Any cool ideas for using this old Dell Precision 390?

fatryan

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
1,323
I got this machine from my old job around 2013 or so. I had intended on using it as a small general purpose home server but never got around to rebuilding it. It's now super old and probably doesn't have any useful components in it, but I figured I'd see if anyone had any cool suggestions on repurposing it before I just throw it in the trash. The machine has (2) 3.5" bays, so it would need to be gutted and have some other mods to use it as a NAS. That's really the only thing that's come to mind for be. Any other ideas?

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Starfalcon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
289
Yeah I remember fixing several of those for people I worked with around 07 or so. Most of them had severe overheating problems once the heatsinks got clogged and the thermal goo turned to chalk. Glad we have come a long way since the presshot systems.
 

70 Polara

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
202
Nice old Dell! I think these had two different motherboard revisions. One could be maxed out with a Conroe Core 2, the other could take a Kentsfield Core 2 Quad. Also looks like a Quadro FX3500 which is similar to a Geforce 7900GS as I recall. So with 4GB and a CPU upgrade to Conroe/Kentsfield for more performance/cooler temps, would make a reasonably nice Windows XP retro gaming PC......................... (if it was mine I'd prolly run a Core 2 Duo E6700)
 

fatryan

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
1,323
Yeah I remember fixing several of those for people I worked with around 07 or so. Most of them had severe overheating problems once the heatsinks got clogged and the thermal goo turned to chalk. Glad we have come a long way since the presshot systems.
I broke off the heat sink a while back, and the thermal paste was pretty brittle. Heat sink was actually pretty clean though.
 

fatryan

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
1,323
Nice old Dell! I think these had two different motherboard revisions. One could be maxed out with a Conroe Core 2, the other could take a Kentsfield Core 2 Quad. Also looks like a Quadro FX3500 which is similar to a Geforce 7900GS as I recall. So with 4GB and a CPU upgrade to Conroe/Kentsfield for more performance/cooler temps, would make a reasonably nice Windows XP retro gaming PC......................... (if it was mine I'd prolly run a Core 2 Duo E6700)
I checked the specs, and I believe there were 4 different graphics options - 1 AMD and 3 Nvidia. This one had the second best option, which was a Nvidia... Don't remember the model, but what you said sounds about right. The CPU is a core 2 duo. I don't know that I'd have as much fun with a nostalgia machine as perhaps you or others on this board. If I was going to go that route, i might try loading Windows 3.1 or Windows 95!
 

Smoblikat

Weaksauce
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
122
Yeah I remember fixing several of those for people I worked with around 07 or so. Most of them had severe overheating problems once the heatsinks got clogged and the thermal goo turned to chalk. Glad we have come a long way since the presshot systems.
Are you implying the thermal "goo" was ever anything other than chalk? When I did onsite IT for Dell, I used to call the officially sanctioned TIM "Dell Cement" because even fresh out of the box it would easily crumble into dust, and it seemed to do a better job at insulating the heat than it did conducting it away. We just kept a giant tube of AS5 at the bench instead :D
 

rhansen5_99

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
2,113
So no retro gaming, maybe a basic emulator box, should be good up to n64 class of games? You could do some kind of steam punk or custom mods or the likes. Other than that maybe a pfsense firewall or lamp stack kind of box.
 
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