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Sub 120W gaming system

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August 29, 2007 12:10:47 PM

I'm looking to build a system based on the Silverstone ML02. It's a quite small HTPC case that uses a riser card for add-on components (it supports PCI-e). The nice thing about this case is that it comes with a 120W DC-to-DC power supply, so it's a potentially very quiet (and efficient) system.

I'd like to build a new system in it. The general idea is to have is as energy-efficient (and quiet) as possible, but still be able to play 3D games (Right now, Bioshock comes to mind as the most demanding game).

I was thinking along the lines of

AMD BE-2350 (Seems to have the best performance vs energy consumption ratio)
Micro-ATX board with ati chipset (690G seems to be quite efficient)
2 GB memory
Ati Radeon 2600 XT (I've read MANY different stories about the power consumption, but at full load, in combination with a Q6600 it seems to draw about 180 W)
Notebook HD (I can live with the performance hit)
Slimline DVD-burner (or external)

Other components could be added by USB (through a powered hub, perhaps?)

Power consumption of Mobo+Memory+CPU+GPU+HDD+DVD should be lower than 120W in the worst case scenario.

PC for the BE2350 is about 40 at full load (THG guide). This leaves another 80 watts headroom for everything else (especially GPU). In some reviews, the 2600XT is quoted as drawing 40 Watts at most (when comparing full power CPU load against full power CPU+GPU load). The 8600GT (comparable power consumption) is quoted as drawing 59 Watts in the THG guide, leaving 20-ish watts for the rest (which should be ok if the DVD is taking it easy).

Does anybody have experience with this kind of system building? Any thoughts?

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