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 Post subject: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:09 pm 
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Posts: 5
Based in large part on the reviews of Puget's Serenity on SPCR, I went ahead and ordered one for myself with a few changes, most notably the GTX 460 video card as I intend to use the system for mostly gaming and some work:

Asus P7P55D-E Pro
Intel Core i5 QUAD CORE 760 (Lynnfield) 2.8GHz 8MB 95W (Socket 1156 45nm)
2 x Kingston DDR3-1333 2048MB
EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1GB
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB
Lite-On 18x DVD-ROM SATA (black)
Antec P183 (Gunmetal Finish)
Antec CP-850 850W Power Supply
Gelid Tranquillo
CAcoustiPack Acoustic Composite Sheet Package
Antec P183 General Quiet Modification Package
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM

According to Puget's build system, my configuration matched their certified Puget Serenity Home. (not the SPCR edition)

Here is a picture of the internals of my system provided by Puget:
http://www.pugetsystems.com/pic_disp.php?bid=52315

The ordering process went smoothly and it took them 5 business days from the time I placed my order to ship out my system. When the package finally arrived, I eagerly unpacked it as I was excited to "hear" just how quiet the Serenity would be. I had very high expectations based on the reviews on SPCR as well as Puget's own measurements (20dBA for the Serenity Home).

The system was packed very well and it took me almost 10 minutes to pull out of the double-box packaging and remove the foam placed inside the computer to keep components from being dislodged while in transit. Finally, I hooked everything together and turned it on.

Unfortunately, I was surprised to hear a very audible rush of air that sounded a lot louder than 20dBA. To be fair I don't actually know what 20dBA sounds like but assuming the ambient noise in my room is at 45dbA, I was surprised that the Serenity was noticeably audible. I expected not to be able to hear it from my sitting position, but it's audible from 8 feet away. I intended to use this computer during the day for work and gaming at night, but at the moment it's too loud to work with during the day.

I currently use a 2010 Macbook Pro for work and the only noise I hear from it under light use is the occasional hard drive seek noise. Were my expectations too high to expect at least the same from the Serenity? The Serenity is about two feet away underneath my desk.

It's not all bad news. When I tried to play Starcraft 2 on the Serenity, it did not get any louder even at the highest settings and 1920x1200 resolution. At least in this regard, it is significantly better than the Macbook Pro which sounds like a turbine engine under load.

I'm still working with Puget to resolve the noise issue and will update this thread as necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:29 am
Posts: 35
what fans are in that ?....have you tried adjusting their speed ?


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 Post subject: Re: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:08 am
Posts: 5
zoran89 wrote:
what fans are in that ?....have you tried adjusting their speed ?


The case fans are the one that came with the Antec P183 which are their tri-cool fans. They have 3 settings: low, medium, and high. I've made sure that both are set to low.

I installed EVGA's Precision software and it gave a readout of 1110RPM or 30% for the GTX 460 fan which I believe is already the lowest possible speed.

The CPU fan is the Gelid Tranquillo. I haven't tried to do anything with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:24 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Charlotte, NC
You might want to try booting up without your video card. My first EVGA GTX 260 had a very noisy fan and was by far the loudest source of noise. After replacement, it is only mildly the loudest :)

I was shocked how quiet my system was after pulling the card--so that's why I'm suggesting it to you :) You could also experiment with RivaTuner and such... Even my bad 260 was pretty decent after I booted into Windows and clocked it down to minimum speed.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:14 pm 
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edan wrote:
You might want to try booting up without your video card. My first EVGA GTX 260 had a very noisy fan and was by far the loudest source of noise. After replacement, it is only mildly the loudest :)

I was shocked how quiet my system was after pulling the card--so that's why I'm suggesting it to you :) You could also experiment with RivaTuner and such... Even my bad 260 was pretty decent after I booted into Windows and clocked it down to minimum speed.

Good luck!


Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I don't think can't run without my video card as my motherboard doesn't have onboard video. I opened up the case and tried to listen closely to the video card but it's a little hard to tell with all the other fans right beside it if it's the loudest thing in my system. I wish I could somehow disable the video card to eliminate it as the source of my noise issue but I'm not sure if that's possible without actually pulling the card out.


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 Post subject: Re: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:24 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Charlotte, NC
sheppard wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I don't think can't run without my video card as my motherboard doesn't have onboard video. I opened up the case and tried to listen closely to the video card but it's a little hard to tell with all the other fans right beside it if it's the loudest thing in my system. I wish I could somehow disable the video card to eliminate it as the source of my noise issue but I'm not sure if that's possible without actually pulling the card out.


Yep, mine is an x58 board with no onboard video either, and I couldn't tell what was making all the noise until I pulled the video card :) My Asus rampage gene board came with a little LCD that told me what the bios state is, so I also learned that things got quieter when the VGA bios posted :)

Anyway, I would just pull the card and power it up for a 10 or 20 seconds or so. You'll notice almost immediately if its your video card. You won't hurt anything if you kill power when you are booting up, or even if it boots up all the way... You won't have any open files to close unexpectedly :)


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 Post subject: Re: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:29 am
Posts: 35
sheppard wrote:
zoran89 wrote:
what fans are in that ?....have you tried adjusting their speed ?


The case fans are the one that came with the Antec P183 which are their tri-cool fans. They have 3 settings: low, medium, and high. I've made sure that both are set to low.

I installed EVGA's Precision software and it gave a readout of 1110RPM or 30% for the GTX 460 fan which I believe is already the lowest possible speed.

The CPU fan is the Gelid Tranquillo. I haven't tried to do anything with it.



I had antec tro-cool fans and they where very noisy .....but when i set them to low they were noisy but not THAT noisy.... Can you find whats the speed of cpu fan?


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 Post subject: Re: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:08 am
Posts: 5
zoran89 wrote:
I had antec tro-cool fans and they where very noisy .....but when i set them to low they were noisy but not THAT noisy.... Can you find whats the speed of cpu fan?


I used CPU fan the other day and I think the CPU fan was somewhere below 800 RPM.

With the help of a technician from Puget using the process of elimination, we discovered that the biggest cause of noise was the front case fan that was pulling air into the case (we alternately stopped all the fans in the case to do this). The Puget technician said that I have quite a bit of headroom with respect to heat and that it should be okay for me to turn off the case fan which I have now done. The fan itself wasn't that loud - I think the noise was caused more by turbulence as the air is pulled into the case rather than the noise of the front case fan.

Now that I've lowered the noise of air rushing in caused by the front case fan, it's much more tolerable but still a bit louder than I'd like. While going through the process of elimination above, I discovered that the next biggest source of noise after the front case fan is now the rear case fan. I'm working with Puget to replace it with something quieter and will report back when I get it done.


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 Post subject: Re: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:24 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Charlotte, NC
Glad to hear you are making progress! Sounds like their tech support is helpful, which is always nice to hear :)

That also sounds like quite a plug for the EVGA GTX 460... My Scythe S-Flex fans are practically inaudible next to my 260 at stock fan control, and it's quiet enough for me now :) Or I guess your Antec fans might just be that much louder... I haven't looked at the recommended fan article in a long time. Anyway, glad to hear you are getting there.


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 Post subject: Re: Puget Serenity Home Edition review
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:08 am
Posts: 5
Based on Puget's technical support staff's suggestion, I replaced both the front and rear case fan with the Scythe Slip Stream 800RPM 120mm Fan and under-volted them both down to 5V using a pair of Zalman Fanmate 2's. This reduced the air rushing noise sufficiently such that it is no longer audible from two feet away.

At this point, the noise level of the system is acceptable, though still not quite inaudible from my seated position. Lowering the noise from the case fans revealed another softer noise that was previous masked. It's just slightly audible from two feet away and comes from the power supply fan. At least I think it's the PSU fan as I don't know what else in the PSU's area can generate noise. It sounds somewhat like a rattling noise - very different from the previous air rushing noise from the case fans. Unfortunately replacing the PSU isn't something easy to do as the CP-850 isn't completely modular (I'd have to undo all of Puget's great cable-management work) so I'll just live with the slight noise for now. Perhaps if it gets noisier I'll muster up the energy to try swapping it out. I was very surprised to find the PSU's fan to be louder than the GTX460's fan.

Overall, my experience with Puget has been positive. It would have been a lot less hassle if I had just ordered the case fan upgrade to begin with as that is essentially what I did (with the exception of also changing the CPU fan from the Gelid Tranquillo to the Scythe). If someone is interested in ordering the Puget Home Serenity, I highly recommend getting the case fan upgrade as it significantly lowers the noise output of the system. Puget's own employees suggest that the case fan upgrades are only for those who are really picky about noise output, but if you're here on SPCR's forum you probably fall into that camp.


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