A few years ago I built my first machine, and it went quite well. The mistake came later, when I bought an excellent PCI-express sound card (the Auzentech Forte). The sound quality blew me way, but I had to end up taking it out of the system, because there was no place to insert the PCI-E card without blocking the GPU fan.
It seems like this is a pretty typical layout for mobos, I guess because not many people use PCI-E soundcards. I suspect I'll be going with a Sandy Bridge CPU with my next build; can anyone recommend a good, afford mobo ($150 or less) that features the space for both a full-size GPU and a PCI-E x1 slot that won't put a hamper on the GPU's cooling ability?
Yeah, I noticed looking around that most mobos are more reasonably now.
I had the (now out of production) ECS Black Elite 8200a (or something like that). I did just figure out that I could use the PCIex16 for that when looking that up! Had no idea! Sadly, didn't make a difference on this board; it has only one PCI x16, and placed both PCI x1s below it, so a typical fat GPU blocked the first one, and the second was right in front of the fan. Urgh. Learned my lesson.