Quiet PC Serenity Home Value

Quiet PC Serenity Home Value review

We're used to receiving very high quality systems from Quiet PCs, typified usually by excellent build-quality, premium components, quiet operation and a correspondingly high price. Take a look at Group test: What's the best family PC?

The Serenity Home Value is something rather different though. With the emphasis shifted somewhat towards affordability, this new system retains the company's famed near-slient operation, but with considerably less expensive components. See also: Braebo Aphrodite review.

The slimline ZM-T1 mini-tower case, is made by Zalman, known for its quiet components, and houses a Gigabyte GA-H61M-USB3V motherboard fitted with an energy-saving 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5-3475S processors.

To save power, this processor runs at a basic clock speed of 2.9GHz, and this is increased automatically up to a maximum 3.6 GHz under load. That's 700 MHz of turbo boost, compared to the usual 400 MHz you'll get with last year's Intel Core i5-3570.

The low-power chip, enables the Serenity Home Value to maintain a far lower level of power consumption than any competing system this month, requiring only 26W at idle. This also enables the system to run cooler and quieter than most, despite the use of the stock Intel processor cooler.

Because the PC uses the chips' integrated HD Graphics 4000 GPU rather than a plug-in graphics card, power consumption is kept low under load too, although gaming performance is severely limited.

You won't be playing any demanding games with this unless you're prepared to drop the quality settings to the minimum and even then you won't be experiencing particularly slick gameplay.

Under PCMark 7 the system achieved a creditable 4464 points, helped in part by its Seagate Momentus XT solid-state hybrid drive which combines SSD and hard-disk technology into a single unit. Its 500 GB capacity is a little low against terrabyte competition; but it achieved around 50% greater performance than a regular hard disk.

A hefty 16 GB of RAM is included and you also get a Microsoft 720p webcam. But the system includes neither a Blu-ray drive nor even a monitor, which will have to be taken into consideration when pondering the low £696.26 price tag.

A two-year collect-and0return warranty is provided, along with free lifetime telephone and email support for the original purchaser.

Quiet PC Serenity Home Value: Specs

  • Processor: 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5-3475S (4 cores / 4 threads) (3.6GHz Turbo) CPU Cooler: Intel Stock Cooler
  • Installed memory: 16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz
  • Storage: 500 GB Seagate ST500LM000 hybrid HDD/SSD
  • Power supply: Zalman ZM450-GS 450 W
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61M-USB3V
  • External USB ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 6 x USB 2.0
  • Graphics card: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Sound and speakers: Onboard, none
  • Networking: Gigabit ethernet, 802.11n
  • Ports: 3x analogue audio. 1x PS/2
  • Graphics card ports: 1x DVI, 1x VGA (on motherboard)
  • Case: Zalman ZM-T1
  • Keyboard & Mouse: Gigabyte GK-KM7580 Wireless 2.4 GHz Multimedia Keyboard and Mouse
  • Optical drive: Sony AD-5280S DVD±RW
  • Operating system: Windows 8 64-bit
  • Extra items: Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD video USB Webcam, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  • Support options: Free lifetime telephone / email support for original purchaser
  • Warranty: 2- years collect and return
  • Processor: 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5-3475S (4 cores / 4 threads) (3.6GHz Turbo) CPU Cooler: Intel Stock Cooler
  • Installed memory: 16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz
  • Storage: 500 GB Seagate ST500LM000 hybrid HDD/SSD
  • Power supply: Zalman ZM450-GS 450 W
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61M-USB3V
  • External USB ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 6 x USB 2.0
  • Graphics card: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Sound and speakers: Onboard, none
  • Networking: Gigabit ethernet, 802.11n
  • Ports: 3x analogue audio. 1x PS/2
  • Graphics card ports: 1x DVI, 1x VGA (on motherboard)
  • Case: Zalman ZM-T1
  • Keyboard & Mouse: Gigabyte GK-KM7580 Wireless 2.4 GHz Multimedia Keyboard and Mouse
  • Optical drive: Sony AD-5280S DVD±RW
  • Operating system: Windows 8 64-bit
  • Extra items: Microsoft LifeCam Cinema 720p HD video USB Webcam, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  • Support options: Free lifetime telephone / email support for original purchaser
  • Warranty: 2- years collect and return

OUR VERDICT

The Serenity Home Value is a much more affordable system than we're used to from Quiet PC, and yet it still runs very quietly and consumes far less power than any of its rivals here. The lack of a monitor means you'll need to factor in around £120 for a good IPS monitor. The lack of a graphics card means only basic gaming is possible but a family PC is not required to replace a console. General system performance remains competitive.

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