About the whine - My Asus P7P55D Pro has what I think is a similar issue. When I got it I noticed it right away so I did some searching and it seems to be fairly common with my board. Basically at idle you hear a high pitch whine type sound. It's not particularily loud, but due to the high frequency, definitely noticeable.
The solution that totally fixed it for me was to just change my C States from C6 to C3.