With high speed internet access becoming more widely available, the number of LAN parties we’ve attended in recent years has dwindled. But, as large scale conventions such as QuakeCon, DreamHack and the i-Series show, there is still plenty of interest in packing up a PC and monitor, hitting the road and playing games with others who have the same interests. The thought of lugging a desktop tower around is usually enough to put us off, but theis designed to cater for avid gamers who also desire portability.
We were promised a system that was ideal for LAN parties, and for transportation purposes alone, the Chillblast Fusion Cube ticks the desired boxes. It measures in at 25 x 38 x 21cm making it easier to carry than traditional gaming PCs as it can fit in a gearbag more readily. There’s little overly flashy about its external appearance with grills featured on the side to allow for cooling, while the Chillblast brand is the only striking feature on the front.
However, it is clearly what is on the inside that counts and the system that we reviewed certainly packed a punch. The system comes with a 3.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 16GB RAM, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 graphics card along with 1TB of storage space, so it should be able to handle your library of games. Though if you find that this isn’t enough down the road, there is plenty of upgrade potential as well.
We tested the system with a couple of different games, but we were hugely impressed with how the Fusion Cube handled Sleeping Dogs. With graphical settings on Extreme, the game ran smoothly and looked exceptional, even during a foot chase through the bustling streets of Hong Kong. The fast-paced and graphically crowded Sine Mora also ran swimmingly, and day-to-day tasks were naturally handled with ease. The Chillblast Fusion Cube sailed through benchmark tests with flying colours, though the Windows Experience Index highlighted that an i7 processor could fully unlock the potential of the GTX 670.
If you still rely on physical discs, you will need to invest in an external drive, though a Blu-ray reader/writer can be arranged as an extra. The reasoning behind this is to minimise the system’s footprint, which makes sense, and because the majority of PC software is sold through digital distribution. It’s not a flaw of the system, because we use Steam extensively for our gaming, but it is something to bear in mind if you live in an area with slower internet speeds or you still cling to the idea of a physical copy.
The Chillblast Fusion Cube is an impressive system, from its sleek design to its powerful components and upgrade capabilities. We’re not all LAN gamers, certainly not anymore, but the size of the case ensures that it is suitable for a range of gaming setups and spaces too. It’s just an added bonus if portability is a key factor because the Fusion Cube is perfect for transporting around. And as physical discs aren’t an issue, it’s one less thing (or in reality for a LAN, many less things) to worry about and carry around too.
This is a gaming system through and through, though the price certainly justifies that tag. However, if you’re willing to pay the bones of £1,000 you have a system, which will stand the test of time and allows you some leeway when it does come time to start upgrading components.