Photography News Issue 50

Photography News | Issue 50 | photographynews.co.uk

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First tests

Imaging kit First tests We get our hands on the latest kit and share our first impressions – so you know whether or not to add it to your wish list

Reviews by Will Cheung, Roger Payne and Kingsley Singleton

Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite IV £1499.99

Specs

You can get great straight-out-of- the-camera JPEGs and more and more cameras offer internal Raw processing, so it is perfectly feasible for photographers to survive without a computer. It’s possible, but the fact remains that most of us use a computer to edit our shots so finding kit to do this quickly, efficiently and at the best possible price is high on the agenda. My personal work is done on an Apple Mac of some description but there’s always that nagging doubt in my mind that I could get a more powerful and higher specified PC for the same price, or less, than I’m paying for my user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing Mac. PCs like this offering from Chillblast only heighten my levels of anxiety. Don’t be put off by the ‘Lite’ part of its moniker, this is a well specified machine that’s capable of gobbling up photo and video editing tasks at some seriously brisk speeds.

Chillblast is that you can spec them up as you wish when ordering. On top of the processor, there are three hard drives – two 2TB hard disks anda 250GBSSD– then there’s an integral card reader, a DVD re- writer and enough connectivity options to keep even the greatest peripherals verv happy. One omission that I initially thought surprising was a lack of Wi-Fi but the (very useful) help desk at Chillblast HQ soon put me right on this – either buy a wireless USB stick or, for a more robust and faster connection, go for a powerline adapter and hardwire it in using the Ethernet socket. I went for the latter. You’ll need to be buying some other things as well. Keyboard, mouse and monitor are all extras, so need to be factored in. Getting set up and working is painless. I was soon online (via my super quick hardwired connection) and hooked up to Google Drive

From perspective, however, this is a trimmed down version of its Fusion Photo OC VII machine that retails at £2300, but even so, the performance of this modestly spec’d sibling will comfortably see off anything Apple can offer at the same price point. So what you do you get for your money? Processor-wise, we’re dealing with a shiny new ‘Coffee Lake’ six core Intel i7-8700K CPU which, straight out of the factory, operates at 3.7GHz. But Chillblast further enhances this performance by overclocking (hence OC) the processor to work faster. Up to 4.6GHz is unleashed with this overclocking active, which is made possible by adding some extra thermal protection for the processor. If you want a complete belt-and- braces thermal protection approach, you can add on an extra cooling fan at the point of purchase. In fact one of the real appeals of buying from Chillblast’s

Processor Intel Core i7-8700K Coffee Lake Processor (overclocked by up to 20%) 12MB L3 cache CPU cooler Corsair H75 CPU cooler Motherboard Asus PRIME Z370-A motherboard Memory 16GB DDR4 2400MHz, 4 x DIMM Slots Solid State Drive 250GB Samsung 960 EVO Solid State Drive Hard Drive 2 x 2TB Seagate 7200RPM hard disk Optical Drive 2x DVD rewriter drive Software Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit Display Monitor not Included Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB graphics card Audio Onboard high definition audio Input devices Keyboard and mouse not included Networking LAN: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Interfaces 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 C port, 2 x USB 2.0. 1 x DVI port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x display port, 5 x audio jack Expansion 3 x 16x PCI express slot, 3 x 1x PCI express slot, 4 x SATA ports Dimensions (wxdxh) 21x49.7x43cm Contact chillblast.com Images If you want a high-spec, high-performing PC designed with image editing in mind, take a look at this nicely endowed Chillblast unit; and it’s a good price too.

and Creative Cloud in no time. Lightroom, Photoshop andPremiere Pro downloaded and installed, I set to work. A few quick keys aside, I found the Windows 10 OS very easy to get along with. The unit runs quickly and very quietly with some noticeable performance gains over my existing kit. Both Lightroom and Photoshop open and are ready for action in around five seconds – try that against your existing kit – and offer a much more speedy workflow, while Premiere Pro is equally spritely. In this case, performance gains are most noticeable when exporting video.

Verdict

Having spent a fewweeks with the Chillblast Fusion Photo OC Lite IV I’m convinced that having one inmy life would significantly reduce the amount of time I spend in front of a computer and because it makes editing tasks so effortless it is an extremely tempting proposition. And it’s a great price too.

Pros Great value, speed, interconnect options Cons Not as pretty as a Mac

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