Puget Serenity, SPCR Edition v.2

SPCR Certified Silent PCs | Complete|Mobile Systems
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The customized Serenity system Puget submitted for SPCR-certification in June proved to be an extremely quiet high performance computer. In the few months since that review, Puget went back to the drawing board, tweaking and refining the Serenity SPCR Edition for even quieter peformance. In the process, some improvements for performance were also made. The table below details the changes and commonalities.

Puget Serenity PC v2
Asus P7P55D-E Pro
Intel Core i7-875 (unlocked) 2.93GHz 8mb 95W (Socket 1156 45nm)
Intel Core i7-860 - 2.8GHz 8mb 95W (Socket 1156 45nm)
4 x Kingston Value DDR3-1333 2048mb
2x Kingston Value DDR3-1333 2048mb
Video Card
PowerColor Radeon HD5750 1gb Silent
Hard Drive
Intel X25-M 34nm Gen2 160gb Solid State Drive
Hard Drive
WD Caviar Green 2.0 tb
WD Caviar Green 1.5 tb
Optical Drive
Lite-On 8x Blu-ray Player
Pioneer 22x DVD-RW
Antec P183
Antec CP-1000
Antec CP-850
CPU Cooler
Gelid Tranquilo w/ Scythe SlipStream 120 fan
Gelid Tranquilo w/ stock fan
Quiet Fans Upgrade (Scythe SlipStreams)
Quiet Case Fans Upgrade (Scythe S-Flex)
Case Mods
AcoustiPack Acoustic Composite Sheets
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Lifetime Labor, 1 year parts
Starts at $1250.00
As tested, Sept 2010: $2692
Starts at $1250.00
As tested, June 2010: $2542

The fundamentals are the same, with the same type or series of components. Unchanged are the motherboard, video card, and case. The CPU speed got bumped a bit, the amount of RAM doubled to a whopping 8GB, the HDD capacity went up by 500gb, the PSU's maximum power rating went up to 1000W, and the optical drive is now a Blu-ray player. Most of these should lead to higher performance, with the exception of the PSU rating change. That might increase longevity, but probably not, as the original machine only pulled 240W maximum from the wall, which translates to a DC load of under 200W or just 23% of the 850W rating of the original PSU.

The only significant component change that would impact noise is the move to Scythe Slipstream 120 fans across the board. This time, the fan on the Gelid heatsink is also changed. In our own reviews, SPCR has noted that the Slipstreams sound smoother and quieter at similar RPM or airflow compared to the S-Flex (and most other fans). We'll see what impact this has on the overall noise.

Here is a note from Puget about the changes:

1) We've now made a custom plastic plate for blocking the top vent. It's just more polished, but also blocks the sound a tad bit better. We had to make a ton of them to make them economical, so we sell them now too!

2) We've updated all chassis fans to Scythe Slipstream 800rpm, at 5V. We did a LOT of testing, and we're very happy with the temperatures, and are confident that we're not going to find much quieter than this! Temperature logs are provided in the packet with the PC we're send you, though I'm sure you'll be testing yourself.

3) We've updated the CPU fan to Scythe Slipstream PWM. We have gone through the BIOS, and instead of relying on the default "Silent" QFAN profile, we have custom tuned the fan ramping curve to provide the lowest noise levels while maintaining good temperatures. We also tuned it to prevent cyclic patterns of the fan ramping up and down. We keep it nice and smooth, and in fact, our full load speed is only 30% higher than our idle speed. We have this VERY well dialed in.

4) For the SPCR edition, we are now cherry picking components from our shelf that are the quietest. We've found that even with the same model of component, there are variations in noise level. Hard drive spindle noise, power supply fan noise, motherboard electrical noise (we're so quiet now that that's one of the loudest items!)... we set aside the quietest components for SPCR packages. We're branding this "Picked by ear." (Editor's note: This could be as significant as the change in fans!)

5) We've done some minor power management tuning in Windows 7. None of it is necessary to ensure quiet operation or good temperatures. We wanted to make sure customers get the same experience even if they reinstall the OS. Mainly, we're just decreasing the inactivity time before the secondary drive spins down.

6) All this with no increase in price!

Everything else about the system is the same as in the original Serenity, so there's no point going over those details again. Please refer to the original Serenity review for details on the great packaging, documentation, external cosmetics, etc.

Serenity PC page at Puget Custom Computers
The SPCR-certified Silent PC Program
Original Puget Serenity SPCR Edition Review

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