One of the core values of Puget Systems is transparency
We detest hype in the midst of an industry that is full of it. Our mission is to provide the highest quality hardware and consultation services to our customers, and to back up our decisions by freely sharing what we've learned along the way. To earn a place in our product line, a computer component undergoes rigorous testing. We apply the results of our testing, along with our years of experience in learning reliability trends and manufacturer characteristics, to make prudent decisions about what we can put our name behind, whether that's an individual part or an entire computer. With the following articles, we are writing up the results of these internal processes and discussions, and taking them public. We feel we can take this on with a unique perspective as we evaluate each topic with the experience, resources, and objectivity of a system builder. If there is a topic you'd like us to write about, email us at !
With the advancement of computer technology, the number of specifications for video cards has become overwhelming for those not deeply involved in the computer industry. In this article, we will explain all of the different specifications we list for video cards and what they mean for you, the end user.
The 15 and 17 inch laptops in our Traverse line received a slight upgrade from the manufacturer featuring better graphics and better battery life, but at the same time includes a small price increase. So while we want to evaluate these new models to ensure they are right for our customers, we also decided to take this opportunity to evaluate a laptop that removes the NVIDIA graphics completely and only uses the Intel graphics that is integrated into the CPU.
ECC (error-correcting code) RAM is essential in servers and many workstations as it dramatically improves the reliability of the system's memory. This is great, but we have learned that it is very difficult to verify that ECC is working correctly. In this article, we will go over three methods that we have found to at least semi-reliably show if ECC is working as it should.
Fractal Design's Define XL R2 is an EATX chassis with a deceptively simple exterior that hides a wealth of features that will satisfy almost any user. This chassis has great cooling potential with seven different 140/120mm fan mounting locations (including one on the side panel), but also has several acoustic dampening features that make it a great choice for those looking for a quiet system.
AMD's FM2 platform is a great choice when you want decent graphical performance but either do not have the space or do not want to spend the money on a discrete video card. Unfortunately, there are only two mini-ITX boards currently on the market: the ASRock FM2A75M-ITX and the MSI FM2-A75IA-E53. Today we will be looking at the MSI FM2-A75IA-E53 to determine if it is a board we would like to carry in our product line; specifically to update our Echo line of systems.
We normally do not publish reviews of video cards since review sites like Toms Hardware and Anandtech already do a great job reviewing these parts and any article we write would have very little to add. In the case of the NVIDIA Geforce GTX Titan, we were so impressed with its performance that we decided to go ahead and publish our own review for this card.
Written on February 11, 2013 by Matt Bach
Since the release of SATA 6GB/s, there has been some confusion regarding the necessity of using a specific SATA 6Gb/s cable for SATA 6Gb/s drives. We have addressed this in previous articles, but enough time has gone by that we wanted to take another look to see if anything has changed since we last examined the issue.
We at Puget Systems have always held the belief that a computer's hardware should be specifically tailored to match what the computer will be used for in order to maximize its effectiveness. Different programs make use of hardware in different ways, and knowing how the program behaves is important to determine what pieces of hardware need to be more powerful, and which are not as critical. In this article we want to determine if the speed and configuration of RAM affects the performance of Photoshop CS6 and if so by how much.
Solid state discs are amazingly fast compared to their more traditional platter counterparts, but we keep hearing over and over on the web that people are getting lower performance than they expected based on the manufacturer's advertised performance numbers. In this article, we will be looking at why this is and whether it is normal or or not.
Closed-loop liquid cooling units are a great way to get exceptional cooling without the hassle and risk of a traditional liquid cooling systems. The Corsair Hydro H60 CPU Cooler is one such cooler that has recently had some improvements made. In this article, we will be taking a look at the changes to determine the effect on both the overall cooling performance and noise levels.
At Puget Systems, we track a lot of data but one of the most important things we track is the failure rates of individual components. Reliability is of our primary values, so this data is invaluable for tracking both individual component, product line, and overall brand failure rates. With 2012 coming to a close, we thought we make public a bit of this data to let you know what hardware we found to be the most reliable in 2012.
Far Cry 3 uses Dunia Engine 2 as its graphics engine, which is the updated version of the Dunia Engine found in Far Cry 2. In this article, we will be benchmarking Far Cry 3 on our Deluge A2 and Deluge L2 systems to both certify that the game runs without any problems and to find what video card you should use to be able to play the game at multiple different video settings.
AMD's Trinity APU - essentially a CPU and GPU combined into one unit- is a great way to create a budget gaming system when using a discrete video card is not an option. However, due to the limited performance available with any onboard graphics, it is important to thoroughly optimize it to get the best possible performance. In this article, we will be looking at the components that have an influence on the performance of the integrated graphics in AMD's Trinity APUs.
While not quite as important as having a high quality heatsink, thermal paste plays a very important role in keeping your CPU (or video card) running cool. A few weeks ago, we looked into the proper techniques for applying thermal paste. In this article, we will be using what we learned to properly test a number of popular thermal pastes.
The best technique to apply thermal paste is something that is often debated, and as a whole the internet has not decided on a standard technique. There are many varying techniques that are recommended, so in this article we will best test a variety of techniques to see which performs the best.
This article is intended as a guide to recommended hardware specifications for gaming computers, across a few different price points, based on technology available in late 2012 / early 2013. If you have questions above and beyond what is discussed, here please call or email us - we would be happy to go over your exact needs and provide advice tailored just for you!
As more and more people discover the benefit of multiple displays, many - especially those using mobile platforms - are beginning to max out the number of displays their system can handle. The SIIG USB 3.0 Dual Head Docking Station provides an easy way to add two displays through the USB 3.0 interface. The displays, while not ideal for gaming, work great for watching movies or browsing the web.
Similar to AutoCAD, Maya 2013 does not have any specific features or effects that are GPU accelerated, instead almost everything that looks 3D uses the GPU in some manner. You still need to balance a powerful video card with a good CPU and RAM combination, but the video card you use for Maya is an extremely important part of the performance equation. In this article, we will look at a number of desktop and workstation cards to see the performance difference between a wide variety of cards.
Windows 8 has a host of new features and improvements that are aimed to improve usability. Many of the larger and more important of these are already very well documented by either Microsoft or third party websites, but it is often difficult to locate the best articles. We researched the best articles for each important new Windows 8 features and grouped them in one place to help you find information on whichever feature interests you.
AutoCAD 2013 does not have any specific features or effects that are GPU accelerated, instead almost everything that looks 3D uses the GPU in some manner. You still need to balance a powerful video card with a good CPU and RAM combination, but the video card you use for AutoCAD is an extremely important part of the performance equation. In this article, we will look at a number of desktop and workstation cards to see just how important a role the video card plays in the performance equation.
Premiere CS6 utilizes the Mercury Playback Engine to take advantage of the video card to vastly improve both the performance and quality of certain features, but there is currently very little information available regarding the performance of different video cards. In addition, the list of compatible cards from Adobe has not been updated to include the current NVIDIA 600-series video cards, which is further adding to the confusion of deciding which video card you should use for Premiere CS6. In this article, we will be benchmarking a variety of video cards to find out how well the MPE in Premiere works with NVIDIA 600-series card, and exactly how much performance difference there is between a wide spectrum of video cards.
Photoshop CS6 utilizes the Mercury Graphics Engine to take advantage of the video card to vastly improve the performance of certain features, but there is currently very little information available regarding the performance of different video cards. In addition, the list of compatible cards from Adobe has not been updated to include the current NVIDIA 600-series video cards, which is further adding to the confusion of deciding which video card you should use for Photoshop CS6. In this article, we will be benchmarking a variety of video cards to find out if Photoshop is actually compatible with the NVIDIA 600-series, and exactly how much performance difference there is between a wide spectrum of video cards.
While Borderlands 2 may not require as high-end of hardware as other recent shooter games, some users will still find the need to upgrade their systems to run it at the settings they want. In this article we will be benchmarking the performance of Borderlands 2 on two different systems from Puget Systems Deluge line of gaming computers using a variety of NVIDIA and AMD video cards.
Fractal Design's exclusivity agreement with Newegg has recently ended, so over the past month we have been looking at a number of their chassis to determine if there were any that we would be interested in offering to our customers. After looking at a number of different models, we found the Define R4. The Define R4 has an emphasis on quiet operation (as evidenced by the front door and built-in acoustic dampening) which fits well in our product line; but the size, number and location of the fan mounts means that it can very easily be converted into a chassis with very powerful cooling. In this article, we will be looking at the features of this chassis and examining it's cooling potential to see if it is a chassis that could find a place in our product line.
Even before launch of the Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs in April 2012, it was discovered that the CPUs were running a bit hotter than expected. The TIM paste was proven to be the culprit by the Japanese site PC Watch when they reported that by replacing the TIM paste they saw a load temperature drop of 8-11 °C at stock clock speeds, and an amazing 15-20°C drop in load temperatures when overclocked to 4.6 GHz. We decided that it was time to do our own testing to see if anything has changed in recent months. The result was some very interesting data that caught us a bit by surprise.
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