This is going to be an unusual blog post, because I'm going to try and talk you out of one of our most impressive (and expensive) products. This isn't the sort of thing you'd normally see on a commercial website, but I guess we're not your normal commercial blog either. Today I'm going to try and convince you that you don't need a fully liquid cooled system.
Posted on February 1, 2013 by Brett Nordquist
When it comes to building a custom PC, one of the most important selections is the graphics card. What used to be viewed as a distinction, often limited to gaming systems is now a vital part of many computers ranging from post-production workstations to trading PCs requiring support for 8+ monitors.
Since the number of choices for graphics cards can be overwhelming, we cull through many brands and models until we find those which meet our performance and reliability standards. Only then do we offer specific brands and models for placement in a computer crafted by Puget Systems.
It wasn’t long ago that Solid State Drives (SSD) were considered a luxury item, reserved for those who demanded drive speeds only SSDs can deliver. The first generation of SSDs were not only limited in capacity (40 and 60 GB models were popular) but were very expensive, often costing more than $500. That makes for a difficult sell when a mechanical drive could be had for about half the the price and nearly 10x the capacity.
Starting in the first quarter of 2011, companies such as Intel, Corsair, Samsung and other began dropping prices on their SSDs. At Puget Systems we’ve found Intel to build a reliable and fast SSD at a reasonable price and have consolidated our offerings around their main lines.
Posted on August 17, 2012 by Daniel Brown
With each new generation of Intel processors, the answer to this question gets more complex. There are currently three distinct product lines including processors named ‘Core i5’, three product lines including processors named ‘Core i3’, and a whopping five distinct lines including processors with the ‘Core i7’ name.
It's relatively common for power users and those in the IT industry to have two PCs at their desk. One may be a laptop or maybe just an older machine that runs some necessary legacy software or has a lot of data on it that may be difficult and/or time-consuming to migrate to the newer system. Some use a hardware KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch to change their screen and input device connection from system to system, while others just have a seperate set of peripherals for each machine. Each of those methods has it's own set of advantages and drawbacks, but both methods are conducive to a cluttered desktop and a nonsensically-segregated style of work.
One of my favorite scenes from the film, The Shawshank Redemption, is when Andy and Red share stories of the places each would visit if set free. The scene ends with Andy stating, mostly to himself, “Get busy living or get busy clicking”.
So I might be off by a word, but I have no doubt that’s what Andy would have said if he had spent the last three weeks playing Farmville. If you enjoy clicking around the screen to do everything from plowing a field to milking a cow to harvesting eggs from a chicken this is your game.
Continuing with our series of “favorite” games here at Puget Systems, I decided to jot down a few of the experiences I’ve had while perfecting my farming skills.
Antivirus software quality is a controversial subject - if I were to ask 10 different PC technicians which antivirus program to use, I wouldn't be surprised to get 10 different answers. One factor is that the options are changing so quickly - if you don't look at all the alternatives often, it can be easy to lose track of which products are most competitive. Additionally, there are many subjective considerations that people may weigh differently - just a few of the questions that might be important for a given user are: How many current viruses does the software detect? How much will it slow down my system? How much does it cost? Is it going to annoy me with irrelevant pop-ups, or will it keep out of my way? How well does it guess about new virus threats that aren't documented in it's virus definitions database?
Last month I wrote an article about why Dropbox is one of my favorite products. Not only does it sync files across all my PCs and mobile devices, but it does so with an elegant presentation and little user intervention. Basically, it just works.
This month I'd like to share another product I've been using for several years. Although Dropbox easily syncs files across all my devices, I have a much larger set of files ranging from financial documents to music and videos. This group of files I need to backup, but don’t need to access as often or from all my devices.
I had the opportunity to take a day with Brett Nordquist yesterday, and attend the Geekwire Summit in downtown Seattle. The sessions ended up repeatedly circling back to the overwhelming proliferation of mobile devices. Todd Bishop said something I entirely agree with. "Of course we're in a post-PC era! Why are we arguing about it?" he said. "But that doesn't mean the PC is dead." Exactly! Clearly the technology world is changing. But what does that mean for PCs?
We sell all sorts of computers here at Puget Systems, and one of the more popular requests is for a gaming computer. In fact, we have designed one of our main brands around gaming - the Puget Deluge is an excellent system to consider for a gaming rig. Some gamers come to us already knowing what specs they want, but others are seeking more detailed guidance on what processor, video card, and other components to go with. The exact advice we give depends on the situation: the sorts of games they are interested in, the screen resolution they plan to run, their budget, and other preferences. However, a lot of that advice can be distilled down into the following basic principles.
Over the last few days, I've been taking some time to update the documentation of the Puget Systems marketing and advertising strategy. I'm finding that what I am really doing is documenting the culture of the company, because the way we approach advertising is a good window on the way we run our business. We are sometimes asked "Why haven't I seen advertisements of your company?" That is a great question. What the inquirer is really trying to determine is whether Puget Systems is a legitimate, successful business. Most of the most successful PC manufacturers canvas heavily with advertisements, from magazine ads to website banners. Isn't Puget Systems successful as well? If Puget Systems is successful, where are our advertisements? In answering these questions, we have a great opportunity to talk about something that makes Puget Systems special.
Many of the computers we sell here at Puget Systems will be used for playing games, and we also get a lot of folks wanting to run two (or more) monitors. Sometimes those goals intersect, and in those situations I have had people ask if they needed to get a second video card so that using additional monitors will not impact their performance for gaming. I myself use two monitors here at work, which has been a great improvement in usability, but I don't play games in the office. Because of that I've had to fall back on anecdotal evidence when this topic comes up, and make educated guesses depending on individual scenarios. Rather than continue in that approach, though, I wanted to get hard numbers to support my advice.
Widespread flooding in Thailand is affecting millions of people there, and has shut down many thousands of factories. In the computer industry, this is creating a severe hard drive shortage. Some manufacturers (such as Western Digital) are directly affected, with plants in Thailand that are shut down. In addition, many hard drive component suppliers are also impacted by the flooding, extending the reach of this shortage to all hard drive manufacturers.
Early this year, I decided to purchase and setup a trio of monitors for a triple monitor display. The setup itself was going to be used in a span configuration with a resolution of 5760 x 1080 on an ATI 5870 Eyefinity Edition video card with the goal of being able to see more while gaming. I thought I'd share my experiences, and what I learned may help you with your own monitor configuration.
Puget Systems has been in the business of building computers for 11 years now, and we know what we are doing when it comes to assembling top-notch custom computers. It is a bit insulting, then, when a parts manufacturer puts out a warning which appears - on the surface - to indicate something we do is resulting in anything other than the highest performance possible. Yet here I am, to let you know about just such a notice that nVidia's latest driver software is giving when using their graphics cards in certain configurations.
Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor architecture is turning 6 months old in July, and has been a major seller in the PC market in these few short months. There was a slight hiccup a month after it was released, when it was found that there was a defect in the SATA controller of the chipsets designed to work with these processors, but that has long since been resolved and no further problems have arisen.
Posted on April 14, 2011 by Chris Bristol
Yesterday Gartner released a report that worldwide PC shipments fell in the first quarter of 2011. As I read over the article I couldn’t help but compare this current state of the PC industry as a whole to that of Puget Systems.
As a custom computer manufacturer, we’ve sold liquid-cooled systems from well before I joined the company. A water-based coolant is able to transfer heat away from hot components like the processor (CPU) and video card (GPU) more quickly than air alone would. That added cooling is appealing for folks who want to push their systems beyond design specifications. Overclocking ability is perhaps the most the most tangible benefit of liquid-cooling, but there are other reasons some folks are interested in it: liquid-cooling can make a computer look very stylish, for example, or allow operation of more hot-running components than a chassis could normally keep cool.
You may have heard about the flaw announced today with Intel's Sandy Bridge platform. What does this mean for Puget Systems customers?
Posted on January 26, 2011 by John
This is the third in a series of blog posts about Home Theater Computers (aka HTPCs), where several Puget employees get a chance to explain their approach to home theater computing. My approach is distinctly different than the previous entries, which can be found here: Richard's, William's.
This is the second in a series of blog posts about Home Theater Computers (aka HTPCs), where several Puget employees get a chance to explain their approach to home theater computing. You can read William's entry here.
If I had to sum up the goals of my home theater with a single word, it would be "Convenience". I actually don't spent that much time in my living room, but when I do, I really want to minimize hassle. I don't mind a lot of work setting things up the first time, but I just don't want to waste my precious R&R time juggling five remotes, three pointing devices, and a keyboard.
In the Romero home we have three systems that heavily use the internet in one way or another, two of which are connected wirelessly. Our trusty Linksys WRT54G has been our gateway to the world wide web, but recently the router has been suffering as heavier loads have been put on it. With a subscription to Netflix and a Steam account playing those highly addictive online FPS' games, the demand for internet among the three systems has become overwhelming, especially on the computers operating on wireless.
This evening, I came across a forum thread online, in which users of electronic trading workstations were comparing Puget Systems to other PC builders (mainly bargain basement PC builders). An owner of one of our PC's posted the following:
"I paid a $600 premium for my last computer from Puget. Since I typically keep a computer for about three years, I'm paying about 55 cents a day extra to have super reliable trading machines backed up by great customer service. For me, it's worth it because computer problems mean time away from trading and/or time away from my wife and kids. Everybody has to make his own price/value decision."
I love the thought process!
Traditionally, over at least the past 15 years, the main role of a video card in a computer has been to accelerate 3D graphics. That is a large part of what has made modern computer games possible, and it has also contributed heavily to CAD / CAM work and digital animation. Video cards have also helped with 2D graphics and video playback, but the main focus has been on 3D speed.
Along with a few other guys here at Puget, I've been really enjoying Blizzard's new game - Starcraft 2. While the basic gameplay remains the same, Blizzard has definitely brought Starcraft into the 21st century, with updated graphics, better game control mechanics, better online matchmaking, great cinematics, and overall a much smoother and more intuitive experience.<< Older Posts