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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  • flemeister - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    "why did they pick a 850W PSU?"

    They didn't pick the CP-850 because of it's 850W rating, they picked it because it's the most suitable for the job:

    1) It's exceptionally quiet
    2) It's pretty cheap for the wattage on offer
    3) With no fan in the front of the HDD/PSU chamber for the sake of silence, the 120mm fan on the CP-850 provides cooling for hard drives in the lower drive cage
    4) Most important of all, the fan only ramps up from its minimum speed after reaching ~300W load (in a hotbox; ~400W if it's intaking cooler air, such as when installed in the lower chamber of the P183). With such low power consumption in this setup, the PSU fan will never ramp up. Even with Crossfired 5750's, max power consumption will have trouble going past 300W.
    5) What are the alternatives? Something else this quiet would cost a similar amount and be just as quiet or perhaps noisier. May as well use the CP-850.

    See the SPCR review of the unit for more details.
  • michal1980 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    I read the spcr reviews. Bla bla bla. A smaller PSU, picked for the correct energy usage, is whats needed. This isn't engineering, this is over kill.

    There are fanless psu's outthere if you are going for ie from the spcr site itself

    Seasonic X-400. Game,set,match. No fan, will go up to 400watts. Whats Puget excuse?

    Oh you need a fan for the hd? waa waa, hook up another super low rpm fans on a control. Idleing, have them turn off.


    Whats the excuse for the subpar gaming perfomrance, that anandtech seems to be whitewashing over?
  • Anchen - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Hey, which is cheaper? The antec 850, NOT the seasonic x-400. Game set match? The Seasonic x-400 is an awesome psu. It also costs a ton for 400w. Seems like a good excuse to me.
  • michal1980 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    wow, the 850w psu is 7 dollars cheaper OMG, (850w= 119+12ship, 400w 129+6ship)

    This is a $2,000+ thats claiming to be designed for silence, and they cannot eat a ~$10 difference? Or just rise the price 10 bucks? And claim its even more silent?

    The point is to use the right tool for the job, just throwing something bigger at a problem is dumb engineering.
  • Sagrim - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    It'd come out to around an extra $20 if you include the extra fan that would be needed for the lower cage/psu area. Which, would require the fan to be upfront near the case (notice, ZERO intake fans are at the front) -- which would most likely up the dB slightly (even at low).

    Also, the x-400 would leave little wiggle room in terms of upgrading the gpu, and/or overclocking (notice, it was the K series).

    So, the Antec CP-850 provides the wind tunnel effect down below with it's "pass through" design, it's cheaper, it is stunningly quiet, and helps the overall airflow/cooling of the system.

    I fail to see the need for the x-400, even if the CP-850 is considered overkill.
  • Taft12 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    There you go bringing ACTUAL engineering into a newbie's rant against "dumb engineering".

    We're trying to keep things dumb around here! You're ruining it!
  • michal1980 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    I've been on anandtech for years before you joined. And years before I even regesitered.

    As an engineer, I see dumb engineering.

    smart engineering would be to go with a passive psu, that with a seperate fan. Dumb engineering to go bigger to solve the problem.
  • mino - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Go for a beer and come back when you manage to process Sagrim's post.

    Thank you.
  • kmmatney - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    Why would you want such as low-powered PSU? The 850W allows for upgrading components in the future - seems like a great choice.
  • michal1980 - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    because 400watts is more then enough for even a high power video card.

    Look back at anandtech gpu reviews.

    single 6970 tops out at ~360 watts.

    I love the more is better mentallity.

    A direct result of stupidty, and a direct cause of waste.

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