I really really really hate moving systems. I really hate corrupted data and unstable systems. I hate noise Given those constraints, I wanted to construct a system that would last me a decade (or as close as possible) Fortunately I'm not a gamer and don't even hit the CPU that hard (currently running a stock Q6600 that I'm OK with speed wise). What does always force me to upgrade is memory. Currently I have 8GB and that's not enough when running several VMs (development work). For ECC memory, the E3 Xeons look interesting, but only support 32GB, which just doesn't seem very future proof. Also, there's still enough complaints about people not being able to actually run 4 x 8GB DIMMs in systems that I'm somewhat leery of it. Which brings me to the E5 Xeon series. I like 8 memory slots, I like that registered DIMMs go above 8GB and I like the concept of registered DIMMs reducing the load on the memory controller, making it less likely to have a problem fully populating the slots. I'm not interested in dual CPUs and only mildly interested in >4 cores, thus there's only one CPU for me: The E5-1620 (4c, 3.6/3.8) Unfortunately, the E5-1620 is very hard to find in stock at reputable dealers at reasonable prices. Also, I want a motherboard that supports 8 slots of registered memory and has at least one physical PCIe x16 slot. The only company that makes single-processor boards that meet this criteria is Supermicro. Unfortunately Supermicro has chosen to give all their boards in that category a Narrow ILM CPU socket. Nobody makes a Narrow ILM cpu cooler. Well, if you look on Newegg, Dynatron has some absolute garbage available. Frankly I have no idea how some of those passive coolers are even supposed to work. Actually, Supermicro does make a cooler, the SNK-P0050AP4. But as you can see from the review, it's fairly noisy. Fortunately he has a solution: replacing the fan with a Noctua 92mm unit. Combined that's $66 for the HSF, which is quite a lot to swallow for someone who has always used the stock fan before. And that doesn't even mention the non-standard mounting points on the board. Here's some comments from around the internet: "The mounting points are unusual, and my consumer case needed some modding" "The issue with DIMM slots noted in other review is most likely due to bent pins or grounding because of contact with mounting offsets in case. Putting memory in the slots 4 A/B lead to a non-post with one of my two new systems. I was ready to RMA, but decided it was too much of a coincidence having exactly the same problem, so I pounded flat an unaligned mounting support in my case, and things have been working great for the past 24 hours" "Non standard ATX holes, although this seems to be common to Supermicro. Check your case throughly." I have the original CM Stacker and this makes me somewhat nervous. Putting it all together, here is my projected build: $317 E5-1620 3.6/3.8 http://www.wiredzone.com/Intel-CM80...eon-E5-1620-4-Core-Socket-2011~32027900~0.htm $290 Supermicro X9SRA http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813182336 $44.24 Supermicro SNK-P0050AP4 Heatsink http://www.wiredzone.com/Intel-CM80...eon-E5-1620-4-Core-Socket-2011~32027900~0.htm $22 - Noctua NF-B9-1600 92mm Case Fan http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835608005 $60 x 2 - Kingston 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1333 Server Memory DR x4 1.35V Hynix C Model KVR13LR9D4/8HC http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820239160 $793 Just for comparison, I specced out a similar E3 build: $245 - E3-1230 V2 (Ivy Bridge) 3.3/3.7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819117286 $190 - Intel S1200BTSR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813121619 $73 X 2 - Kingston 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333 Server Memory Intel Model KVR13E9/8I http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820239116 $30 - Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835103065 $611 and if I was willing to do away with ECC altogether $300 - i7-3770 3.4/3.9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819116502 $67 - Foxconn B75M http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813186228 $65 - Corsair 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1333 CMV16GX3M2A1333C9 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820233270 $30 - Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835103065 $462 Basically I'm paying $150 more just for ECC and then ANOTHER $182 for confidence in being able to upgrade to 32GB without problem plus the ability to go even higher. Which altogether is a $332 premium. Which I would really rather not pay. Maybe I should just get the E3 and stuff it full right now so any problems become immediately apparent and just assume 32GB will last me long enough? I just really do love the idea of registered DIMMs and I can picture a system built around that Supermicro board lasting me forever.