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Old wine in new bottles and vice versa

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Among the builds I have done I sometimes want to put a new board in an old case. Now by old, I mean really old, not something that simply saw service once. I’m talking (for example) of a case that has had 4 or more generations of motherboard in it, some of them for 5 years each, and in a particular example, one bought in 1995 and in the last ‘incarnation’ since 2011.

What you find with those old cases is that they definitely don’t have front panel audio, and no USB typically. That’s OK, as front panel units provide for both. The really big bugbear is that the old case will usually have drive bays in the way of a long GPU, and certainly nothing in the drive bay line that takes a 2.5 inch device. Also, old cases have very few places to fit fans.


The converse situation, of putting an old motherboard in a new case is that the new case will have front panel audio and USB, although cheap cases tend to have single USB2 and USB3 ports. Nevertheless, the cables take up a whole header each – which is wasteful, especially with motherboards that only have one USB3 header.


If you buy a front panel unit that happens to duplicate the audio ports, you need a Y cable. The price of those is obscene! Otherwise you can guarantee that one day you will plug headphones into the unconnected ports and wonder why there’s no sound.


The other problem that I have is that the useful gadgets become unavailable. Take for example the Silverstone FP56 front panel unit with card readers and USB3 ports, plus brackets for 2 SSDs. It’s brilliant, and has 3 coloured fronts, but is now hard to find. Or the Silverstone PCIe card with two internal USB3 headers – again, hard to find whereas PCIe cards with yet more rear ports and only one internal header are plentiful. Aren’t there usually enough rear USB ports? Are 2 more really useful?


Old cases usually have loads of drive bay openings – too many, probably, now that FDD, Zip drives, 5.25 inch floppies, tape drives for backup and even these days optical drives are going out of fashion.  Blanking plates are sold, but they are extortionate, and often don’t fit. New cases reflect the fact that floppy drives are rarely supported on motherboards, and don’t have the opening for them. In some cases, there is only one drive bay opening or none.



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I’ve got my old x58 in a meshify c, I wish this case was around 10 years ago lol.

X5690 E.S. @ 4209MHz 1.35v/Thermalright True Spirit 140 Power/TF8/TY-143
Asus Rampage III Formula @ 200/3608/3608 Bios 0702
16GB G.Skill Mix @ 802MHz 9-9-9-24 1T 1.575v|Intel 545S 256GB x2
EVGA GTX 980 Classified 3988 @ 1497/2001|Asus Xonar Essence ST
CM Silent Pro M2 850|Fractal Design Meshify C/Panaflo NMB x4/TY-147 x2|ZM-MFC2

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I still use a Bitfenix Prodigy ITX that my friend bought in 2013

Mini-ITX Desktop: i9-9900K@5GHz, 32GB TridentZ RGB 3200MHz, Asus Strix Z390-i, Asus Strix 2070, Samsung 970 EVO+ NVMe 1TB, Bitfenix Prodigy ITX with a custom clear side panel

Laptop: Surface Book 2 13.5" (i7-16GB-512GB-GTX1050)

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-Topic locked-


This is best suited as a Status Update. 


"Put as much effort into your question as you'd expect someone to give in an answer"- @Princess Luna

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