The "nekkid case". The mother board tray slid out pretty easily.
Tools of the trade.
The chip is an Intel Quad Core 6600. It inserted in the slot with no problem.
The CPU cooler fan. This is a little more delicate. When the pastic retaining pins go through the motherboard, a sickening sound ensues; they ought to warn a person about that!
Another close up of the CPU chiller.
The Asus motherboard takes the new style DDR3 memory.
The power supply easily installs. Corasair makes great power and memory devices.
At this point the motherboard is back in the case. This is a little more delicate of an operation. Be careful the grounding tabs on the input/output shield stay where they need to be. The next two pictures are just of the wiring bundles.
Getting ready to install the drives.
3 250GB Sata Western Digitals.
Card reader and Lite-on DVD writer installed. The only hard thing here was figuring out where the card reader connected to on the mother board. A quick google search and I realized the connector was just a UBS style and went straight to a USB header.
All wired up. Sata connectors are extremely easy to maneuver. I didn't due to messy of a job. The 3 case fans and the front panel connectors were also easy to hook up. The mother board manual is your friend.
Pretty much ready for the first "POST".
Windows XP Professional installation. Success! At first I didn't see my other two hard drives, then realized I had to go into DiskManager and partition them. Then motherboard chip set, monitor, and graphics card driver updates ensued. Only thing to be careful for here is when doing the motherboard chip update. Don't select "all" or it will try and make you create a floppy "raid driver for XP" utility. If I decide to RAID later there are options. If you want to RAID and don't have a floppy drive (and who'd want such antiquity anyway!), then you can slipstream the drivers onto a copied XP disc that you make--instructions on the web!
Finally a few hours of installing programs and the like. It helps to have install executables installed to an external HD. The final step was getting on to the Internet. That was a no brainer. Very rapidly after installing the chip driver update, the built in wireless "saw" my home network and asked if I wanted to connect. Even sent a document right to my printer on the other computer--outstanding. Now all I have left to do is move the setup to its permanent location, hook up the speakers to the hi-def audio ports, and download my document files off my external drive.
This was all easy and painless. And I'm normally a klutz--ya know the type that has trouble drawing a straight line, or boilng water or hammering a nail. So I'll recommend building if ya want the experience and want to select the parts on your own. There are custom builds out there that companies will do for you at very similar price to what I paid to get all my stuff from New Egg (approx 1300$), BUT you miss the CHOICE in parts (and New Egg has a vast choice) and the experience and fun in putting it all together.
Just make sure to do plenty of Internet research and ask knowledgeable acquaintances. You'll want to make sure you get the parts to make YOUR dream system and you'll want to be sure you're getting compatible parts. Not all memory and chips will go on all motherboards, for example. Some of the sites I visited: (I'll let you google for the exact URLs-NSTAFL-no such thing as a free lunch:-))----MySuperPC, The Video Guys, New Egg, Maximum PC, and Mechbgon.
This was immensely fun; I'm let down it's over. But the computing will be happier. Just think those videos I make once or twice a year are going to render blazingly fast now. hooha!
Me happy with the final build.