It's a close battle between the top three systems this month, all of which use an AMD Phenom II X2 550 processor. The Chillblast Fusion Tempest is almost identical to the Best Buy Mesh internally, sharing the same Asus motherboard and using a similar graphics card.
However, the Chillblast Fusion Tempest uses a less expensive 512MB version of the HD 4870. The disadvantages of this aren't apparent from our test framerates, but be warned that in games such as Grand Theft Auto IV you'll lose out on bells and whistles that boost graphical quality by making use of the extra memory.
On the other hand, the Chillblast Fusion Tempest performs better in WorldBench 6, with a 115-point score for overall speed. It also comes with a slightly faster DVD burner.
The 750W PSU is impressive, although it seems a little wasted. The Chillblast Fusion Tempest has no socket for a second graphics card, so its usefulness is largely limited to extreme overclocking.
In common with the Mesh, the Chillblast Fusion Tempest doesn't allow for memory expansion beyond its supplied 4GB. This should, however, be adequate for a fair while yet.
The Chillblast Fusion Tempest's system case is reasonably smart, but the 19in monitor is far more attractive, with a tidy finish and slim bezel. Image quality is also rather good for a model that lacks a digital connection.
Chart ranking (issue 174)
- Mesh Matrix II 550BE PCA
- Chillblast Fusion Tempest
- Eclipse Solar a55R487
- Arbico CD8567 Pro
- RL Supplies Modula 9010
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