The last time Jon Bach, president of Puget Systems, told me about one of his projects was back in 2009, and we published What Does A $16,000+ PC Look Like, Anyway? That was four quad-core Opterons with 32 GB of memory, and something like six terabytes of mechanical storage. Sixteen grand. In 2009.
More recently, Jon sent over the details on a 16-core setup with 64 GB of DDR3-1600 for less than half as much ($7400). But the specs weren't even the highlight. Front and center was the fact that Jon was citing near-silent acoustic figures. As someone who has actually built workstations across several generations of processor architectures, I know this isn't easy. What follows is Jon's walk-through of Puget's Genesis II Quiet Edition.
Quote: Top to bottom, the components included are the kind of high quality that you'd expect. As I mentioned previously, this is the quietest workstation I've ever tested, an impressive feat when you look at the tremendous amount of performance on tap from the two CPUs. A series of intelligent component choices, smart engineering of the chassis, and an overall clean build allow the Genesis II Quiet to very effectively achieve what Puget Systems set out to do: build an incredibly fast system that produces virtually no noise. That everything runs as cool as it does is just an added bonus.
Quote: Buying computers from Puget Systems is like having your own private custom computer service, who is 100% up on the latest and greatest hardware, helping you select the best components for the intended use, who build every PC like they are building it for themselves, fully testing it and then lovingly boxing-up their creation to have it safely arrive at your front door.
Quote: So we search for the perfectly silent yet enormously powerful PC. And Puget Systems delivers: a quad-core machine with extraordinary power, a fast, quiet solid-state drive and a graphics card that can handle just about anything you throw at it. And it does all that with complete silence. Sure, it makes some sound, but you can't hear it unless you place your ear directly on the PC case itself. In other words, there's no way for this PC to be any quieter.
Quote: The Puget Serenity Pro SPCR Edition easily qualifies as a Certified Silent PC. The measured sound pressure level of 11.5 dBA@1m at idle and 15 dBA at full system load and 30°C room temperature is very impressive and unprecedented.
Quote: But for workstation users that might be looking for an alternative to the Dell or HP offerings and maybe want to get the latest hardware before those larger companies finally get around to selling it, looking into the Puget Genesis I and Genesis II line of systems is a great start.
Quote: ...it's easily the least gaudy looking gaming system I've ever tested and the components are always quality. The customized Antec P183 V3 enclosure is also much appreciated, guaranteed to keep the noise down better than other boutique builds might. If I weren't so invested in rolling my own, this would probably be the desktop I'd order for myself.
Quote: ...what you get in return are simpler configuration options backed up by more careful, stricter component selection than you're liable to see from other boutiques and certainly way more than from a major vendor. ... What makes the Obsidian such a solid choice is the smart component selection all around. ... This system is cool, fast, and quiet.
Quote: The Puget Serenity Mini SPCR Edition is just as silent as the Serenity, SPCR Edition v.3. The measured sound pressure level of <11 dBA@1m at idle and not quite 13 dBA at full system load is at the same level as any fanless PC with no moving parts; the fanless PSU alone will emit enough electronic noise at full load to match this SPL.
Quote: If you are looking for a quiet system to add to your home theater, and don't need gaming as one of the features, then we would highly recommend looking to Puget Systems and their Serenity line of systems.
Puget Systems earns a 9 out of 10 score with the Serenity Mini!
Quote: Is the Serenity Mini really that quiet? Yes. The rig is dead silent, which is more of a mind-bender than anything. You expect a system running at 4.5GHz to make some noise, but this is a black hole of silence.
Quote: Taken at face value, the Puget Systems Obsidian is a reasonably solid enterprise-class tower. The very basic configuration keeps costs, power consumption, heat, and noise incredibly low. ... Ultimately, taken at face value the information we've seen from Puget Systems indicates their Obsidian is a highly reliable build that would be ideal for mission critical situations.
Quote: One of the main reasons Puget Systems used this case is because they can make it practically silent, even when you're playing games and it's amazing how quiet it is. We even brought in a decibel meter just to see how loud it is; this is easily the quietest gaming PC we've ever reviewed. It's got a lot of padding in the case to make it quiet, and the fans spin slower than usual, but we didn't have any problems with overheating at all while we were playing.
Puget Systems brings more to the table than any one of us can really achieve, though. I've had the privilege of looking at the extensive reliability testing they do on the components they use in their builds, and the fact is that very few of us have thermal imaging hardware required to get a really good idea of where the hot spots in our builds are. And then while I'm sure many of you own a dremel and wouldn't have any problem modding your cases, I don't. The Deluge Mini is a custom build of the highest order.
Puget Systems is operated entirely in Auburn, Washington, U.S.A. including their technical support. Until you buy a PC them, I can honestly say you will never know what you are missing buying "mass produced" PCs. Every PC leaving their facility is a "good one" backed by people who really care about their product. With the kind of investment we make in our nature photography, it makes a lot of sense to invest in a high quality, high performance PC to make the most of our digital files. Quality parts, quality construction, quality (and comprehensive) service - I can without reservation recommend Puget Systems for your next PC.
The Serenity Home Theater offers the best of all combinations for an HTPC; it's designed to fit in with your home-theater equipment, exceptionally quiet, and capable of playing back all kinds of media. Add a dual HDTV tuner and you've got yourself a complete entertainment center companion.
Puget Systems sent us one of their super quiet†Serenity custom HTPC builds for testing. Find out why Rob's so impressed by this machine (and its †Core i5 2500K CPU), and some advice on when to buy and when to build in the video!
Quote: Even when I transformed our Midwest Test Facility into a completely silent environment by shutting down everything that makes even the slightest noise, including the refrigerator and the heating system, I still could not hear a peep emanating from of this PC.
Quote: Puget Systems clearly thought the Serenity from the ground up, and there's some careful consideration going on here to ensure the quietest system. This is a smart design if ever I've seen one, and you can't argue with results: Puget Systems set out to build a silent computer and they've achieved it. The Serenity runs, under load, quieter than most laptops I've tested run at idle. We can't test the noise level because it basically sits beneath the noise floor of my apartment complex and I just don't have gear sensitive enough to pick it up.
Quote: The Puget Serenity i7 Sandy Bridge SPCR Edition extends the tradition established by the previous iterations of this PC. It is superbly assembled, provides better performance and draws less power than its predecessors, and remains extremely quiet in our test conditions.
Quote: Puget, the builder makes sure that you know what was done step by step when building your custom PC. After we configured our Serenity Mini, Puget immediately began assembling it and provided us a Web link where we could track the system’s progress in real time, including during the benchmarking process. And when the Serenity Mini was ready to be sent out, Puget sent us photos of the finished product.
Quote: Our hats are off to the Puget development team for their pursuit of excellence. Puget's SPCR-certified Serenity PC is a truly well-crafted high performance computer at the cutting edge of silent computing.
Quote: Remember when the term "customer service" actually had some validity to it? It almost seems like a pipe dream these days, but there are still a few companies that pride themselves on providing top quality products with equally as good customer service. One such company is Puget Systems, a custom computer shop based in Auburn, WA. that has been in the business for nearly 10 years and has seen significant growth as a result of their well-known attention to detail.
Quote: We didn’t have a decibel meter on-hand when we were testing the Serenity, but let’s put it this way; even with the Serenity sitting at ear-level on top of a desk, any noise the machine might have made was drowned-out by the humming of a refrigerator down the hallway. This held true even when stressing the system with intensive gaming and encoding tasks.
Quote: Puget came to us just a couple of weeks ago with another unique system. This time, rather than focus on raw performance, the engineering and design teams decided to make a gaming machine as quiet as possible using currently available components and a little elbow grease. Thus, the Serenity was born and with the help of the guys at Silent PC Review, we have a CrossFire based gaming rig that was was never audible over our ambient noise levels.
Quote: Loyd Case is back! He has been reviewing the Puget Systems Serenity, a sub-20dB gaming machine. That is seriously quiet! More the DIY type? Loyd has the word on how to use components like the Gelid Tranquillo CPU cooler, the Antec P183 case and CP 850 PSU in concert with Acoustipak foam to build your own super quiet PC!
Quote: The Puget Serenity is a welcome addition to SPCR-certified silent PCs. It is a carefully crafted high performance computer that compares well with any other computer of similar components in mid-2010, with an acoustic footprint that is very small. The noise of this system will hardly be audible in many environments, and certainly not in any ordinary office. At the same time, the Serenity is as well cooled as any PC around, which bodes well for a long and stable usable life.
Quote: From the moment we placed our order on their website we felt like we were a part of the construction and testing of our own machine and not just because we were a member of the media getting special treatment. Puget offers this same level of interaction, including the near real-time monitoring, benchmarking and photos, to all of their customers whether they spend $6000 or $1000.
Quote: As your computer is being built and tested, you feel almost like you are there with them as they are putting each card into the chassie, and you stay informed by the updates in your PS account, as well as with e-mails that are sent if there are any issues that arise during the testing of the unit. I have to say that I was very, very impressed, and if I needed to purchase a “high-end” PC, whether it’s for post production or not, PS is who I would go with.
Quote: Puget Systems is a boutique PC builder that provides documentation for every step of its quality control. For example, Puget’s Quality Control Sheet lists six categories of checkpoints, most with around 10 tests under each category. Puget lists the employee who completed the check, the date it was performed, and the time the test was certified. Puget also goes a step beyond by providing you with the benchmark and performance tests, so you can be assured that the computer meets the expected performance.
Quote: The Genesis II from Puget Systems boasts two 3.33GHz Intel Xeon processors, 12GB of RAM, an IcyDock removable hard drive bay, and a Puget Hydro CL1 liquid-cooling system. Running 64-bit Windows 7, it makes an impressive DAW.
Quote: The Puget Systems Echo I is a virtually silent small form factor home theater solution. The sleek Antec case pairs nicely with most home theater equipment. The system is well ventilated to keep its components cool. It easily handles 1080P video output as well as high def audio. The low power Atom processor uses approximately 35 W meaning the system left running uses less energy than most light bulbs.
Quote: I went through the typical buying process; pre-purchase conference, email notifications regarding the system's progress through manufacturing and testing, with thermal photographs showing the system's heat characteristics. The system included final test results with the tester's name so I'd know who to call if something went wrong (nothing did). It was a fun process, and the computer proved to be a real workhorse.
Quote: On the outside, it's a classy, if nondescript Antec case. Inside, however, it's calmed with acoustic foam panels, dampened screws and other vibration-reducing handiwork. And while Puget's online configurator lets you change most components, it defaults to selections tested for quiet operation. The result is a pleasing murmur, if not complete silence...
Quote: If your need is speed, then the Puget Deluge Mini may be your choice. Over (Über?)-clocked Core i7 processor, dual graphics cards, and a speedy hard drive give you blazing benchmark speeds. An over-the-top, geeky buying experience is another plus.
Quote: Lots of folks have been asking about Nvidia's Ion, essentially a GPU for the Intel's low power Atom CPU. The folks over at Puget Systems were kind enough to loan us one of their Echo I HTPC boxes with a Blu-ray drive inside… watch the video to find out it did with 1080p video!
Quote: Having a PC in your home theater gives you terrific advantages, particularly when there's a Blu-ray player inside. The Puget Systems Echo 1 shows that a fast PC in your home theater doesn't have to be noisy, bulky or expensive.
Quote: Looking for the fastest workstation in the world? The safe bet is to go with an established manufacturer, taking advantage of seasoned design teams, combined experience of thousands of customers, and the serious buying power of a gigantic multinational corporation. Or, you could find a smaller boutique shop like Puget Systems, which will give you a world-class custom workstation such as its Genesis II, accompanied by personal service and hand-picked components, that might result in surprising performance.
Quote: Moving between applications was speedy and my encoding from Premiere Pro was extremely fast...The Genesis Liquid Cooling system was extremely quiet. This was a major improvement over my last PC, and it was even quieter than my MacPro...Puget Systems' Genesis performed like the winner it is. Steady, fast and reliable.
Quote: Puget Systems submitted the most unique system of the bunch, the Genesis II. The version we tested is built around Intel’s S5520SC Shady Cove motherboard and a pair of 3.33GHz quad-core Intel Xeon W5590 processors, capable of processing a stunning 16 threads at once. As you’d expect, the Genesis II owned almost every test that favors the CPU, getting downright biblical on Cinebench R10.
Read the full review here, and view the benchmark results table here.
Quote: I was amazed by this! This thing has tremendous power. It can play back 1080p files, perfectly. It can decompress .rar files quickly. I thought this was going to take forever. Flawless playback. Firefox 3.5 runs perfectly, quickly, beautifully. 7.1 surround, HDMI in the back runs perfect.
Quote: Its latest product is the Puget Mini. It is like a small, dangerous sports car. Lavish customer service surrounds assembly and delivery. They overclock, benchmark and burn in it. Performance is stellar.
Quote: Very tidy build, without a rat's nest of cables. Quality hardware components. Lots of handy benchmark logs and data included (useful if you know what it all means). Case-lighting-lumens are directly proportional to awesomeness.
Quote: So what does this all mean? It means that the Deluge is a kickass gaming system. It scored 73 frames per second on Crysis, a notoriously hard gaming test. 73fps means that the visuals will be smooth and stutter-free. The Deluge also scored 73 frames per second on the World of Conflict gaming test. These are pretty decent scores. The system also aced our multimedia tests.
Quote: Puget Systems is featured on the cover of CRN Custom Systems magazine!
Quote: Jon Bach, who founded Puget Systems, based in Kent, Wash., said customer service and support is tied to the company's dedication to small-business values. "One of our core commitments is service level," he said. "Service is the way you get that across to the end user." In a highly discerning and highly competitive space, offering a unique customer experience can be an important advantage. "We work really hard not to be your typical salesperson—we're advocates for the customer," he said. "We listen to the requirements of the user, and try to figure out how gaming fits into his life, and really try to come up with a tailored system for them."
Quote: Users who want loads of expansion room, along with great performance and overclocking features, will love Puget System's Gaming Computer, despite its daunting price tag of $5765 (as of January 3, 2008). The PGC comes with Intel's latest Extreme processor (the 45nm 3-GHz QX9650) and two sticks of 1066-MHz DDR3 RAM totaling 2GB. Strapped to the CPU is a Puget Hydro CL1 liquid cooler, whose radiator connects to a large exhaust fan situated where a power supply would normally be. The power supply occupies the lower back of the case, a unique arrangement that contributes to one of the neatest interiors we've ever seen.
Quote: Puget has come up with the perfect intermediate watercooling system. This system is for people that want to do watercooling, but don't want to hassle with installing the components themselves. Overall I really could not find a single problem with this case. ThinkComputers gives the Puget Systems Liquid Cooled Gaming Case a 10 out of 10 score!
Quote: Puget Custom Computers have been fantastic throughout the entire process, right from the build to the delivery, and that's what customers want. With a Intel Core 2 E6700 CPU, Asus P5N32-E SLI motherboard, BFG GeForce 8800GTX 768MB Water Cooled Edition Video Card and 2GBs of Kingston HyperX DDR2-800 memory, it's an amazing gaming rig.
Watch the full video review here, and view the review system details here.
Quote: This system was graciously provided by Puget Custom Computers and represents a solid mid-range machine that should be able to run Vista, should the owner decide to upgrade. As an aside, Puget is one of the few OEM system vendors out there that is willing to ship a computer with Linux pre-installed.
Quote: Puget Systems takes the opposite approach, focusing on exceptional customer service and providing only the highest quality components. If you want a high-performance computer and you need advice on the subject, Puget Systems looks like a very good choice, and they are more than willing to discuss your particular needs with you at length to make sure that you get the exact system you want/need.
Quote: At HardwareLogic, we'll always advocate building your own system whenever possible, but when that's not an option, we would absolutely recommend browsing Puget's website. While many OEMs focus either on rock bottom prices at the expense of quality control and customer service, or high end systems with extravagant price tags worthy of a second mortgage, Puget Custom Computers will give you the best of both worlds.
For Specialized Users, a PC Concierge to Meet Your Needs
November 1, 2006
Tim Gnatek at the NY Times portrays the benefits of having a computer custom built, using a Puget Custom Computers client as an example.
Quote: Though he chose a custom builder for better parts, fewer functions and accordingly lower prices, Mr. Harris found a third benefit when his sales agent asked what he had been using the PC for, and then suggested that he downgrade.
Read the article here (may require a free NY Times account).
On August 20th, Puget will begin sponsorship of the Computer Show on local AM radio station KVI. Check it out on Sundays from 2-3pm PST on AM 570 in Seattle, or on the web. In addition to sponsorship, you'll be hearing our ads throughout the week both on KVI AM 570 and KOMO AM 1000! Listen to the ad here.
Quote: Sleek clean lines, unmarred by the massive cooling system hidden within, are the hallmark of this chassis. Ease of access and assembly adds to its mystique. Throw in that it comes as part of a custom system of your choosing and you have all the makings of a winner. PlanetX64 proudly awards Puget Custom Computers a Best on The Planet with a final score of 19 out of 20.
Quote: Once again, Puget Custom Computers has delivered an exceptionally quiet system — this time at a more reasonable price. As shipped, the system is as quiet as any system we've built on our own, and probably faster.
Quote: Can $2600 get you a dual core processor, 2GB of RAM, a top-end video card, and backing from a quality company? We ordered a custom-built high-end computer from Puget Systems and subjected it to our systems evaluation program.
Quote: Of all the companies, there are two that stand out from the rest: Puget Custom Computers and All American Computers. Puget allows you to customize your computer with a lot of variations. If you look at their website, you will might be surprised at the number of options available.