Cases are pretty personal, so I'll offer a few cases for your consideration:
Zalman GS-1000 / GS1200 series - full tower, approx. $170 (Newegg pricing); I mention this case because is has good front baffles for sound and has a good build quality.
Cooler Master HAF series 922, 932 or 942 (not 912): $99 to $150 (after rebate); my personal choice and I want QUIET, but I do keep mine in a ventilated cabinet so the lack of front baffles is not an issue for me. Very cost effective, awesome 200mm slow moving, large, silent fans, excellent hard drive cooling (for up to 5 or more 3.5" drives), excellent cable management. Newegg shows a 5 egg (highest) customer rating with over 2,500 reviews reported for the 932 model so yes, this is a good case whether it is the right fit for your or not!
Corsair Obsidian Series 550D, approx $130 (Newegg after rebate); this did not exist the last time I built a PC, but it would certainly be on my short list to consider if it was. Solid 5 egg review by 99 Newegg reviews. Heavy, front door to block noise, good build quality, and really not too expensive consdidering it is a Obsidian series case.
For a CPU cooler:
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - best out there for bottom feeder price
- Noctua NH-D14 - awesome and includes two excellent fans, but more money
Thanks Jim! Very helpful. That Cooler master Haf 932 looks pretty good. Do you know if I need an adapter for my 2.5" SSD?
Another question that occurred to me: Cases with the fancy LED fans like the Zalman GS-1200... can you disable the LEDs or turn them off, or are you stuck with them?
Will getting the hyper212 evo be a significant difference from the stock unit that comes with the 3770k processor? I'm not sure if I should just use the stock one and see where my temp's are at before deciding on an upgrade, or if I should just go ahead and get the hyper 212 and hope I don't need more... any thoughts?
So it sounds like I will need some thermal compound for the hyper 212 if I go that route. I've heard that Arctic Silver is good and reliable... but there seems to be multiple different varieties... so which one do i get?
I have the HAF 922 case which is almost the same as the 932 minus two extra bays. From what I know the LED on the front intake fan can be switched off. Mine has that switch; its located at the top where your power button is.
As for the thermal paste, I have used the Artic Silver 5 and works great for me, no issues on any of my CPU's.
Cooler Master has sold various editions of their HAF series over the years. Neither of my HAF cases (922, 932) came with a 2.5" bracket, however the models that they are selling now might. The first time I purchased a SSD, I purchased a 2.5" to 5-1/4" bay adapter, but I've purchased many more since then and once cabled you can stick them about anywhere in your case - they are very light, they do not get hot, and they hardly make a sound.
I too am a Arctic Silver 5 user and will likely continue with that trend for years to come; it is effective, reasonably priced, and has never seemed to be the critical path for any cooling needs that I've had to date, including overclocked CPUs. In fact, I've used it more than once to replace gosh-awful paste used in Areca controller cards, Intel factory coolers, Dell servers, motherboard cooling and more!
For CPU cooling, the tiny coolers that come with many boxed Intel CPUs are not very effective. Even when not overclocking, I would suggest using a more effective CPU cooler for any Premiere Pro build. Renders can have CPUs maxed out for a long time and it is best to keep things cool. And generally speaking, as the size increases for the fan and heat sink the noise level goes down.
Regarding fan LEDs, like AVTechMan says for his 922, I'm pretty sure all of the HAF series cases have LED switches for the fans. You still may need some black electrician's tape for your optical drives and some other front panel lights no matter what case you end up choosing. I don't know if Zalman has a switch for their LEDs, but I have heard of user's clipping LED wires to nuke various vendors fan lights before.
Thanks guys! Arctic silver 5 it is! And thanks for the thoughts on ssd placement Jim!