Puget Systems makes old-school boutique tower PCs for gamers. The last time I looked at one
, it brought performance, heft, multiple video cards, and coolant tubing packed into a giant enclosure. It also came with something else: noise
puts it so: performs like a Ferrari, sounds like a Mack Truck
Its latest, the Serenity gaming PC
, fixes it for who hate the hum.
On the outside, it's a classy, if nondescript Antec case. Inside, however, it's calmed with acoustic foam panels, dampered screws and other vibration-reducing handiwork. And while Puget's online configurator lets you change most components, it defaults to selections tested for quiet operation. The result is a pleasing murmur, if not complete silence -- the optical drive spinning up is by far the loudest thing in it.
But silence doesn't come cheap. Starting at $1,682, it's about $400-$500 more expensive than a standard, similarly-specced desktop from Dell or HP. And while buying boutique means you get better customer care (including a logbook of system construction, burn-in tests, gaming becnhmnarks, and even Robocop-vision thermographs of the completed system under load) it's also true that configuring the same stuff into Puget's own standard gaming PC configurator results in a similar discount, albeit on an AMD platform instead of Intel Quad Core.
Tested at the base Serenity Gaming configuration, it has an i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and an XFX Radeon HD 5770 video card with 1GB RAM. A fanless video card option is available, but those defaults are already as modest as most gamers will likely want to settle for. Heading in the other direction, a faster CPU or more RAM shouldn't result in more system noise, but moving to a top-shelf video card will.
It performs well enough, and has a nice clean Windows 7 installation, but the real plus to buying from a boutique retailer is getting a reliable custom machine without having to put the damned thing together yourself. Noise reduction is as much a time sink as squeezing an extra FPS or two from marginal hardware ever was, but with the added irritation of it always being hands-on process involving pads, washers, glues, icky thermal pastes, heatsinks, incantations... Envisage the woe-pregnant nightmare of building your own computer, but where labor's diminishing returns lie not in easily-diagnosable config issues but in inexplicable vibrations and weird noises emanating from nowhere in particular. Finding that last whining component is like when you have a dying battery in a smoke alarm, but there are eight smoke alarms inside a box and each one must be individually unscrewed before you can figure out which is making the infernal squeak, and ... you get the idea. So you get the point of the Serenity PC, for those who care about these things.
The pros being clear, the cons for Serenity are its price, its heavy case, and (for those of you who still buy games on disc and don't NOCD) the whirry default optical drive. Get it if you want quiet, custom, upgradeable gaming without the hassle, but not if budget performance--or preserving desktop space--is your real priority.
Here's an account of buying from Puget
from a paying customer.
Serenity Gaming PC
Andrew McGill’s internet-connected toaster isn’t really a toaster: it’s a “honeypot” designed to resemble the insecure “internet of things” gadgets— cameras, LED lightbulbs, fridges, etc—that make up the vast botnets behind recent internet attacks. The honeypot was hacked within an hour. I switched on the server at 1:12 p.m. Wednesday, fully expecting to wait days—or […]
All through 2016, Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (aka @ThePieous) has sent us a stream howtos for of amazing, artistic pies — an HR Giger pie, a James Bond pie, and a Predator pie. Now she’s kickstarting a set of pie templates to help you make perfect pop-culture pastry in your own kitchen.
Andrew Lekashman offers a brief pictorial a history of mechanical keyboards, from adding machines to dumb terminals to Symbolics monstrosities to modern blank-key hacker totems. There was a lot of ingenious tech left by the wayside on the way to finding the perfect click. Pictured above is one not included in the roundup, a particularly […]
With Xamarin, coders can develop native apps for both iOS and Android without learning two different programming languages. Obviously, hiring one programmer rather than two is beneficial for companies and makes Xamarin experts highly in demand.You can easily learn Xamarin online with this Xamarin Cross-Platform Development Bundle. It will teach you to use Xamarin and code […]
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]