This is an excellent PC and good value for money, but possibly a little pricey for a family system unless you needed this speed and gaming capability. In addition to its best-in-class performance, it offers stand-out features such as Wi-Fi, an IPS display and a Blu-ray drive for HD films
Fastest overall for both graphics and general-purpose computing, Chillblast’s Fusion Pharaoh is the only PC in the group to feature one of Intel’s latest Haswell 2014-refresh processors, the Core i5-4690. See also: What’s the best family PC?
As such this PC has a slight advantage in the benchmarks. This processor is available at no extra cost over the price of the Core i5-4670, and clocks in 100 MHz faster, to 3.5 GHz. By the time you’re reading this, you can expect other vendors to have started using the new chips too, closing any small performance gap. See all PC reviews.
This quad-core processor is paired with an AMD Radeon R7 265 graphics card, which in this PC allows the highest gaming frame rates of the whole group – if you need that sort of thing.
So it’s fast, but speed alone does not a great family PC make. Thankfully, Chillblast has selected a high-quality 23in IPS monitor from Asus and included a Blu-ray drive; this is surprisingly the only PC in the group to provide Blu-ray playback.
The Zalman Z3 Plus system case is aimed gamers who like transparent peek-a-boo side panels and blue illuminated front fans. You may like to forgive these unnecessary vulgarities since it’s also rather well made and feels more solid and more expensive than alternative offerings from Yoyotech and Arbico. Unlike those cheap cases, it includes a convenient front-facing USB 3.0 port.
Inside, you get 16 GB of memory a 120GB Samsung 840 SSD for faster boot times and decent system responsiveness, along with a 1 TB hard disk for bulk storage.
To cut down on ugly wires, a Logitech MK270 wireless keyboard and mouse is provided along with a USB Wi-Fi adaptor. You also get the peace of mind of a 2-year collect-and-return warranty. Then there’s another three years for labour only.
Chillblast Fusion Pharaoh: Specs
- 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-4690 (4 cores / 4 threads)
- Standard Intel Cooler
- 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
- 1TB Seagate Barracuda HDD, 120GB Samsung 840 SSD
- FSP 500watt PSU Asus B85M-G motherboard
- 3 x USB 3.0, 6 x USB 2.0
- 23in Asus VS239HV IPS 1920×1080, IPS, HDMI, VGA, DVI-D
- AMD Radeon R7 265, 2GB RAM
- Gigabit ethernet, 802.11n
- Line out, HDMI audio
- Line in, HDMI audio
- 2 x DVI, 2 x HDMI, 1 x DP, 1 x VGA
- PS/2 keyboard and mouse
- Zalman Z3 Plus case
- Logitech MK270 (wireless combo) mouse and keyboard
- LiteOn BD-ROM/DVDRW
- Windows 8.1
- lifetime phone support
- 5 years labour, 2 years collect and return warranty