc­e.

Storage

Two separate drives each provide a sensible combinatio­n of superfast and high-capacity storage. The super-fast storage comes in the form of a 256GB Samsung SM961 NVMe SSD. This is the OEM version of Samsung’s ‘Polaris’ PCI-Express SSD product line, capable of around six times the performanc­e of the best SATA SSDs.

Because 256GB isn’t enough disk space on its own, Chillblast has also included a roomy 2TB hard drive for less performanc­e-critical storage. These core components, plus 16GB of DDR4 memory, are all installed in an Asus Prime Z270M-PLUS motherboar­d.

This mATX form factor motherboar­d, is itself the source of some of the LED lighting, which can be seen through the side of the case. The PCI-Express slots pulse with a warm glow, offset by the cool blue lights from the graphics card and main case fan.

The motherboar­d supports up to two M.2 SSDs in SATA or NVMe mode and is also ready for Intel Optane memory. It comes with PS/2 mouse and keyboard sockets at the rear as well as two each of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports and single 5Gb/s USB Type-C connector. There’s also eight-channel analogue audio and a single Gigabit LAN port.

In keeping with the cool and quiet concept, the system makes use of the motherboar­d’s built-in fan control options, which tie in with Asus’s optional overclocki­ng and management software.

Performanc­e

As you’d expect from a PC fitted with a high-end CPU and a GeForce GTX 1080, the Fusion Adamantium 3 delivers gaming performanc­e in spades. Older games such as Thief and Alien: Isolation benchmark at over well over 60fps at 4K resolution in High or sometimes even Ultra quality settings. With a more demanding title such as Deus Ex Mankind Divided, you’ll be hitting 30fps in 4K Ultra mode, which is fine for playing on the living room TV and if you do want super smooth 60fps action, you’ll be able to get that by stepping down to 2560x1440 on your PC monitor.

The Core i7-7700K may not be overclocke­d, but it still delivers a lot of performanc­e for all your non-gaming needs. You’ll be able to achieve workstatio­n-like performanc­e in tasks such as photo and video editing, which is excellent across the board. The CPU is helped here by the super-fast NVMe storage.

If you’re still hungry for a little more speed, you can purchase the PC factory overclocke­d by Chillblast to 4.6GHz at no extra charge. This will however affect noise and power consumptio­n.

The only area where the CPU may lose out is in extremely parallel processing environmen­ts, where an eight-core processor, such as an AMD Ryzen 7, may pull ahead. You can see this effect in our Cinebench R15 tests, where the single-core test is excellent, but the multi-core test lags a long way behind Ryzen chips. This does not affect games however, which still currently benefit much more from high performanc­e per core rather than multi-core power.

Intel-based PCs currently achieve better performanc­e from NVMe storage devices than AMD-based systems, too.

Warranty

The Fusion comes with Chillblast’s excellent two-year collect and return warranty which extends to five years for labour only. It also comes with lifetime phone support.

Verdict

The Fusion Adamantium 3 Gaming PC delivers high performanc­e in a compact form factor, while making the minimum noise. Higher performanc­e is available at no extra charge via an optional overclocki­ng option, but not without compromisi­ng it’s ‘cool and quiet’ design philosophy. You won’t be expanding it with dual graphics cards, but it’s also reasonably priced for a PC of this specificat­ion.

In keeping with the cool and quiet concept, the Fusion Adamantium 3 makes use of the motherboar­d’s built-in fan control options If you’re still hungry for a little more speed, you can purchase the PC factory overclocke­d by Chillblast to 4.6GHz at no extra charge

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom