Update on Computer Dumbness
Installing the manual fan control knocked the noise down a bit, for which I am thankful. It's probably still not quiet enough but at least it's not at making-me-want-to-die levels anymore. CPU temperature is around 45C and the fan is around 2900 RPM. The following problems remain:
Random lockups. There are two occurring, one more mysterious than the other.
Lockup #1 (not so mysterious): the Darla24 with the high pitched EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE sound lockup is still in full effect. I moved it to another slot today and it ran perfectly for four hours (!!) and then suddenly crashed for no apparent reason. The Echo website gave me no real pointers other than to tell me that my motherboard's chipset is apparently compatible with their products. Hooray I guess.
Lockup #2 (mysterious): Twice now and seemingly randomly, my keyboard and mouse just stopped responding. The system was running fine but I couldn't do anything with it. I'm just using a PS2 Microsoft mouse and a PS2/USB Microsoft keyboard. Never had any problems on the last system.
The first one I'm still thinking is par for the course and that it can eventually be made to work. I've had a lot crazier things happen with that sound card and made out okay in the end. The keyboard and mouse thing I just have no idea about.