So this is going to be my first build with a e8400 or 6750, whichever i get a better deal on in a couple weeks with: a gigabyte p35-ds3l, 8800gts, antec 900 case, 2x1gb pc6400ram, 250gb sata hd, dvd-rw from my dell, and 500watt antec psu. What is the best way to assemble this? start with mobo on static bag, install processor/heatsink and then ram before i put it in the case?
Install the processor before mounting in the case (as you guessed). It's a lot easier this way.
Some people like to assemble the machine outside the case and power it up and make sure it will post. This will help narrow down problems if you have trouble when the rig is completely assembled (in the case).
I'm sure Intel has detailed instructions on their site for properly installing the CPU. They are really pretty easy. Did you buy a retail CPU or OEM?
I like to put the motherboard in the case before installing the heatsink, some motherboard screws are hard to get to with the heatsink installed first. I go PSU, Motherboard, HSF, Drives, RAM & expansion cards but it's really whatever works best for you.
I don't like the idea of pushing down on the heatsink while the motherboard is on the riser screws in the case -- always afraid I'll hear something crack. Same with the RAM. So I put everything on the motherboard first (cpu, heatsink, soundcard, graphics card, RAM) before I put the motherboard into the case (if the case allows for that).
One tool that will save you a lot of frustration is a magnetized screwdriver. Just put the screw on the end of the screwdriver and lower it into the hole -- what genius came up with that idea?!
It is also easier to get the extra stuff into place (hard disks, dvd drive, power supply, fans, etc.) before putting the motherboard in. Then just connect the cables, double-check everything, plug it in (don't bother putting the case covers on yet), hit the power button and see what happens!
1) build case..
2) put drives/extra fans in case
3) PSU in case
4) open motherboard add processor and heatsink (sometimes heatsink has to be done with MB not installed yet)
5) mount MotherBoard
6) install ram/ all cards
7) connect the stuffs
8) pray it works first shot.