I have an old Gateway ESS450SE. I would like to gut it out, use the case, and rebuild the computer. Is that possible or easier to just buy a new case?
I have an old Gateway 500 PC that still runs but if I was to build a new PC now an inexpensive metal case would probably be your long term best option.
Those plastic ON/OFF button mechanisms tend to break after a while and with out some fairly major hole cutting for improved air flow with the newer higher performing components of today that plastic case may be more trouble than it is worth.
Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do thou.
It's possible. But it sometimes requires some creative solutions to make things fit right.
One thing that can become an issue, is the front panel wiring. It doesn't hurt to give it a shot. But there are some cases that don't cost that much, and have much better cooling. It's almost worth it to get a new case.