Another impressive machine from Chillblast, only the Fusion Zodiac's comparatively high price tag keeps it locked out of the top two in our current £1,001+ desktop PCs chart. It does have its strengths though and, for pure gaming speed, the Fusion Zodiac actually surpasses the Arbico Elite 8500GTS.

Adopting the view that two cards are better than one, the Chillblast Fusion Zodiac uses its pair of 8800 GTs to conjure up some sizzling framerates. However, it’s only at a resolution of 1,920 that this PC really leaves the Arbico in the dust.

There is the small fact of the £111 premium attached to the Chillblast Fusion Zodiac. But there is a feast of components that takes in 4GB of DDR2-800 RAM and a 500GB hard drive along the way. The slightly inferior E8400 chip lags slightly behind the Arbico, but performance is still very decent.

The Chillblast Fusion Zodiac's Samsung flat-panel is searing, as is the sound system. Add the two-year warranty and clean layout, and this is a first-class system. Only the sheer value for money of the top two prevents further progress.

Our first look at the Chillblast Fusion Zodiac

Perennial chart-topper Chillblast scoops up yet another award. The Arbico Elite 8500GTS keeps the Chillblast Fusion Zodiac from the Best Buy award, but it keeps things close with a strong showing.

For pure gaming speed, the Chillblast Fusion Zodiac actually surpasses the Arbico Elite 8500GTS. Adopting the view that two cards are better than one, the Chillblast Fusion Zodiac uses a pair of 8800 GTs to conjure up some sizzling framerates. However, it’s only at a resolution of 1,920 that this PC really leaves the Arbico Elite 8500GTS in the dust.

The Chillblast Fusion Zodiac costs £111 more than the Best Buy but, at £1,160, it’s still the second-cheapest machine here. And you get plenty for your money. Both machines offer 4GB of DDR2-800 RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The Chillblast Fusion Zodiac doesn’t match the Arbico Elite 8500GTS’s E8500 processor, but manages another in the new Penryn range – the slightly inferior E8400 chip. As expected, the Chillblast Fusion Zodiac falls a little behind in our processing-speed tests.

Like Arbico, Chillblast has bundled a searing Samsung flat-panel. This time it’s the gorgeous (both in terms of looks and image quality) SM2232BW, which makes an indelible impression. The Chillblast Fusion Zodiac's sound system is startling as well, with the X-Fi XtremeAudio and Inspire T7900 speakers a match made in Creative heaven.

Chuck in a two-year warranty and clean layout and you get a first-class system. Only the sheer value for money offered by theArbico Elite 8500GTS prevents the Chillblast Fusion Zodiac from climbing to the summit of the £1,001+ PCs table.