VOGONS


First post, by Hamby

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I've been trying to find horizontal desktop ATX and AT cases, and haven't had much luck. Sure, horizontal ATX cases exist; almost always black, almost always lacking drive bays, almost always meant for entertainment centers, not PC computing. And genuinely old computers anymore are insanely expensive (I still desperately want a Mac SE/30 and an Apple ][GS, both of which are way out of reach, now).

While looking yet again for a source for good old-fashioned computer cases, it occurred to me that it would be really cool looking to house my Linux main desktop (with an XFCE desktop manager, looking like an old Irix UI) in, say, a Gateway 2000 case; and I could probably afford a broken Gateway 2000 desktop to repurpose the case for my modern computer. From there I started thinking I could look for an SGI case, or maybe an old Amiga 2000 case... Or an old classic Mac case...

But, it just somehow feels wrong to redesign a vintage case to hold modern hardware, rather than trying to restore it to working condition.

What does everyone else think? Should I shop for a broken vintage PC so I can make my modern desktop computer (which I do need) look vintage? Or is that somehow "immoral" for a lover of retro tech to do?

Reply 1 of 19, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Nothing wrong with repurposing an old case, you can always part out the internals to other collectors who might need them.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 2 of 19, by debs3759

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Nothing is wrong if it feels right for you. You might want to check out http://www.evercase.co.uk/index.php?route=pro … ategory&path=63 and see if their cases suit you. If they don't ship to wherever you are, I reship items for a few people, and would be happy to help. Pretty sure they ship worldwide though.

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 3 of 19, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

It doesn't help that that there has been some shift of word meanings, desktop case used to mean horizontal case, now it means virtually anything that needs a monitor and keyboard plugged into it, whether it's mini tower, mini ITX, mid tower or full tower, or actual oldskool desktop. Also last two years, the "great unwashed" are calling anything that has full height expansion slots a "gaming computer".

Added to that, the mostly Asian manufacturers seem to have dropped the use of the word case, and tend to use the word chassis, so using that word can get you warmer.

Listicles that might be worth looking at ... https://whatintech.com/horizontal-pc-case/ https://tip-topreviews.com/15-best-horizontal … -cases-in-2021/ https://www.thecrazybuyers.com/best-horizontal-pc-cases/

Then you've got some manufacturers incorporating horizontal features into "mini tower" designs so those get missed... https://www.yycase.com/Mini-Tower-A2-Series.html

Yes you can go vintage, but I'll warn you, most of them only cope with about 30 or 40W of power dissipation, even the later ones. I've had two AT and ATX horizontal cases I tried to run K6-2 systems in, 400-500Mhz, and in all four cases (situations and literal cases) heat was the enemy, couldn't really vent them enough to avoid heat soak catching up with it within about 2 hours of hard use. The most successful iteration, I had one 50cfm 80mm in the back panel hole, blowing out, one 50 cfm intake in the front, behind the card supports, intake, and 3x35mm ziptied together in the bottom drivebay, intake. Plus the PSU fan was upgraded from a ~20cfm to a 40. ...None of those were very quiet... and I could maybe play 4 hours on that before it bombed... and that was starting at 21C ish room temperature, if it was 27C or so you didn't get much longer than an hour.... it would browse all day though. .. I gave up after a couple of years of trying and went to a mid tower.

I think what happens is, you pretty much always pull the hottest layer of case air into the CPU fan with a horizontal case... so if it's sorta stratified with a delta of 10C you're always feeding the 31C air to the CPU, whereas with a mid tower, you've got it halfway up the case, and get a stronger updraft effect, top to bottom, worst case when the air is dead you're only halfway up the 10C column, 26C, but I think the air moves better and you're probably a couple of degrees lower.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 4 of 19, by Hamby

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
debs3759 wrote on 2022-02-12, 03:20:

Nothing is wrong if it feels right for you. You might want to check out http://www.evercase.co.uk/index.php?route=pro … ategory&path=63 and see if their cases suit you. If they don't ship to wherever you are, I reship items for a few people, and would be happy to help. Pretty sure they ship worldwide though.

I've visited Evercase; I love their wt-01l "all-in-one" case, and am tempted to get one. It's very cool, but not very retro 🙁
http://www.evercase.co.uk/index.php?route=pro … &product_id=113

Reply 5 of 19, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Hamby wrote on 2022-02-12, 05:38:
debs3759 wrote on 2022-02-12, 03:20:

Nothing is wrong if it feels right for you. You might want to check out http://www.evercase.co.uk/index.php?route=pro … ategory&path=63 and see if their cases suit you. If they don't ship to wherever you are, I reship items for a few people, and would be happy to help. Pretty sure they ship worldwide though.

I've visited Evercase; I love their wt-01l "all-in-one" case, and am tempted to get one. It's very cool, but not very retro 🙁
http://www.evercase.co.uk/index.php?route=pro … &product_id=113

I didnt know about this company, I wonder if they ship to Australia ...actually I should check how much shipping a PC case to Australia would cost ...and arm ..leg .. or both

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 6 of 19, by Plasma

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Desktop cases pretty much disappeared after CRT monitors got replaced by LCDs. People wanted to reclaim their desk space.

If you can live with a tower, Chenbro SR209 has pretty good retro-styling. Although it's only available in black now.

Reply 7 of 19, by debs3759

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-12, 06:16:
Hamby wrote on 2022-02-12, 05:38:
debs3759 wrote on 2022-02-12, 03:20:

Nothing is wrong if it feels right for you. You might want to check out http://www.evercase.co.uk/index.php?route=pro … ategory&path=63 and see if their cases suit you. If they don't ship to wherever you are, I reship items for a few people, and would be happy to help. Pretty sure they ship worldwide though.

I've visited Evercase; I love their wt-01l "all-in-one" case, and am tempted to get one. It's very cool, but not very retro 🙁
http://www.evercase.co.uk/index.php?route=pro … &product_id=113

I didnt know about this company, I wonder if they ship to Australia ...actually I should check how much shipping a PC case to Australia would cost ...and arm ..leg .. or both

Both. Assuming a micro ATX case at 50x45x15 cm boxed and up to 6 Kg, shipping starts at £76 on the site I use. I don't know what evercase charge.

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 8 of 19, by TrashPanda

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
debs3759 wrote on 2022-02-12, 07:33:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-02-12, 06:16:
Hamby wrote on 2022-02-12, 05:38:

I've visited Evercase; I love their wt-01l "all-in-one" case, and am tempted to get one. It's very cool, but not very retro 🙁
http://www.evercase.co.uk/index.php?route=pro … &product_id=113

I didnt know about this company, I wonder if they ship to Australia ...actually I should check how much shipping a PC case to Australia would cost ...and arm ..leg .. or both

Both. Assuming a micro ATX case at 50x45x15 cm boxed and up to 6 Kg, shipping starts at £76 on the site I use. I don't know what evercase charge.

76GBP is 143 AUD which is already way more than I would spend on shipping 🤣

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 9 of 19, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I have a Compaq ap 550 that seems quite ok heat dissipation wise. It is not an ATX case but it is compatible with ATX moyherboards. They are also built to withstand an gunshots and grenades. 😀

Many Compaq models from that time period are possible to transform from tower to desktop but I don't know about the quality.

In my opinion the downside of desktop computers, except for heat dissipation, is to be able to fit normal expansion cards, the case becomes too high. For this reason I personally prefer desktop computers riser cards.

Reply 10 of 19, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Yes, the Pentium 4 Evo Desktops, D5xx models from Compaq might be good, still wanna be under 100W of CPU in there I think though. Avoid the slim model if you wanna use full height. They seem to be ATX enough to get a regular mATX board in https://dfarq.homeip.net/upgrading-a-compaq-e … -10-and-beyond/

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 11 of 19, by stamasd

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
debs3759 wrote on 2022-02-12, 03:20:

Nothing is wrong if it feels right for you.

Not necessarily.
Case in point: This will make you die inside (really) Voodoo 5 6000 "playdough" 😁

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 12 of 19, by cyclone3d

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

The main problem with putting newer hardware in old cases is the lack of sufficient airflow to keep the components cool.

Be prepared to do some major cooling nods to the case unless you like cooking you hardware.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 13 of 19, by dionb

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
cyclone3d wrote on 2022-02-12, 14:35:

The main problem with putting newer hardware in old cases is the lack of sufficient airflow to keep the components cool.

Be prepared to do some major cooling nods to the case unless you like cooking you hardware.

Depends on what you are doing with them. If you want a huge, high-end GPU and CPU to match, yes, then TDPs of hundreds of Watts combined mean you will basically have to turn your case into a wind tunnel - but power usage for lighter tasks has actually dropped. A Core i3 with integrated graphics will almost certainly draw less power than say a P3 (with or without integrated graphics), particularly if it spends most of its time idling.

Even if that's too much of a concession, by choosing your new stuff carefully you can still get a lot of performance without overheating a case. I'm currently building a system with a Ryzen 5 3600 (TDP: 65W, no worse than an Athlon 1200 or P4 1.8 ) and a GeForce GTX1650 (TDP: 75W. same as an FX5950), both with far better thermal management than a 2002-system would have had, and putting it in a mCubed HFX 510 100% passive case from ~2007. I might have to throttle back the GFU a bit and/or add a few big, quiet 120mm fans as the recommended max TDP for GPU is 50W - but the difference is very manageable and moreover, even if I don't get it right, the chips themselves will throttle back to prevent damage.

Now, a completely passive case is very different to a beige desktop, but the constraints are the same: less ability to get rid of heat. What I do in just about all builds is replace whatever PSU fan is in there with a new slient but relatively high-volume fan (I like Noctua Redux fans a lot for this purpose), and if I think I need more, add something similar to the rear of the case. My son's PC, an i3-7100 with Radeon R7 360, is built into a 1999-era Packard Bell uATX minitower, about as small and pokey as ATX comes. But with a nice 120mm Noctua PSU fan and an 80mm fan below it ensuring enough outtake, everything inside stays cool enough. Most desktop cases actually have more room than this. The challenge is that you can't rely on hot air rising for sufficient outtake, but if you have enough air moving and intake (which I prefer to do without fans to avoid any chance of overpressure) diametrically opposite PSU and outtake, it should be fine for low to mid range parts. If you want that i9 and RTX3090, that's another matter of course 😉

Last edited by dionb on 2022-02-12, 18:00. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 14 of 19, by cyclone3d

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

If there isn't enough cooling, constant throttling when the CPU reaches 100c is not going to be good for anything.

If the CPU gets that hot, the rest of the components are going to be burning hot as well.

Dell used to make these super small systems back in the day. Literally the only thing that got any cooling was the CPU. The HDDs and everything else would get burning hot . As-in, so hot that you would have to wait 5-10 minutes after opening the case before you could touch the HDD and not risk burning your fingers.

Those systems were always frying parts.

That being said, of course the lower end new parts aren't going to be putting off much heat, but even then, if there isn't enough airflow through the case, then you are going to slowly cook the components.

I try to keep the inside case temps within a few degrees of ambient temps. Been doing this for over about 25 years now.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 15 of 19, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
cyclone3d wrote on 2022-02-12, 17:48:

Dell used to make these super small systems back in the day. Literally the only thing that got any cooling was the CPU.

Dell quite often used custom ducting so the CPU was breathing external air directly.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 16 of 19, by dionb

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Those Dell heat bombs (GX-series I imagine...) weren't regular ATX cases, so I doubt you'd even be able to make a modern system fit in one if desired. The Gateway2000 systems already mentioned are full ATX so a completely different kettle of fish. Their biggest weakness is just a single 80mm PSU outtake fan, but if you don't mind a little modding, cutting an 80mm (of bigger, if you have the drill) hole in the top and mounting a fan underneath at a strategic location would make them more than adequate. They have lots of vents at the bottom of the front for intake.

Reply 17 of 19, by Paadam

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Joakim wrote on 2022-02-12, 07:54:

I have a Compaq ap 550 that seems quite ok heat dissipation wise. It is not an ATX case but it is compatible with ATX moyherboards. They are also built to withstand an gunshots and grenades. 😀

Many Compaq models from that time period are possible to transform from tower to desktop but I don't know about the quality.

In my opinion the downside of desktop computers, except for heat dissipation, is to be able to fit normal expansion cards, the case becomes too high. For this reason I personally prefer desktop computers riser cards.

Do you have AP550 case? I would be very interested in it as I have working AP550 board+PSU in regular ATX case running Tualatin etc.

Many 3Dfx and Pentium III-S stuff.
My amibay FS thread: www.amibay.com/showthread.php?88030-Man ... -370-dual)

Reply 18 of 19, by Joakim

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Paadam wrote on 2022-02-12, 21:01:
Joakim wrote on 2022-02-12, 07:54:

I have a Compaq ap 550 that seems quite ok heat dissipation wise. It is not an ATX case but it is compatible with ATX moyherboards. They are also built to withstand an gunshots and grenades. 😀

Many Compaq models from that time period are possible to transform from tower to desktop but I don't know about the quality.

In my opinion the downside of desktop computers, except for heat dissipation, is to be able to fit normal expansion cards, the case becomes too high. For this reason I personally prefer desktop computers riser cards.

Do you have AP550 case? I would be very interested in it as I have working AP550 board+PSU in regular ATX case running Tualatin etc.

Yeah, but there is working original a system in it and not parting with it at this moment.

Reply 19 of 19, by Paadam

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

When fully in tact then of course 😀 I was hoping that someone has empt case laying around somewhere..

Many 3Dfx and Pentium III-S stuff.
My amibay FS thread: www.amibay.com/showthread.php?88030-Man ... -370-dual)