I'd like to build a medium-high performance desktop that at least idles at low power. I don't need a lot of 3D power but do need to support two 1920x1200 displays as well as doing some video and photoshop work, as well as compiling and other software development stuff.
It looks to me like an AMD dual core / 45 watt processor with AM2 socket, and a board like the GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H which has DVI and HDMI support (though only one at a time - can use an analog D-SUB for dual, not quite what I want but maybe OK for the power tradeoff) is about the best bang for the buck. Intel doesn't yet have any 45 watt dual cores, the comparable 65 watt dual cores are a bit more more expensive.
I'm pretty flexible, though, about what I build. I'd prefer an Intel if I can get performance and efficiency at a reasonable price (no socket P, and mobile processor, thus). I also like cool and quiet
Figure I'll either go with a small Seasonic or look for one of the smaller 80 plus power supplies, recommendations on something bulletproof there welcome, too.
*EDIT* another positive thing with this set up is if your needs change over time. The E5200 can overclock to over 3.0Mhz easily with the Gigabyte motherboard. The G31 motherboard is compatible with the Q9550/9650 processors if you needed quad core power and the Antec could handle the 9800GT hybrid power graphic card for medium gaming.
Thanks for the feedback, I read the Tom's article but it still looks to me like the AMD chip wins on thermal power and price at this point. Shadow, thanks for the advice about a GPU, I'm hoping to run without an addon graphics card or maybe with one of the ADD2 cards (if I understand their functionality!), to keep power down. ( And maybe Intel specs thermal power a bit differently from AMD, judging from some reviews of power readings?)
I've got an extra dual-SLI DVI card I could stick in, but wondered if I can get a more efficient build and still get reasonable performance without it.