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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 !
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Adobe Lightroom 2015.8 Storage Performance Analysis

Written on December 22, 2016 by Matt Bach

While what CPU or video card you should purchase tends to be at the forefront of any workstation hardware discussion, storage is often just as important. While there is little existing evidence that Lightroom benefits from particularly fast storage drives for your project files, considering how fast modern hardware has become we felt the need to look into it in more detail.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/874
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Adobe After Effects CC 2017 Disk Cache Performance Analysis

Written on December 19, 2016 by Matt Bach

Having a fast disk cache plays a very important role in After Effects, allowing you to store frames you have already rendered for playback at a later time. In this article we will be looking at how different speeds of cache drives impact the performance of After Effects.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/868
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Samsung 960 Pro vs 950 Pro Performance & Thermal Throttling

Written on December 1, 2016 by Matt Bach

M.2 drives like the Samsung 960 and 950 Pro can give incredible performance, but under sustained loads they can get hot enough that the drive needs to throttle the performance to stay within safe temperature limits. In this article, we will not only compare the 960 Pro to the 950 Pro in terms of raw performance, but also in terms of how quickly each drive will throttle.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/854
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Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015.4 Storage Optimization

Written on November 30, 2016 by Matt Bach

More than almost any other hardware component, the advice you will often see concerning how many and what kind of storage drive to use along with the best way to configure them is based either on anecdotal evidence or information that is vastly out of date. In this article, we will be benchmarking a variety of drive types and configurations to see what actually makes a difference when working in Premiere Pro.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/795
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Samsung 950 Pro M.2 Additional Cooling Testing

Written on June 6, 2016 by Matt Bach

M.2 drives like the Samsung 950 Pro can give incredible performance, but they can sometimes run hot enough that the drive needs to throttle the performance to stay under safe temperatures. For those that need a M.2 drive to run at full speed for longer periods of time, we decided to run some quick tests to compare a number of different M.2 drive cooling methods.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/776
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Samsung 950 Pro M.2 Throttling Analysis

Written on June 6, 2016 by Matt Bach

M.2 drives like the Samsung 950 Pro can give incredible performance, but they can sometimes run hot enough that the drive needs to throttle the performance to stay under safe temperatures. To help you decide if it is something you need to worry about, we decided to benchmark a Samsung 950 Pro in a variety of M.2 slot locations with a range of system configurations to show how much a Samsung 950 Pro might throttle in your system.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/772
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Samsung SATA SSD's Amazing Reliability

Written on March 7, 2016 by Matt Bach

At Puget Systems, we spend a a lot of effort tracking the failure rates of all our products to make sure that each is living up to our quality standards. Today, we want to publish a short article to specifically call out one line of products for being extremely reliable: Samsung SATA SSDs.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/725
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Product Review: Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 Drive

Written on October 27, 2015 by Matt Bach

The Samsung 950 Pro is the successor to the Samsung SM951 and their first retail M.2 drive. While this drive does run cooler than previous M.2 drives from Samsung, it still has some throttling issues due to high temperatures. Even with that, this drive has incredible sequential read and write performance at an attractive price point.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/703
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Product Review: Samsung SM951 M.2 Drive

Written on August 10, 2015 by Matt Bach

The Samsung SM951 is the successor to what was at one time the fastest consumer M.2 drive - the Samsung XP941. This drive has incredible sequential read and write performance, but suffers from extremely high temperatures under load.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/674
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Understanding the WD Rainbow

Written on July 15, 2015 by Matt Bach

WD has a very diverse hard drive product line that can be difficult to decipher at times. In this article we go over the various 3.5inch hard drive lines from WD to help you decide which is right for your system.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/602
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Western Digital Green vs. Red Hard Drives

Written on October 7, 2014 by Matt Bach

WD Green drives have a long been a staple in our quiet systems. However, the NAS and RAID oriented Red drives have a few features that make them much more attractive while being just as quiet. In this article, we will go over the differences between Green and Red drives to show why we consider Red drives to be the better choice than Green drives in most quiet systems.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/601
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Western Digital Black vs. RE Hard Drives

Written on September 29, 2014 by Matt Bach

Here at Puget Systems, almost half of the traditional hard drives we sell are Western Digital Black drives. However, the enterprise-class RE drives have many features that make them much more attractive, but are also more expensive. In this article, we will go over the differences between Black and RE drives to show why we consider RE drives to be the better choice than Black drives in most systems.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/586
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Overview of M.2 SSDs

Written on August 15, 2014 by Matt Bach

M.2 is a new form of connectivity that allows a SSD to connect directly to the PCI-E bus allowing for theoretical speeds as high as 2GB/s. However, M.2 drives are complicated in that they allow for a variety of physical dimensions, connectors, and even multiple logical interfaces. To help our customers understand the nuances of M.2 drives, we decided to publish this overview of M.2 SSDs.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/575
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Samsung XP941 & Plextor PX-G256 M6e M.2 Qualification

Written on July 30, 2014 by Matt Bach

M.2 is a new form of connectivity for SSD drives that allows them to connect directly to the PCI-E bus rather than going through a SATA controller. By bypassing the SATA controller a M.2 drive can have a theoretical maximum throughput as high as 2GB/s which is over three times faster than the 600MB/s SATA is limited to! Unfortunately, temperature and motherboard compatibility is a major issue with these M.2 drives.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/557
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Introduction to Self-Encrypting Drives (SED)

Written on April 30, 2014 by Matt Bach

A SED (or Self-Encrypting Drive) is a type of hard drive that automatically and continuously encrypts the data on the drive without any user interaction. In fact, many drives currently on the market are SEDs, although the majority of users do not know the benefits of a SED, let alone how to take advantage of those benefits.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/545
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Qualification: LSI 9341-8i & 9361-8i RAID Controllers

Written on March 24, 2014 by Matt Bach

At Puget Systems, we've been using LSI RAID cards for a number of years now and have always been very happy with the quality of both the controllers and the MegaRAID software. The new 9361-8i and 9341-8i RAID controllers from LSI continue in their predecessor's footsteps but add PCI-E 3.0 support and the new mini-SAS HD SFF8643 12GB/s connector.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/183
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SATA 3Gb/s vs. 6Gb/s Cable Performance (Revisited)

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.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/179
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SSDs: Advertised vs. Actual Performance

Written on January 25, 2013 by Matt Bach

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.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/148
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How it Works: Intel SSD Caching

Written on June 29, 2012 by Matt Bach

SSD caching is not new, but is something we have not inspected closely since its introduction with the Z68 chipset. In this article, we will be answering the questions: What is SSD caching? How do you set up and configure SSD caching? And what kind of performance improvements you should expect by using it.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/134

Product Review: Intel 520 SSDs (Cherryville)

Written on February 6, 2012 by Matt Bach

In this article, we will be reviewing the speeds of each of the new Intel SSDs (60GB, 120GB, 180GB, 240GB and 480GB) codenamed Cherryville. Intel boasts speeds greater than 500MB/s for read and write, but it is common in the industry for the advertised speeds to be idealized. Because of this, we will be performing our own benchmark testing to find that real world speed of these new drives.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/126

Card Reader Comparison: USB 2.0 vs USB 3.0

Written on December 16, 2011 by William George

Anyone who has used a digital camera or smart phone has probably seen flash memory cards - small, removable devices on which a variety of data can be stored. Card readers in computers allow easy access to read those memory cards, or write new data to them, but the process can be slow for folks like photographers, who often work with multiple cards each full of image files. Can the move to a faster interface for card readers, like USB 3.0, improve performance substantially?


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/117

How It Works: Asus USB 3.0 Boost

Written on November 9, 2011 by Matt Bach

The USB 3.0 Boost software from Asus is designed to take advantage of the recently introduced UASP (USB attached SCSI protocol) to give a performance boost to supported USB 3.0 devices. In this article we will take a look at exactly how much of a performance increase an USB 3.0 external hard drive can achieve using this software.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/97

SATA cables: Is there a difference?

Written on August 11, 2011 by Matt Bach

With the release of SATA III 6GB/s, we have seen some confusion on the web regarding what SATA cables are supported. Today we will be addressing those concerns by testing multiple SATA 3Gb/s and SATA 6Gb/s cables to see if there are any performance differences.


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/96

Product Roundup: Kingwin 3.5inch Hot Swap Racks

Written on August 10, 2011 by Matt Bach

Today we will be reviewing three different sizes of 3.5" internal hot swap racks from Kingwin. They are the KF-1000-BK (single drive), KF-3001-BK (triple drive) and the KF-4001-BK (quad drive).


Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/88

How it works: Windows 7 Libraries

Written on July 12, 2011 by Matt Bach

The addition of libraries in Windows 7 allows users to store data anywhere they want on their PC, while still being able to access it all from one central location. But how does one go about configuring their libraries to fit their needs?