Chillblast – Atlantis Fusion Crossfire review

the fastest PC we've ever reviewed
Photo of Chillblast – Atlantis Fusion Crossfire
£3,524.99

So there you are, sitting around with three and a half grand in your back pocket, and you want a fast PC. Not just any old fast PC, mind you, but a scorching, frame-busting, games machine. Who do you turn to? Well, if you head over to Chillblast it will relieve you of that wad of cash and replace it with the Atlantis Fusion CrossFire, the fastest system we have seen to date.

For that price you might expect an all-dancing, funky case, but not a bit of it. Instead the system is built into a plain-looking, but modified, Lian Li aluminium tower case. Plain it might be, but Lian Li makes some of the best built and well featured cases around.

So where does that eye-watering price tag come from? Well, for a start, at the heart of the Atlantis Fusion sits an AMD FX60 processor (that’s over £700 to you and me). But this is no ordinary FX60. Oh no: this is a hand-picked, overclocked, water-cooled FX60 clocked at 2.9GHz, which is some 300MHz faster than standard. Not only that, but Chillblast guarantees the CPU at that speed.

Obviously you don’t want any old RAM backing up the FX60, so Chillblast has fitted a fast 2GB Mushkin Redline PC4000 memory kit in the motherboard, itself an ASUS A8R-MVP.

There’s more overclocking going on in the graphics department. As the product name suggests, this is a CrossFire system with an X1900XT Crossfire edition card joined by an X1900XTX. Both cards have 512MB of memory and both have overclocked core and memory engines. The core runs at 690MHz, 65MHz over the standard speed, while the memory speeds along at 800MHz (1.6HGz effective) which is 75MHz faster than standard. As with the CPU, both graphics cards are water-cooled, so that’s another £700 or so of the budget gone.

The water cooling system is from Alphacool and fits quite tidily inside the case. In the roof of the case sits the radiator with three 12cm fans. The floppy drive bay houses the pump while the fluid reservoir sits in the top-most 5.25-inch drive bay. A neat trick would have been to dye or light up the coolant, as the reservoir has a glass panel to allow you to see what’s going on and, without any funky colours, it looks a bit dull.

What is amazing, though, is the lack of fan noise coming from the system. In addition to the three roof-mounted fans there are four 8cm case fans whirring away, yet still it’s quieter than many a standard desktop.

As for storage, you wouldn’t accept anything other than fast, top-notch drives and you won’t be disappointed. There’s a 500GB Seagate 7200.9 SATA drive for storage, while the Windows XP OS sits on a pair of RAID 0 arrayed Western Digital Raptor X SATA drives, with 150GB of storage each and spin speeds of a blistering 10,000rpm. The cost of that little lot; a cool £630.

So what does a £3,500 system perform like? Well a SYSmark04SE score of 330 is pretty impressive to say the least, and is further enhanced by a 3DMark05 score of 14,300. So yes, it’s fast. Very fast.

Company: Chillblast

Contact: 0845 456 7830


Verdict
Very powerful, very fast and most surprisingly of all very quiet, the Atlantis Fusion Crossfire is also very expensive, but then it does use top spec components. If you can afford it, you'll have bragging rights over the neighbours for a quite a while.