Thank you ALL very much for all of your very helpful suggestions, I REALLY appreciate it!
Lol . . . yes it is a finished attic office, and the ceiling does slope at about 14" above the side of my desk ((I sit facing the mid-line of the roof and the side window), but it is not that bad. It is actually kind of a sanctuary from the loving chaos that family can sometimes create.
You have all raised some truly great points and made some really interesting alternative case suggestions. I looked at all the cases you suggested--thank you . . . the small form factor of the Corsair 250D and Silverstone TJ08-E were quite compelling. The 250D although shorter and less deep than the 350D and 450D, was almost 11" wide . . . about 3" wider than the 350D and 450D cases . . . but a very nice case. I found the Silverstone TJ08-E a little more compelling for my needs, but one of the reviews, although giving it outstanding marks overall did say it was one of the loudest cases it had reviewed which troubled me.
The DB ratings for the 350D and 450D seem surprisingly similar to each other according to Tech Report's review
--this despite the 450D's open front grill and more open floor and back. However, Tech Report's
review of the 350D and 450D does report a substantially greater heat difference:Full Load: Front DB:
) . . . however, surprisingly, the 450D's Side and Top decibel levels are actually lower than the 350D's by 1-2 decibels.CPU:
); 66C (350D
); 85C (350D
); 34C (350D
Those GPU numbers seem rather excessively high . . . am I possibly misinterpreting something? But regardless, the 450D does seem to run considerably cooler in comparison to the 350D.
I appreciate the sound dampening case suggestions . . . but surprisingly, the anecdotal reviews I read suggest the sound (in particular the 550D) was not much quieter--although the review reported that higher pitched sounds seemed to be more muffled. I understand these cases also tend to run a bit hotter.
On a slightly superficial level, I have never had a case with a window, and while probably more of a novelty, would kind of like to try one even though it may trade-off some sound dampening benefits the non-windowed case designs enjoy. Would proper fans and lower volt (7V?) fans help improve sound issues?
Currently, in front of my work desk, I have a slightly smaller desk that gives me about 46" total work space (front to back), or an extra aproximately 19.5" in front of my main desk where I set my monitors and case. Because of job, might be moving in a year or so and, therefore, not sure whether I will be able to enjoy the same set-up in the future so a smaller case footprint is always a positive thing for me--[Edit] although not at the expense of performance (heat, noise, etc.) or function (present and future necessary upgradeability).
Weighing all the different advantages/disadvantages of heat, sound, footprint size, quality of case, M-ATX vs ATX motherboard, single GPU (bkz sadly as mentioned, it appears flight sims and HD video editing don't seem to like GPUs in SLI), and anything else you deem relevant . . . if you had to choose between the 350D and 450D, which case would you choose? While I am leaning towards the 350D and 450D, if of course in addition, you have another similar case you that feel particularly strongly about, would like to hear about that too.
(As far as motherboards
, if M-ATX
probably using ASUS Maximux 6 Gene . . . if ATX
, ASUS Maximus 6 Extreme; CPU
: i7-4770K Haswell; GPU
: GTX 780; SSD
: 250GB Samsung EVO; HDD
: 1 TB WD Black).
Thank you very much!