The Chillblast Fusion Firestorm is the least expensive PC in this category, yet it delivers excellent gaming performance, has a 7.1 speaker system and comes with a two-year collect-and-return warranty for peace of mind.

Like Arbico's HD8570 X2, the Chillblast Fusion Firestorm uses a 1GB ATI HD 3870 X2 dual-GPU graphics card, which delivers some very impressive framerates without the additional space and power requirements of a dual-card setup. It easily matches the performance of systems fitted with a pair of 8800 GTs.

Chillblast expects to sell the bulk of these systems overclocked from 3.16GHz up to a blistering 3.6Hz. We tested the Chillblast Fusion Firestorm at stock speeds, but a great deal of performance is available at no extra cost.

The Chillblast Fusion Firestorm's Samsung display is a slightly older model than that supplied by Arbico, but it’s attractive and provides good performance, including a 3,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.

The black Akasa ZEN system case has a smooth, minimal design with tool-free drive bays and integrated front USB ports behind a small door. Inside, all four RAM slots are filled, providing a total memory capacity of 4GB. The Chillblast Fusion Firestorm also has a single 500GB hard drive.

Unfortunately, the Chillblast Fusion Firestorm’s hardware configuration, combined with the 32bit edition of Vista, leaves an entire gigabyte of system memory unavailable.

Chart ranking: Power desktop PCs (June 08 issue)

  1. Mesh Elite Storm HD
  2. Arbico HD8570 X2
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity Crossfire GT
  4. Chillblast Fusion Firestorm
  5. PC Specialist E840GT SLI