Oops, forgot more info. New build, have ati6950 from previous comp. All cables are plugged in, double checked. I popped both dimms up and reaeated, though they are in the a2 and b2 slots (recommended in mobo manual) .
I'm thinking it may be that I need more thermal paste for my cpu? I got a noctua d-14 hsf. And it took me a little bit before I put the hsf on after applying initial thermal paste. I put a small dab on, should I spread it evenly with anything?
I think my case is working ok, I did some googling and some guy said his reset button was stuck but don't think that applies.
During rebooting, system doesn't always make it to asus screen. I can tell it's somewhat booting because the led on my monitor turns blue.
Until we get more details, i'm betting the mobo is broken.
I very much doubt the problem would be caused by insufficinet TIM. During boot the CPU stays at low frequencies and with little load there is no way it's overheating so much that it would shut down the system.
It's hard to test the mobo without a replacement but try to connect as little parts to it as you can and as little wires as well. You can connect the monitor to the mobo DVI or VGA. Just install the CPU (with the CPU cooler), connect the 24 pin mobo connector and the 8 pin CPU connector and try to power it on using a flat screw driver instead of the power on switch from the case (disconnect them). No RAM, no dedicated video card and no HDD and work from there. Check the error beeps you get and see if you can find the bad component.
If you wanna reapply TIM do check the CPU seating and more importantly see if there are any socket pins bent.