to those who replied to my earlier query: thank you!
i've just ordered the following components:
cpu - athlon 64 3200+ (socket 754)
motherboard - asus k8n-e deluxe (nvidia chip)
memory - 2x512M corsair valueselect vs1gbkit400 (cas2.5)
video - sapphire atlantis radeon 9600 256M
sound card - turtle beach santa cruz
disk - western digital raptor WD740GD 74G SATA
dvd burner - pioneer dvr-108
case - Lian Li PC-V1100B
power supply - seasonic ss-400agx
case fans - papst 4412f/2gl, nexus d12sl-12
cpu cooler - zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu
fan controller - mCubed T-Balancer XL - 4 fans
disk mount - 1/2" soft sorbothane
hs grease - arctic silver 5
front panel flash drive - aftech p9
keyboard - aopen kb825b USB
mouse - microsoft basic USB
OS - Win XP pro
i've been involved in designing hardware and software for many years and have good test equipment, but i don't have much pc-specific knowledge or experience and have never assembled a pc from scratch before. i do not intend to overclock.
i'd appreciate any tips anyone has about any aspect of setting up this system, including:
ideas specific to the lian li 1100.
tips for mounting the zalman cpu cooler on the asus mb.
how to set up ram timings, CoolNQuiet, and other bios parameters.
any driver or O.S. issues.
helpful tips or warnings about any of the components i've selected.
suggestions about setting up the fans and controller
simple benchmarks to check that i haven't made any performance-killing setup errors.
i realize this is a very open-ended query. i'm not expecting anyone to write a dissertation. if you have even a brief tip about a specific issue that might save me some grief, i'd be most appreciative.