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Power/Heat Efficiency Upgrade Advice

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Last response: in Systems
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August 14, 2012 7:27:45 PM

I used to do a lot of gaming, but rarely now. I want to make my desktop to generate less heat and use less power because it gets hot in an enclosed space and wastes electricity. I'm looking to cut my power and heat in half for about $300.

My current system specifications

Monitors: two Acer A231H monitors
Motherboard: ASUS M4A87TD EVO
CPU: Phenom II x4 925 2.8ghz
GPU: Galaxy Nvidia GTX 460 768mb
PSU: XFX 650W Modular 80+ certified
Case: Iceberg
Memory: G Skills ripjaws 8gb (4gbx2) 1.5V Cas 9

I am making several assumptions. First that my case and psu are both power efficient. That my memory is power efficient and that removing one stick would not save much on power or heat. I am also assuming that the hdd doesn't use much power or generate much heat (too much for ssd). I am assuming that my cpu and gpu are using the most power.

I want to be able to play newer games at low settings. I was thinking of replacing my gtx 460 with a 7750, and then getting a new cpu, but it would have to be amd. Alternatively I wanted to get ivy bridge, so I could have on board graphics, then I could get rid of my graphics card all together. The problem is could I have dual screens and be able to play say sc2 on low on intel hd 4000, and I would have to buy a new cpu and mobo (what is that $300?) and I'm not that familiar with Intel. I also don't know which change would save the most power.

Does anyone have any great ideas on how to eliminate power for cheap besides just getting a laptop (which is too expensive)?
August 14, 2012 9:09:45 PM

The 7750 is a great low power card. The Phenom II x4 is not the most power efficient processor. My recommendations if you were to buy new would be:

Ivy Bridge CPU (a low powered one like the 3770 but a T or S variant),
Intel DH77DF ITX motherboard (very power efficient),
Samsung LP Low Voltage 1.35V DDR3 1600mhz (or g.skill sniper with 1.25V instead),
An AMD 7750 (ASUS 7750 seems really nice and quiet).

Otherwise, if you stay with your current system, I would:

1) Undervolt the CPU a bit.
2) Switch the 460GTX with something power efficient like a 7750.

That's about all you can do that is effective on your current system.
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