Once again in our top price category we have a selection of systems that’s difficult to place in any definitive order. There are enough significant differences between them for any to warrant serious consideration as your best buy.

This time we’ve gone for Chillblast’s Fusion SuperNova – a top performer both in WorldBench 6, where it scores an impressive 125 points, and in gaming, with high performance in our Crysis and Fear tests.

Based on the popular Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 running at 3.16GHz, the Chillblast Fusion SuperNova offers heaps of performance, and can be overclocked to 3.6GHz. Our tests were all conducted at stock speeds.

To power the graphics, Chillblast has opted for a 1GB nVidia GeForce 9800 GX2 for the Fusion SuperNova. With its dual-GPU design it delivers excellent gaming performance. Chillblast could have selected nVidia’s latest top-of-the-range monster, the GeForce GTX 280, but felt the older card gave better performance with many currently available games.

A terabyte of storage is provided in the form of a single Samsung Spinpoint F1 SATA-II hard drive, while the Chillblast Fusion SuperNova's Blu-ray drive can write to DVDs at up to 12-speed.

To benefit from the high resolutions afforded by a powerful graphics card, you need a good monitor. The Chillblast Fusion SuperNova's Digimate L2242WD may not offer top quality, but a native resolution of 1,920x1,200 pixels is a good match for the GeForce 9800 GX2.

To capitalise on the Chillblast Fusion SuperNova's sonic capabilities, an X-Fi Xtreme Music sound card is installed, paired with five Creative A500 speakers and a subwoofer.

The GeForce 9800 GX2 may be a controversial choice, but the performance figures speak for themselves – the Chillblast Fusion SuperNova is an excellent all-round system.

Power desktop PCs: chart ranking (October issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion SuperNova
  2. CyberPower Gamer Infinity XT Elite
  3. Eclipse Titan iQX965A487
  4. Arbico Elite 4870
  5. Chillblast Fusion Thunderbolt

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