The Chillblast Fusion Stronghold teams Intel’s popular Core i5 750 with the excellent Asus P7P55D-E LX motherboard to deliver great performance and some cutting-edge features.

The Chillblast Fusion Stronghold teams Intel’s popular Core i5 750 with the excellent Asus P7P55D-E LX motherboard to deliver great performance and some cutting-edge features.

The 2.66GHz Core i5 750 has a significantly lower clock speed than the 3.46GHz Core i5 670 used by Eclipse, but its true quad-core design means the Chillblast Fusion Stronghold has the potential to dominate with applications that are able to benefit from multiple cores. Our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test doesn’t include many multithreaded applications, so it’s to be expected that the quad-core machines in this group test will score slightly lower than dual-core PCs.

The Chillblast Fusion Stronghold’s 129-point tally is two points lower than that of the similarly specced Palicomp. Support for USB 3.0 and 6 gigabits per second (Gbps) SATA wins the battle for Chillblast, however, with these forward-looking technologies enabling faster performance with compatible hard drives.

Chillblast has selected the same ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card as the Palicomp and Arbico PCs. This card is capable of good framerates with most current games, and offers powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration for transcoding audio and video. With only one PCI Express x16 slot on the Chillblast Fusion Stronghold's motherboard, upgrading the graphics will require replacing this card rather than adding another – luckily, the HD 5770 is a pretty fast card to start with.

The Chillblast Fusion Stronghold's other upgrade opportunities are more plentiful, with several PCI and PCI Express x1 slots available. The motherboard also offers some useful overclocking options.

The 23in Digimate monitor is a slightly larger version of the display supplied with the Arbico and bettered in size only by the Palicomp’s 24in screen. Unlike the Arbico and Eclipse monitors, it’s able to display a full-HD (1920x1080) picture without scaling the image down. Also unlike those two systems, the Chillblast Fusion Stronghold comes with a set of stereo speakers and a subwoofer.

Budget desktop PCs chart ranking

  1. Chillblast Fusion Stronghold
  2. Palicomp Core i5 Blast 750-24 Plus
  3. Arbico i5 6607 Pro
  4. Eclipse Galaxy i567r557
  5. CyberPower Ultra Triton XT

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