well the new rig is up and running, and I love it! bear in mind that for the last two years i've been using a lappy with P3 @ 1GHz, 500MB RAM and a 64MB Radeon 9000. It still runs flawlessly after five years of heavy use but man is it slow (specially the HD) and noisy! the new rig is lightning fast and whisper quiet in comparison. besides the listed specs I went with: BenQ FP241W (simply awesome, so much better for image processing) twin 500GB Seagate barracudas in RAID0 Thermatake ruby orb CPU cooler (quiet AND pretty!) CoolerMaster Stacker 831 (larger then i'd expected, it's HUGE but gives alot of space for airflow and looks pretty cool) installation went flawlessly, well except for the ear-splitting whine from the geforce when i first turned it on and had forgotten the 12v connector... and installing the RAID drivers without a floppy drive was a bit tricky! Thanks so much to everyone here who gave me help and advice!