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Site updated: 24.11.17

Very good experience all round

Very good experience all round (7th November 2017 via Trustpilot)
Serenity Pixelstation
Discontinued
(15 customer ratings)

Quiet PC Serenity Pixelstation

- Replaced by the Quiet PC Serenity Pixelstation

The ideal workstation PC for any creative design or photo editing work, for example Photoshop, Lightroom, Indesign, Illustrator. Aimed at the serious PC professional or home user.

Features

  1. The ideal workstation for any creative design/art or photo editing work such as Photoshop/Lightroom, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Corel Painter and other similar creative software suites
  2. Can be configured fanned or fanless for silent operation
  3. Graphics hardware acceleration optional
  4. Suitable for the home user or PC professional
  5. Clean Build™ Promise and original OS+drivers supplied on DVDs
  6. Two year warranty with open-case policy

The Pixelstation

The Pixelstation offers a quieter way to edit and process your photographs, graphic designs or artwork using your favourite applications unleashing new levels of creativity and removing bottlenecks typically associated with less well specified computer hardware platforms.

With a choice of components as well as the option to go fully fanless if required, the Pixelstation is the ideal system for home enthusiasts or professionals working in the photographic or graphic/art design industries.

For the Home User

Home users or enthusiasts can simply build on the base configuration, adding higher capacity SSD drives and a graphics card if required. Not everyone will need a graphics card as the processor's own on-board HD4600 graphics will be fine for most users and it supports up to three monitors running from the motherboard at resolutions of up to 4096 x 2160. If more graphics power is required, there are fanless cards on offer which would be perfect for most home users.

For the Serious or Professional User

With the addition of a discrete graphics card, the maximum supported number of monitors and/or resolutions will be increased. If very high resolutions are required, a suitable monitor capable of running at those higher resolutions like the Dell 29" Ultra-wide monitor or the LG 34UM95 34" IPS Monitor would be strongly recommended.

Also offered for the serious user is the PNY Quadro 600 card. This is aimed at professionals who create digital content and require or prefer the hardware acceleration that these cards provide in some applications. NVIDIA GPUs take full advantage of the new Mercury Graphics Engine in Photoshop CS6 to deliver unprecedented speed and responsiveness for a fluid feel as you work. While they unleash powerful capabilities for editing, compositing, and transforming images and designs, these cards do make a small amount of noise. But for some people, the speed benefits outweigh the noise that they make.

Should I go Fanless?

This depends on your personal preference as not everyone will need an entirely fanless system but if you prefer absolute silence then this is certainly an option and can easily be achieved with the correct choice of components. A fanless system will work just as well as a fanned system but will usually run a little warmer so we will remove the vent covers on the top of the case to accommodate this.

High Speed USB 3 Card Reader

In order to copy data quickly to and from a the PC via a card reader an additional internal USB 3 interface is required. Like most modern motherboards, the GA-Z97X-UD3H board has only one USB 3.0 internal header. The cases we use need an internal USB 3.0 header to connect the USB 3.0 ports on the top of the case but if you have an additional USB 3.0 requirement (such as a fast USB 3.0 internal card reader) then you would need to decide whether you wanted to have the case USB 3.0 ports or the card reader connected as you can't physically connect both.

One way around this limitation is to fit an internal USB 3.0 PCI Express card. This will give the PC an additional internal USB 3 header and this is available in the configuration options.

Storage Options

Whilst the default SSD drive offered with the system may be large enough for many users, it is of course possible to add a much higher capacity SSD if required, as well as a standard high capacity hard drive to backup your work. Many applications work better if they have a 'scratch disk' which they can use as a temporary workspace, (Photoshop being a good example of this). Of course adding any component with moving parts will make some noise but it is possible to house any of the 3.5" drives on offer in a soundproofing enclosure like the Smart Drive Classic SATA HDD Silencer and this will minimise the noise from the drive, helping to ensure a quieter system.

RAID Storage

Users with more advanced storage needs may be interested in having two drives in a RAID array in order to increase data read/write speeds or to provide a higher level of resilience against drive failure. The two types of RAID offered on this system are RAID 0 (Striped) and RAID 1 (Mirrored) and they store information in completely different ways.

RAID 0 arrays stripe data and write information across two separate hard drives and are often used to increase the speed at which data is accessed and retrieved. For instance, Photoshop has the ability to batch process images and a RAID 0 configuration would help with faster image retrieval and storage after Photoshop has processed them. The downside is that if either drive fails then you lose everything, so it is important to make regular precautionary backups.

RAID 1 arrays mirror data and write identical information across both drives simultaneously without a speed penalty. So if one drive fails, no data is lost and the PC stays running. However, if both drives fail then you lose everything, so it is still important to backup regularly.

Recommended Options

Most professional users will be aware of (and probably use) graphics tablets, but they are much less commonly used by home users. A graphics tablet is a great way to massively boost creative flair and productivity whilst working with graphics and photographs. It can even be used to add a personal touch such as writing notes on documents, (e.g in MS Office) or to sign emails.

Once you've tried using one in Photoshop, you'll never go back to a mouse again! Offered as an option with the Pixelstation is the Wacom Intuos Tablet which makes an ideal entry-level tablet for the home user.


SpecificationsPixelstation
Machine nameSerenity Pixelstation
Compatible Operating SystemsWindows 7 / Windows 8.1 / Ubuntu Linux
MotherboardGigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H
GraphicsIntel HD4600
Graphics portsDVI-D, HDMI and VGA (up to 3 ports simultaneously)
Max resolution DVI-D / VGA1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
Max resolution HDMI4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
Maximum shared graphics memory1 GB
NVIDIA 2-Way SLI SupportYes
AMD 3-Way CrossFire SupportYes
Supported RAMDDR3 1600/1333 MHz memory modules
Memory slots4 (max 32 GB)
SATA 6Gb ports6 (SATA 3Gb compatible)
SATA RAID SupportRAID 0, 1, 5 and 10
M.2 PCIe connector1
LANIntel GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
USB 3.0/2.0 ports6 (2 internal / 4 rear panel)
USB 2.0/1.1 ports8 (6 internal / 2 rear panel)
AudioHD 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel with 6 x audio jacks
RS232 serial port headerYes
Other rear panel portPS/2 keyboard and mouse ports
PCI Express x16 / x8 / x4 / x1 / PCI 2.0 slots1 / 1 / 1 / 3 / 1 *
PCI Express versionx16 / x8 slots conform to PCIe 3.0, all other slots PCIe 2.0
DimensionsATX form factor (30.5 x 21.4 cm)
PC dimensions (Fractal R4 Case W x D x H)232 x 464 x 523 mm
Clean Build™ promiseOS+updates, drivers and MS Security Essentials only
Recovery methodWindows installation and drivers DVDs supplied
Warranty typeCollect and return, open-case policy
Warranty24 months
  • *When a PCIe x4 card is installed in the x4 slot, all the PCIe x1 slots are disabled
 

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