well, the box has been built and ran through the burn-in test without error. so now i'm running a sweet p4 3.0gHz machine. i can only see the difference in running some applications, such as image editing, word, and other applications i run at the same time.
the reason i wanted to build a new box was not just to have a new computer but to get ready to scan a ton of images this year. hopefully i'll be able to scan some old negatives and some older pictures. the extra power will come in handy when processing this information.