2. No, unless your heatsink wasn't designed for more than two cores
3. Only real difference is one has HDMI connection, the other doesn't.
4. Of course there have been, lol
5. No, the processor is listed as compatible with the latest BIOS, which you said was successful in flashing
6. A small pea-sized drop of thermal paste in the center of the top side of the CPU, or on the bottom side of the heat-sink. Doesn't matter.
Thank you very much for the help. Just finished installing everything. No problems so far.