Quiet PC Serenity Z77 Value review

Price when reviewed

Quiet PC’s specialist systems don’t often turn up in the PC Pro Labs, but we’ve been impressed by machines such as the Nofan IcePipe A43-H67 – and the arrival of Ivy Bridge has given the firm headroom to balance processing power with the efficiency that’s so important to its philosophy.

The Serenity Z77 Value lives up to its name: when idling, it’s one of the quietest PCs we’ve ever tested. We had to press our ears against the case to hear any sound at all, and noise barely increased in stress tests. It’s no wonder it’s so quiet: the Gelid Tranquillo Rev. 2 cooler is extremely efficient, the SSD is held in place with rubber washers, the PSU is flanked by bumpers and held in place by a Velcro strap, and there’s sound-absorbing material throughout.

Quiet PC Serenity Z77 Value

A graphics card would work against all that. Instead, the Serenity uses the HD Graphics 4000 core inside Intel’s Core i5-3570K. It’s a big improvement over Sandy Bridge, but it’s never going to compete with discrete cards: it managed 25fps in our 1,600 x 900 Medium quality Crysis test; mid-range and high-end cards regularly top 100fps in the same test.

In other concession to silence, Quiet PC has left the processor at its stock speed of 3.4GHz. Its overall benchmark score of 1.01 is a tad slow compared to the pace we’re used to seeing from overclocked chips, with the Chillblast Fusion Thunderbird scoring 1.18, but it’s still more than enough power to handle virtually all desktop applications. The silver lining is a peak temperature of only 71°C.

Quiet PC Serenity Z77 Value

Storage is handled solely by the 256GB Crucial M4 SSD, which provided mixed results: it wrote large files at a relatively slow 387MB/sec – top drives score over 500MB/s- and its small file reading score of 14MB/s is under half the pace we measure from most drives. Performance improved in AS SSD, but it’s clear this isn’t a drive to buy for lightning-quick file transfers.

The Nexus Prominent R looks like a demure version of Cooler Master’s CM 690 II, even down to its roof-mounted SATA dock. That’s no bad thing: compared to the Chillblast, the Quiet PC looks classy. Build quality is good, and leaving out a graphics card makes for a spacious interior. The Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H motherboard has pairs of free PCI Express x16 and PCI sockets, as well as a trio of empty PCI Express x1 slots and three spare SATA ports. Cables are tidied away, and the cooler doesn’t impede any DIMMs.

The lack of discrete graphics and overclocking mean the Quiet PC doesn’t compete for power, and there’s an undeniable premium to be paid for low noise levels – this level of performance could be found cheaper elsewhere. However, the near-silent operation and 128W peak power draw make it a tempting alternative to its brasher, louder rivals.


Warranty2 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity256GB
RAM capacity8.00GB


CPU familyIntel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency3.40GHz
Processor socketLGA 1155
HSF (heatsink-fan)Gelid Tranquillo Rev. 2


MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z77-D3H
Motherboard chipsetIntel Z77
Conventional PCI slots free2
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots free2
PCI-E x16 slots total2
PCI-E x1 slots free3
PCI-E x1 slots total3
Internal SATA connectors6
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3
Memory sockets free2
Memory sockets total4

Graphics card

Graphics cardIntel HD Graphics 4000
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards?no
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics 4000
DVI-I outputs1
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
Number of graphics cards0

Hard disk

Hard diskCrucial M4 SSD
Hard disk usable capacity238GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA 6Gbit/s


Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader/DVD writer combo


ChassisNexus Prominent R
Case formatFull tower
Dimensions212 x 530 x 505mm (WDH)

Power supply

Power supplyZalman 2M450-GS
Power supply rating450W

Free drive bays

Free front panel 5.25in bays3

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)4
PS/2 mouse portyes
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6

Front ports

Front panel USB ports3
Front panel eSATA ports1

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7

Noise and power

Idle power consumption30W
Peak power consumption128W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings49fps
3D performance settingLow
Overall Real World Benchmark score1.01
Responsiveness score0.95
Media score1.09
Multitasking score0.99

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