Chillblast Fusion Ryzen Render RTX 4000 review: Our top choice for under £3,000

Not quite the fastest system in its price category, but if you’re on a tighter budget then it’s a great choice

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£2,333 exc VAT
  • Great value
  • Distinctive looks
  • Balanced overall performance
  • Appearance isn’t for everyone

The Chillblast Fusion Ryzen Render RTX 4000 sticks out among most workstations like a sore thumb, thanks to its choice of a white Corsair Carbide 275R chassis. If this wasn’t enough to catch your eye, the Corsair H100i RGB watercooling radiator is up top behind a grille, meaning its multicoloured pulsating lighting will be in full view.

But don’t let the bling deceive you into thinking this system is all bark and no bite, because inside is a serious collection of workstation hardware. This starts with the sensible choice of a Ryzen 9 3950X CPU. With 16 cores that can all run at 3.5GHz or above, and a top 4.7GHz Boost mode, this is a great all-rounder. Chillblast only supplies 32GB of DDR4 memory, but this is the 3,200MHz variety so takes full advantage of the Ryzen 9’s controller speed. You also get two free DIMM slots for future upgrades.

There are no surprises when it comes to graphics acceleration. The Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000 is the obvious choice at this price, offering 2,304 CUDA cores allied with 8GB of fast GDDR6 memory. For an affordable high-end workstation, this is the de facto choice. It’s also a 160W card so isn’t overly power-hungry considering its level of performance.

It’s good to see Chillblast taking advantage of the Ryzen 9’s support for PCI Express 4 by including a 1TB Corsair MP600 NVMe M.2 SSD as main storage. This delivers sustained reading of 4,794MB/sec and writing of 4,287MB/sec, which is much quicker than any PCI Express 3 SSD we’ve tested. Chillblast supplements this with a conventional mechanical hard disk, namely the 4TB Seagate Barracuda Pro; this 7,200rpm drive isn’t the quickest in its class, with sustained 227MB/sec reading and 217MB/sec writing. Looking through the glass side of the Corsair chassis, there doesn’t appear to be much space for extra storage; open up the other side panel, however, and you find another 3.5in plus two 2.5in bays free.

The Fusion Ryzen Render achieved some impressive results in our tests, starting with a commendable overall score of 528 in our benchmarks; still, InterPro’s Ryzen 9 was quicker. Chillblast’s proved the fastest Ryzen 9 system in Maxon Cinebench R20, though, achieving 9,527, and this translated to just 623 seconds to complete the Blender Gooseberry render. Admittedly,  this was marginally behind InterPro, as were the Fusion’s scores in IndigoBench 4, as well as video encoding with Adobe Media Encoder CC 2020. 

Still, this is another fine showcase for the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, which beat Intel’s much more expensive 18-core Core i9-10980XE in every test; except for being one second slower in Adobe Media Encoder CC 2020.

Thanks to the fast single-core speed of 4.7GHz, you lose almost nothing when running tasks that favour single-threaded frequencies. Comparing the Chillblast’s SPECviewperf 13 results to those of the PC Specialist system with a Core i9-9900K, which can run at up to 5GHz, there are few areas of weakness. The 3dsmax-06 result is almost as good, although the maya-05 score of 280 is a little further behind. So this system will be virtually the same for 3D animation. With CAD and engineering, catia-05, creo-02, snx-03 and sw-04 scores are all a little behind the Intel system, but not so much that it would slow down your workflow. And the final rendering or simulation would be so much faster that it’s no competition.

The icing on the cake with the Fusion Ryzen Render is the price. Chillblast has come in £200 inc VAT below the average in its price bracket, with no obvious area of serious compromise in specification, and certainly none when it comes to performance. Whether you love or hate this workstation’s looks, it’s our top choice for under £3,000.

Chillblast Fusion Ryzen Render RTX 4000 specifications

Processor

3.5GHz AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

Motherboard

Asus RoG Strix X570-F

Expansion slots

4 x RAM slots (2 free), 3 x PCIe x16 (2 free), 2 x PCIe x1 (3 free), 2 x M.2 (1 free), 8 x SATA 600 (6 free)

RAM

32GB DDR4, 3,200MHz

GPU

PNY Quadro RTX 4000, 8GB GDDR6

Outputs

3 x DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C VirtualLink

SSD

Corsair MP600 1TB NVMe M.2 PCI Express 4.0

Secondary drives

N/A N/A N/A, Seagate Barracuda Pro 4TB

Optical drives

N/A

Dimensions (WDH)

Corsair Carbide 275R (215 x 455 x 460mm)

PSU make and model (power output)

Corsair RM850x 80 Plus Gold (850W)

CPU cooler

Corsair H100i Platinum RGB watercooler

Rear ports

Gigabit Ethernet, 5 x 3.5mm audio jack, optical S/PDIF, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-A), USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C), 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, DisplayPort, HDMI

Front/top ports

3.5mm audio jack, 3.5mm microphone jack, 2 x USB 3

Operating system

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

Warranty (parts & labour unless stated)

5yr (2yr C&R, 3yr RTB labour-only)

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