Over many years now, Chillblast has earned itself a reputation for delivering devastating powerhouses that charge to the top of our charts. Little surprise, then, to see that the Fusion Patriot, a showcase for all that is bleeding-edge, casts much of the competition into the shade. It all starts from that simmering memory/processor base – 16GB of Corsair Vengeance memory is specified alongside an Intel Core i7 4770K CPU. The latter had been pushed up to 4.5GHz in our test system, giving it even more clout. The resulting PC Mark 7 score of 7093 is quite tremendous. Very few systems can get even up to the 7000 mark – although it is notable that Chillblast has itself passed this mark before, with the humble i5-4670K of the Fusion Uzi. (See all Gaming PC reviews)
Overall PC performance, then, is very strong, and the Patriot will make smooth work of the 64bit Windows 8.1 operating system. The best is yet to come, though, and it’s the 4GB XFX AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card that lays down the most searing critique of the Fusion’s competition. The 290X isn’t, in fact, the most consistent graphics card the PC world has ever witnessed, and getting the very best out of this product may have to wait a little longer. In the meantime, though, the Chillblast slays its rivals with ease. The scores of 183fps and 113.7fps in Alien vs Predator, for instance, are a long way adrift of the Mesh Elite Gamer’s figures of 121fps and 65fps. In Sniper Elite V2, the Patriot stops just short of the 300fps mark at the lowest detail settings. Quite a few of its competitors get close to it, suggesting that 300fps is about the maximum possible for this game. However, as the detail settings are bolted on, the Patriot holds pretty firm at 253fps, while much of the opposition collapses to under 150fps. Even at the highest settings, this PC commands 51fps – the opposition, in contrast, gets stalled in the late 30s. As gaming systems go, this Chillblast is quite immense. (See also Group test: What’s the best gaming PC?)
The Patriot doesn’t let the quality fade there. The Samsung 840 EVO packs in 250GB of sizzling solid-state storage, giving the Chillblast the perfect start as it fires itself up. Not that capacity has been sacrificed, as the 7200rpm Seagate Barracuda hard drive supplies a further 2TB of storage. The Pioneer BDC-207DBK offers very pleasing 8x Blu-Ray playback, besides fast DVD burning. All of this is packed into the Corsair Obsidian 750d Full Tower case, a finely rendered slab of brushed aluminium that stares implacably at you from across the computer desk. The interior is nicely laid out, with a fair amount of room, and easy access to components. The H100i cooler does an excellent job of keeping that power processor under control, while the RM850 PSU completes the trio of first-class Corsair products, its 850 watts giving the PC more than enough slack. Given the firepower on board, it’s inevitable that this PC is far from quiet, while the power output squeaks up towards 400 watts under load. This is by no means extortionate, given the graphics card, but this PC is light neither on sound nor electricity.