Flight Simulation PC
For FSX/Prepar3D/X-Plane. Manufactured by Chillblast systems
Reviewed by Joe Lawford
Chillblast is an award-winning custom-build computer manufacturer
based in the south of England. Starting out as a specialist importer
of niche overclocking products, they have evolved into one of the
most highly respected and decorated desktop PC builders in the
world. They specialise in gaming desktops and laptops that utilise
quality parts and overclocking techniques to produce machines
offering superb performance. They pride themselves with there
peerless customer support and highly qualified system engineers, all
of whom have years of experience at the highest levels of PC
The Fusion Superfortress 4 is Chillblast's latest flight simulation
range PC. Before we start, lets allow them to introduce the machine.
"The Fusion Superfortress is an uncompromising flight simulation
desktop designed to after burn through any workload. Everything from
the CPU and hard disks to the PSU and video card have been given
special attention to give you the best possible flying experience,
with both the fastest CPU currently available and the best
performing FSX video card included as standard. This system also
gives you the massive performance needed to get the best out of
OK, let's look at the basic
• Processor: Intel Core i7 6700K (Skylake) Processor overclocked
• Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX Water Cooler
• Motherboard: Asus Z170-A Motherboard
• Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card
• Case: Fractal Design Define R5 Case
• Memory: 8GB PC3-12800 Memory - DDR4 2133Mhz
• Optical: Samsung Blu-ray / DVD Combi Drive
• Primary Drive: 500GB Samsung EVO 850 6Gb/s SATA III SSD
• Secondary Drive: 2000GB SATA 7200rpm Hard Disk (FSX)
• PSU: 750 watt Corsair PSU
• Sound: Onboard High Definition Audio
• OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit OEM
Specifications According to "Speccy"
There are some pretty impressive numbers here and the
star must be the Skylake CPU overclocked to 4.6GHz
The Understated Minimalistic Scandinavian Design
The Fractal Design 'Define R5 Black' case is a plain looking housing
that is typical of Swedish design and functionality. The front panel
has a large round power button with blue LED, HDD activity light
(also blue LED), a small reset button, Audio in/out, 2 x USB 3.0 and 2
x USB 2.0 sockets. The case is soundproofed with dense sound-absorbing
material that is strategically placed inside.
The front door of the case is full length and can be swung open to
reveal the 140mm front fan, (behind a removable filter) Blu-ray/dvd
payer and a spare 5.25 drive bay. The door itself is reversible and
has a lining of the dense soundproof material.
Two thirds of the top of the case is given over to the venting from
the Corsair CPU cooler and natural heat dissipation from the motherboard.
|| The rear of the case boasts another 140mm exhaust fan along with the
motherboard and graphics card outputs. As you can see, the graphics
ports from the motherboard are clearly taped off and labeled 'Socket
Disabled' so the user is under no doubt. The Asus Z170-A Motherboard
outputs are the standard audio in/out + 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 2 x USB 3.0
ports and 2 x USB 3.1 (1 x type-C reversible and 1 type-A,
The 970 GTX graphics card allows for up to 4 monitors, that's three
screens in 3D mode plus one additional for instrumentation (DisplayPort
monitor required), and has the following outputs: 1 x Dual-link
DVI-I, 1 x Dual-link DVI-D, 1 x HDMI, and 1 x DisplayPort.
MSI GTX 970 Outputs
The case sits on 4 feet approximately 20mm high making the case dimensions - with feet/screws/protrusions: 232 x 462 x 531mm
Ease of Set Up
Being fully built and soak tested at the factory, the only set up
needed is plugging in the mains and network cables and other peripherals. A
user account under the name of Chillblast has already been created
at administrator level and can easily be changed to a name of your
choice using the Control Panel.
Is beauty only skin deep? Well, let's take a look inside.
You can immediately tell this machine has been built by someone who
knows what they're doing. The cabling is immaculate with only the bare
minimum showing to make the most of ventilation from front to back.
Most of the cabling is hidden behind the right hand case door and
upon inspection the cables were all neatly arranged with Velcro straps and
cable ties, this bodes well for future expansion.
Inside View - Note the Drive Bays
Top of the Video Card and CPU
Pipes leading to the Corsair Cooler
Right side with Case off.
Note the Tidy Cabling and the 2 (white) SSD Bays
Thinking of future expansion, there are 8 x 3.5" HDD bays (which can
also accommodate 2.5" units) with 2 being occupied with a SSD and a
HDD. Also, there are two dedicated SSD unit positions beneath the
motherboard which can be accessed by removing the right door. There
is enough room for another full sized graphics card should you wish to
run in SLI mode.
This machine is no slouch, you can see from the specifications above
that it is built for super-fast processing. All the components come
from quality manufacturers. Names like Asus, Corsair, Crucial
Memory, Intel, LG and MSI so should fill the user with confidence.
Please note, this machine is shipped by default with Windows 10, but
Chillblast recommend Windows 7 Professional (at a cost) if you are
using the boxed version of FSX. Any download version software like
FSX Steam Edition, Prepar3D and X-Plane should be fine with Windows
The review machine is running Windows 7 Professional and I am
running Prepar3D V3 (P3D) as my choice of flight sim. Other flight
sim software I had loaded was REX Soft Clouds and a beta version of
FTX Global and openLC Europe, other than that I was using one of the
default 'vehicles' in the sim specifically the Carenado A36 Bonanza.
No other performance boosters like Nvidia Inspector were used, or
indeed, needed. Here are some read outs from CPU-Z and GPU-Z
Memory Detail - Note the DRAM Frequency Should be Doubled
for Comparison with Other Machines
GPU-Z Graphics Card Detail
The operating system is loaded on the SSD and I found that boot up
was a matter of a few seconds, and opening the default programs
happens just as fast. P3D took a while longer but much faster than I
have ever seen before, it's great to see the scenery loading screen
completing so quickly, no prolonged waits and no noise from the PC!
I pegged the FPS to 30
in the sim which is half the refresh rate of my monitor
and it produced nice smooth action throughout. Steep turns, view
switching and revolving around the aircraft produced no stutters at
all. The other luxury I had
was I could set all the important scenery and lighting sliders
to the right and the system didn't flinch.
It's also worth mentioning that my review PC had pride of place on
my exhibition stand at the FlightSim show 2015 at RAF Cosford this
year. The machine was running with the flight sim loaded for over 10
hours in one single session of P3D. The sim was used by many people
both novice and experienced from 3 year olds to 83 year olds.
The Rig Was Being Put Through its Paces
4 Undocked Windows
And old, Putting the PC Through its Paces
were many scenery and aircraft reloads, (usually because some one
had crashed the aircraft!) and again, the PC just got on with it.
Near the end of the show, Bob Sidwick from RC Simulations came to
try it out and was amazed that he could run the sim with 4 undocked
windows and not drop a frame. I think this is a splendid endorsement
to the the combination of this PC and P3D.
Noise & Heat -
After switching on the PC for the first time right up until shutting
it down I was amazed at how quiet it was under all situations. If the
machine was human I would be performing the 'Mirror Test' or checking
for a pulse! The soundproofing built into the case really
stifles any excess noise from within.
The system comes with a utility from Corsair called 'Corsair Link'
to monitor the heat being generated by the system, as you can from
the live picture of the review system above, the core temperatures of
the CPU and motherboard were very respectable.
Corsair H100i CPU Cooler
The Hydro Series H100i GTX 240mm Liquid CPU Cooler is a real silent
runner too compared with an older version in my own machine. This is a
fairly new model only being announce in February of this year.
The Asus Z170 motherboard features the latest Crystal Sound 3 sound
processor, which is based around the Realtek ALC1150 that is used on most of
their boards. This latest iteration boasts the industry's lowest audio
input power to noise ratio. The sound was very pure and really,
The Superfortress 4 comes with two drives, 1 x 500Gb Samsung SSD which
is loaded with the operating system and a completely blank Seagate 2TB
HDD which should be more than enough to store all your flight sim
programs. You may even consider partitioning the second HDD drive to
create 2 drives from the one physical drive for other data storage
use. The great thing is, given this much capacity you have many
options for setting up according to
Support & Warranty
Chillblast's standard warranty features a 2 year collect-and-return
package with lifetime local rate telephone support and unlimited
repairs during that period. It also includes both the collection and
return of your system to you. In addition to this they also offer
labour-only support for an additional 3 years after the expiry of
your collection and return package. For those looking for extra
peace of mind, they also offer a 3 year Gold Collect and Return
Warranty for £99 excluding VAT.
Out of warranty, they can offer their customers an exclusive upgrade
or repair service with subsidised collection/delivery/labour charges
and discounted part costs.
||As an on-going support feature Chillblast load TeamViewer
onto your machine, this is fired up from the start menu under
the label 'Remote Support'. There is also a URL link to their
FAQ page which covers day to day problems with suggested
I think the customer service offered pretty much covers all angles and is a
booster to any prospective buyer.
Value For Money
Superb performance coupled with famous names, 5 year warranty, full
scalability at time of purchase and expansion opportunities at a
later date, make the price of (from) £1399 including VAT very
reasonable in my book. Look out for money-off offers, I have seen a
few around which may help with your budget.
This is a machine for the flight system
connoisseur and it doesn't
fail to deliver in every category, it's blisteringly fast and
stunningly quiet, I couldn't recommend it any higher.
● Ease of Setup:
Performance Against Expectations:
● Value for Money:
Chillblast's Fusion Superfortress 4 is awarded a Mutley's Hangar score of
and the Mutley's Hangar Award for Excellence.