Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

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MikeC
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Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by MikeC » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:15 pm

Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by Enzo_FX » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:03 pm

I wish I had the noise floor to appreciate/justify such a no-compromise-on-silence build heh, oh and the money lol.

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by _MarcoM_ » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:18 am

I'm curious about mounting metod of case fans: metal screws or silicon grommets?

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by rpsgc » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:43 am

Think what they could achieve (in low noise), if they started to use third-party video card coolers.

But I guess that's not feasible for them eh :)
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by flemeister » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:10 am

_MarcoM_ wrote:I'm curious about mounting metod of case fans: metal screws or silicon grommets?
Judging by how flush the rear exhaust fan is to the case, I'd say screws. At ~600RPM, the Scythe Slipstream hardly vibrates anyway. :)
rpsgc wrote:Think what they could achieve (in low noise), if they started to use third-party video card coolers.

But I guess that's not feasible for them eh :)
Just adjust the fan speed curve so that the GPU temp tops out at ~90c instead of 76c. No need to swap it out. :)

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by Ralf Hutter » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:49 am

Not too many things get my computer geek juices flowing these days, but boy those thermal imaging shots sure are nifty.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by rpsgc » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:52 am

flemeister wrote:Just adjust the fan speed curve so that the GPU temp tops out at ~90c instead of 76c. No need to swap it out. :)
Then why would anyone buy this instead of building it themselves?


Or do you really think "ordinary" people know how to adjust the fan speed curve of a video card's fan(s)? If they did they were building their own computers instead of buying boutique pre-built computers.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:55 am

With Puget's effort, the end result seems like more than the sum of its parts, but then it is their great attention to detail in those parts AND how they all work together that allows the result.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by axee » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:36 am

How were case fans controlled? Was CPU fan PWM, were case fans running at fixed speed or controlled by motherboard?

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:45 am

axee wrote:How were case fans controlled? Was CPU fan PWM, were case fans running at fixed speed or controlled by motherboard?
AFAIK, fan control is entirely in the BIOS.

With the certified system reviews, I prefer not to delve deeply into how thing are done, but focus more on the end results. There's a justifiable sense of propriety among the vendors, who don't want to share all of their hard-learned and sometimes unique knowledge with competitors (which might sometimes include DIYers).
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by axee » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:57 am

OK I understand, I'm just trying to learn as much as possible to improve my system. It would be nice to know how those fans are connected, though..

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:05 am

Well, the fans are clearly listed as Scythe Slipstreams -- and yes, they are PWM versions. Hard to get fans starting/running consistently at <500RPM with voltage control, and motherboards generally work best w/ PWM fans these days.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:37 am

Very pretty - nice to see a P183 work so well with a big GPU.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by jonbach » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:44 am

Answering a few of the questions so far:

1) Aftermarket GPU coolers: We try to avoid using them, but we have in the past. Many require heatsinks to be attached to the video RAM with thermal epoxy. A warranty nightmare. Overall we are very pleased with the Asus DirectCU line!

2) Fan control: The fans are all PWM, controlled by the BIOS. We don't want Windows-based software controlling them, because we don't want the Serenity experience to be OS dependent. We see a strong Ubuntu demand here! We work with Asus to custom tune the fan response curves, with two goals. First, obviously we reduce the RPMs. Stock BIOS would throw fan error warnings with how slow we run the fans. Second, we tune the fan response time. When dealing with lower airflow like this, you can encounter...what would you call it....thermal resonance? The fans endless cycle up and down, up and down in RPM trying to respond to a changing chassis temperature. Hundreds of hours of testing time have gone into tuning these things.

3) Fan attachment: We attach with screws. Things like fan vibration dampening, PSU mount vibration dampening...its more gimmick than useful feature these days. The only things we find still have the ability to create vibration in the chassis are the optical drive and platter hard drives. The system fans and even CPU fan run too slow, and are too well balanced, to create any noticeable vibration.

4) Build your own: We certainly won't stand in the way! In fact, we try to be as transparent as possible with our process. That's one of the things I enjoy most about Puget Systems -- we're not trying to hide behind "proprietary information" to keep ourselves in business. What we do is the result of good old fashioned hard work, and LOTS of time perfecting our trade. We embrace the enthusiast and DIY community. We're actually not even targeting those folks to buy our PCs -- we know you can do much of this on your own. But we also know you are likely the "computer guy" to your friends and family, and we want to be the trusted source you can refer those friends and family to! :) The "picked by ear" concept is probably the strongest feature that sets us apart from DIY. The custom BIOS tuning with Asus is another. These are BIOS customizations that Asus is not comfortable putting public, because there are many who would use it incorrectly and lead to higher failure rates on their components.
Last edited by jonbach on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by axee » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:47 am

The motherboard contains a fan RPM profile that regulates the speed of the fans to the temperautre sensors. While Asus QFAN technology helps quiet a system, is it inadequate when dealing with a PC as silent at the Serenity SPCR Edition. We custom program the fan RPM response curve, making the fan RPM tightly tuned for the specific thermal properties of Serenity. We take extra care to prevent RPM cycling up and down, keeping the RPM (and sound) at a smooth, constant rate. Sometimes the annoyance qualities of sound are as important as volume!
My guess would be that PWM Slipstream fans are used, all run from CPU PWM header, probably with PWM splitter, powered by molex connector. Everything is controlled by Asus QFAN in bios, probably set to silent mode (or maybe adjusted somehow - custom BIOS or something).

It's nice to know, that such a respectable company uses same techniques that I'm running for the last few years :D

BTW great review, Mike!

EDIT: @jonbach: thank you for your response!

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by Jens Lyn IV » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:15 am

They worked with ASUS to create an exclusive firmware for this Bluray burner, which keeps it running at slower than normal speed in most conditions.
Now this I like. I find most optical drives hysterical in their response to short read requests, I wouldn't mind them waiting a second or two before spinning up since small file reads are done before they reach top speed anyway.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by ThermaCal » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:47 am

Mike can you please elaborate on your "Intel's maximum safe recommended temperature of 72°C" comment?

Where does that come from? Does "safe" mean OK to run at the level long-term? Has Intel stated a max temp before throttling generally occurs? Their ARK page only shows a temp for Tcase = 67.4°C, and the thermal guidelines datasheet was too technical for me to extrapolate this other info.

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by TechSergeant » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:16 pm

rpsgc wrote:Think what they could achieve (in low noise), if they started to use third-party video card coolers.

But I guess that's not feasible for them eh :)
The problem with 3rd party is validation and warranty. Puget has to use what's available mainly since NVIDIA card partners have to validate and/or prove their cooling solutions to carry the NVIDIA GPU warranty. The partners have to validate each one with NVIDIA which can get costly. Additionally, NVIDIA is very selective on their validation parameters. If a 3rd party cooler carries any doubts, it can't be used. Since cost the final variable, most every partner simply doesn't care to be that innovative.

That said, ASUS DirectCU II is easily the best GPU cooler for controlling temps. And, there are a few good VGA utilities like ASUS GPU Tweak, MSI Afterburner, GIGABYTE OC_GURU II and EVGA Precision X which all allow you to control the GPU fans if you won't to curb a little noise. By default, they're tuned to support NVIDIA's default recommended "safe" parameters. I turn down the RPMs on my ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II and it still doesn't reach 80C. 8)

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by TechSergeant » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:19 pm

_MarcoM_ wrote:I'm curious about mounting metod of case fans: metal screws or silicon grommets?
They use standard fan screws at the moment. However, they have tried a few different options including rubber stand offs of sorts which unfortunately tend to all dry out over time. Some climates cause them to turn brittle more quickly than others. The problem with some acrylic stand offs is that they also get a little brittle. If it's a one time use, it means breaking it to remove or replace the fan. It's better to be safe than sorry with something simple like a case fan.

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by TechSergeant » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:22 pm

axee wrote:How were case fans controlled? Was CPU fan PWM, were case fans running at fixed speed or controlled by motherboard?
ASUS' handy little Fan Xpert 2 utility lets you set manual or automated fan control parameters. The BIOS is the easiest no-fail option. Utilities can sometimes crash or maybe something the end user installs damages the program. The BIOS has probably been custom tuned by ASUS to manage the Serenity systems.

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:25 pm

ThermaCal wrote:Mike can you please elaborate on your "Intel's maximum safe recommended temperature of 72°C" comment?

Where does that come from? Does "safe" mean OK to run at the level long-term? Has Intel stated a max temp before throttling generally occurs? Their ARK page only shows a temp for Tcase = 67.4°C, and the thermal guidelines datasheet was too technical for me to extrapolate this other info.
Perhaps recommended is the wrong word, but it's the highest casing temp for current 1155 chips explicitly tagged/discussed by Intel. Look for this document -- Desktop 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Family, Desktop Intel® Pentium® Processor Family, and LGA1155 Socket: Thermal Mechanical Specifications and Design Guidelines, Sept 2012. Ah, here: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ ... guide.html

Figures 6-1 and 6-2 on p.41 shows the relationship between power dissipation and casing temperature presumably w/ their stock heatsink at whatever the ambient temp is: 77W = 67.4C. Go to the next page for the rest of table 6-2, and you find 95W = 72.6C. This is probably still not the highest temperature that these processors can run, they have built int throttling circuits that will kick in. There are also several thermal sensors in there, and the one for the casing reads lower -- I'm sure it's not the actual casing but a sensor inside the chip with an offset to estimate casing temp with reasonable accuracy. The ones that SpeedFan and other utilities report as Core 1, Core 2 and so on are much higher, upwards of >10C higher. They can get to 90C even when "CPU temp" is 70C -- and there's no throttling. These are the temps we generally use for CPU cooler testing, etc -- much easier to see differences between coolers.

An aside: You don't need any software to detect throttling -- an AC meter works fine, when it happens you see the AC power drop significantly. The CPU pulls less power so, naturally, AC power drops.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by ThermaCal » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:26 pm

So your 72°C suggestion is derived from the 95W result shown on Table 6-2?

That "Thermal Mechanical Specifications" document was the one I was confused by earlier. Intel could've been clearer in how they label the 67.4°C target. On the ARK page it's labeled Tcase, and in the Thermal Specs doc it's labeled Tcase_Max.

If you're interested I found this Intel page - http://www.intel.com/support/processors ... 033342.htm - which describes Tcase as "the temperature measurement using a thermocouple embedded in the center of the heat spreader. This initial measurement is done at the factory. Post-manufacturing, TCASE is calibrated by the BIOS, through a reading delivered by a diode between and below the cores."

This page, which is potentially outdated, had some additional info - http://www.techreaction.net/2009/10/14/ ... peratures/ - including that SpeedFan usually lables the diode mentioned above as CPU.

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:49 pm

ThermaCal wrote:So your 72°C suggestion is derived from the 95W result shown on Table 6-2?
Yes. The fact that it is mentioned all suggests that the processor will still be working & alive at that power & temp.
If you're interested I found this Intel page - http://www.intel.com/support/processors ... 033342.htm - which describes Tcase as "the temperature measurement using a thermocouple embedded in the center of the heat spreader. This initial measurement is done at the factory. Post-manufacturing, TCASE is calibrated by the BIOS, through a reading delivered by a diode between and below the cores."
Yes, that is the way they did it for years. Probably still applies to 1155.
ThermaCal wrote:This page, which is potentially outdated, had some additional info - http://www.techreaction.net/2009/10/14/ ... peratures/ - including that SpeedFan usually lables the diode mentioned above as CPU.
I think my comments are in agreement.

In any case, there was no throttling with the indicated "CPU " temperature at 69C. The cores were at 87~89C.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by ThermaCal » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:57 pm

Thanks for helping me understand all that.

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by Rebellious » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:26 am

wow, that's the best packing job I've ever seen. Is that foamy stuff blown-in to fill empty spaces, or just stuffed-in?

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by ThermaCal » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:22 pm

Rebellious wrote:Is that foamy stuff blown-in to fill empty spaces, or just stuffed-in?
It looks like Sealed Air's Instapak product. The foam is created when 2 chemicals are mixed together. The custom fit is achieved by putting the bag in place and closing the container while the foam is still expanding.

Here's a video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-tJRSnGN40

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by Rebellious » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:52 pm

ThermaCal wrote:
Rebellious wrote:Is that foamy stuff blown-in to fill empty spaces, or just stuffed-in?
It looks like Sealed Air's Instapak product. The foam is created when 2 chemicals are mixed together. The custom fit is achieved by putting the bag in place and closing the container while the foam is still expanding.

Here's a video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-tJRSnGN40
That way can it lock itself in place so you can't get it out? Great idea though.

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by grandpa_boris » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:23 am

Mike, the link to the "stored configuration" on Puget's site is actually to the old 1/2011 configuration, not the new 12/2012 configuration. There is also an inconsistency between page 1, where you write that the video card is ASUS GTX670, and page 4, where in section "4. Performance" you say that the video card is GTX680. The photo on page 3 of the article clearly shows that it's a GTX670 card.

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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by Torajirou » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:15 pm

I'm still struggling to understand how two small, thin fans spinning at 2220RPM could produce but 16dB... That sounds like sheer wizardry to my ears.
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Re: Certified Silent Puget Serenity Pro

Post by pcunite » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:39 am

jonbach wrote: That's one of the things I enjoy most about Puget Systems -- we're not trying to hide behind "proprietary information" to keep ourselves in business. What we do is the result of good old fashioned hard work, and LOTS of time perfecting our trade. We embrace the enthusiast and DIY community. We're actually not even targeting those folks to buy our PCs -- we know you can do much of this on your own. But we also know you are likely the "computer guy" to your friends and family, and we want to be the trusted source you can refer those friends and family to! :)
Good to hear Jon, while I do build my own, I like recommending your brand for others.

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