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Thread: Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

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    Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

    Hi everyone!
    I want to do a super low budget gaming pc build, the family pc (dell dimension 5000) was recently retired from use and is sitting there, i think it would be pretty cool to have the ancient looking pc case, but a few hundred quids worth of fancy new internals.
    Im used to working on cars and modifying them, making my own bits has become normal so is really not an issue, and i have a fair bit of stuff lying around to 'adapt' the old case.
    could i do it and have it work reliably, and if so, is it a good idea?

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

    Probably, but you need to check exactly what is proprietary about the Dell and thus what you're going to need to bodge around.

    Prime things I'd check are what the positions are for the motherboard standoffs in the case - check they are (m)ATX standard. Also whether the PSU bracket/space is ATX standard.

    If you hit both of then then you're pretty much there - some things like panel LEDs etc. might not be workable if they used odd connections, but if you're into your car modding then you can probably do wonders with lighting etc. already.

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    Re: Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

    On top of what kalniel has said, I would note that you are unlikely to get nice 120mm or perhaps any fan mounts at all on a case like that. So cooling may be suboptimal but surely workable with some bodging. Another note is the motherboard I/O shield. Some cases have these built into the chassis, rather than having a rectangular cutout for you to fit your own, but again, nothing unsurmountable with a little work. And also check GPU clearance, taking into account the length of the card (perhaps breadth as well, if for some insane reason your case only takes half height cards because modifying that would be a nightmare I imagine).

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    Re: Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

    A quick look at Dell's documentation suggests that's a BTX system. They never really took off among home builders and are mounted to the opposite side of the case to the normal Micro ATX standard so it's not a particularly small job. At the very least you'll need to modify the rear of the case with a Micro ATX frame from another case and add motherboard stand-offs to the opposite side of the case.

    The power supply appears to be standard ATX though.

    EDIT: The ATX standard has been around a long time though, so most things after about the mid-90s should work fine with modern kit. The dell will be much more work than something twice it's age. If you fancy a genuinely tacky case then I suspect plenty of Hexus members can send one your way for the cost of postage.
    Last edited by EndlessWaves; 26-03-2016 at 09:36 PM.

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    Re: Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

    Is it one of these? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXL7a1xMWN8

    Looks like quite a bit of metalwork, from that video I can't even see an I/O shield for the motherboard so you would have to cut a rectangle just the right size for the shield that comes with the motherboard. The PSU mountings look like ATX standard, but the PSU won't be usable on a modern motherboard if it is from an old P4 era machine and besides Dell used to wire then up oddly which doesn't help. So budget for a PSU.

    At worst, you might be able to get a really cheap uATX case and do a cut and shut of the two so that the internal motherboard tray is standard, and that might get you some standard lights and USB front ports to glue in place or however you would mount them.

    I think it would be possible, but not trivial.

    Edit to add: BTX? Hmm, wonder if an ITX motherboard would fit in there thanks to being small.

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    Re: Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

    yeah its one of them, wasnt really intending on using anything other than the case, cd drives and the usbs, ive got an hp pavillion thats giving up, il pull that apart if i need any up to date components

    so id be chopping the rear panel off my pavilion and bodging it on?

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    Re: Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

    Quote Originally Posted by HarrySE5GTE View Post
    yeah its one of them, wasnt really intending on using anything other than the case, cd drives and the usbs, ive got an hp pavillion thats giving up, il pull that apart if i need any up to date components

    so id be chopping the rear panel off my pavilion and bodging it on?
    You'd have to replace all of the rear if it's BTX - everything's literally in the wrong place, so you'd have issues securing any expansion cards as well.

    Here's some posts from someone who has done something similar:

    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2293137

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    Re: Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

    That is a massive help, cheers mate

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    Re: Could i build a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' pc

    Back in around 2008, I implanted some upgraded kit into an old IBM Aptiva E35 (originally K6-2 300MHz, 64MB RAM, Rage 2+ 2MB) case.

    Was something like Athlon 64 X2 4200+, 2GB RAM, X1800XT, which was pretty decent at the time - but mostly just stuff I had lying around spare.

    The main problems were airflow (I shoehorned in an extra intake fan at the front and exhaust fans that fitted into a 5.25" bay) and fitting a full size PSU (just about squeezed in).

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