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A Modern Gaming PC Inside An Old 386 Case

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The outside of this PC screams 1991. The inside, however, is very much from 2018.

A self-confessed “beige-aholic”, Tylinol wanted to try something different with his latest PC build, and so did what anyone with fond memories of Wolfenstein 3D would do: put a relatively modern gaming PC inside the yellowing old case.


There’s actually a nice story behind the old PC. Tylinol writes that he got it a few years back from an old man “hauling it to the end of his driveway”.


“Someone who wants this old computer walks by just as I’m throwing it out?”, he remembers the man saying. “That’s serendipity for you!”. Tylinol kept the old 386 around, playing old DOS games on it until the 2010 Nashville floods destroyed the components.

He couldn’t part with it, however, and recently moved a bunch of parts he bought in 2015 into it, calling the new PC “Serendipity”.

The specs included an i5-6500, GTX 970, 8GB DDR4 RAM and an SSD. To give you an idea of the advances in computing power since the release of the case and the parts inside it, and as Tylinol writes in this Reddit post, the LED on the front of the case now has more processing power inside it than the original 386 PC itself.


The story behind the PC is a nice one, but there’s a bit more to it than just cramming the new parts in: the old case had quite a bit of damage from the floods, so there was a restoration project involved in getting it presentable as well. He also put some work into removing the old, artificial processing speed LED and replacing it with an accurate CPU temp readout.

You can see more shots from the build here.