Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Puget Systems Custom Gaming SFF

Puget Custom Computers returns for another round with our program. With a top shelf customer interface and an attentive staff, they have a lot to offer to the consumer. They’ve shown that they can build a good system, but have they fixed their tech support problems?

Introduction

About Our Program

As many of you might know by now, HardOCP doesnآ’t "review" systems; we evaluate the experiences they facilitate. We order the system the same as you would and evaluate every aspect of the end-user experience. Not only does this give us a better idea of what hardware an end user actually receives, it also allows us to obtain a more accurate picture of just how each company functions and treats its customers. As fast as PC hardware has become over the years, we think giving a personal computer "5 stars" based on a synthetic benchmark is simply irresponsible. We think service, support, and reliability are much more important factors in today's climate than speed. Fast is easily bought, but purchasing and ownership satisfaction can be elusive.

This process allows us to not only evaluate the system, but the OEM that builds it. Our goal is to give you the wide-angle lens view of the computer and the company so that you can make informed and educated decisions as to what you purchase or recommend to clients, friends, and family.

Puget Systems and HardOCP

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This is the second evaluation for Puget Systems. The first article can be found here. Our previous impressions of Puget were bittersweet. They built us a very good system that exhibited excellent build quality and craftsmanship, and it performed well in our testing. We found that the websiteآ’s user interface was crowded and convoluted, and we were very unimpressed with their tech support. They seemed generally disinterested and made little to no effort to resolve our issues. As youآ’ve seen with our previous articles, even an excellent build can be of marginal value if the tech support doesnآ’t fit the bill.

This will be the third Small Form Factor (SFF) system that we have had in our offices. The first was from Falcon Northwest, and the second from Polywell. This system features a Silverstone chassis, but it is a new model that is very different from the Silverstone SFF chassis that we saw with our Falcon Northwest FragBox 2. SFF systems are similar to notebooks in that heat management is a core concern. However, whereas laptops are usually equipped with power-conserving hardware with diminished heat signatures, SFF systems are usually equipped with the exact same hardware as traditional desktop systems. Packing that much hardware into a confined space while maintaining stability can challenge integrators.

What Weآ’re Looking For

Last time, Puget seemed to have all of its ducks in a row except for a few key areas. Weآ’re going to be looking to see if Puget has maintained the high level of build quality that we observed previously. Weآ’re also going to be looking for any of the changes that we thought were necessary. Of these, cleaning up the website and improving tech support are at the forefront of our minds.

Hereآ’s what we got:

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Note: Some of the component options have changed in the Puget configurator for this system. The Seagate Barracuda drive is not an option, and an Asus branded 7900GT has taken the place of both the EVGA and BFG graphics solutions. While these components are still available from Puget, you will have to specifically request them.