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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  • mino - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Yes, the article is clearly misleading and no having the time to spend on newegg hunt I had assumed EXACTLY as you have. (comments excluded)

    What is worse, the AT stuff is pushing it absurd by arguing that since it is $1400 (best case), saying $1000 is "alright". Sheesh.
  • mino - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Just seen Dustin's comment down the way ... thanks for the open mind!
  • gigahertz20 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    No matter how you spin it, this computer is over priced. Most AT readers build their own machines anyways, but this article was interesting anyways since I've never heard of Puget Systems.

    No way am I, or the 90% or so of AT readers going to pay such a premium for this when I can do it myself.

    What I would like to see is a DIY article on how to silence a desktop computer. What cases/power supplies/fans/etc. are the best to get. I'm one of those that have always sacrificed performance for silence, I can't wait until I can build an affordable computer some day and have it dead silent in a room that has 0 audible noise.
  • OneArmedScissorB - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    That's been possible for quite some time. The more expensive socket 1366 i7s are pretty much the only CPUs left that will actually run hot, so you can turn the fan way down. The only passive video cards are almost always under $200. Lower power PSUs are easy to get away with now, and make very little heat and don't need their fans to spin up much. Only one case fan is really necessary, and it can run a low speed. 2.5" HDDs are available in very high capacites. SSDs are steadily dropping. Most everything runs cool stock and you don't need a bunch of aftermarket heatsinks slapped on every component.

    It's actually cheaper to build a very quiet computer than the middle of the road noise makers I see most people come up with. Too many people overdo the power supply, overclock their CPU when it's not even accomplishing anything, and don't adjust their fans.
  • BigDan - Sunday, February 13, 2011 - link

    It really is so simple to build a quiet computer these days. I have one of those 1366 boards and I have the Silverstone Raven 01 case which is tall and roomy but, its panels fit tight and aside from the temp replacement fan on my o/c'd 950 [3.8Ghz] which is the stock one the H50 came with. It is dead quiet or it was when I had another pair of fans on it that died. It may take time but its sometimes worth the wait for something you want. I built it in 1 year at a savings of $1000.00 usd by shopping around.

    Now Puget Systems stuff is too expensive, comparing their top of the line system to a real company like Digital Storm and there is a huge difference. DS also offers a 3,4 or five year warranty.
  • mino - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    This computer is not a DYI build.

    Go find us another of-the-shelf box with these parameters on the market and we may START talking about the price.

    i7 980X is very expensive. But over(what?)priced? A Xeon ?

    The same goes for this build.
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    I would put that $421 into better components and spend a weekend having a blast away from the gf, just chicken wings Fosters lager some cool films in the background and all those sweet unboxings! But that's just me.
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    1 year parts and labor? I just RMAd a mobo to Intel 2.5years into warranty, they sent me out a new board no problem. My psu has 7years behind it video card 3years, like I said do it yourself will cost so much less per year down the road AND better quieter higher performing even better looking components, nuf said pal!
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    I was right with you until the Foster's comment. Yuck. You do know that actual Australians consider it a crap beer that they ship over to the US and market well?

    I was on vacation last year during the SuperBowl and a large family from Australia was staying near us. We had some great conversations during the trip and one was how they get marketed to us with our "bad" beers and vice-versa. :)
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Fosters does make a green can lager that I agree is pretty yuk, but the blue label in bottles is pretty good!!! Just substitute Fosters lager for a fine wine or frozen margaritas or Budweiser still that's a great weekend, and it's ok if the gf hangs around ya have to take a few breaks to clear your mind, right? ;)

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