Puget Systems Serenity Core i5 HTPC Review - Essentially Silent
Inside the Serenity HTPC
While the exterior was pretty much all Antec, let's see what Puget was able to modify on the interior to make it unique.
The first thing to see is that when removing the top of the case and looking at the panel there is quite a bit of noise dampening installed that is used to keep vibrations down and to prevent the fan and hard drive noise from the system hardware from escaping.
Looking down at the hardware you can see the machine is built in a very organized manner and the cables are neatly hidden away from view to improve appearance and airflow.
The Scythe air cooler uses an oversized fan so that it can rotate at lower speeds and retain good air flow, keeping the system quite under load. The DDR3-1333 memory that Puget used was low profile and heatsink-less indicating pretty modest performance timings.
This empty bay allows the user to upgrade their system with two additional hard drives if they desire.
The optical bay actually holds both the ASUS Blu-Ray burner as well as the HDD container (more on that below).
The Intel 320 SSD is mounted below the optical drive and benefits the HTPC by being completely silent.
You might be wondering where the 1.5TB WD hard drive is hiding and the answer is inside this noise dampening enclosure. This enclosure was lined with some very heavy foam insulation that easily kept the noise from the spinning disk in check while still keeping the drive cool enough to be reliable.
Here you can see the wrapped heatsink on the hard drive itself.
The Seasonic power supply adds another fan into the equation but it remains pretty silent with a 90% efficiency rating.
Even the front the case has noise dampening material on it - Puget Systems was sure to include it anywhere it might benefit the user.
Okay, let's see how the system performs and what our sound levels looked like.