Application and Futuremark Performance

At this point it goes without saying that Sandy Bridge is fast, but this time around we have a stock-clocked system contending with both an overclocked Sandy Bridge unit and quite a few systems featuring some overclocked representatives of last generation's finest. While you're looking at these benchmarks, though, try to remember that Puget Systems tuned the Serenity SPCR Edition for maximum silence. The Intel Core i5-2500K hasn't been touched, and the PowerColor Radeon HD 5750 included is tied for the fastest passively-cooled video card on the market. You can hear all of the other systems here under load, but you can't hear the Serenity.

As you can see, even at stock clocks with no Hyper-Threading, it still takes a lot to hold Sandy Bridge down. The DigitalStorm and CyberPower 8500 systems are both running their processors at 3.8GHz, and DigitalStorm's tower has the added benefit of triple-channel memory. In fact the only chips that aren't Hyper-Threaded are the i5-2500K and the i5-750S, and while the i5-750S basically trails the competition here, the i5-2500K's worst showings still mostly nip at the heels of the 3.5GHz processor inside the iBuyPower XLC. 

3DMark is less kind to the Puget Systems Serenity, but it still posts a strong showing and as we'll see the 5750 at its heart is for the most part able to game at 1080p. Again, remember that the Serenity is basically inaudible during gaming sessions and power consumption is remarkably low, as you'll see later. Of course, if the 5750 just doesn't cut it for you it's worth repeating that Puget Systems is working on getting a passively-cooled Radeon HD 6850 in house. It's entirely possible that by the time they can start shipping Sandy Bridge-based systems like this one again you'll actually be able to make that upgrade.

Introducing the Puget Systems Serenity SPCR Edition Gaming Performance
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  • OblivionLord - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    SPCR Edition starts at $1,550
    Review system quoted at $2,149

    I'm going to say that this system certainly does not merit the cost. If the goal of this case is to be purely based on performance while being silent then ehhh. I'm sure someone would rather venture off into the newer upcoming iMac with a Sandy Bridge for this amount of money since it's basically the same performance being a 'silent' computer which sells around the same price point and is just as useless in gaming as this system. On the other hand, this system is a desktop and can fit the upcoming passively cooled HD6850 which will greatly best the iMac in gaming. This may sound great and all, but this newer 6850 will more than likely greatly increase the overall cost by a few extra hundred or so.

    After all that said, the iMac still is a more attractive buy since, if we compare the current $1.5k iMac 21.5", it takes up less space and already comes with a monitor which to me is just a much more selling point than this system.

    I dislike Macs btw hehe

    Then again, this company could just be show boating to say that they have the quietest custom pre-built desktop mid tower system that still uses fans and they realize that only a few people would really buy it. hehe

    As far as what a pc builder can do themselves... here are pics of my case..
  • GeorgeH - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    This system does not contain $1000 worth of parts. This system contains ~$1400 worth of parts at a minimum.

    Elsewhere in the comments section Dustin claims that the $1000 figure was for "equivalent hardware performance." That would be an interesting comparison to make, but that's not what the article says the $1000 figure is for. The article flat out says that there is "$1000 in parts here".

    There's really no way to sugar coat this - the article is flat out wrong, by an almost 150% margin. Furthermore, this was not a typo or other honest mistake; Dustin has verified in the comments that $1000 is what he intended to write. When a casual reader can verify in <5min that a review is spewing bullshit, something is seriously fucking wrong.

    I don't know how you're going to fix this, but at a minimum I"d say a rewrite/rewording of the conclusion and a public apology to Puget Systems is in order - they were kind enough to trust AT with a system to review, and AT turned around and flat out lied about the value of that system to AT's readership. Classy.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    You guys are right, I messed up. I've updated the conclusion page of the article to reflect it.
  • GeorgeH - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    Mistakes happen. If Puget Systems is OK with how this one has been handled (they're the ones that might have been in for some real world hurt here) then it's all good.
  • Taft12 - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    Puget Systems could give 2 shits about getting slammed in this comment section - the exposure from this article is pure $$$$$
  • Osamede - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Why does anyone need a fridge-sized, 31 lb behemoth of a computer in this day and age. Companies like Synology and QNAP manage to package 4-drive desktop units aka "NAS" in something barely bigger than a load of full sized bread.

    So this thing here is a porker and could slim down a lot. Even with the silencing effects.
  • KayDat - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Why do people use PC towers at all? Why don't we all move to laptops, all-in-ones (ala iMac) and mini-ITX form factors? Lack of airflow, limited space means limited features (full ATX board with graphics card), tower cooler for the CPU allowing minimal fan speed while having cool temps, the list goes on. Sure you could try running a comparible system in a small box like a Shuttle, but when was the last time you saw a silent shoebox computer? Most Shuttle computers I've seen run both hot AND loud.
  • Sagrim - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    A simple answer, and one that can be debated.

    Air flow/circulation. This case has 1 PSU fan (attached) that pulls air in through the front and across the already cool HDDs (Green HDD + SSD). Has 1 mid/front fan (located behind top cage), to blow air past the fanless Crossfire cards, 1 fan attached to the CPU cooler, and 1 exhaust fan at the back of the case. The top vent fan is blocked off with sound dampening material (and, achieved better cooling results with it covered).

    Arguably, this is a quiet case with rather good airflow potentials considering it isn't a small case requiring air holes all over the place, and massive side panel fans. It achieves excellent cooling with minimal noise, and heat. Smaller cases create more heat, and require more fans, or for fans to spin faster due to ushering out the heat. Which, in turn causes more noise.

    Larger cases are able to sidestep the issue of heat to a great degree when smaller cases require more ways to get rid of the heat (more fans, more vents, more noise, etc).
  • HangFire - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    So some slam it for not having a 6890. Now it is too big, heavy, and I suppose, way too fast.

    Maybe we're just talking about different target markets here.
  • mariush - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    It's designed to be a silent pc yet they screw almost everything up...

    Power supply... why would you need 850 watts?

    The system uses 60w idle and 200w load so it's obvious 400-500 watts is enough even with slight overclocking - they could have used the amazing Seasonic 460w that's completely passive and it's 80+ GOLD, 90-92% efficiency... see

    Or if they really wanted they could have used the regular Seasonic X-560 or X-650 (that I own), which are both completely passive at less than 20% load.

    Nothing special about the video card, it's passive from the factory - I have a stock radeon 4850 with Accelero S1 Rev 2 passive kit mounted on it - 40 C idle, 60-65C load... they could have added a more powerful video card, if they custom mounted a proper passive cooler .

    They could have mounted a faster hard drive on a 5.25" bracket below the dvd drive, on some silicon pads or some sort of noise dampening mechanismsm because that's what you'll hear during operation, the interrupted noise of the disk heads - your ears get used to the constant buzz of the coolers and don't notice them after a while, especially at such low speed.

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