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Help in building GREEN PC

Last response: in Systems
May 2, 2009 5:03:23 AM

Hi, I wanted to build a Green PC which should be cool, quite, efficient and least energy watts consuming. I would use this PC to work with MS Office, heavy internet browsing, watching movies and occasional gaming (medium level). The PC should be able to run with Windows Vista premium or Windows 7. Can you suggest the best configuration? The budget is $600 USD. The system can be Intel or AMD based platform and need to have onboard graphics (but I should be able to add Graphics card in future).

More about : building green

May 2, 2009 5:27:19 AM

What exactly does that include? See the sticky about asking for a build... I need a bit more info.

You are probably looking at a 780G MB and an AMD CPU, with some sort of high efficiency PSU and a Caviar green HD.
May 2, 2009 5:33:00 AM

gaming != green

Get a very low watt monitor best bet to lower a power bill.

Integrated graphics.

Low way cpu 1 core imo.

Caviar green HDD i like them more for being super silent rather then being green.

A very efficient psu.
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May 2, 2009 7:22:30 AM

Thanks for quick reply.. I said "occasional gaming (medium level)", means anything which can be run with IGP and NOT like Crysis. Proximon mentioned 780G MB and an AMD CPU, but which one should I go. I heard the upper end AMD generate too much heat. Again, please don't suggest Semprons or Celerons or Atoms please, I need "Green" but efficient machine, which would run on Vista or Windows 7 platform smoothly.
May 2, 2009 8:15:14 AM

Well in the K8 and Agena days u had 125 W dual cores like the Windsors and 140W TDP beasts like 9950BE but the 95W P2X3 710 for your needs looks like a nice fit (nice power-to-performance ratio) and you could always under volt it with K10Stat. I'd go with a mATX 790GX though like Biostar TA790GX XE with HD3300 IGP 128mb Sideport Memory
This mobo is also reported successful in unlocking that 4th core of P2X3s depending on your stepping so u might get lucky hehe Plus the reviews on Egg state it works outstanding with Win 7 and Linux (i've built it for others but ran XP/Vista/Ubuntu/Fedora)

May 2, 2009 8:30:40 AM

Aha also i have the charts handy as clients always wonder what games can be done and settings/resolution on that 790GX IGP : Crysis low 1024 x 768 is actually playable! In fact when in doubt (some play weird sounding games) i just tell them to set at those settings and just about anything could run hehe

Edit: you should be consistently getting better frames than above as IIRC these are a bit dated benches with either an x2 4850e or x4 9850be both of which trail a P2X3 710 in games ^^
May 2, 2009 6:38:53 PM

Whoa looking back $600 for an IGP rig would be nothing short of a tragedy if one didn't end up with a quad :p  Here is one under $470, free shipping hehe

May 3, 2009 5:28:32 AM

Thanks to all... I agree with Biostar TA790GX XE, but for processor, can't I get still lower power processor like Athlon X2 4850 (45W)? Read my tagline - "cool, quite, efficient and least energy watts consuming" -:) . Going by this I am not much interested in OC stuff too. Also everybody suggesting AMD platform. I just searched on google.. nVidia's new 9400 series mobos offer another good alternative with Intel core2duo processors. Would it be equally or more compelling? One more point, the $600 price limit includes a nice 19-20" LCD.
May 3, 2009 10:11:30 AM

Yer, sticking with AMD at that price point ($600) is your only real option. X2 4850e + the biostar 790gx sideport should make a pretty well performing, cheap and green setup for 'medium' gaming. I wouldn't go with the Hitachi hard drive however, because it isn't particularly energy efficient. Look for (like others were recommending) a WD Green drive like this:
Also, if you really want to go green, the best thing you can do is get a really energy efficient PSU. Look for an '80 plus' certification as minimum. So for instance:
May 3, 2009 10:27:50 AM

Well that Antec case+psu combo i picked out has an 80+ Earthwatts 430 :p 
May 3, 2009 7:33:09 PM

You also have to paint a tree on the side of the case though! :) 
May 3, 2009 8:23:23 PM


Of course you can build an Intel rig that will meet your needs. In fact, there is NOTHING that says you must use an onboard graphics solution.

A Radeon 4650 has very low power requirements under load and at idle and is a great medium level gamer. It will totally bury any onboard solution.

Nvidia chipsets usually pull quite a bit more power, although I don't recall right off what the 9400s are pulling.

Time to provide an actual build I guess, although you never did answer my question about what parts you actually need for your 600 bucks.

Asus P5QL P43 motherboard
You are buying a low power processor. Any comments about a platform being a dead end are useless. You'll have many CPU upgrade options for years to come.
Asus site board description
Note not only the power saving features on the board but the RoHS certification. The P45/P43 chipset works WELL with Vista power saving features. a good reason to use this as well. Unstable chipsets don't hibernate well.

E5400 CPU
Faster than any AMD dual core made. Still quite power efficient. I don't think you would be satisfied with an AMD 4850E.

Mushkin 1.8V 4GB RAM

HIS 4650
Around 15W at idle and 60W under full load, as I recall.

Corsair 400CX At this price, just buy it right now. Don't even wait for the rest of the build.

COOLER MASTER Elite 330 Good size, good price, free shipping too.

WD Caviar GP 500GB Smaller means more power savings too. I think this one will pull less power in the end than the larger "green" models.

DVD Burner

Although I mentioned an AMD build at the start, the fanboy-ism got a bit too thick for me here. At the end of the day, only you are going to be able to say what the best mix of power savings and performance are going to be right.

May 5, 2009 5:44:47 PM

Thanks Proximon. I guess the components suggested by you would match my requirements. Even I had thought something towards this "intel" direction. But would take some more time, as I am still more inclined towards new nvidia 9400 platform. I had recently seen comaparison between G45 and 9400 mobo, which is prompting me to look at it. Rest of the components suggested are really good. For LCD I will go got LG2252TE, just 22 watts for 22" !!! Thanks for all the suggestions...