Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC Review

We review the Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC, a PC designed specifically for running Photoshop and other photo editing packages.


|  Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC in Computers, Tablets and PDAs
 Add Comment

Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC

The Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC is designed for optimum performance, particularly for photo editing and processing, with a fast processor, plenty of memory and storage space provided, a performance graphics card, as well as lots of memory card ports.

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC Features

Chillblast Fusion Pc External

There are a number of things that affect the performance of your computer, when running demanding software such as Adobe Photoshop, and the key areas, where you'd want to see money well spent, is on the processor (CPU), the memory (RAM), storage speed (HDD), and also the graphics card (GPU). Recent versions of Photoshop have been able to make the most of graphics cards processing power to speed up processing of images. 

The Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC features a fast 4GHz Intel i6700 i7 quad core, and ours came overclocked to 4.6GHz. Overclocking is designed to run the CPU (or graphics card, memory etc) at a higher speed, without damaging any equipment, thereby getting the best performance possible. Depending on your office temperature, you might want to set this more conservatively, particularly in hot weather. This should be plenty of "horsepower" for Photoshop, as well as Lightroom, and other editing packages. 

The PC has plenty of memory with 16GB of ram, which is also high-speed DDR4 memory, and this should be ample memory for Photoshop and running multiple applications. 

The hard drives used in the computer are 2x 1TB hard drives for fast photo storage (configured in RAID 1 for redundancy, but this means you have 1TB available, and not 2TB). The main operating system is stored on a 128GB SSD drive attached to the motherboard, (the main controller that connects everything in the computer), and this means you get EXTREMELY fast read and write speeds, great for running Windows and loading programs.

The graphics card is a low power, low noise Nvidia GTX 750 Ti with 2GB of ram (by Zotac), with support for Direct X 11 (the latest version of Windows' 3D graphics software), and this should give a boost to Photoshop performance, as well as provide support for high-resolution displays. You could also play the occasional game if you wanted, although hardcore gamers may want something more up to date.

Chillblast Fusion Angled Internals (2)

A number of ports and memory card readers are provided with 2x USB 3.0 ports on the front, 1x USB 2 port, mic, headphone at front, M2, XD, SD/MMC, MicroSD, CF, Sony MS. There is also a blu-ray reader and re-writer, which could be a useful backup option for some. This makes it easy to get photos and video off your camera or memory cards. On the back of the PC are a number of connections, for multiple monitors (2x DVI and 1 HDMI), plus there are multiple USB ports (2x USB 2, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 3.1 including Type C) and audio sockets. The PC comes on its own, with a quick start guide and troubleshooting leaflet, but does not include a keyboard, mouse or monitor.

Key Features

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake CPU, 4 Cores, 4.0 - 4.2GHz
  • Overclocking: Overclock my CPU by up to 20%
  • Case: Corsair Carbide Series 200R Case - Black
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H75 CPU Cooler
  • Thermal Paste: Standard Thermal Paste
  • Motherboard: Asus Z170-A Motherboard
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4 2133MHz Memory (2 x 8GB Sticks)
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750Ti 2GB Graphics Card
  • OS Drive: 128GB Samsung SM951 M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive
  • RAID Volume: 2 x Seagate 1TB 7200RPM Hard Disk
  • Optical Drive: Blu-Ray ReWriter Drive
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX600 80 PLUS Bronze 600W PSU
  • Sound Card: Onboard High Definition Audio
  • Internal Card Reader Drive: Akasa 17 in 1 3.5" USB 3.0 Internal Card Reader
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Warranty: 5 Year Warranty, 2 Years Collect & Return UK only

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC Handling

Chillblast Fusion Pc Side View Internals1

The PC comes shipped in a large box, which is padded well, and this is inside another box. The computer is sent with packing material inside the computer case which you must take out before you can use it. This is there to ensure nothing moves while the computer is in transit. 

Easy to unscrew thumb screws are used so that you can easily get inside the computer to remove this, as well as check that everything is where it's meant to be inside the case. The case is smart looking, with plenty of ventilation and fan positions available, and there is lots of room for expansion. You could install another 2x 3.5inch HDDs or up to 4x 2.5inch SSD drives, as well as another optical drive. There's room to upgrade the memory or add additional cards, which should mean you have a good level of future proofing.

The case is also well made with solid metal construction and smoothed edges, so that if you do decide to upgrade in the future, you'll know your hands should be safe from cuts.

There's also plenty of room for additional fans, if for example you wanted to expand or upgrade the graphics or wanted additional cooling for extra drives. The bottom of the case has a removable fine mesh grill covering the air intake for the power supply, which will make cleaning dust easier.

Noise is reasonable, in that the PC is relatively quiet the majority of the time, and the fans are all intelligently managed so that they only increase in speed when the computer needs additional cooling. Although the level of noise will depend on where you place the computer, and is much more noticeable when it's placed on a desk near you, so using it on the floor or in another position might be better. You can also adjust the fan settings in the BIOS.

Chillblast Fusion Rear Ports

The internal graphics card is disabled by the inclusion of a dedicated graphics card, and the ports that come with the motherboard have been covered with a sticker saying "Socket Disabled". The graphics card has two DVI ports, plus an HDMI port.

Chillblast Fusion Board (1)

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC Performance

The performance section is where we look at the performance of the product. Additional product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

First, we decided to test the hard drive performance, particularly as the Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II features a high-speed SSD drive connected directly to the motherboard. We used CrystalDiskMark x64, which we also use when testing the speed of memory cards.

Hard Drive Speed Performance: 

Crystaldiskmark Main Os Ssd Drive Crystaldiskmark Hdd Drive
Main OS Drive - Samsung SSD Storage Drive - HDD (2x 1TB in RAID)


The introduction of SSDs (Solid State Drives) to the consumer has been one of the biggest improvements made in computers in the last 5 to 10 years, providing extremely fast read and write speeds for storage, loading Windows, and running programs. This has effectively solved one of the biggest remaining bottlenecks in computer speed and is one of the best ways to improve performance of an old(er) PC.

The Fusion Photo OC Lite II has a Samsung SSD drive connected directly to the motherboard. This offers read speeds up to 2044MB/s and write speeds up to 682MB/s (above, left), this is incredibly fast, with a "standard" performance SSD drive offering around 540 / 520MB/s read / write speeds! If you opt for the 256GB version of this, you can get even faster read and write speeds!

The two HDDs are configured in RAID (above, right), giving 1TB of storage rather than 2TB, and give 219MB/s read and 190MB/s write speeds. In comparison, my main PC gives a read speed of 114MB/s read and 103MB/s write with its standard 500GB hard drive. This means the two 1TB drives in RAID are twice as fast as a standard HDD, and the SSD drive is 20x faster than a standard hard drive. If you don't need built-in redundancy and would rather use them as storage, then they could be reconfigured to give 2TB of storage.

Cooling:

The Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II comes pre-overclocked, and ours was running at 4.6GHz. We tested the PC on one of the hottest days in summer where the temperature outside got up to 30/31C, we ran the system stability test in AIDA64 - and initally were a little worried about the temperature of the processor, with Core Temp showing up to 96/98C for some of the cores. This caused the CPU to throttle it's speed due to detecting overheating (Intel CPUs are designed to work this way). Our standard office PC in comparison reached a max of 71C, with a stock Intel cooler. On days like this, when it's very hot, it might be worth setting the CPU speed to a more conservative overclock, of 4.4 or 4.5GHz. On normal days, the PC cooling performed perfectly well, with the liquid cooling Corsair Hydro H75 CPU Cooler performing well, and it's unlikely that you'll see these types of temperature under normal use, or under normal weather conditions. 

Chillblast Fusion Angled Internals (1)

Memory

The PC comes with 2 sticks of high-speed DDR4 memory running as a matched pair. We tested the speed of the memory and got a memory read speed of 31,169MB/s when testing with AIDA64. This is very fast, and quicker than the office PC, which was running DDR3 memory, at a read speed of 19,280MB/s.

Graphics and Photoshop

Photoshop can also make use of hardware acceleration of the graphics card, and in the options it was possible to switch all of the hardware acceleration settings on. The options included "Use Graphics Processor to Accelerate Computation", "Use OpenCL", "Anti-alias Guides and Paths", and "30-bit display". 

When loading Photoshop on the Fusion Photo OC Lite II, the program was ready to use in just 3.2 seconds, compared to 7.4 seconds on my PC with a standard hard drive. We were also able to deal with incredibly large image files, and I tested resizing a 12,000x12,000 pixel image to 24,000x24,000 pixels (resulting in a 1.6GB image file), whereas my PC with 8GB of ram simply crashed when I asked it to do the same. 

PC Performance Summary:

  • Memory read speed 31169MB/s (AIDA64) DDR4 
  • Graphics performance: 5950 3DMark 11 score
  • Disk (SSD) performance: 2044MB/s read, 682MB/s write
  • Disk (HDD) performance: 219MB/s read, 190MB/s write

Using CrystalDiskMark, AIDA64, and 3D Mark 11, you can compare your PC to the Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II to see how it performs in comparison to these figures. The software is available for free download, and we tested with the PC pre-overclocked to 4.6GHz.

 

Value For Money

The Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC is available for £1299 including VAT and comes with an impressive 5-year warranty, as well as the option to customise the components used in the PC on the Chillblast website.

We looked for comparable PCs from other suppliers, such as Scan, and found the closest was a "3XS Video HD Plus" PC priced at £1337 inc VAT, although this includes a slower 256GB SSD drive, a slower 1x 2TB hard drive, a DVD rewriter, a higher specification 4GB GTX 960 graphics card and a 3-year warranty.

We tried to find other suppliers of dedicated photo editing PCs, but most high-end PCs were aimed at gaming.

 

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC Verdict

The Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC delivers excellent performance and is a high-quality PC, that is well put together. The components chosen give excellent performance and will show a noticeable improvement over a standard PC, or one from a few years ago. Customisation options let you upgrade or choose different options for example, if you wanted to change the 128GB SSD for a 256GB SSD drive but the customisation options offer few lower specification choices for example, if you wanted to choose a lower specification HDD setup. 

If you have an older PC that's getting a bit long in the tooth and want to buy a PC that is extremely fast, as well as being suitable for the future, with a long warranty, then the Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC is an excellent choice. We just wish we didn't have to send it back!

 

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC Pros

  • Astonishingly fast SSD drive
  • Quick HDD speeds thanks to RAID configuration
  • Fast processor
  • Lots of memory 
  • Good graphics card
  • Quick start guide included
  • Plenty of expansion options
  • Good connectivity at the front of the PC
  • Blu-ray writer included
  • Can be customised

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite II Photo Editing PC Cons

  • A little bit louder than a standard office PC
  • Pre-overclocked may be too hot for heatwaves
  • Large case may be overkill for some 

Features5/5
Handling4.5/5
Performance5/5
Value4/5
Overall Verdict

 

Support this site by shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, Save 10% with Eversure Insurance.
*It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Other articles you might find interesting...

The Latest Wacom Intuos Tablets Are Now Android Compatible
Wacom Launches New MobileStudio Pro 16 Tablet
Wacom Intuos Pro Small Is A Creative Pen & Touch Tablet For...
Samsung Announce Highest Performing EVO SSDs

Comments


Niknut Plus
9 2.3k 80 United Kingdom
3 Aug 2016 4:40PM
Ooooooo....I shall dream about this tonight ?????.GrinGrin.......impressive stuff !!!.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Just Jas 17 26.3k 1 England
4 Aug 2016 2:03AM
Could the overclocking be easily lowered in the BIOS? My office runs hot!
joshwa Plus
9 905 United Kingdom
4 Aug 2016 8:17AM

Quote:Could the overclocking be easily lowered in the BIOS? My office runs hot!


Yes, it was fairly straightforward.
Just Jas 17 26.3k 1 England
4 Aug 2016 9:58AM
Thank you, Josh.

jas
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4043 Canada
6 Aug 2016 11:50PM
Cant wait to have cooler images

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.