An old computer case is not necessarily a down-right bad thing. If you have an enclosure with at least two hard drive bays and the right number of expansion card slots, you will probably be able to use it again for your next build or computer project.
This is a Venerable IBM ?
Yes, The venerable IBM PS/2 model 50 enclosure has served me well as a fireproof file server for more than one business office network environment over the years. Not only did I recycle that 70s-era die cast aluminum box after switching over to newer AMD Athlon platforms running Windows Server 2003 and 2008 operating systems; but, I was also able to reuse my old hard drives by mounting them in external enclosures (and then storing them out of harm’s way in a fireproof safe).
What you may want to consider before taking this route, however, is the motherboard that will give you the best bang for your buck. Will it be able to add-on third party expansion cards or operate two hard drive enclosures without unduly hampering performance? If so, then by all means go ahead and recycle that old PC case!
In terms of raw processing power alone (that is, not counting what else your computer has to do), an older ATX form factor motherboard with PCI slots can generally handle up to four IDE drives. The limit changes somewhat depending on whether or not proprietary disk controller drivers are being used. It also depends on the size of the individual partitions set up for each drive —
specifically, whether or not the partitions are being formatted using the NTFS filesystem.
if you set up four partitions on one IDE drive (each 4 GB in size) and then tried to put a large file on that drive under Windows 98 — before moving it over to new hardware — your computer would likely hog down. Another factor is how well the case implements its cooling system for each hard disk: does it have enough room around each bay for air pressure to remain even?
A cooling strategy that requires fans blowing away from older hard drives can actually ruin some of their data from excessive heat! This tends to be worse with high performance hard drives like Western Digital Raptor models or other 10K RPM enterprise-class disks that run hot