Must a non-gaming PC case have fans?

I am building a new system primarily for video and photo editing and everyday multi-tasking use (streaming, surfing, email, watching DVDs, and so on).
I am also interested in getting into some gaming in the future (no need for discrete video card now). For now I want a quiet system.
I am thinking i5/i7 IV bridge CPU , ASUS P8Z77 type MOBO, maybe SeaSonic 620W PSU.

Finding a good case has given me a lot of headaches. I have read reviews and seen youtube videos on Obsidian 550D, Carbide 300R, Antec 900, P280, Fractal Design Define Mini, Arc Mini, and a number of other cases. I don't mind if the case is a bit large, but don't want it noisy. All the cases I have mentioned have multiple fans.
Do I need to be running all those fans? Do I really need these fans for my applications? Will these cases be loud? I know 550D and P280 are supposed to be quiet, but won't they lack good ventilation?

BTW, I know that if I bought a Dell XPS 8500 with i7 and 8G RAM, it would handle all that I want to do (without future gaming), and I have seen an XPS and the case doesn't have any front fans or even exhaust fans. Does this mean that fans are for over-clockers and gamers?
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  1. From what I've heard, it's not the case itself that makes noise, but the fans. Ergo, if you want a quiet pc, just buy quiet fans. Recently, when I did a build of my own, I chose really cheap fans from deepcool, they were something like 5 dollars for each and they were supposed to be "ultra-quiet", however once my case accommodated six of them (each rated at 20 db) the pc became quite noisy. What would I Change if I was building the PC now? I would have bought only 3 fans, but they would have been more expensive and quieter. Take a look at Noctua. IMO their fans are overpriced, but performance and looks wise - they are astonishing. Bottom line is simply think how much fans do you really need and read reviews and roundups, like this one:

    Oh, and if you won't be gaming, then one or two fans OMO will be just enough.
    Good luck with your build ;)
  2. I guess my question is do I need fans if I don't play PC games?
  3. Best answer
    Video editing is more process intensive than most games, so I would say yes you need a case fan if you want to keep everything cool.
  4. Best answer selected by PC420.
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