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.
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.
- 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
- 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.”
Thank you Chillblast for providing us with this sample.