need help finalizing my computer

Ok, im rounding out my selections for building my new computer, but I really need some advice from users who KNOW about these things:

I am building an AMD64 3400+ system (non overclocked)

Originally I was going to buy the 3400+ retail and use the stock heatsink and fan, but decided against that and instead am going to get the OEM version and just buy a different heatsink and fan. AMD has the Volcano 12 on their "approved" list of cooling solutions along with thermal grease made by companies like Bergquist, Shin Etsu, and Thermoset. Can anyone give me an idea of a good heatsink and fan combo? Also, I had planned on using Arctic 5, is this better than the afore mentioned grease solutions?

I am really having a hard time deciding on a motherboard and ram combo. Ive read various posts from various forums and really cant get a clear picture of what I need to do. I originally had planned to buy the ASUS K8V motherboard, but I have read about the problems of system stability and im not sure if that is the mobo or the ram. On one forum, someone said if you used the ASUS board with CAS2 or CAS2.5 ram, your system would crash alot and become very unstable, but if you changed the BIOS CAS setting to run at CAS3, it would improve stability. Over on the AMD forum, the moderator there said that AMD64 cpu's dont like high latency ram, but they do like low latency ram. He suggested using a CAS2 ram. Now...ive heard that the type of ram you use is really dependant on the motherboard. So, i went over to the ASUS approved ram list. They list a Kingston PC3200 400Mhz ram, which I was looking at. This ram is listed as CAS3!! So, after all the reading, im back at square one.

I need some help finding a good motherboard and ram, and a good motherboard and ram combo that works well with the AMD 64 3400+. Motherboards ive looked at so far are the ASUS K8V and the MSI K8T Neo. Ram vendors ive looked at are Mushkin, Corsair, Kingston and Crucial.

I'm also going to be putting in a WD Raptor 76GB 10,000rpm hard drive. Does this drive put off alot of heat? If so, could you recommend a cooling solution for it?

Any help would GREATLY be appreciated!

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  1. If you aren't overclocking, i really would recommend going for the retail version unless it works out cheaper to buy an OEM processor and your own hs.I read a comparison of hsfs for A64 the other day(sorry!can't remember where it was!)and the stock hs performed very well, even with overclocking.Apparently AMD have really done much better this time.

    no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. :]
  2. If you're not overclocking, I suggest the ECS 755-A2. Read the review at Anandtech. They downplay the value of the board a little because it doesn't have a lot of overclocking features, but since you're not overclocking it might be the best choice right now.

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