So what kind of gaming performance can you expect from a silent PC? Turns out, quite a bit.
FutureMark 3DMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage is an industry-standard PC gaming performance benchmark from FutureMark, designed for Windows 7 and Vista. It includes two graphics tests, two CPU tests, several feature tests and support for the latest hardware.
3DMark Vantage is based on a rendering engine developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10.
The Puget Serenity racked up a score of 8358 on this benchmark using the Performance preset.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Using Arkham Asylum's built-in benchmarking tool (included in Patch 1.1), we achieved maximum playable settings at 1920x1080 with 4xAA and "Very High" performance settings. Though 8xAA proved too much for this system to handle, edge shimmer was noticeable only if you looked really hard for it.
Frame rates were as follows. 44 max, 18 min, with an average of 29.
Far Cry 2
We had a bit of an odd result when benchmarking this title. Though we got average frame rates in the low-30s when gaming at 1920x1080, the game had a very noticeable stutter. This was true when using both the game's built-in benchmarking tool, as well as measuring FPS with FRAPS while gaming normally.
Knocking down the AA didn't seem to fix this issue, but going down to 1680x1050 (a rather small difference) fixed the issue. At this res, with 4xAA and "Very High" texture settings, the Serenity cranked out an average of 34 FPS, with a max of 62 and a min of 13.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
This title proved to be a real hardware churner. We benchmarked using FRAPS on the Jeep ride sequence of the opening Operation Aurora mission. This segment features lots of fast-moving action with a fair amount of smoke and explosions-elements known for taxing GPUs because of the complicated physics involved.
With maximum playable settings at 1280x768, with 4xAA and "Very High" textures, we got an average of 35FPS, with a max of 53 and a min of 15. By turning down the AA, we could get a higher playable res, but image realism suffered and 1280x768 (which still qualifies as HD, anyway) looked just fine, even on a 27" monitor.
The Serenity put in an all-star performance in BioShock, churning out 122FPS on average, with highs and lows of 168 and 72, respectively. This was with settings of 1920x1080, with a full 8xAA and "high" textures.
For an in-depth review of the capabilities of the HD 5750, see here.