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  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

Question Sleeper PC case question.

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Mr. Nine

Junior Member
Sep 8, 2020
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Look for the fractal design 7.
That is about as old school as your going to get.

Everything else is a bit high tech and modern with RGB's.
But i would honestly still as you to consider looking at a LianLi O11, and some Phantek cases as well.
NXZT also has a few which are pretty minimalistic, yet offer excellent options for fan mounts and USB 3.0.

I honestly would not and can not recommend you getting a case pre circa 2007.
You would have a heck of a hard time with cable routing, and not many of them are SSD 2.5" friendly.
Those are all minimalist. Not retro\sleeper.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,530
79
91
Leave the sleepers to modders with dremels and cars please.... do not torcher yourself in your build when you get a old antiquated case to build modern parts in. A perfect analogy would be, you don't want to drop in a hellcat redeye engine inside a old charger without extensive modifications.
Same can be said in the PC World... old cases even are limited to 92mm over the 120mm we more commonly use.



This has to do with some cases which support underside nVME.
Also old cases do not have a hole in the rear of the motherboard plane like modern cases do.
This helps when installing a cpu which requires a mounting bracket without you having to pull the board out.

If the cases is honestly more then 5 yrs old, i always recommend a re evaluation on the case.
It may be time for you honestly to get a new one unless your absolute about not having RGB, which then you can replace the fans to non RGB ones.
I recently switched out an original Coolermaster Stacker that I used for about 15 years. It still worked fine and looked nice enough, but was really showing its age with a lack of modern ports or any sort of cable management. It was workable and I used a Rosewill 5" USB 3 bay and 2.5-5" brackets to hold SSDs, along with cable ties to hold up fans in places not designed to hold them, but it was clunky. I actually wish I had made that change that a long time ago now.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
5,496
483
126
It'll interfere with cooling and longevity and the paint only lasts for a few months.
? No it won't. The old cases didn't have mesh anywhere, paint over big ventilation gaps only reduces intake area but a few cubic mm.

No idea what you are doing wrong with paint, but if you can paint a car and have it last a decade, you can paint a case and have it last longer than that unless you are doing strange things to it like using it as a dart board.

The plastics (depending on type, not so much acrylic or polycarb) can be very durably painted with automotive vinyl dye. The catch is that comes in limited colors unless you stray from what is available at the local auto parts store and special order it.

The metal, any stanard enamel paint will be long lasting, but if you want it super long lasting, you can use appliance paint. The good stuff is quite toxic and needs to be sprayed outdoors in a well ventilated area, standing upwind of it.

The rest is just prep work. A glossy original metal paint finish ought to be lightly sanded and then cleaned. Plastics you intend to paint with vinyl dye only need cleaned, should not be sanded because the dye is unlike other types of paints and has poor surface blemish filling because it soaks into the surface of the plastic but the upside to this is it won't flake or chip at all unless you would have taken a big gouge out of the plastic anyway.

If the stock plastics had a paint color over them, that does need sanded of for best vinyl dye application, but in that case I'd prefer multiple very light coats of traditional enamel paint but if talking about the old beige, white, or even most black case plastic, it usually does not have any color coat on top while silver usually does.
 
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mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
5,496
483
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Brings back memories of those old Enlight 7230/7237 steel cases. SECC steel panels, came with a 300 watt power supply. They were also the ugliest beige you could imagine. But, they fit both baby AT and ATX motherboards, so you could build anything in them at the time.

BTW, if you find a case you can live with, pick up some beige spray paint, tape off the ports/LEDs, and go to town on it. Spray painting really wouldn't constitute what I'd consider "modding" a case.
Heh now! I had several of those Enlights, did get rid of the oldest design where the entire outer shell was an inverted U-shape that comes off as one piece leaving a bare frame, but to this day I still have a fileserver running in the generation newer design with removable side panels separate from the top.

It works great because the setup doesn't need much airflow, nor front mounted USB3 ports. Those (4? 5?) top 5.25 external bays are a great place to put a furnace filter panel for dustless intake on the cheap/easy.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
5,496
483
126
You would have a heck of a hard time with cable routing, and not many of them are SSD 2.5" friendly.
?? Cable routing is easier than ever after the point where IDE was replaced with SATA, if a new build even has SATA. An old case has no cable routing issues except that it won't appeal to someone who is OCD about neatness, but why would that matter if there is no clear side panel to see it?

If there is some loose wire flopping into a fan, as always that is what wire ties are for.

Not to nitpick but SSD is kind of irrelevant. With no moving parts you can just about shoehorn one in anywhere even if you have to duct tape it down because you move the system around a lot. Otherwise it can just lay there on the case floor or there are $1 mounts to adapt 2.5" to 3.5". It just takes 60 seconds longer to install during the build but that is such a small % of total time spent building and configuring.

I guess it is more important to other people than me. I'd have zero problems using the oldest ATX case I have with a modern build (if I didn't have anything better just sitting around too so might as well use that instead). It'd just need a fan mount added, a filter panel on the front bezel, and a USB3 hub since it won't have front USB3 ports.
 
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ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
22,895
1,120
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You should find and buy an old Sony VAIO PC case from the 1990's. Retro, ATX compatible and still kinda cool looking.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,291
986
126
you zip tied everything and still say this?
well if your at my level in case modding i do not think you would ask a question like this. :fearscream:

You should find and buy an old Sony VAIO PC case from the 1990's. Retro, ATX compatible and still kinda cool looking.
Nah break out the dremel and go full old school like an old XPS case, or even a old MAC PRO.

I am still in love with the old Lian Li V2000 cases, if one can even score one.
Also the Silverstone TJ-07 i consider iconic.

There is also Windy cases if you can find them, they are all magnificent but extremely pricey.

But i don't know if the OP is looking for something older like a AT style case, or how well he works with a dremel.
 

Makaveli

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2002
4,160
318
126
Same here. I have replaced the internals 3 times now, in my M-I-L's system. Case is around 15 years old, looks like new. Looks like the one in the pic below, that I found doing a quick search.

Wow I had one of these about 15 years was a great case its in time. Abit long in the tooth now. PSU mounted at the top, USB ports will also be 2.0, and no cable management.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
5,496
483
126
Heh, hold on a minute while tell my cables to get back to work. Those slackers need management. :p

I don't want a PSU on the bottom. I put my cases on the floor (except remote fileserver) where that'd suck up more dust, or be a bit restricted by carpet, or if I put a filter panel on a bottom PSU intake then I'd have to take the PSU out or tip the whole system over on its side (and fiddle with cables connected in the back) to swap or clean the filter.

WAY more work than a snap off front bezel doing filtering where I don't even have to turn the system off, or if a video card needs it, a side panel fan filter that can come off without taking the side panel off.

I do have one of those Antec (though mine was sold under Chieftec brand) aluminum cases sitting unused, because it can't fit 120mm fans in the stock locations without substantial mods if they would fit at all, though it would be fine for a non-gaming build, just had other cases with 120mm fan originally or DIY added. That's one issue with the aluminum Antec/Cheiftec/Cheng Ming cases, that they weren't thicker aluminum like the Lian Li of the era so they don't dampen noise as much as the steel version of same case.
 
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aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,291
986
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I do have one of those Antec (though mine was sold under Chieftec brand)
its the otherway around...
Chieftec was the OEM, antec had one they supplied from chieftec.
Enermax also had one, and so did thermaltake.
They were all variations from that chieftec, some with window panel, and others with a lot more blingy colors like black and neon orange.
 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
7,703
930
126
You can still buy named brand PCs built in the 1980's online. How about buying an old IBM XT just for the case? And eBay is swamped with them. Also, on YouTube there are a couple of channels in which there are serious old schoolers buying new in box computers (say, mid-1980's) that are still working.
 

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