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
There’s a wealth of found-comedy in watching this gang of armed, helmeted robbers try in vain to smash the glass in this Malaysian jewelry store in Jalan Besar, Sungai Buloh: the hammers bounce off the fantastically tough glass, whose resilience is positively otherworldly, while the otherwise beautifully choreographed robbery (which includes some pretty snazzy outfits!) […]
Ladder lockdown is a metal tray with super-grippy patches on its underside; set it down on any surface (including ice!) and then set your ladder’s feet in the tray and cinch it in place and the ladder won’t “kick out” and injure you and your loved ones.
Eser Dominoes are an interesting proof of concept that won a juried award at the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival.
The TREBLAB X11 Earphones are versatile, offer great sound, and are currently $32.99 in the Boing Boing Store.These Bluetooth earbuds are a great workout companion. They’re totally sweat proof and their ear-fins keep them snugly in place during high activity — something that Apple’s AirPods can only do if you were blessed with precisely the […]
Whether you’re a seasoned entertainment industry veteran or a student working on your first spec script, having the right tool for the job will make a huge difference in your focus and productivity.Final Draft 10 is far and away the world’s best screenwriting software, used extensively by professional film and TV writers at top production […]
Web content creators who don’t have a solid SEO strategy should take note of Webtexttool. It’s a service that pulls in anonymous data from their entire user base to offer crowdsourced guidance that increases your search page ranks. By analyzing prior user successes, it helps you better gauge how your posts will perform at a […]