With all five PCs in this month's chart using the same combination of processor and graphics card, you might not expect much difference between them. But you'd be wrong.

Demonstrating superb, class-leading performance, the Chillblast Fusion Apex effortlessly stands out from the crowd. This PC, based like the rest on Intel's 2.66GHz Core i7 920, achieved a convincing lead in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test.

The Chillblast Fusion Apex's two 500GB hard drives are combined in a Raid 0 configuration. This setup provides a speed boost, but doesn't provide as much data protection as Raid 1.

A fairly standard 6GB allocation of DDR3 RAM is also supplied with the Chillblast Fusion Apex. This is matched by three of the four other machines here.

ATI's Radeon HD 4890 graphics card lets the Chillblast Fusion Apex play most 3D games at a decent resolution and with ‘High Quality' settings.

The Chillblast Fusion Apex's Acer V223WB display comes with both analogue and digital inputs and has a sleek black bezel with minimal styling. It produces good image quality and is a step up from other budget monitors.

Also finished in black, the Chillblast Fusion Apex's Cooler Master Elite 334 system case has a mesh front panel and offers a pair of front-facing USB ports. It's not as impressive-looking as the CyberPower's case, nor does it have the soundproofing of the Mesh, but it does the job without looking over the top.

This is the only system here to add a 5.1-channel (five speakers and a subwoofer) surround-sound speaker system and a Blu-ray Disc drive, making the Chillblast Fusion Apex a great choice for multimedia.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs (Nov 09 issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Apex
  2. Arbico HD 7090 Pro
  3. Mesh Elite Ice7 920 PCA
  4. Palicomp Core i7 Blitz 920-T24-4890
  5. CyberPower Gamer Infinity i7 Hercules

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