After the math
I bought the new computer junk and spent most of yesterday setting it up. It all went relatively smoothly except for various panicked moments of anxiety and stress + anger * stupidity. So far the 2600 and the new memory seems to be a nice speed increase over the 1600. Not tremendously different as far as the desktop goes, but I'm anticipating more dramatic changes once I get some actually demanding applications on here. Right now there are two problems. One is the noise of the fan (the Thermaltake Volcano 11). It's just stupid how loud it is, it sounds like a vacuum cleaner. I can't believe anyone could tolerate this noise level. I have a few options here, such as installing the manual fan control dial and seeing how slow I can run the fan without the chip exploding. A fan also came with the chip which I may take a shot at. And then if that doesn't work I can try my Zalman flower cooler in non-quiet mode (as I've been told quiet mode will not be enough to cool this processor). If none of those options pan out, then I guess I have to blow more money on something like a chump. I have no idea what it would be, but we'll see.
The other problem is my Echo Darla24 which is just a complete jackass of a sound card. I installed it and everything was working fine. I was all impressed and happy and listening to mp3s right away. Except it seems about once every half hour the system would lock and the sound goes EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE in a high pitched whine.
I've experienced similar stuff with the Darla before so I'm hoping through a series of strategic yet random beatings to it I can get it to work with some stability again.
So now I'm sitting here installing programs with the Darla uninstalled listening to this new computer howl to verify if it is in fact the sound card causing these problems. This right here is rock and roll, baby.