Description

Nov 2019 Update: I have uploaded Youtube video of the rebuild:

Opening video: https://youtu.be/Xyd_YEjj0hw

Unboxing: https://youtu.be/U4OZWiwLj7I

Disassembly: https://youtu.be/u1k15n85gGg

Reassembly: https://youtu.be/HBNpb1RF0-I

Old/New Running: https://youtu.be/pjEfyxVli9E

Background / Story of the build:

I bought a Lian-Li PC-60 case back in 2003 because it was a well-regarded aluminum case for the enthusiast PC building crowd. My original build can be found at https://pcpartpicker.com/b/Ts7WGX.

I had decided at one point that I wanted to build a PC with a lot of storage space to act as a home media server. I started looking into obtaining new parts back in 2018, but wasn't certain how much of a rebuild I would need, in part because I wasn't certain what OS I was going to use. In the meantime, my wife's HP notebook died and I ended up giving her my Dell notebook, which meant that I had nothing to use at home to work from home. I brought home from work an old PC that nobody liked because it was so slow, but seemed to work ok for remote connection. At least, that is, until we moved and changed how we connected to the remote server. The old machine just seemed to be too slow to consistently connect via the VPN we had set up. So, that meant I needed a new machine at home and rather than buy a new machine I decided to build a machine using the Lian-Li case.

Originally I thought I would re-use at least some of the parts of the old machine, but times have moved on to such an extent that the old hardware was really almost entirely incompatible with modern hardware. In my searches I found this site and posted in the forum seeking help on coming up with a build. I got three different build suggestions - a current gen Ryzen 3, a current gen Ryzen 5, and a prior gen Ryzen 7. I went with the Ryzen 7 together with a X370 chip Mobo because it has the most cores (recommended for streaming) and because the motherboard didn't have RGB and did have 8 SATA ports (instead of 6).

A couple weekends ago I built it up using the parts list below, though I did add three additional drives I had lying around (a 500GB, a 320GB, and a 250GB). So at the moment I have 500GB for the SSD for the OS and apps, 8.5TB of main storage, and 250GB of mirrored storage that I may use for what I consider the most critical of data (generally old photos and video of the kids).

I plan to put one of the DVD drives into an external case with a USB connection to use to download music CDs and video DVDs onto this machine. I may see if I can get a BR DVD drive to off load the few BR titles I have. I also plan to get a converter to record old VHS tapes onto this machine (esp. VHS-C home movies of the kids).

So far the machine works really well. The M.2 SSD is super quick.

Installation issues: All my installation issues have to do with cables.

  1. The new PS is longer than the old one and right now the modular cables, esp. the ATX cable, run up against the top-side fan. I discovered that Lian-Li has an adapter to extend the PS out the back a couple inches. I may buy one, though presently I can only find them in black and I would prefer to stay with brushed aluminum. Whether I do this will also depend upon whether moving the PS aft will partially block the PS fan or put it outside the case.

  2. The SATA ports are all at the bottom right side of the motherboard, which means the attachment points are within an inch of the hard drive cage. This has made installation of the HDDs difficult.

  3. The video card extends to about the end of the motherboard, placing it within a couple inches of the external 3.5" bay cage. This would not be a problem for external drives that mount fairly far forward in the cage. However, it means I have cable routing issues when installing additional hard drives, because the design of the cover plates for the external drive bays forces the HDDs to be mounted further back in the cage, causing interference between the cables and the double-height video card.

  4. Though the PS uses modular cables, I am generally using just about all of the modular ports, which means I have a lot of cables inside. Meanwhile, this case was designed before cable management really came into vogue, which means there aren't too many ways to conceal or tie-down cables. I have been able to tie up the power supply cables to keep things reasonably clean and maintain some airflow. It probably is a good thing this is not a display case, though, as the cables are tied somewhat haphazard and don't give the best appearance. If I could get some cable ties that mount to the spare mobo backplane standoff holes, I might be able to do a better job of management.

  5. SATA cables -- all of the SATA cables are of the ribbon type. This makes it difficult to move or tie them up. Right now they are a bunch of snakes in the bottom of the case. Also, the modern ones that came with the motherboard have retention springs, which is nice. The older ones I have do not and don't seem to mount as securely. If there are round SATA cables out there with retention springs, I think I may substitute.

The only other difficulty I encountered was screwing down the fan/heatsink to the motherboard, due to the springs on the screws. I ended up holding the metal plate with the screw mounts and supporting it while attaching the fan to make sure the metal screw hole fittings didn't bend back out of alignment while I was screwing down the fan.

Overall it went together rather well, and start-up and installation of Win10 was simple and painless. I did end up using a PS2 keyboard and wired USB mouse to get things started, but once Win10 was installed the wireless USB keyboard and mouse worked fine.

I took a lot of video of this build, but don't know that I can upload it here. I may do some screen captures of photos and upload them here.

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Comments

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

nice sleeper my guy +1

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Can we get some pics of the inside?

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Coming soon.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Interior pics uploaded today. Let me know if these are ok or if you want something else. I had planned to take photos with it on, but forgot. The only visual difference would be the LED on the CPU cooler, though.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I did check out the link, and I hunted around on Amazon, too. There are lots of options, but I haven't yet made a decision. If I were super-good at it, I would just build my own cables and have the right length from the start.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

I like sleeper builds. You did a great job with it!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. You are the second person to call this a "sleeper" build. That is an odd reference to me, probably because I am old and have been playing with computers since the 80s. To me computers were never intended to be anything but tools to accomplish an objective. It was only in the 2000s that you really started to be able to get cases in anything other than that off-white or grey. It was also only in the 2000s that computers started to live anywhere other than in an office or home-office (i.e., you never had them in your living room). Apple got us to think as computers as something other than appliances, and I think Gateway brought us the living room PC. Anyway, I wasn't really going for a sleeper so much as wanting to make use of some of the stuff I have lying around! I do like the clean look of this machine, which is part of the reason I don't plan to put back any of the old drives (that and the fact that this Mobo doesn't have any IDE/floppy drive ports).

After getting this together I realized that I need a desktop USB 3.0/3.1 router to connect external devices to. Maybe with a built in card reader since we still record a lot of video to SD cards.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I can definatley understand that. Im quite familiar with the AT standard of computers and the beige box that was prevalent everywhere. the reason everyone is calling it a sleeper is because the case implies that it has a pentium 4 and an ati rage card in it to run windows xp.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Beige! That is what I meant. Not sure why I couldn't think of the word. Also, I said "usb router" but meant "usb hub."

As for the Pentium 4 and ATI Rage, I removed all of the old stickers that referenced the old hardware. So, unless you knew the age of the case, or saw the original build, how would you know it was a sleeper? is it being called that because of the link in the description? Do you think I could get more interest in this build if I changed my title to call it a sleeper?

Having said that, now I have a name to an interest I've recently developed...putting new hardware into old cases. If I had more time and someone wanted to pay me some money for it, I would just mod old cases and create builds for them all day.

Thanks for the feedback.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

couple of things

  1. As for the Pentium 4 and ATI Rage, I removed all of the old stickers that referenced the old hardware. So, unless you knew the age of the case, or saw the original build, how would you know it was a sleeper?

No cases that have been manufactured in the past 10 years look remotely close to that. One big giveaway is the amount of 5 1/4 bays, these days you are lucky if a case has 1 of them. Also the 80mm vent fans in the front are indicitive of the era. Even the cheapest of cases only have 80mm exhaust fans not intake. Your original link doesn't make it a sleepers, just just modern guts in an old case. (also no usb 3.0 built into case)

yea a usb hub would be great for you, get one that goes into a 5 1/4 bay since you have them free ( or 3 1/2 they make both) can have an sd card reader to and a bunch of other bells and whistles 2. Your pc definatley would get more traction if listed as a "sleeper" its a popular term on the internet now. Even channels like LinusTechTips are doing dedicated sleeper builds.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Would be great if I could get some more reviews/comments, and if people checked out the build videos.