Chillblast Fusion Master Skylake Gaming PC Review

by - 4 years ago

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Introduction


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Chillblast is one of the most prestigious custom-PC builders in the industry and offers peace-of-mind with an unparalleled 5-year warranty. This impeccable customer service and sensible component selection makes each system a worthwhile investment and reassures the less technically-minded customer. In the past, we’ve reviewed a number of intriguing designs including the cube-sized Fusion Nano 960 and value-orientated, Fusion Barbarian. Today, we are looking at the company’s top-tier Skylake system which features the mod-friendly, Cooler Master MasterCase 5 chassis.

The Fusion Master Skylake incorporates an i7 6700K overclocked to 4.6GHz, 16GB Corsair 3000MHz DDR4 RAM, GTX 980 graphics card, 512GB Samsung M.2 PCIe SSD and the highly-rated Cooler Master V750 power supply. Additionally, the CPU’s manual overclock is tamed by a Nepton 240M all-in-one water cooling unit which dissipates in an efficient manner. Chillblast also opted for a 2TB SSHD data storage drive which combines the affordability and some speed benefits from a traditional SSD. I’m also pleased to see the Asus Z170 PRO motherboard which provides exceptional voltage control, and overclocking headroom without costing too much. In total, the Chillblast Fusion Master Skylake is a well-rounded, high-end gaming system and perfect for UHD resolutions.

Specifications

  • Name: Chillblast Fusion Master Skylake Gaming PC
  • Case: Cooler Master MasterCase 5 Gaming Case
  • Motherboard: Asus Z170 PRO GAMING Motherboard
  • Processor – Intel Core i7 6700K Overclocked to 4.6GHz
  • Processor Cooler: Cooler Master Nepton 240M CPU Cooler
  • System Memory: 16GB Corsair (2×8) 3000MHz DDR4
  • Main Boot Drive: 512GB Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Seagate 2000GB SSHD Hybrid Drive
  • Graphics card: Zotac NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Graphics Card
  • Power Supply: Cooler Master V750 750W PSU
  • Peripherals: Not Included
  • Monitor: Not Included
  • Optical Drive: None
  • Wireless: None
  • OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Warranty: 5 Years including 2 Years Collect and Return in the UK
  • Price: £1699

Packaging and Accessories

The system is bundled in a humongous outer box containing thick brown paper which surrounds the chassis’ main packaging. This keeps the inner box perfectly in position and prevents the system from moving around during transit. I have to applaud Chillblast for going the extra mile here as they could have just used the case packaging to cut costs. Thankfully, their attentive and professional approach means cosmetic or mechanical damage should be virtually eliminated.

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On the side, there are two large stickers indicating the fragile nature of this system and directions for the courier. With such a massive parcel, these small touches help to prevent any major accidents and demonstrate the company’s careful planning.

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The MasterCase 5 is supported by two extremely durable polystyrene blocks which feel remarkably strong and quite difficult to tear. Each side is labelled front and rear, which makes it surprisingly easy to reassemble the case in its original packaging. Unfortunately, there was a slight rip to the top cover but this didn’t result in scratches or small mishaps.

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Once the case has been removed, the user is greeted with a precautionary message from Chillblast. This is just a simple safety procedure as a foam insert surrounds the main components to stop any cables or fittings becoming misaligned. I’m a huge advocate of using these internal foam supports as they often ensure the system arrives safely. Rather interestingly, the foam piece must have received a small degree of impact, as the taped section had come undone and started to peel away. As a result, this emphasizes how vital it is to use these foam sections when sending out an expensive, and heavy system.

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The accessories are included in a plain, cardboard box and divided into sections using polythene bags. There is also a wonderful troubleshooting guide which provides a checklist in-case the system has difficulty booting. Chillblast decided to use close-up colour images to help diagnose any malfunctions and make the user more confident when fixing system problems. Chillblast JW 5

In terms of accessories, there is a UK power cable, driver discs, component manuals, SLI bridge, additional power connectors, cable-ties, and a host whole of other fittings. I’m overjoyed when custom PC companies bundle all the retail accessories together and presume you might need these extras in the future when upgrading the internal components. Thankfully, Chillblast provides everything you need to change the stock setup.

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CPU-Z

CPU-Z Chillblast Skylake

GPU-Z

GPU-Z Chillblast Skylake

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A Closer Look


The case’s top section features two reinforced handles, and 140mm fan mounting options. Additionally, the top cover utilizes a honeycomb structure to help improve the system’s airflow. As a you can see, Chillblast has installed a single fan in the roof and only slightly altered the default cooling configuration.Chillblast JW 7

Moving onto the rear, we can see the radiator fan, IO shield, power supply and PCI expansion slots. Notice how durable and thick the power supply fixing screws are which adds a sense of premium build quality compared to other systems. On another note, the IO shield is perfectly flush without any indents which would have pinpointed to poor workmanship. Another benefit from the MasterCase 5 is the generous supply of ventilation holes to transfer heat in a more efficient manner.Chillblast JW 1The bottom side has two reinforced metal feet and large rubber pads which keeps the case firmly in position even if you apply sudden pressure on a desk. Also, there is a removable dust filter which clips into place and protects the power supply from an unwanted dust build-up. In theory, this should prolong the PSUs lifespan and make cleaning a very quick and simple process.

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The front opts for a mesh panel and accommodates up to three 140mm fans. By default, Cooler Master only includes a single front fan, but Chillblast has upgraded this to two 120mm fans which help cool the Nepton 240L’s radiator. From an aesthetic standpoint, the front portion looks professional and I’m quite fond of the understated Chillblast logo near the bottom.

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The front IO includes two USB 3.0 ports, a tiny reset switch, microphone/headphone ports, activity indicator and power button. This is a well thought out arrangement as the reset button requires some effort to press and a significant distance from the main power switch. My only complaint is the black plastic accumulates dust rather rapidly.

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Here we can see the fully-assembled system which adopts a predominately black colour scheme and the large selection of Cooler Master products add a sense of synergy throughout the entire build. Chillblast engineered a clean and classy design which looks the part without being too ostentatious.

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The Cooler Master pump, stealth black RAM, and corrugated tubing works rather well and compliments the black theme. Also, the 24-pin connector and 8-pin EPS connect via tight cable runs and becomes fairly difficult to spot even in an open-case environment. Chillblast fitted the pump without over-tightening the screws and routed the CPU power cable in a logical way.

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To inject a bit of colour into the build, Chillblast selected the aftermarket Zotac GTX 980. This is a fairly large card due to the 3-fan design but remains remarkably quiet and looks phenomenal. I’m a huge fan of the orange blades and sturdy metal backplate. Another benefit is all Zotac GPUs come with a 5-year warranty compared to the industry standard which usually hovers between 2-3.

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The M.2 Samsung SSD might be small in stature but provides stonking read and write speeds while connecting to the motherboard’s on-board slot. This means, there are less SATA cables and the rubber grommets aren’t as cluttered. On another note, the motherboard’s unique styling on the heatsink adds some flair and emphasizes the gaming-features throughout this system.

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Chillblast installed the Nepton 240M in a perfectly flush finish and ensured the tubing didn’t have any kinks or uneven runs to the pump. As a result, the water-cooling setup really improves the overall look of the system. While I would prefer the closed-loop-cooler in the roof, this wasn’t possible due to the case’s technical limitations.

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Moving onto the 2TB Seagate SSHD which slides into place and didn’t appear to unevenly distribute the weight to one side. However, when the system arrived, the mounting screw was slightly bent to the right and I had to reattached the fitting. In my opinion, this probably occurred during delivery instead of an engineer fitting the screw at the wrong angle.

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Here we can see the GPU cable management which utilizes a zip-tie. The finish looks pretty good and stops the PCIe cables from moving around. Although, the trailing connector is fairly irksome and I wish this had been obscured in one way or another.

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The SATA data and power cables fit neatly into the hard drive tray and provides ample room for cable management. Furthermore, the SATA power cable feeds upwards alongside the 24-pin connector and held together with numerous zip-ties. The final result is impressive makes it easy to shut the side-panel door.

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The power supply cabling is impressive when you consider its semi-modular design which can make routing a little awkward.

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A wider shot of the entire system shows how the case’s integrated Velcro clips and zip-ties have allowed for a splendid finish. The CPU cut-out remains virtually untouched and there’s loads of room around the back to feed cables, and expand on the default setup.

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The USB 3.0 connector, and power cabling are tightly packed together and easily slot through the chassis’ rubber grommets. Of course, a modular PSU could make for easier cable runs, but Chillblast has done a wonderful job given the hardware selection. Even the spare connectors are perfectly hidden and not protruding from outside the case.

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An extreme close-up demonstrates how tight the cabling is and the thoughtful planning required to create such a clean build.

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Testing & Methodology


To test each system or notebook, we want to stress every component of the system to check stability and performance, giving us an idea as to why those particular components were picked for this particular system. We use a wide variety of applications to gain a broad spectrum of results for comparing diverse aspects of system performance.

Unless specifically stated, all games are running at maximum settings but any vendor-exclusive features such as TressFX or PhsyX have been disabled to make the results fair. There are some titles where the maximum preset can be altered further in regards to AA, AF, Tessellation, and Draw Distance. To allow our readers to make the most informed decision, any additional options will be clearly labelled in this section.

Hardware

  • Acoustic dBA meter
  • AC “Killawatt” power meter

Software

  • 3DMark
  • AIDA64 Engineer
  • Cinebench R15
  • CrystalDiskMark
  • CPU-Z
  • GPU-Z
  • HW-Monitor
  • MSI Afterburner
  • OCCT
  • Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0
  • PCMark 8
  • Prime95
  • Super PI
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Metro Last Light
  • Tomb Raider
  • Bioshock Infinite

PC Mark 8

The PCMark 8 Home benchmark includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user. These workloads have low computational requirements making PCMark 8 Home suitable for testing the performance of low-cost tablets, notebooks, and desktops. Home includes workloads for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The results are combined to give a PCMark 8 Home score for your system. Download here.

3D Mark

The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. Download here.

Unigine Heaven

Heaven Benchmark with its current version 4.0 is a GPU-intensive benchmark that hammers graphics cards to the limits. This powerful tool can be effectively used to determine the stability of a GPU under extremely stressful conditions, as well as check the cooling system’s potential under maximum heat output. It provides completely unbiased results and generates true in-game rendering workloads across all platforms, such as Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Download here.

Grand Theft Auto V

Our GTA5 Benchmark is run on the standard benchmark with MSAA=Off, FXAA=On, Very High Preset, Advanced Graphics Disabled and the settings detailed below:

Normal

Metro Last Light

Metro: Last Light (formerly Metro 2034) is a first-person shooter and horror video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was released in May 2013. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features a mixture of action-oriented and stealth gameplay. Metro: Last Light features technology which boasts new lighting effects and improved physics claimed to set a new graphical benchmark on the PC and consoles.

Very High Preset, AF=16x,  Tessellation=Very High, SSAA=Off, PhysX=Off

Tomb Raider

In Tomb Raider, the player is confronted with a much younger Lara Croft who is shipwrecked and finds herself stranded on a mysterious island rife with danger, both natural and human. Tomb Raider is a demanding game offering up ultra quality textures, full DirectX 11 support, SSAA, FXAA, MSAA and AMD TressFX technology.

Bioshock

BioShock Infinite is the third and last game in the BioShock series. It is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games. BioShock Infinite supports dynamic shadows, post-processing, light shafts, ambient occlusion, object level of detail, Diffusion Depth of Detail, FOV adjustment controls and other advanced DirectX 11 features.

Cinebench R15

Cinebench is a widely respected benchmark for testing the performance of x86 CPUs. The program allows you to test single and multi-threaded performance as well as GPU performance by rendering with Open GL. Download here.

Super Pi

Super PI is a single threaded benchmark that calculates pi to a specific number of digits. Super PI is a single threaded benchmark ideal for testing pure, single threaded x87 floating point performance and while most of the computing market has shifted towards multithreaded applications and more modern instruction sets, Super PI still remains quite indicative of CPU capability in specific applications such as computer gaming. Download here.

AIDA64 Engineer Edition

AIDA64 Engineer is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for engineers. It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives. AIDA64 is compatible with all current 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Memory and cache benchmarks are available to analyze system RAM bandwidth and latency. Download here.

CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark is a portable storage drive benchmark utility that enables you to measure sequential and random read/write speeds on different block size data. CrystalDiskMark will work with any storage drives including hard drives, SSDs and USB flash drives. Download here.

Passmark

The PassMark Advanced Network Test (which is part of PerformanceTest) is designed to test the data transfer rate between two computers both of which must be running PerformanceTest. One of the computers must act as the server and will sit waiting for a connection. The other computer acts as a client. It connects to the server machine and sends data to it for the duration of the test. You can download a trial version of PerformanceTest from here.

Acoustic Performance

The amount of noise produced by any computer is a vital consideration for most buyers, even gamers don’t really want a noisy PC because less noise is always better. We use an acoustic dBA meter held 2 feet behind our test system at idle and under load to get the idle and load noise levels for the system. For idle we allow the system to sit at the Windows desktop, for load we let Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Prime95 to loop together – we take the acoustic measurements 5 minutes into both of these scenarios.

Power Consumption

To test power consumption we measure the total system power draw during idle and load scenarios. For idle we allow the system to sit at the Windows desktop, for load we let Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Prime95 to loop together – we take the power measurements from the “Killawatt” AC power meter 5 minutes into both of these scenarios at the same point.

Temperatures

To test thermal performance we measure average CPU and GPU core temperatures during idle and load scenarios. For idle we allow the system to sit at the Windows desktop, for load we let Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Prime95 to loop together – we take the temperature measurements from within CPUID HWMonitor 5 minutes into both of these scenarios at the same point. For load we take the average of the maximum temperatures, for idle we take the average of the minimum temperatures.

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Synthetic Benchmarks


PC Mark 8

pcmark8-logoThe Fusion Master Skylake’s performance in PC Mark 8 is excellent and shows how easily the system can cope with basic, daily tasks. While it comes in 3rd place, it’s impossible to tell the difference without using a synthetic benchmark. Rest assured, the i7 6700K and GTX 980 is a potent combination and provides an elite level of performance in any benchmark.

pc mark 8 chillblast fusion master skylake3DMark

3dmark13

In terms of graphical prowess, the Fusion Master Skylake exceeds the other GTX 980-powered systems we’ve reviewed and compares admirably to the higher end NVIDIA graphics cards. The 980Ti offers a significant boost in theoretical performance but incurs a £100-150 price premium.

3d mark chillblast fusion skylake wooUnigine Heaven

heaven

A similar pattern applies throughout the testing in Heaven 4.0 as the 980Ti and Titan X take a substantial lead. However, that’s not to say the raw numbers are disappointing and expected given the GTX 980’s capabilities. For the average gamer, scores in synthetic benchmarks won’t be a cause for concern.

Heaven chillblast fusion skylake

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Gaming Performance


Grand Theft Auto 5

gta5

Grand Theft Auto V is a visual masterpiece and requires a top-end GPU at QHD resolutions despite its fairly good level of optimization. The Fusion Master Skylake attained above 60fps at 1440p and almost reached 110fps with a 1920×1080 panel. This makes the game fluid, and a complete joy to play.

GTA V chillblast fusion skylake

Metro Last Light

MetroLastLightgpureviews

Metro Last Light is a benchmarkers dream and unbelievably demanding even at lower resolutions. Subsequently, it’s a good indication of raw graphical performance and provides a worst-case scenario. The Fusion Master Skylake once again surpassed 60fps at 1440p and was just shy of 100fps on the mainstream 1920×1080 resolution. Intriguingly, it’s not too far off the 980Ti or Titan X throughout our extensive tasting period. This means, the system reaches an excellent power to performance ratio in some of the most demanding titles out there.

chillblast metro fusion skylake

Tomb Raider

tombraider

While Tomb Raider is aging slightly, the PC version can only be described as breathtaking. With all the settings turned up to maximum barring TressFX, the Fusion Master Skylake never dropped under 60fps and provided enough power to please even the most demanding of users. Although, there does seem to be a huge gap between the GTX 980 and higher-end cards in this particular game. Despite this, it’s difficult to complain when reaching over 70fps at 2560×1440.

chillblast metro fusion tr

Bioshock Infinite

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The results in Bioshock Infinite are somewhat bizarre as the Fusion Master Skylake reaches the top spot during 1440p testing. In reality, I would look at the 1920×1080 figures instead which appear to be a more accurate reflection of expected performance. Perhaps, Bioshock Infinite received a performance patch, or it’s not really utilizing the 980Ti and Titan X’s extra power at 2560×1440. Whatever the case, the Fusion Master Skylake encounters zero problems running the game on the Ultra DOF preset.

chillblast mf skylake bioshock

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CPU & Memory Performance


Cinebench R15

Rather surprisingly, the lower clocked PC Specialist Azure achieved higher CPU and OpenGL scores. I’m not entirely what the root cause of this is, but it’s not a huge margin and enough to become overly concerned about. As you can see from the figures below, the i7 6700K in this particular review system surpasses other lower-end products but falls behind enthusiast X99 CPUs. This is expected though in such a multi-threaded benchmark.

CB CINE SKYLAKE
Super Pi

Super Pi judges a system’s single-threaded performance and the Fusion Master Skylake achieved a very respectful time of 06:58. Once again, this is behind the PC Specialist Azure despite utilizing the same chipset and higher frequency. To reiterate, this shouldn’t detract from the system’s superb single-threaded results and emphasizes how powerful the Skylake architecture is.

chillblast metro fusion superpi

AIDA64 Engineer

In terms of memory bandwidth, the Fusion Master Skylake features better copy speeds than the PC Specialist Azure but has slightly worse read/write rates. The difference is fairly negligible and doesn’t impact on real world performance. Nevertheless, the memory performance is pretty decent and helped by ultra-fast DDR4 speeds.

CB MS AIDA64

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Storage and USB Performance


CrystalDiskMark – Sequential Read

The Samsung M.2 PCIe SSD features an unbelievable read rate which almost surpasses the Boston’s Intel enterprise-grade drive. This level of performance without breaking the bank is simply magical and definitely an eye-opener. Although, you won’t notice any major reductions in gaming load times compared to a traditional SSD.

Chillblast revised chart SRR

CrystalDiskMark – Sequential Write

I have to admit the SSD’s sequential write speeds put a smile on my face and I was enthralled by the absurdly high result. To clarify, the Fusion Master Skylake is over 500 MB/s faster despite being around half the price of the Boston system. Obviously, this is only one component, but it’s still impressive nonetheless.

Chillblast revised chart CRW

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Networking Performance


Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0

passmark8

Ethernet (LAN)

The Asus Z170 PRO motherboard opts for an Intel I219V Gigabit Ethernet which provides solid network performance within a narrow field. This means network traffic should be fairly constant and operate at a predictable average speed.

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Acoustic, Power & Thermal Performance


Acoustic Performance

Chillblast’s engineers have kept the idle noise to a bare minimum and produces an absolutely wonderful desktop experience. Unfortunately, the fans really ramp up during extreme loads and hit an average of 51.2 decibels. This is too loud for my tastes and I would even tune-in the overclock with a reduce fan profile or add more fans at lower RPM values. The fans are PWM controlled, so this is fairly easy to do.

CB MS NOISE SKYLAKE

Power Consumption

As you might expect, the Fusion Master Skylakes 4.6GHz overclock increases the power consumption to 412.3 watts. However, for a top-end gaming system this isn’t a huge amount and testing is conducted under the most overkill of scenarios. Therefore, typical power consumption in games should be reduced.

cb ms fusion skylake tdp

Thermal Performance

The system’s 4.6GHz overclock has a notable impact on load temperatures but it’s still well within the Skylake thermal limits. Additionally, I love how cool the CPU runs at idle and demonstrates the power efficiency of the i7 6700K. At first glance, the temperatures do look mediocre compared to other systems but this is one of the highest pre-overclocks we’ve seen. On another note, the GPU temperatures are fantastic and didn’t even exceed 65c in demanding graphical benchmarks. As silly as it sounds, the Zotac 980 is only a few degrees hotter than the fairly weak R9 270X.

CB MS SKYLAKE TEMPS

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Final Thoughts


Pricing 

The Fusion Master Skylake is directly available from Chillblast for £1699. This includes a comprehensive 5-year warranty and superb lifetime after-sales service. Any elite-grade gaming PC incurs an initially high price tag but it’s important to do a component rundown and see how cheaply you could build this exact specification. Currently, it’s an arduous task to acquire the Intel i7 6700K under £300, and the GTX 980 still retails for around the £375-420 mark. Then add in a Skylake motherboard (£100), 750 watt 80+ gold V750 power supply, (£89.99), 16GB DDR4 3000MHz RAM (£118), MasterCase chassis (£90), 512GB M.2 SSD (£230), and Nepton 240M (£80). These alone equate to £1408, and I haven’t even added the 2TB SSHD, and copy of Windows 10.

At a rough guess, you could build this system for around £1500. Therefore, this makes the £1699 price seem pretty reasonable due to the extended warranty, professional cable management and sourcing the parts without any issues.

Overview

Prior to receiving the review system, I had exceedingly high expectations due to the impeccable build quality from the company’s lower-end configurations. Even though the bar was set very high, the Fusion Master Skylake didn’t disappoint and achieved this without incurring a huge price hike compared to buying each individual component. The Cooler Master MasterCase 5 chassis is durable, stylish and evokes a professional feel. Additionally, the Velcro cable-ties and rubber grommets makes it ridiculously easy to construct a tidy system. Annoyingly, there isn’t a side-panel window which would have properly shown off the colour-coordinated components and adept workmanship. Despite this, the MasterCase 5 is capable of good airflow in a relatively compact form-factor.

Intel’s latest mainstream socket revolves around power efficiency whilst offering enough overclocking headroom to achieve a substantial performance boost. Chillblast pre-overclocked the i7 6700K to 4.6GHz which is a fairly hefty increase from stock values and ensured the temperatures remained well within the thermal threshold. In theory, the frequency could have been slightly faster at around 4.8GHz, but the performance benefits would be minimal and it’s unknown what kind of maximum load temps could appear in hot climates. In basic terms, Chillblast manually applied a sensible voltage of 1.488v and found a good balance between core frequency and temperatures.

On another note, the Nepton 240L did an admirable job of taming the i7 6700K but the radiator fans high-RPM values under load can be fairly irritating. Personally, I felt the fan curve was far too dramatic and lacked progression. This didn’t seem as apparent in games which required less CPU horsepower than intensive benchmarking applications. Nevertheless, it could be quieter but this applies to virtually every closed-looped-cooler on the market.

I also have to commend Chillblast for selecting the Asus Z170 PRO motherboard given its affordable nature, gaming-centric features and fantastic power delivery. This means it’s possible to manually overclock and reach the same results as a motherboard costing twice the price. Also, it’s sensible to suggest that the majority of customers opting for a pre-configured PC aren’t comfortable with the overclocking process. As a result, the Asus Z170 PRO is the perfect choice to maintain system stability and keep the final pricing down.

In terms of gaming benchmarks, the Fusion Master Skylake destroys any modern game at 1920×1080 and consistently reaches above the magical 60fps mark at 1440p. The GTX 980 is fairly powerful but for around £120 extra, the 980Ti would exponentially enhance the gaming experience. In all honesty, I would pay the extra but this is down to the individual user. For the majority of gamers, the GTX 980’s performance is mind-blowing and should have a fairly long shelf-life. Of course, Pascal is coming next year, but I can’t see the GTX 980 struggling in major titles for around 3-4 years.

The system’s cable management isn’t the best I’ve seen, but it’s pretty close to being flawless. Chillblast made the task more difficult by using the semi-modular version of the Cooler Master V750. Given this fact, I’m surprised how tidy the cabling is and admire the approach to logically plan each cable’s position. Throughout the build, there are zip-ties, Velcro flaps and cables tightly packed together. This ensures the cables have a short-run and look pretty.

Undoubtedly, the Samsung M.2 SSD results were phenomenal and featured some of the highest read/write speeds we’ve seen. While this doesn’t make a huge impact in games, it’s always pleasing to see raw numbers which easily surpass traditional SSDs. PCIe SSDs do cost a lot more than their SATA counterparts but contain a much greater theoretical speed and the stonking performance could be utilized by game engines in the future to decrease texture pop-in or loading times. Furthermore, the 512GB capacity is large enough to store the OS, a large quantity of games and demanding programs. Therefore, you can just store all the basic user data on the 2TB SSHD and keep the main drive running very fast with enough free space.

To conclude, the Chillblast Master Skylake offers a magnificent gaming experience but this could be improved with a small upgrade to the GTX 980Ti. Also, the SSD performance, CPU overclock and cable management is excellent and this all comes at a price-point which isn’t too far off buying each component yourself. Another factor to take into consideration is the wonderful 5 year warranty which you would expect at this price range. However, please note that Chillblast can only collect your item for free for a 2-year period. After that, you will have to ship the item to them. That could be a rather costly exercise but I presume Chillblast will communicate with you and determine which component is causing system stability issues. In reality, you shouldn’t run into problems, but it’s always important to have your investment backed by a generous warranty.

Pros

  • Amazing read/write SSD performance
  • Breezes through modern games at 1920×1080 and 2560×1440
  • Component selection is well-thought out and doesn’t waste money on superficial features
  • Great colour coordination
  • Excellent GPU load temperatures
  • Professional and supremely tidy cable management
  • Reliable 4.6GHz overclock
  • Superb packaging
  • Whisper quiet at idle states
  • Wonderful 5 year warranty

Cons

  • Case thumbscrews are a bit fiddly
  • No side-panel window
  • Quite loud during stress tests

“The Chillblast Fusion Master Skylake is a stunning Gaming PC and able to cope with graphically demanding games at high resolutions without breaking the bank.”

Editors-ChoiceChillblast Fusion Master Skylake Gaming PC Review

Thank you Chillblast for providing us with this sample.

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. A Closer Look
  3. Testing & Methodology
  4. Synthetic Benchmarks
  5. Gaming Peformance
  6. CPU & Memory Performance
  7. Storage and USB Performance
  8. Networking Performance
  9. Acoustic, Power & Thermal Performance
  10. Final Thoughts
  11. View All

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