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Windows 7: Thinking of building a custom computer

09 Nov 2015   #1
mt999999

 
Thinking of building a custom computer

I've wanted to do this for a long time, and I think I'm ready to jump into the project. I'm glad I found this forum! I've been using Windows 7 through 2 computers since it first came out. I have no interest in the newer versions of Windows!

My idea is to take an old mid 90's Gateway 2000 case, and patch in a newer motherboard that will support a newer i5 Intel processor, that still has support for legacy ports. I found a motherboard linked below that will allow me to keep both the original 3.5" floppy drive in the case, working, as well as allowing me to use my old PS/2 keyboard. It even has a parallel port!

Amazon.com: Intel BOXDQ67OWB3 Executive DQ67OW Desktop Motherboard - Intel Q67 Express Chipset - Socket H2 LGA-1155 - Micro ATX - 1 x Processor Support - 32 GB DDR3 SDRAM Maximum RAM - Serial ATA/300, Serial ATA/600, Floppy Controller RAID Supported

I was also debating whether to install a 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 7 on it. What are the benefits to using one or the other? I rebuild and work on lots of old DOS based computers, and I enjoy using older software that I can't use on my current 64 bit Win. 7 laptop, so I was thinking of using a 32 bit version. I know it tops out at 4 GB of RAM, but if I understand correctly, 4 GB of ram goes a lot further on a 32 bit version than it would on a 64 bit version, correct? I don't use any memory-rich applications, and I only use forums/e-mail/basic browsing on the internet. One thing for sure is that I'm ready to purchase a SSD drive.

So what do you guys think? Any suggestions before I jump on the parts? I'm concerned if the original power supply will even work. I figure I might need a whole new power supply. Thanks much!

-Michael


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
09 Nov 2015   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Some things that would concern me:

Will the new motherboard mount properly in a 20 year old Gateway case?

The case may or may not be ATX and even if it is ATX, it may be Gateway-proprietary in some sense.

Power supply: I’m not sure a newer PSU would mount in a 20 year old Gateway case.

If you do not get a new PSU, do you intend to use a 20 year old unit that came with the Gateway case?

If you use the old PSU, do you have any reason to believe it has the proper connections for the new motherboard?

Are the switches, LEDs, and buttons on the 20 year old case known to have proper connections on the new motherboard?

Do you actually have a need for a floppy and PS/2 keyboard?

What’s the point of the project? Just to find some use for a 20 year old case?

What do you intend to do with this PC after it is built? Purely a hobby, just to see if you can do it, with no intended purpose?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Nov 2015   #3
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
Please post some images of the case you intend on using plus measure it inside and out and post that info stripped down of course

I see quite a few images on a google search but yes using a micro atx board in a case that might not be atx could be problematic because they have stand offs and in specific places with mounts.
The case does need to be atx compatible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Nov 2015   #4
mt999999

 

Laugh if you will, but the intended purpose would be not only to see if I can do it, but also to be an awesome looking vintage piece on my desk and actually be my main computer. I've been thinking about doing this for years! You have to consider that I am the guy that is currently using Netscape Navigator on Windows 7 to browse the forum and post this reply, and I read my e-mail though a patched/edited version of Outlook Express compatible with Windows 7. I was browsing this forum earlier in Firefox 1.5 on a Windows 95b machine, over a dial-up connection, through a 28.8 Kbps modem, believe it or not. Firefox is SLOW on 32 MB RAM. My current laptop is trashed, and the internal keyboard and mouse are dead. It is sitting at my desk, propped up, with an external USB keyboard and mouse attached.

Do I need a PS/2 port or floppy drive? Probably not. I have a USB floppy (which sees plenty of use) on the side. But I would much rather leave the original floppy in the case, and have it actually work! It would really add to the charm. The PS/2 keyboard would be the old original Gateway 2000 Anykey programmable keyboard because it fits in very nicely! I really like the old clicky keyboards; I find them much easier to use... I don't slip up nearly as much typing on one. Still unsure about 32 bit Windows 7, but it would be really nice for 16 bit installers and legacy applications to work properly (read: work at all).

The project is no rush. I assume that the power supply will not be compatible. If it is easy enough, I would just solder new connectors onto the power supply. I didn't intend anything to even remotely line up. I have full anticipation that I'll need to cut out part of the back for ports, drill out holes, and use rubber stoppers (or whatever) to support the board. It would be really nice if it lined up, however. How do I know if the Gateway 2000 is AT or ATX? If anyone has done or seen anything like this on the forum here, I'd really appreciate if they would post links!

I've had a Gateway 2000 for several years, restored with DOS 6.2/Windows 3.11 for Work Groups. Not only is it missing some parts (Modem, CD drive, could use more RAM than 16 MB), but I couldn't bear to tear it down. I found a very similar unit on eBay that is now on it's way. I almost talked the seller down to half of the listing price! I will keep the parts for the other machine, but I intend to use the very nice clean case as my "test subject" (linked below). Any other help/advice other than don't do it would be very appreciated!

Gateway 2000 Baby at P5 75 Desktop Computer Free SHIP | eBay
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2015   #5
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

You can do it, you`ll most likely have to do some custom wiring of the front panel power, reset, buttons etc, and hard drive and power led`s, it`s no real big deal.

OEM boards had/have their own propriatary wires from the motherboard to the front panel buttons, today all the cases are universal and so are the boards, retail boards and cases that is.

Making the board fit and an adequate power supply will be your main issues.

Ya, I remember when I got my 1st Dell 256 MB of ram

No you don`t solder new connectors on the end of the power supply, you could destory all your new parts or worse.

You buy a modern power supply to go with your mdern board.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2015   #6
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
I don't see any link to the machine ?

Anything is possible although I went with a new case... and old Acer mother board on a second project,
Modifing old desktop machine in new case

I don't know if you can load cpu-z/ cupid but if so go to the Main Board section and take a screen shot
Scroll down just a bit and on the left side you'll see download 32 and 64 bit
CPU-Z | Softwares | CPUID
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2015   #7
mt999999

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
Hi,
I don't see any link to the machine ?

Anything is possible although I went with a new case... and old Acer mother board on a second project,
Modifing old desktop machine in new case

I don't know if you can load cpu-z/ cupid but if so go to the Main Board section and take a screen shot
Scroll down just a bit and on the left side you'll see download 32 and 64 bit
CPU-Z | Softwares | CPUID
My bad! Here is the link:

Gateway 2000 Baby AT P5-75 Desktop Computer Free Ship!

What is CPU-z? I went to the screen, and attached is a shot. This is my broken-down Windows 7 laptop, however.


Attached Thumbnails
Thinking of building a custom computer-cpu-z.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2015   #8
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2015   #9
mt999999

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Duh!

I should have recognized that from the huge model sticker on the back! Well, I suppose a full-size board wouldn't fit in a case designed for a baby AT board. Hopefully I can make the mini ATX board fit with some modifications. I'll go look for a new power supply. Wish me luck guys!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2015   #10
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Good luck with that
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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