Chillblast Fusion Sorcerer full review

The Chillblast Fusion Sorcerer is a mid-range gaming rig that serves up a new Nvidia GPU, a powerful AMD processor and loads of RGB LEDs for a price coming in just over a grand.

That doesn’t make it the cheapest Nvidia-based gaming PC we’ve seen lately, but the slightly higher price does give this machine some advantages over its rivals.

Design & Build

The Sorcerer uses a Kolink Observatory case. It’s a good bit of kit: robust and smart, with RGB LED intake fans, an illuminated exhaust and side and front panels made of tempered glass.

The Kolink’s build quality compares well to the AlphaBeta i5 RTX's bespoke chassis, but that machine was more eye-catching – it had larger RGB LED fans and more tempered glass.

The Kolink is 435mm tall and 201mm wide, which means that it’s narrower but taller than the squat, square-shaped AlphaBeta rig.

Chillblast Fusion Sorcerer case

At the top, the Observatory has a magnetic dust filter, and there’s another dust filter at the bottom. The chassis has a single USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports and two audio jacks. That’s one fewer USB 3.0 port than the AlphaBeta.

On the inside, the Kolink retains its good build quality - the PSU shroud and motherboard tray are strong. Chillblast has done a good job keeping things neat, with cables consistently tied down.

There’s a huge amount of space here, too. There’s room at the front of the rig for water-cooling upgrades, and enough horizontal space for larger graphics cards. At the rear, there’s room for a hard disk and a couple of 2.5in drives alongside a lighting control box with room for a couple more fans.

Specs & Performance

The GeForce GTX 1660 Super was released at the end of 2019, and is designed to replace and improve on the older GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti.

The GTX 1660 Super has 1,408 stream processors, 6GB of memory at improved speeds and a boost clock of 1,785MHz – so it compares well to the GTX 1660 Ti, with better speeds but a slight reduction in the number of stream processors.

Chillblast Fusion Sorcerer GTX 1660

It’s a good start, but this PC has a big issue – Nvidia’s beefier cards. The cheaper AlphaBeta used an RTX 2070 Super, which has 2,560 stream processors and 8GB of memory, alongside dedicated Ray-Tracing cores that aren’t present in the GTX 1660 Super. It’s a very good deal – you’d usually have to pay at least £1,200 for a PC with the RTX 2070 Super.

The RTX 2060 Super is also more compelling thanks to its 2,176 stream processors, 8GB of memory and its own Ray-Tracing cores. It’s also relatively easy to find RTX 2060 Super machines for only a few pounds more than this Chillblast.

The difference between the Chillblast’s GTX 1660 Super and the AlphaBeta’s RTX 2070 Super can be seen in benchmarks. In 3D Mark Sky Diver the Chillblast scored 34,450– but the AlphaBeta machine scored 42,924.

In test games at 1080p and at Ultra quality settings the Chillblast returned frame rates between 47fps and 58fps. That’s high enough to make today’s toughest games smoothly playable at Full HD. It’s also enough pace to play esports games at appropriate triple-figure frame rates on 144Hz screens.

However, the AlphaBeta ran those same tests at frame rates between 70fps and 95fps, so that rig has a clear advantage. We've also compared it to the MSI Trident A (9th), PC Specialist Vulcan S2 and Asus ROG Strix GL10CS for context.

The GTX 1660 Super will just about handle gaming at 1440p, too, but its frame rates here peaked at 41fps. Even if you dial back graphics settings, that resolution is far as this card will go. It’s not really cut out for VR or 4K.

The RTX 2070 Super was significantly better here: at 1440p its frame rates peaked at 69fps and that GPU will even handle some light 4K gaming. And, across all tests, the RTX 2060 Super is around ten frames faster than the GTX 1660 Ti in most games.

The GPU is joined by an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor. It’s a solid chip: it has six multi-threaded cores and runs at base and boost speeds of 3.6GHz and 4.2GHz. The rest of the specification is rounded out by 16GB of 3,200MHz memory, a 500GB Seagate Barracuda 510 SSD and a 1TB hard disk.

It has a 600W non-modular PSU with an 80Plus efficiency rating – a solid option for an entry-level PC, but not a particularly good box.

That compares well to the AlphaBeta PC. That rig’s Intel Core i5 processor has six cores but no multi-threading, and its 16GB of memory is only 2,666MHz. It has a 500GB SSD, but no hard disk.

The AMD processor performed reasonably well. Its Geekbench score of 22,065 is around 500 points beyond the Intel chip inside the AlphaBeta PC. However, its PC Mark 10 result of 5,935 is behind the 6,540 scored by the i5.

The Chillblast’s SSD is impressive: its read and write speeds of 3,450MB/s and 2,519MB/s are several times quicker than the drive in the rival rig.

Chillblast Fusion Sorcerer specs

The Chillblast’s CPU won’t cause gaming bottlenecks, and it’s got enough power to handle day-to-day computing. Its extra multi-threaded abilities mean it’s more adept when handling tougher work, and the faster SSD means the PC is more responsive. Despite that PC Mark 10 result, we prefer the Chillblast for CPU ability.

Everything connects to a Gigabyte B450 Aorus M motherboard. It’s a decent mainstream option: it has two spare memory slots, several free SATA ports and reasonable audio and Gigabit Ethernet chips. At the rear, it’s got six USB 3.1 ports but no Type-C, but there’s no optical S/PDIF.

There are restrictions elsewhere too. There are no snazzy heatsinks, and no second M.2 socket. Pricier boards would have better audio and networking, and there are extra connectors for lighting and fans but no on-board buttons.

And, because it’s a micro-ATX product, it only has one PCI-E x16 slot that runs at 4x speed, which is no good for dual graphics. There is also only one PCI-E x1 socket. The AlphaBeta machine has a similar motherboard, with many of the same limitations – but does have more vacant PCI-E x1 sockets.

Chillblast’s machine is a decent thermal performer. The GPU’s peak temperature of 67°C is good, and the CPU peaked at 95°C during a stress-test – high, but not as toasty as the AlphaBeta. The Chillblast did produce a consistent fan rumble, but it’s not too loud and it’s easy to mask with a headset or speakers.

Price

The Fusion Sorcerer costs £1,049 from Chillblast and includes an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super graphics card, an AMD Ryzen 5 processor and decent components elsewhere - see above.

The Chillblast squares up against the AlphaBeta i5 RTX. That system included a beefier RTX 2070 Super graphics card for £999 – which makes it an extremely affordable route to a top-tier GPU.

The pricier Chillblast may lag behind on graphics power, but it does offer a superb warranty. Chillblast’s standard five-year deal consists of two years of collect, return, parts and labour coverage and three years of labour support.

The AlphaBeta can’t compete here – it has a three-year return-to-base deal with only a year of parts and labour coverage.

Check our best gaming PC chart to see what other options are out there.

Verdict

Chillblast’s rig has good graphics power for 1080p gaming and esports. The AMD CPU is better than Intel equivalents for tougher work, and it’s got a fast SSD and good memory. The motherboard is basic, but fine for mainstream computing. Its sturdy case offers a good amount of room to work, and it looks smart. It’s also not annoyingly loud.

The Chillblast’s biggest problem, though, is the AlphaBeta PC – its CPU is fine, but its RTX 2070 Super is far quicker in games. It’s a little cheaper and arguably better-looking, although it does suffer when it comes to SSD pace, memory speed and warranty coverage if those are important.

The Chillblast is also priced at the same level as many other PCs with the RTX 2060 Super, which is also faster in games if frame rates are what you're looking for.

The Chillblast Fusion Sorcerer is a decent system for mainstream gaming, computing and work, and it does have an excellent warranty – so if you want lots of protection, the extra cost is worth it. However, the high price does mean that you’re not getting the most bang-per-buck when compared to other systems.

Specs

Chillblast Fusion Sorcerer: Specs

  • Processor: 3.6GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB
  • Memory: 16GB 3,200MHz DDR4
  • Storage: 500GB Seagate Barracuda 510 M.2 SSD, 1TB Seagate Barracuda HDD
  • Ports: front: 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x audio - rear: 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2, 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x PS/2, 6 x audio
  • Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet
  • Case: Kolink Observatory
  • Power Supply: Fractal Design Essence 600W
  • Dimensions: 201 x 435 x 435mm (WxDxH)
  • Warranty: 2yr collect-and-return, labour & parts w/ 3yr labour

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