With its propensity for mixing high-value components with well-judged firepower, PC builder Chillblast has garnered many an award over the past few years. The Fusion Ranger is another tidy gaming PC package that trawls the market for the meanest components available. Perhaps the headline act is the Maximus VII Ranger motherboard, an assured member of Asus' premium Republic of Gamers range, and a proud recipient of Intel's brand-new Z97 chipset. See what's the best gaming PC?
Slotting into place on the mainboard is an Intel Core i5-4670K processor. Generally timed at 3.4 GHz, this has been pushed up to 4.2 GHz here. It's perhaps not quite as high-end as those labelled Core i7, and only processes four rather than eight threads. But the PCMark 7 score of 6852 points shows this to be fast PC.
Chillblast has teamed the CPU with some strong sub-components. The 16 GB of Corsair 1600 MHz memory is to be expected for a gaming system, while the storage options comprise the familiar 2 TB Seagate Barracuda, and a lightning-fast 120 GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD. A 24x Samsung DVD±RW tops off the battery of drives.
The graphics card is almost as eye-popping as it gets, with a PowerColor rendition of the AMD Radeon R9 290 OC driving this PC on to some emphatic game framerates.
It shattered the 300 fps mark in Sniper Elite V2, scoring an average of 321 fps at the lowest 1280 x 720 settings, and 164 fps at Medium quality. Even in Ultra quality and 1920 x 1080 resolution, it still managed to return 42 fps.
The results from Alien vs Predator were more emphatic, with the 173.2 fps at 1280 x 720 a top-grade score. Even at 1920 x 1080, it achieved a formidable 97 fps. There are faster gaming PCs, but the Fusion Ranger is still quite the showstopper.
The Corsair Graphite 230T is far from the most attractive case we've seen, and the crimson glow emanating from within does lend it a suitably demonic air. The panels slide forwards rather than backwards, and getting underneath the lid isn't quite as straightforward as it might be.
Once you're in, though, it's an impressive product. It's always going to be hard to leave room in the case when there are so many substantial components jockeying for position.
The cables from the Corsair H60 CPU cooler were a touch unruly, but realistically, there's little that can be done about that without compromising on the cooling. There's plenty of room around the memory chips, and only two of the slots are taken up. Indeed, all of the components – even the sizeable graphics card - are situated in plenty of space. And because the front panel of the case is a grid rather than a solid slab, air is allowed to move in and out with freedom. In short, the 230T works brilliantly as a means of keeping these heavyweight components cool.
The 750 watt Corsair PSU is another tidy inclusion, and keeps the PC well supplied with power. This PC certainly does demand plenty of power. We measured 67 watt while the PC is sat idle, and when subjected to benchmark tests it gobbled as much as 386 watt.
No keyboard or mouse are supplied with the PC as standard, although Chillblast has some great gaming peripherals available should you want to add something suitably suitable. A top-flight flat-panel would also be a good addition since no screen is supplied either.
Chillblast's usual two-year collect-and-return warranty is included. The company continues to go from strength to strength, so its continued existence must be one of the safer bets amongst PC builders. (See also: best laptops for games.)
Chillblast PC PCMark 7 - 6852
PCMark 8 (Accelerated) - Home: 4826
PCMark 8 (Accelerated) - Creative: 6499
PCMark 8 (Accelerated) - Work: 5329
Geekbench - 16435 / 16484 / 16488 / 16478 / 16427 / 16459 / 16476 / 16443
AVP - 1280x720, Everything on Max | 173.2
AVP - 1920x1080, Everything on Max | 97.0
Sniper Elite V2 - 1280x720, Low.ini | 321
Sniper Elite V2 - 1280x720, Medium.ini | 164
Sniper Elite V2 - 1920x1080, Ultra.ini | 42
Power consumption idle / load | 67 / 386