My latest PC:
Intel Allendale 1.8ghz dual core.
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L (P35, ICH9)
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 2600XT (100208L)
Abit Airpace PCI-E 802.11g
Creative X-Fi platinum
SeaSonic SUPER SILENCER-350W (you can't buy this anymore but it is rated 80+ efficient)
Maxtor 320gb 7200rpm (really a rebadged Seagate 7200.10)
Stuff that is pretty minor in terms of power:
1 dvdrw attached
2x2gb Adata ddr2 800
1x80mm case fan
stock intel heatsink
System Idle power at the plug: 79watts
Load: I don't know and I don't care. I've seen it jump to around 110watts but I haven't tried playing a 3d game yet.
(Base 4.8 )
Special settings: None. Nearly everything is enabled in the BIOS except the serial, parallel, and floppy. CPU is not overclocked or underclocked but EIST is enabled. Vista is set to maximum power savings with 100% cpu maximum clock.
I could probably shave a lot more if I start throwing more stuff out and swap the hard disk with a better one (WD green comes to mind). I think I could easily hack off a good 10watts just by removing the X-Fi, swapping the hard drive, disconnecting the optical drive (run on external when needed), and throwing out the extra case fan.
But the whole point of this system was to have the capability of doing processing intensive things (a game, video encoding, audio editing) yet still be efficient when doing stupid things (browsing web, typing text).
I'm pretty satisfied with the system. I think I've come pretty close with easy to get hardware. Dell systems are capable of 60ish watts idle, and I've built a 47watt idle athlon64 system before. But Dells come pretty feature limited and for the athlon system I had basically no 3d or number crunch potential (single core).
A side effect of going to efficiency rather than anything else is the system is pretty quiet without me even trying. Components that understand how to clock themselves down automatically are quieter
. Now if only SSDs would drop in price so I wouldn't have to listen to this annoying clicking from the hard drive as well as shaving off another 7 watts.
A majority of the noise is actually coming from the case fan. But I want to keep it because I attached a filter to it. So as long as there is air pressure inside, the components should stay dust free for a longer period of time.
If you've tried going down the same path as I, I am interested in seeing your builds and your watts.