Man, you guys are pretty harsh on the "performance enthusiast" crowd.
Of course, you're also right, but I am seeing something being overlooked...because sometimes, even with power supplies bigger is better (which means quieter, in our case.)
I just bought a Seasonic 460W Super Silencer. It'll eventually find a home in a P4 3.0+ (possibly prescott) system to be finalized next month. (I'm buying components now.)
Yes, it's almost certain to be "more power than I need." But don't mock me just yet.
All else being equal, given the same power draw, it should be as quiet or quieter
than the other SS models of lower power rating...and that's the point, isn't it?
Now, I know it's dangerous sometimes to look at marketing material, but have a look at page 2 of the Super Silencer PDF:
http://www.seasonic.com/pdf/datasheet/0 ... lencer.pdf
Specifically, the chart that is just above the text "S2FC with different wattage models." While I'm extremely hesitant to take such charts "to scale", the point is, the 460w model should hold it's "minimum speed / noise" through a much wider range of power draw than the 300W model "good enough for most anyone" that is talked about in this thread.
To be sure, you obviously can't just apply this methodology across different brands...a crappy 500W power supply might be insanely louder at modest power draw than "designed for quiet" 300W power supply at full load. But I feel OK given that Seasonic is only doing this particular comparison within its own brand line.
I bought the 460W Seasonic for extra "noise" cushion, not particularly power cusion. The rig (again, possibly Prescott) will likey either be folding or encoding or gaming almost 24/7. I want to give myself the best possible chance of the power supply not having to increase the fan (or having to increase case fan speed) because temp / power draw, and having a higher rating should accomplish this.
As an aside, this is one area that I'd like to see SPCR Power Supply reviews improve upon. If they could create their own sort of Fan RPM or noise level vs. power draw profile for the power supplies they test (at least 3 or 4 power draw levels), that would be a great help. It would also be difficult to do in a controlled way of course....but that's what makes the data valuable.