In the cruel world of the desktop PC, the present belongs to the young, and the two-month-old Chillblast Fusion Gladiator finds itself falling three places. This is still a fine machine, but the Chillblast Fusion Gladiator's processor is beginning to feel slightly outmoded. Just two months ago, the E6850 laid waste to everything before it; now there’s a new chip in town: the E8500.

With the assistance of 4GB of Geil DDR2-800 RAM, the Chillblast Fusion Gladiator notches up a sprightly 118 points in our WorldBench tests. But, as good as this may be, it’s unable to keep pace with the Best Buy Arbico CD8500 XL.

The Chillblast Fusion Gladiator's 19in Digimate is something of a sore point. We understand Chillblast may swap this for a HannsG but, as it stands, the Digimate is both small and not well-endowed when it comes to colour quality. The Chillblast Fusion Gladiator's 8800 GT is a good graphics card, but it crops up four times in the chart. The Gony speakers are fairly impressive and add gravitas to the otherwise humdrum sound, while the Chillblast Fusion Gladiator's DVD writer is a decent model.

The Chillblast Fusion Gladiator remains a capable PC with several excellent components. It could just do with a price cut.

Budget PCs chart ranking (April issue)

  1. Arbico CD8500 XL
  2. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Silent Edition
  3. Eclipse Crucial Supreme n685n88GTS-0C
  4. Chillblast Fusion Gladiator - last month 1
  5. Zoostorm 4-4428