Introducing the Puget Systems Deluge Mini

The last time we checked in with Puget Systems, we came away impressed with their Serenity SPCR Edition. It wasn't the fastest machine we've ever tested, but it was extremely well put together and almost completely inaudible. With Sandy Bridge back on shelves, Puget sent along a custom gaming rig and just like the Serenity SPCR Edition, there's more to the Deluge Mini than meets the eye.

Puget Systems releases their gaming desktops under the Deluge line, and for our review they sent us a particularly intriguing entrant in the form of their Deluge Mini. While the Antec Mini P180 chassis that houses it may be built for Micro-ATX, the word "Mini" is fairly charitable. Still, it's definitely smaller than the larger tower cases we're used to seeing these gaming machines built in. As I mentioned, there's more going on with the Deluge Mini than initially appears. But before we get into the intricacies of the build, let's take a look at how our review unit was specced:

Puget Systems Deluge Mini Specifications
Chassis Antec Mini P180 (Customized)
Processor Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz
(spec: 4x3.3GHz, 32nm, 6MB L3, 95W)
Motherboard ASUS P8P67-M Pro Motherboard with P67 chipset
Memory 2x4GB Kingston DDR3-1333 @ 1333MHz (expandable to 16GB)
Graphics 2x EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB GDDR5
(384 CUDA Cores, 850/1700/1025MHz Core/ShadersRAM, 256-bit memory bus)
Hard Drive(s) Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps HDD
Optical Drive(s) Lite-On BD-ROM/DVD+-RW Combo Drive
Networking Realtek PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Audio Realtek ALC892 HD Audio
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
Optical out
Front Side Card reader
2x USB 2.0
eSATA
Headphone and mic jacks
Optical drive
Top -
Back Side 2x PS/2
2x USB 3.0
Optical out
6x USB 2.0
eSATA
Ethernet
Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 8.3" x 17.2" x 17.1" (WxDxH)
Weight 20.9 lbs (case only)
Extras Antec TP-650 650W Power Supply
Asetek Liquid Cooling
Case Modification
Card Reader
Warranty 1-year limited parts warranty and lifetime labor and phone support.
2- and 3-year extended warranties available.
Pricing Deluge Mini starts at $1,549
Review system configured at $2,257

The configuration our Deluge Mini review unit shipped with makes for an interesting comparison with the Origin Genesis we recently reviewed. Both are running with Sandy Bridge processors overclocked to 4.5GHz, though Puget Systems sticks with the Intel Core i5-2500K instead of bumping up to the Core i7-2600K. For most users (and especially the gamers Puget is targeting) this isn't going to be a major issue, with the chief differentiator being the i7's support for Hyper-Threading and an extra 2MB of L3 cache. Outside of that, both machines have 8GB of Kingston DDR3 strapped to the processor (though Puget opts to go for slower DDR3-1333.)

Origin and Puget also both elected to go with two of EVGA's mildly overclocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics cards configured in SLI. A primary but crucial difference is in how the cards are spaced: because Puget is using a smaller case and confined to the Micro-ATX form factor, the two 560 Ti's are snuggled up next to each other, while Origin's tower gives them more breathing room.

A major difference, though, is the lack of an SSD in the Deluge Mini. This is disappointing, as review units from competing boutiques have included an SSD for the data drive as a matter of course, but it's also not a dealbreaker: you can still configure your build with an Intel SSD.

Which brings us to one vital point here: if you visit the Puget Systems site to build your own machine, you'll notice that the Intel SSDs are the only options. This is reflective of one of the quirks of Puget: while most boutiques are certainly concerned about reliability to a degree and happily stand behind their builds, Puget performs extensive reliability testing of hardware on the market and collects massive amounts of data (some of which I've actually been privied to see.) As a result, if they don't feel a particular component is going to be up to par or may cause issues down the line, they simply won't offer it. That puts their comparatively meager 1-year standard parts warranty into perspective: by trying to choose the most reliable parts to begin with, they're banking on the user never having to worry about the warranty to begin with. 

Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • HangFire - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    The purpose of these benchmarks is to make most video cards appear obsolete and use obscure features of newer video cards that may or may not appear in games for 3-5 years. In an era of 1080p constrained console game ports, expecting video benchmarks to be relevant is a stretch.

    Everyone can appreciate a 24-26 inch monitor over a smaller one, and the industry standardizing on 1920x1080 makes such monitors affordable as well. However dual monitors of higher resolution are much more than twice as expensive, and any dual monitor seems an extravagant waste of money when most games do not make good use of them. So, it appears we have arrived at a plateau in video resolutions for a while, where the highest end video cards simply are not necessary, and the benchmarks that drive them, irrelevant.
    Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    I was going to make a post but it is apparently spam. Reply
  • doobydoo - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Only when you do it :-) Reply
  • EBH - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    Another 1000$ system that only uses:

    Audio

    Realtek ALC892 HD Audio
    Speaker, mic, line-in, and surround jacks for 7.1 sound
    Optical out

    /facepalm
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - link

    I'm sure they offer external sound cards for the 0.0001% of the population who might notice a difference Reply
  • Rev1 - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Is there much of a difference between a X58 sli and a P67? Meaning x16 x16 vrs. x16 x8 in terms of performance? Reply

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