Chillblast Create Core Pro Editing PC Review

Chillblast chooses a different path for this 12th generation Core PC, with its target being photographers and video editors rather than gamers. To this end, it partners a top-of-the-line Core i9-12900K processor with a GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. This means it can still afford a super-fast SSD and numerous other top-end components while keeping the price down to a modest $2,200. Modest, that is, compared to the $3,500 Scan 3XS Vengeance Ti.

Chillblast Create Core Pro Editing PC Review

It’s also a surprisingly modest system in terms of noise, which isn’t what you might expect when you peer inside to find an enormous Noctua air cooler taking center stage. This does make sense – the larger the fins, the slower they need to spin to shift air – but it’s still surprising that this beast of a PC makes barely a hint of noise until it’s thoroughly pushed in applications and games.

Chasis

Another helping hand comes from the Fractal Design Define 7 chassis, which weighs 13.5kg even before you start loading it with components. This comes with sound-damping panels along with three whisper-quiet 14cm fans. There’s no RGB here, except for details on the graphics card, and unusually there’s no see-through side panel either. You can upgrade to a tempered glass panel for around $20 if you prefer, but you will sacrifice some soundproofing. Besides, this PC has an air of minimalist class as supplied, with only a thin strip of white light and the Chillblast logo to interrupt its lines.

Ports / Connectivity

The front panel swings open to reveal an Akasa 17-in-i card reader, which supports every card format I can think of – even CompactFlash. This complements the four USB-A and one USB-C socket that sit on the top of the chassis for easy access, and as you would expect from a Z690 motherboard the rear offers yet more; USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2, 2,5Gb Ethernet, and built-in Wi-Fi 6.

All three of the M. 2 slots support PCI-E 4, and Chillblast takes advantage by providing a Seagate Firecuda 530 drive that delivers 5,455MB/sec sequential reads and 5,449MB. sec writes. Otherwise known as stupidly fast. You will almost certainly want to add to the storage because the downside of Chillblast’s SSD choice is its 1TB capacity. But if there’s one thing the Fractal Design chassis isn’t short of, it’s storage options.

I can’t imagine many people will want to upgrade the 64 GB of RAM but there are two DIMM sockets free if you choose to. Instead, make sure that you’re happy with the route of DDR4 RAM as opposed to DDR. This choice is one of the reasons why Chillblast can keep its price under control (note it has warned us that if component BELOW The chassis’ understated design hides numerous top-end components prices rise sharply it will have to adjust the Fusion’s price), and as we discuss in our review of the 12th gen Core CPUs there isn’t a huge performance penalty for sticking with DDR4.

Performance

So, how does the Chillblast perform compared to the Scan? It’s close, but the more expensive machine does win: the Chillblast scraped to victory in Cinebench R23’s multicore test, scoring 27,205 versus 26,517, but the Scan romped home in the PC Pro benchmarks (670 vs 633), Geekbench 5’s multi-core test (17,762 vs 15,053) and PCMark 10 (8,759 vs 8,571). Perhaps most pertinently, the Scan proved faster by some margin in the digital creation portion of the PCMark benchmarks, with a score of 15,346 against Chillblast 13,381.

For once, gaming results don’t feel too meaningful. This machine performs similarly to any other with a GeForce RTX 3060 inside, because this will 11 be the limiter rather than the CPU. But, for the record, at io8op with High settings it averaged 84fps in Metro; Exodus, 9ofps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider (rising to 13 5 fps with DLSS at Performance settings), and 53fps in Hitman2 with 2X super sampling.

Resolution

If you’re willing to sacrifice some quality settings then you can enjoy 1440P gaming too. For example, Metro: Exodus averaged Gqfps at High settings but 17 ips at Low. And the 31 fps we saw from Hitman 2 at 1440p increased to around loops when we dropped super sampling to ix. Inevitably, the choice of best graphics card also has an impact on creative applications that rely on 3D acceleration. 

For a trio of examples, the Chillblast returned a score of 104 in the 3ds Max viewset in SPECvierperf 2020 compared to 189 for the Scan, 51 in Catia against 102, and 341 in Maya compared to 530. This won’t matter if you use this PC for editing rather than creation, but if the relative lack of 3D grunt becomes an issue in the future and you need to retire the GeForce RTX 3060, the Core will provide a firm foundation for years to come. It’s no stretch to imagine that you’ll still be using the Chillblast Create Core as your main PC even as the five-year warranty comes to an end. If you seek a PC to create content as well as enjoy it, this Chillblast is a superb choice for the money.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • 16-core 3.2GHz (5.2GHz boost) Intel Core i9-12900K processor
  • Asus Prime Z690-P Wi-Fi DDR4 motherboard
  • 64GB 3,200MHz DDR4 RAM
  • 12GB GeForce RTX 3060 graphics Card
  • Noctua NH-D15S Chromas Black air cooler
  • 1TB Seagate Firecuda 530 M.2 PCI-E 4 SSD
  • Fractal Design Define 7 chassis
  • 750W Corsair RM750X PSU
  • Akasa 17-in-1 USB 3 card reader

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