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Budget (including currency): $500

Country: US

Games, programs or workloads that it will be used for: HALO: Reach, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Battlefront 2, Battlefield 1, Forza Horizon 3 and/or 4, Forza Motorsport 6 and/or 7

Other details (existing parts lists, whether any peripherals are needed, what you're upgrading from, when you're going to buy, what resolution and refresh rate you want to play at, etc): looking to buy by the end of the year, gathering the splurge funds to do it, not in a huge rush to buy, buying all used except for the RAM and case fan. I wanna build this myself and have that pride of building my own computer and it carrying fond memories and the sentimental value of that computer. It ain't a looker, but to me it's a childhood friend. 

1080p max settings are my aim, have an old Toshiba Regza as my monitor, I'm not going to be sitting really close to it so it is fine for the size. (was expensive and super high end when new), 42in 120/240hz 1080p panel.

Logitech m325c wireless mouse and Logitech F310 gamepad, and Altec Lansing ACS295 sound system. 

Part list: 

CPU: Ryzen 5 2600 with wraith spire stock cooler

GPU: R9 390x or GTX 980 (unsure which to go with)(390x I have a great deal on potentially)

MOBO: Gigabyte AX370 Gaming 5

Power supply: EVGA BQ 600W 80+ Bronze semi-modular ATX Power supply or Thermaltake smart series 600W 80+ Gold(less expensive)

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws V series 2x8GB DDR4-3200 CL16

SSD: Crucial P1 1TB m.2-2280 NVMe

Fans: Noctua R8 redux-1800 PWM 31.37 CFM 80mm (might be able to get another one fit in depending on if there is an easily accessible one in the front). might add expansion slot fan if airflow is not enough.

Case: Dell XPS Dimension D266

 

I'm looking to take the PC that I grew up playing star wars math and word rescue on and bring it to life once again. I'm not too sure for the graphics card because the case doesn't exactly have optimal cooling since the 390x is 275W and the 980 is only 165W. The heat for the case might be the limiting factor. As it sits, parting it out with almost all used parts on PCPartPicker it comes in at $464.77 which is right in my budget. Any help with choosing the graphics card would be very much appreciated and any insight on the differences with the power supply's.  I know they are both very good brands and EVGA makes most of the power supply's for brands. The modular vs. non modular isn't a huge deal as it is a large case so I'm not too worried about that. 


 

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Go with the Thermaltake if its cheaper and do not forget that motherboard does not have wifi so you might need to throw in a wifi card or a usb wifi stick if you need wireless.

Ryzen 9 3900X * Gigabyte X570 AORUS Ultra * 32GB G.SKILL Trident Z Neo DDR4 3600 16-16-16-36 * GIGABYTE AORUS GeForce RTX 2080 Super * Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C * Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 500GB M.2 NVMe * Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 2TB  7200RPM * Seasonic PRIME PX-750 80+ Platinum * LG 27GN750-B 27'' Monitor

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Cooling isn’t that bad for an old dog like that.  You’ve got a rear fan and at least some forward air if those front vents do anything.  Probably not much.

 

One trick I’ve seen with top PSU mount sleeper boxes is to cut a hole in the bottom of the case with a Dremel for more fans to get more air where it can’t be seen.  Those cases usually have to be on feet though so you’d have to deal with the complication of that pedestal.  Not sure how that particular thing works. The front is also a mystery.  I’d go with 120mm high static pressure fan(s)  in front to get enough pressure to suck air through those tiny vents.

 

 I’ve heard that win10 still supports floppies though if you can figure out how to connect one.  If that CD drive is SATA you can just plug it in.  If it’s not you’ll have to find one that is.  They come in white.  

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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10 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

Cooling isn’t that bad for an old dog like that.  You’ve got a rear fan and at least some forward air if those front vents do anything.  Probably not much.

 

One trick I’ve seen with top PSU mount sleeper boxes is to cut a hole in the bottom of the case with a Dremel for more fans to get more air where it can’t be seen.  Those cases usually have to be on feet though so you’d have to deal with the complication of that pedestal.  Not sure how that particular thing works. The front is also a mystery.  I’d go with 120mm high static pressure fan(s)  in front to get enough pressure to suck air through those tiny vents.

 

 I’ve heard that win10 still supports floppies though if you can figure out how to connect one.  If that CD drive is SATA you can just plug it in.  If it’s not you’ll have to find one that is.  They come in white.  

@bombastunatir was considering trying to get a blu-ray or DVD that will be something not out of '97 and might be able to play discs if needed but I think it's gonna be a Steam machine. Haven't gotten it open yet so I haven't been able to get the side panel open with it being an old Dell case. I know the fan at the back is an 80mm, hoping that the front has a fan too with the vents there, but haven't seen any paperwork or documentation that shows what is there. I'm trying to keep it as stock as possible and could modify the insides to utilize that front grille. One of my main concerns us going to be driver support, I know Nvidia is great with driver support and supports many generations and it is far more efficient, but the 8GB of VRAM in the 390x gives more future ability to play games potentially. Could honestly fit a blowie in there if needed, powered with molex anyway. Any insight into the power supply, I'm leaning toward Thermaltake but the EVGA reliability and quality is undeniable.

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Just now, BiotechBen said:

@bombastunatir was considering trying to get a blu-ray or DVD that will be something not out of '97 and might be able to play discs if needed but I think it's gonna be a Steam machine. Haven't gotten it open yet so I haven't been able to get the side panel open with it being an old Dell case. I know the fan at the back is an 80mm, hoping that the front has a fan too with the vents there, but haven't seen any paperwork or documentation that shows what is there. I'm trying to keep it as stock as possible and could modify the insides to utilize that front grille. One of my main concerns us going to be driver support, I know Nvidia is great with driver support and supports many generations and it is far more efficient, but the 8GB of VRAM in the 390x gives more future ability to play games potentially. Could honestly fit a blowie in there if needed, powered with molex anyway. Any insight into the power supply, I'm leaning toward Thermaltake but the EVGA reliability and quality is undeniable.

Sorry for the typo @Bombastinator

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31 minutes ago, BiotechBen said:

@bombastunatir was considering trying to get a blu-ray or DVD that will be something not out of '97 and might be able to play discs if needed but I think it's gonna be a Steam machine. Haven't gotten it open yet so I haven't been able to get the side panel open with it being an old Dell case. I know the fan at the back is an 80mm, hoping that the front has a fan too with the vents there, but haven't seen any paperwork or documentation that shows what is there. I'm trying to keep it as stock as possible and could modify the insides to utilize that front grille. One of my main concerns us going to be driver support, I know Nvidia is great with driver support and supports many generations and it is far more efficient, but the 8GB of VRAM in the 390x gives more future ability to play games potentially. Could honestly fit a blowie in there if needed, powered with molex anyway. Any insight into the power supply, I'm leaning toward Thermaltake but the EVGA reliability and quality is undeniable.

Ohshit.  Old Dell.  This could go badly. Some of their case designs were weird weird.  There one sort that kinda of opens like a book of that helps get things open.  Dell prebuilts aren’t always atx.  Get it open to see what you’re working with before making plans.

to fix typos just hit the little pencil icon to edit a post

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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1 hour ago, BiotechBen said:

@bombastunatir was considering trying to get a blu-ray or DVD that will be something not out of '97 and might be able to play discs if needed but I think it's gonna be a Steam machine. Haven't gotten it open yet so I haven't been able to get the side panel open with it being an old Dell case. I know the fan at the back is an 80mm, hoping that the front has a fan too with the vents there, but haven't seen any paperwork or documentation that shows what is there. I'm trying to keep it as stock as possible and could modify the insides to utilize that front grille. One of my main concerns us going to be driver support, I know Nvidia is great with driver support and supports many generations and it is far more efficient, but the 8GB of VRAM in the 390x gives more future ability to play games potentially. Could honestly fit a blowie in there if needed, powered with molex anyway. Any insight into the power supply, I'm leaning toward Thermaltake but the EVGA reliability and quality is undeniable.

Sorry for the typo @Bombastinator

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Good news @Bombastinator, found a good picture of the inside, looks like ATX for the power supply, and the fans appear right there. It's an H266 pictures instead of a D266 but they appear to be nearly identical. @kyn1972 I'm gonna throw in an expansion wifi card in or maybe a USB stick. Screenshot_20201022-133338.thumb.png.4af6eb2be35151c4fecd8a6338a6071a.png

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10 minutes ago, BiotechBen said:

Good news @Bombastinator, found a good picture of the inside, looks like ATX for the power supply, and the fans appear right there. It's an H266 pictures instead of a D266 but they appear to be nearly identical. @kyn1972 I'm gonna throw in an expansion wifi card in or maybe a USB stick. Screenshot_20201022-133338.thumb.png.4af6eb2be35151c4fecd8a6338a6071a.png

Yay! Atx.... wait... so not actually your case?  Best to get yours open to make sure.  Assuming you’re case looks like that one you’ve got what look like 2 92mm fan ports.  Likely won’t be enough.  Gonna have to cut out the case bottom.  Thing has got to be gutted.  One big question is is the drive cage removable?  If so temporarily pulling it will make things easier.  Both 92s front and back as exaust and 2 120s at the bottom with a  filter if that can be done as intake.  120s will blow fresh air straight at the gpu which will help.

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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@Bombastinator after doing some further research and it would appear that Dell in the late 90's was about as lazy and an anxty teenager and used the exact same case for everything. It would appear that everything "XPS" from that time period is the same. I did do some extrapolation on the rear fan size based on usb port for scaling and from mount hole to mount hole was 80mm. As if right now the case is behind a wall of stuff and at around 20-30lbs (9kg-14kg) it's not easy to get out and lift over piles of stuff unfortunately.

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1 hour ago, BiotechBen said:

@Bombastinator after doing some further research and it would appear that Dell in the late 90's was about as lazy and an anxty teenager and used the exact same case for everything. It would appear that everything "XPS" from that time period is the same. I did do some extrapolation on the rear fan size based on usb port for scaling and from mount hole to mount hole was 80mm. As if right now the case is behind a wall of stuff and at around 20-30lbs (9kg-14kg) it's not easy to get out and lift over piles of stuff unfortunately.

80mm in back then.  Even smaller.  Both case fans will have to be exhaust then and you’ll have to fit a 92 or 120 up front if you can. There may only be enough air out for 1 120mm on the bottom.  Might work anyway.  It’s closer to bingo though so it would have to be tried to make sure.  Looks like there’s room for more than 80mm.  Part of the problem with these old cases is they used the PSU as exhaust and PSUs don’t work that way any more. If it’s a common case someone else will have done a sleeper of it so you can look through net stuff to see if you can find anything interesting.  

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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How your drives are laid out is going to matter.  The pictured one could have a bit of space made by moving the bottom floppy to the middle slot and the blank faceplate to the bottom, but we can’t know the exact layout of yours till it is exhumed.  There’s going to be cutting work on this thing for sure though if you want it to run modern hardware.  If that’s not something you want to do it might be time to abandon the project.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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5 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

 

I would probably go with the usb for wifi as everything you put inside that case will add more heat as well as potentially impede your airflow.

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15 minutes ago, kyn1972 said:

I would probably go with the usb for wifi as everything you put inside that case will add more heat as well as potentially impede your airflow.

Not sure wifi will add that much.  The difficulty with adequate air is mostly the GPU.  The CPU TDP isn’t that far off the original.  Still more but not all that much. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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6 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

How your drives are laid out is going to matter.  The pictured one could have a bit of space made by moving the bottom floppy to the middle slot and the blank faceplate to the bottom, but we can’t know the exact layout of yours till it is exhumed.  There’s going to be cutting work on this thing for sure though if you want it to run modern hardware.  If that’s not something you want to do it might be time to abandon the project.

@BombastinatorI'm doing SSD's and mounting likely with mounting tape or something, so heat from drives wouldn't be too bad, and I'm willing to totally gut the inside, it has no emotional attachment. At only about 2 cu ft if volume, a few high airflow fans should be fine running with the 980 given its lower heat output. I'm not dead set on the 390x. And I can get as much exhaust as I need with blower type fans, I could cut around the bottom or along the I/O. What if I put slits in the stand with a 120mm or 140mm fan sucking air in? the other thing to note is that the 390x I'm looking at and the 980 are both blower configurations so that may help some with the cooling. I can also replace one of the empty slots with painted mesh and have a blower fan there too.

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1 hour ago, BiotechBen said:

@BombastinatorI'm doing SSD's and mounting likely with mounting tape or something, so heat from drives wouldn't be too bad, and I'm willing to totally gut the inside, it has no emotional attachment. At only about 2 cu ft if volume, a few high airflow fans should be fine running with the 980 given its lower heat output. I'm not dead set on the 390x. And I can get as much exhaust as I need with blower type fans, I could cut around the bottom or along the I/O. What if I put slits in the stand with a 120mm or 140mm fan sucking air in? the other thing to note is that the 390x I'm looking at and the 980 are both blower configurations so that may help some with the cooling. I can also replace one of the empty slots with painted mesh and have a blower fan there too.

If you got a blower style gpu there would be less of a heat issue, those sort of take the gpu out of the equation.  As far as that stand goes I have no idea how it works or attaches. All that is visible in pics is the edges.  I don’t know how wide the case is.  A 140mm fan has higher cfm than a120mm fan but lower static pressure which means it has more trouble overcoming air resistance like sucking air through the tiny slots in the front.  The smaller a fan is the more static pressure but the less cfm.  Also small fans run at higher rpm than big ones.   It’s possible I suppose that a 120mm fan might not even have enough static pressure to suck air in through that front slit. 

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

If you got a blower style gpu there would be less of a heat issue, those sort of take the gpu out of the equation.  As far as that stand goes I have no idea how it works or attaches. All that is visible in pics is the edges.  I don’t know how wide the case is.  A 140mm fan has higher cfm than a120mm fan but lower static pressure which means it has more trouble overcoming air resistance like sucking air through the tiny slots in the front.  The smaller a fan is the more static pressure but the less cfm.  Also small fans run at higher rpm than big ones.   It’s possible I suppose that a 120mm fan might not even have enough static pressure to suck air in through that front slit. 

@Bombastinator upon extrapolation with the usb port as the scale, the case would appear to be just over 140mm in width side panel to side panel. The front slit would appear to be ~5mm in thickness, so I don't know how well that would suck air. Would a bank of 3 40mm fans in one of the empty bays offer enough intake? Making a grille from a bay cover I think would be cool. Or perhaps putting it on a hinge to open and close it for maximum stealth, shave off a little on the top and bottom and have it rotate in the middle like a grille shutter on a car.  

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40 mm fans are tiny and it would be very loud.  Also a 40mm fan is mostly motor.  There isn’t much in the way of blades.  They make bay mount fans.  They’re usually large “hamster wheel” type fans set sideways that blow out. They don’t have an especially good rep. A blower gpu might be enough to allow the thing to work without cutting airflow in the bottom I suppose.  No guarantee.  It would need to be tried.  Step one I think is still unearthing the machine.  Then it could be either used or if it turns out it’s not worth doing, recycled.  Either way is something of a win.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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@Bombastinator I found some Noctua 40mm fans with between 3-5 cu ft of airflow at 17db of noise, which sounds pretty good. even if I don't go with the 40 mm fans, I might still put that bay cover on a hinge to open it up for airflow. When I get it out and open it up I'll let ya know how airflow through the front fins looks.

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So 4 would be 12-20cfm.  About half what a single 140’mm fan does.  The decibel scale is not additive.  4x17 is not 68.  It’s much less.  Still I personally find them whiney  and annoying. YMMV.

 

as far as drive bay fans go I went looking but apparently they’re no longer made or something.  The ones I remember looked kinda like this one.  I’m not recommending this fan, it’s just an example

https://m.aliexpress.com/item/1005001360973203.html?spm=a2g0n.productlist.0.0.1f601244pkP6A9&browser_id=5e2b062f85b346aaba7942cc77f653f4&aff_trace_key=&aff_platform=msite&m_page_id=os0uflramtwcauuo17558e7652e87a48f1144d6c5e&gclid=&_imgsrc_=ae01.alicdn.com%2Fkf%2FHc435632d371c427f801f6b8220638923X.jpg_640x640Q90.jpg

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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@Bombastinator that is true, it does need to be dug out first, and with the blower, that's good to hear. With Linus doing the Incognito PC, that's basically the case. It has the same internals, same layout, and the only difference is the bottom intake where it looks like mine is less restrictive. And the 2080ti being able to be in there not as a blower(250W) my 390x at 375W with blower configuration should be able to handle it easily. And like Colin did with taking out the expansion slot covers, I can do that too and just put a wire mesh attached by magnets on there.

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23 minutes ago, BiotechBen said:

@Bombastinator that is true, it does need to be dug out first, and with the blower, that's good to hear. With Linus doing the Incognito PC, that's basically the case. It has the same internals, same layout, and the only difference is the bottom intake where it looks like mine is less restrictive. And the 2080ti being able to be in there not as a blower(250W) my 390x at 375W with blower configuration should be able to handle it easily. And like Colin did with taking out the expansion slot covers, I can do that too and just put a wire mesh attached by magnets on there.

I actually wanted to link that video.  You’ve seen it though which makes things simpler. You can see what I mean about opening the bottom in that video.   He only did one 80mm hole which I find interesting.  Perhaps that’s all there is room for.  Opening up the back pcie panels may also be a good idea.  That the case is micron is interesting.  It might be useful in googling other sleeper cases to see what has been done.  I noticed slots in the bottom which might be what are used to attach your pedestal.  I don’t know whether he tossed the entire pedestal or not.  There was mention of 3d printing some feet to get the thing off the ground so the bottom vent could breathe.

 

grillwork and filters are only needed for input air.  Exaust air doesn’t need filtration.  With the video case there was 1 80mm and 1 120 mm in and 1 80mm out so air would have been exhausting from the Pcie slots

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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3 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

I actually wanted to link that video.  You’ve seen it though which makes things simpler. You can see what I mean about opening the bottom in that video.   He only did one 80mm hole which I find interesting.  Perhaps that’s all there is room for.  Opening up the back pcie panels may also be a good idea.  That the case is micron is interesting.  It might be useful in googling other sleeper cases to see what has been done.  I noticed slots in the bottom which might be what are used to attach your pedestal.  I don’t know whether he tossed the entire pedestal or not.  There was mention of 3d printing some feet to get the thing off the ground so the bottom vent could breathe.

 

grillwork and filters are only needed for input air.  Exaust air doesn’t need filtration.  With the video case there was 1 80mm and 1 120 mm in and 1 80mm out so air would have been exhausting from the Pcie slots

I'm likely putting the 80 in the top back, and then something high airflow along the front vent. with twice the intake vent area, it might be enough to bring it in from the bottom front. my mesh at the back would be to minimize passive dust collection. when I get mine open, I can see how high the front vent goes, and if it goes into the bottom drive bay, I can cut that out and mount another rack of fans in the front there. the front grille looks to be able to fit 2x80mm fans so if the airflow isn't too impeded, that might work. Also, downgrading from a WD SN550 500GB to a 250GB and will get more storage later or used. May just use a WD Blue 240GB I have from my previous laptop I tried to recover as the additional storage

 

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Step 1 remains actually getting hands on it.  Step 2 is getting the old hardware out.  Then photographs can be taken and we can figure out what we’re dealing with.  there appear to be a bunch of very similar models.  
I didn’t know there even still were PSUs that could be set to act as even partial exaust systems.  You very well might need that exact PSU model from the video. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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What about adding some feet to the case long enough to add 2  thin 120mm fans  underneath but high enough to allow decent fresh air flow and and building some sort of skirt around the bottom to conceal it somewhat?

Ryzen 9 3900X * Gigabyte X570 AORUS Ultra * 32GB G.SKILL Trident Z Neo DDR4 3600 16-16-16-36 * GIGABYTE AORUS GeForce RTX 2080 Super * Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C * Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 500GB M.2 NVMe * Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 2TB  7200RPM * Seasonic PRIME PX-750 80+ Platinum * LG 27GN750-B 27'' Monitor

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