Gaming Performance

It's not going to surprise anyone to see the Puget Serenity take last place in all of these tests; the second-slowest gaming system we've reviewed sports a Radeon with more than twice the number of stream processors, more than twice the memory bandwidth, and higher clocks to boot. That said, many of the really high scores we've seen are largely academic: can anyone really tell the difference between 100 frames per second and 150? Without getting into the ridiculous argument of whether or not the human eye can see more than 30 frames per second (if it's not supposed to be able to, I'm pretty sure most of the video geeks in the readership—myself included—are superhumans), that framerate should still be your baseline for acceptable performance.

Outside of the stunningly CPU-limited StarCraft II, Puget Systems's Serenity is able to at least beat the 30fps mark by a fairly healthy margin. I like to see framerates in at least the forties to ensure smooth gameplay, but any of these games are perfectly playable at our "High" preset, which is basically running them at maximum or near-maximum (as in the case of Call of Pripyat) settings, 1080p, and no anti-aliasing (excepting Left 4 Dead 2). Knowing that we're a little bit close to our ceiling, let's see what happens when we do kick anti-aliasing in with our "Ultra" preset.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is pushing its luck and Call of Pripyat is fairly punishing even on our other systems, but for the most part these games (outside of Call of Pripyat) remain playable and fluid. Shifting the bottleneck back to the video card in StarCraft II sends the Serenity tumbling back to the bottom of the heap, but even then it's still very playable. Gamers looking for extra frames may want to disable anti-aliasing in that title anyhow, as the image quality difference is negligible when the performance impact is taken into account. Suffice it to say these settings are basically the threshold for the Radeon HD 5750, and while performance is good, the 6850 is going to be a welcome upgrade.

Application and Futuremark Performance Build, Noise, Heat, and Power Consumption
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  • capeconsultant - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    to silence! I myself have the quietest computer! Sound pollution sucks!
  • tipoo - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Agreed, drives me nuts.
  • MeanBruce - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    You should try a 10db rig! Normal healthy human breathing is 10db, so sweet!
  • MeanBruce - Friday, February 11, 2011 - link

    This is the 10db fan I have used in my system Noctua NF-P14 it came with the Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler but is also sold separately. It comes with two inline resistors so you can attenuate it down to 10.1db! Just go to the Noctua website if you want more info, oh and it comes with a 6year warranty, a fan, that's a little better than this Puget system, just a little! ;)
  • mgl888 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    I tune the crap out of my fans to get the quietest desktop. Fan controllers, rewiring, BIOS mods, software PWM control etc.
    I probably can't reach 11dB with my current case, but it's barely audible at the moment. As the review said, I can't justify spending an extra $1000 for a.. say 5dB decrease in noise.
  • medi01 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    I second that. The price is outrageous.
    To silence my PC in similar setup I've payed:

    140$ for Antec
    4x 120mm coolers => 40$
  • medi01 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Forgot about CPU and Graphic card coolers, about 60$ total
  • Firebat5 - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    Don't know what the antec comment was about, but I thought I would share that I am really, really happy w/my antec skeleton case. I have all stock coolers... It is darn near silent. The fans on the graphics card and cpu never spin up.... And the big 300mm fan is really, really quiet... Even w/o the steel skin of a regular case it is far, far quieter.
  • Drag0nFire - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    If you can't stomach the price, you can build a similar pc yourself. I can't speak highly enough of the great people at Great place to go to help pick out the best parts for your desired balance between performance and silence.
  • capeconsultant - Thursday, February 10, 2011 - link

    So true! SPCR rules all! My Noctua case fans and CPU cooler kicks silent butt. My machine id drop dead silent with hardly any extra expense at all. The Noctua fans were a bit premium and the best $$$ I ever spent. BTW the stock Intel cooler for my i5-650 was a total joke. I laughed at it. Here are 2 links, one with Intel, one with Noctua!

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