Heres the list in order of what i prefer:
More "in-depth" list:
1) As for silence, i want sound proof features and reduction such as rubber/foam edges for HDD slots and things of that nature.
2) Features such as motherboard tray & tool-less are always a beautiful thang. dont need on-board LED temperatures though. i prefer using SpeedFan.
3) Cooling, prefer fans because of their cost, but if liquid cooling falls in my budget, i could definitely go for that.
4) i prefer a slick look over a graphic-designed flashy sci-fi look. well... priority is that its not butt ugly.
5) money! muahaha. i prefer spending under $150, ESPECIALLY because its not really for gaming, although i will be gaming on it. i will be doing some minor overclocking and SLI'ing but not to the point where i NEED liquid cooling. approx $200 is my max give or take a couple bux.
The cases that are usually recommended by the veterans here are the Antec 300, 900, and 1200; the CoolerMaster Cosmos and Stacker series; and a smattering of Lan-Li, ThermalTake, and NZXT. It is a matter of personal preference.
The difficult part for you will be balancing silence with adquate ventilation, airflow, and cooling. You'll probably have to do the sound proofing features yourself.
hah i see, but i also notice most ppl posting about ventilation. i would much rather prefer silence over airflow. would that change peoples opinions? i know the antec is a very well known affordable cooling case, so you do not have to suggest it its already on my mind.
If you want silence I wouldn't suggest Lian-Li; namely the PC-7b plus II. It is noisy as hell (HDD-wise) and fairly loud fan-wise. My co worker in the office next door said it sounded like it was raining on a metal roof. That was even after adding foam strips between the HDD and the cage it was connected to.
If anyone has any suggestions to fix that I would appreciate knowing it. (No, I won't do anything like Dynomat the whole case).
It's a shame though, Lian-Li makes some of the coolest (neatest, not coldest) cases but for an office environment that is just unacceptable.
The case I have for my computer is a Rosewill Conqueror WBK with 3 120mm Enermax UC-12EB. I can just hear it 2 ft away if everyone is quiet. I can almost never hear the HDD either. The power light is annoyingly bright though. It keeps everything nice and chilly, too.
I do realize that, it's all about what noise level you can handle and what application it's being used for. Since the OP wanted something more helpful we are kind of stuck aren't we.
Although if you are referring to my complaint about Lian-Li; no one would find that HDD clicking acceptable, at least not anyone who knows it can be quieter. It's enough to hear from 10-15 ft away over ambient office noise as well as conversation with co-workers.
If you meant my case? Well you can't get much quieter (not to say you can't) while still moving air and not sacrificing cooling. Most of the fans are under 1000 RPM and the CPU is at 29c and the MB is 34c idle.
sweet thanks for sharing. yes i am definitely looking for all sorts of suggestions. i always double check cases im interested in with other reviews as well anyway so just throwing out your own two cents is definitely something im looking for. appreciate it!