Ran across your thread doing a google image search of all things, and glad I did.
I am contemplating building my first (yikes!) PC, a HTPC. Ive spent many weeks learning about PC builds, HTPC, components, etc. I have almost finalized my build list utilizing the v351, mobo, BluRay, and CPU that you have in your system. Uncanny.
Anyway, the part I am stuck on most is CPU cooling, and your comments above are very helpful. I plan to use the HTPC for HTPC use *only* - no gaming or hardcore video work. Basically, I am tired of paying "the man" (Time Warner) $100/month for basic cable when I barely watch any TV, NetFlix and HULU should sufffice. Thus I also plan to include a TV tuner and buy a set top antenna (I live in Manhattan with oodles of station transmitters within 5 miles).
Anywho, I am really stuck on the cooling aspect. I wonder, given my planned use, how hardcore I need to get. I was also worried when you talked about the bezel situation, as I have no means to modify anything (cutting, etc.) (I live in a 400 sq/ft apartment with very limited tools, and besides, I am not terribly handy in that respect). I figure at least initially I can leave the DVD bezel off as that side of unit wont be very visible in my bookcase.
Can you postulate what level cooling may suffice for my limited HTPC use (no gaming)? I was almost set on the Scythe Big Shuriken cooler, but dont know if it will fit on this mobo, esp given that aluminum piece on the mobo sticking up that says "GIGABYTE" on it. I also plan to use, at least initially, just the on board graphics and audio.
Since this is my very first build, I am trying to do as much research as possible, and your insight
to my situation would be appreciated!