CHILLBLAST FU­SION ADAMANTIUM 3

£1,549 inc VAT • chillblast.com

PC Advisor - - GROUP TEST: GAMING PCS -

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

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