Power needs are not crazy but more is never bad. My primary focus on the PSU is to be as nearly silent as possible. I run water cooling so there are currently only fans in my PSU. Ideally, they would go away. The higher the efficiency the better. If it pays for itself its worth it. I'm not going to pay 80 bucks more for a 2% more efficient PSU.
Case: Something pretty nice. It is going to reside in my bedroom which has a modern contemporary look. Obviously sticking with the quiet approach. Plenty of room for hard drives and a sleek look. No funky lights or weird stuff.. Just there and sleek looking.
Fair enough... This is a home system but figure a decent vid card and about 4 drives so about 500watts should be plenty. I'm guessing with the current trend back down towards lower power use it should cover the ground. That being said, a 450 watt PSU that has better specs would be fine. I'm not locked into the wattage.
I have been looking at the Antec P180B and it seems to be my front running case. Any better ideas?
for PSU look at the Seasonic S12+ (energy plus) range. It has the 80 plus rating. I have the 650 W one it has 6 SATA, 2 PCI-E + others. Its silent , looks cool (black grill on the back is nice, and has plastic shields covering the components), highly efficient , quad 12V rails 18 A each. Has a 100,000 hour MTBF, so I expect it to last a while.
What if I limited my PSU to one that I can't really hear? Does this one still qualify? Ideally, the psu would not be noticeable at ambient room noise.
Seasonic S12 PSUs falls into that category. You can hear the fan if you really focus on listening for it, but generally speaking it will not hear it above ambient noise. Hell, the 120mm Scythe fan on my Scythe Ninja HSF is louder than the Seasonic's fan.
Seasonic S12 PSU are generally at their most energy efficient between 70% - 90% load. But as with all other PSUs (that comes with fans) the higher the load placed on it, the louder the fan will be.
I strongly recommend the P180. My PSU is a Seasonics S12 Energy+ 650W and it is cool and whisper quiet. I wish it was modular though.
I was afraid to get the M12 because I read it has a secondary 80mm fan that turns on at a certain temp treshold and then never stops, but from my experience so far with the P180 is that the M12 would never have turned on that secondary fan.
The reason I suggest modular is because it would make the cabling so much neater in the case.
silentpcreview.com is a great site for listing silent PSUs. Tom's hardware and silentpcreview are my bibles.
I got the black case. It doesn't look what I would call "Stylish" (I don't know a computer case that would) but it has a nice black finish and no flashy LEDs all over the place.