I was needing an upgrade for my office computer for work and needed a replacement computer that was super power efficient due to the nature of limited electric power on a boat when using an inverter to power stuff.
Here are the components I used to build a system that using 15 to 17 watts of power sitting at the desktop browsing the internet. The 24 inch monitor uses another 21 watts of power.
Nothing special about the case other than the USB3 ports on the front and the space size constraints of where I planned on mounting it in the boat.. Any Matx compatible case would work.
This memory is listed by model number by the manufacture of the motherboard as compatable. I spent a few extra dollars over the cheap memory but it is worth it to know it works.
I had a hard time picking a motherboard. There were several good choices but this one had more sata 3 and usb 3 connectors and was a bit cheaper than other comparable motherboards. So far I am pleased with it.
Here is where we get pricey. This power supply is one of the best of the best. It is rated platinum level which means it is 94 or 95 % efficient. It is fanless and even so after running for a month or two solid you can touch the power supply and it feels cool to the touch.
I already had a pcie ssd card in my old computer with ubuntu linux installed on it and I just moved it over to this computer. The same with 2 3tb data drives. I purchased this to hold a database that needed the fast access and larger size.
I went to order the i7-3770T processor but found the Xeon version of the same processor for 50 dollars cheaper. On checking the motherboard CPU compatability chart it said that it was compatible with the Xeon so that is what I got. This is teh 45watt 2.5 ghz version of the i7-3770. The normal one is 75watts at 3.5 ghz. However in benchmarks this one is only 10% slower.
This is the monitor I am running and it is a very power efficient model. I purchased it a year or two ago and have been really happy with it. The manufacture states 35 watts but mine and others measurements in use seem to consistently run around 21 watts.
I am running Ubuntu 12.10 and am absolutely impressed with how fast this monster is and how little power it uses. The computer burns just over 1 amp hour at 12 volts and the monitor just under 2 amp hours at 12 volts. I am currently running it plugged into a ups that measures wattage and that is how I got my measurements. I’m not sure how much draw the ups is drawing over that amount at this time. If it looks as if this system is losing a lot of efficiency I might go to a direct 12volt power supply and take the 120 out of the equation.