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Reusing old components in new case

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March 21, 2012 11:26:47 AM

Hello,

I have a Dell Gen 5 from 2005 which has been a very good system for what I do with it, no real need for anything faster or more top end.

Problem is, the case is junk. It has problems with the side access door staying shut, door over drives in the front fell off years ago, scratched up, etc. I let my kid use it for college and I think he used it for football, possible as a replacement ball.

Over the years I have added addition drives, new optical drives, card reader and other upgrades. Everything works fine, system is really fast (for what I do with it).

I originally started looking for just another OEM case to put all the goodies in. But then I saw those new fancy cases like the NZXT Phantom, Senty Arvina, APEVIA X-TELSTAR-JR, etc. Kinda like the fancy colored cases, so I got this stupid idea of buying a new one of those cases and installing my system inside it.

Is something like this even feasible?

March 21, 2012 12:39:47 PM

sure its possible just check if your dell is using a BTX or an ATX motherboard.
big manufacturers like to use the BTX (newer than ATX but not widely implemented) while ATX (the older standard) is the more common
http://img.tomshardware.com/us/2005/12/06/either_way_at...

notice the btx has a 45 degree rotated cpu socket

March 22, 2012 1:59:38 AM

Hi, is this your gen 5 ? It was a monster in it's day.

"XPS Gen 5 - Used a Pentium 4 HT processor with 512 KB, 1 MB, or 2 MB of L2 Cache. It can support up to 8 GB of DDR2 memory @ 533 MHz or 667 MHz."

IF so, your new case may not have connectors for some of the lights :

"Controls and Lights

Power light
green light — Blinking green in sleep state; solid green for power-on state.
amber light — Blinking amber indicates a problem with an installed device; solid amber indicates an internal power problem (see "Power Lights").
Hard-drive access light, green
Link integrity light (on integrated network adapter)
green light — A good connection exists between a 10-Mbps network and the computer.
orange light — A good connection exists between a 100-Mbps network and the computer.
yellow light — A good connection exists between a 1-GB (or 1000-Mbps) network and the computer.
off (no light) — The computer is not detecting a physical connection to the network.
Activity light (on integrated network adapter)
yellow blinking light when there is activity on the network. If there is not any network activity, the light will be off.
Diagnostic lights
four lights on the front panel (See "Diagnostic Lights.")
Standby power light
AUXPWR on the system board
Case Front-Panel Light Color
color options: off (no light), ruby, emerald, sapphire (default), amber, amethyst, topaz, diamond (See "Changing the Front-Panel Light Color in your Owner's Manual.")"

As an alternative, you may think you won't see a difference, but you will be stunned at how much faster a $500 build runs than your current system, and it will be easier to assemble in the new case then moving your old parts (e.g. your new MB in your new build will has a set of 'standoffs' that will screw into the case, the same parts from the dell may not match holes, etc.). It will also leave you with your old system to give away or hide in the basement. Browse through some of the i3-2120 builds in the forum.
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March 22, 2012 12:34:22 PM

tsnor said:
Hi, is this your gen 5 ? It was a monster in it's day.

"XPS Gen 5 - Used a Pentium 4 HT processor with 512 KB, 1 MB, or 2 MB of L2 Cache. It can support up to 8 GB of DDR2 memory @ 533 MHz or 667 MHz."

IF so, your new case may not have connectors for some of the lights :

"Controls and Lights

Power light
green light — Blinking green in sleep state; solid green for power-on state.
amber light — Blinking amber indicates a problem with an installed device; solid amber indicates an internal power problem (see "Power Lights").
Hard-drive access light, green
Link integrity light (on integrated network adapter)
green light — A good connection exists between a 10-Mbps network and the computer.
orange light — A good connection exists between a 100-Mbps network and the computer.
yellow light — A good connection exists between a 1-GB (or 1000-Mbps) network and the computer.
off (no light) — The computer is not detecting a physical connection to the network.
Activity light (on integrated network adapter)
yellow blinking light when there is activity on the network. If there is not any network activity, the light will be off.
Diagnostic lights
four lights on the front panel (See "Diagnostic Lights.")
Standby power light
AUXPWR on the system board
Case Front-Panel Light Color
color options: off (no light), ruby, emerald, sapphire (default), amber, amethyst, topaz, diamond (See "Changing the Front-Panel Light Color in your Owner's Manual.")"

As an alternative, you may think you won't see a difference, but you will be stunned at how much faster a $500 build runs than your current system, and it will be easier to assemble in the new case then moving your old parts (e.g. your new MB in your new build will has a set of 'standoffs' that will screw into the case, the same parts from the dell may not match holes, etc.). It will also leave you with your old system to give away or hide in the basement. Browse through some of the i3-2120 builds in the forum.



Actually, all of those lights listed (except for the front color) are 4 little leds under the cover where the auxiliary usb/firewire/speaker ports are. They never worked from the time the XPS was new, so it would not be a loss. You never see them unless you open the door, and I have never used the front ports. The network lights are on the back, can't see them anyway.

I have all of the speakers and usb cables for printers plugged into the back of the system. It also has the card reader internal, so I just use that instead of the usb ports to run an external reader.

Thanks for the response and the suggestion, I will look over the I3 posts.

March 22, 2012 12:37:06 PM

alvine said:
sure its possible just check if your dell is using a BTX or an ATX motherboard.
big manufacturers like to use the BTX (newer than ATX but not widely implemented) while ATX (the older standard) is the more common
http://img.tomshardware.com/us/2005/12/06/either_way_at...

notice the btx has a 45 degree rotated cpu socket



Thanks for the reply and the tip about the ATX vs BTX board. My board is an ATX board with Intel chips and processor.

March 22, 2012 9:49:02 PM

Then you should be good to go with any quality atx case. Post if you hit trouble for anyone finding this thread.
!