I know that components aren't automatically quiet, but some components are noisy relative to others was my concern here. Could be wrong but I was reading somewhere that a powersupply is most efficient at half capacity which I read as quieter, so aimed for more then I needed.
Well, you did your homeworks, but to do that well, you have to assess your expected power draw.
The tricky part nowadays is to determine the actual Core i5 power draw, so that we need to compare some reviews (Hexus, SPCR, HardwareCanucks, Anandtech, Hardwareluxx, among others): if I'm not wrong, we can expect a load power probably just under 60W (without stressing the IGP). Talking about ballpark figures, with a stock Gtx-750ti we can estimate a real load (gaming) power draw around or just under 130W DC (including platform and 1 SSD).
So, theoretically, you should need a 250-300W DC Platinum/Gold unit, (which isn't easy to source in the ATX market).
A bronze unit is probably more easy to find, and will loose around a 2-3 of efficiency percentage points (so it should waste about 3-4W more).
For a more performing graphics (GTX760/770, R9 280/280X) add 100-130W more to be safe, so efficiency-wise you should need a 400-450W unit (more easy to source), while some 500-600W units might offer better noise-profile than smaller, fanned units.
Would love to be able to play it at higher res with bigger world size.
So what's your target resolution?
I was figuring a 500g solid with an 2g external for storage would be just big enough.
If you use the external drive for actual *storage*, it seems enough, while, whether you installed and ran games on it, it's not a smart move IMO.
Should have checked the graphics card further to make sure of Sli capability, was trying to not spend a ton on graphics then upgrade to second card in the future since the 4g cards are so expensive and do not want to overclock.. Figuring 4g of graphics card would be needed in the future.
More than 2Gb of VRam is usually needed for gaming resolutions above FullHD (and demanding games too).
I guess a 2Gb GTX-750Ti with Civ V @ FullHD is just fine, IMO, noise and efficiency wise.
So, eventually it mostly depends of your target resolution.
About which card, under Linux go for Nvidia, with Windows both AMD and Nvidia play fine.
Broadly speaking, while performances are comparable given a target price, Nvidia will bring better support (driver) and better efficiency (power draw under any load), AMD will bring (up to now) less crippled BIOS, so that you can lower fan speed to inaudible levels using several tools (mostly, Rivatuner-derivatives and Speedfan) at idle (while on load maybe the Nvidia higher efficiency could give you better thermals or better noise levels).
In regards to budget, certainly keeping it under 1500, hoping for 1200-1300.
Well, I think 1300 is enough for a build like you desire.
Also which board that supports 1866 or low 2000 range speed would be best for my needs.
I guess about any serious board supports those RAM speeds: just check the relevant QVL list on the manufacturer website, to be sure.
Unfortunately I guess you won't find low voltage/low profile RAM at those speeds, but that's a minor issue.