Description

So this is the next iteration of my Project Stalker build, which was meant to be a portable and moderately powerful "sleeper" gaming PC, cloaked in an old pre-built HP desktop chassis. While that build turned out pretty good, I still wasn't completely happy with it. It was still too big and not as portable as I would like.

Thus, Stalker 2.0 was born. Out came the rotary tool and drill and the cutting began once more. ;) Ended up removing about 4.5-5 inches from the height and depth of the case, making it much smaller and much more compact than it was originally. A few things I maintained with this case mod is that it still fits an mATX motherboard and supports full ATX PSU's.

The SSD came from my chromebook, which has since been sold. This PC doesn't need to store much, (just a few games, mainly) and is running Ubuntu Gnome 15.10, so it doesn't need much capacity. The GTX 760 from the previous build, along with the Enermax 720w PSU, were both sold in another PC. Thus, I picked up a GTX 460 which was still literally brand new in box for just $60. Might be a little old by today's standards, but still capable of running most games just fine. Would love to throw an R9 Nano in this thing, but you know, money... lol. :P The Cooler Master V650 PSU came from my main gaming rig before I upgraded that system to an EVGA 850GS unit. This worked out well because the V650 is semi-modular and the only additional cable needed was the SATA power. Not a lot of room at all in this case now, so cable management took some time to get just right. SSD is stuck to the inside of the case with strips of Velcro.

Airflow is better than expected. The single front 120mm intake fan does a great job of keeping everything cool, even with the stock Intel cooler being stuffed under the PSU with the overclocked G3258 to 3.8GHz. The GPU can also pull plenty of fresh air in though the hole for the carry handle. PSU pulls air in through the holes on the side panel and exhausts out the back so it doesn't interfere with airflow/temps inside the case. After running some games for a while, both the CPU and GPU temps hovered around the mid 50's and the system remained near silent. Very happy about that. :)

My mother-in-law helped me make the Stalker logo stencil, so big shout-out to her. :) All in all, very pleased with the way this turned out. Thanks for looking. :)

Comments

  • 44 months ago
  • 34 points

Stalker? This is creeping me out... I'm going to log off for a bit...

  • logs off PCPP

Why am I getting the feeling that something is following me?

  • sees PC shadow behind the door

OH GOD NO! NOT THE STALKER!

  • Smashes PC hoping PCPP data is deleted

  • Realises that PCPP data is stored online

  • Cries in the corner ;(

Ok, I'm done with the story, you can all relax now. This is one sweet build! Take a +1!

XD

  • 44 months ago
  • 5 points

The profile picture, did it for me!

  • 44 months ago
  • 4 points

Brilliant.

  • 44 months ago
  • 4 points

:)

  • 44 months ago
  • 4 points

STALKER is a russian-made video game series based in post chernobyl accident. Its similar to Fallout. "Сталкер" (Stalker) translates to ranger.

Thats what the case is based on :)

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

Wow, thanks for the background info :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Guessing the game was inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky's movie Stalker from 1979, but in that, areas were contaminated by weird alien technology instead of a nuclear accident.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Yup, and that movie was inspired by the book, forgot the name though

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

Can we please get this published. Really people I mean we could make a movie off of this!

Friggen movies today are just crappy remakes of good movies.

Lemme go make a few calls and see if I can get this made into a movie.

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

Do it.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Yus!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

:D

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

+1

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

:)

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  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

:)

  • 44 months ago
  • 13 points

Did he just...?

Did you just...?

I think he did.

one does not simply cut an HP in half and make it look really good while doing so.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

ikr lol

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  • 44 months ago
  • 7 points

What's really to appreciate here is the vision, ingenuity, and craftsmanship. I would love to see what you could do with more freedom.

+1 for amazing work.

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks. :) There's a hint of my next project in the last picture. ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

I am ready!

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Putting a PC inside a Mac PowerPc g5?

Just a guess.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Have big plans for that G5... ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Are you buying the kit from laserhive?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Probably not. Most people that convert the G5's tend to do more or less the same thing. I have other ideas in mind... ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

That was beautiful :')

  • 44 months ago
  • 5 points

Cheeki breeki iv damke

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

A NUUU

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points
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  • 44 months ago
  • 4 points

GET OUT OF HERE STALKER

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

I'll be back in 10 years, I just have to finish looking through all these pictures.

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  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

+1 for 460

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

This is the only way to get an HP Pavillion featured on PCPP. Nice work, both on the modding job, and on keeping the budget so low. It's nice to see a ~$300 build get featured, and even better when there is so much ingenuity in the build.

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

I feel like I just went on a journey going through all the photos. Great job man! Very creative work with that case.

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

+1 for the top vents on the Fractal.

I was riveted (pun intended) scrolling through the pictures and watching this build happen. What a great featured build! Congrats! It looks great! I mean, what ingenuity and creativity!

The best builds on this site aren't the ones that meet a certain price:performance ratio, or the ones that have ALL TEH COARS, or the blinginest (sp?) lights and gold plated heat sinks, but those in which someone pours their whole self into the work and show their unique and indelible character.

Shrinking that entire HP case was incredible. I had to scroll through that section, back and forth, a few times to see how you actually did it, and I'm so impressed! I have never considered cutting a case down like that, but I'm tempted to grab a thrift store compy and practice. And, compared to most ITX cases, it's cavernous inside.

It's just brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, much appreciated. :) And I agree with you 110% about the best builds - it's those that do something different and innovative, think outside the box. ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

I see this as the featured build then glance right next to it to see the charity water article with the boys glaring right at you . You just had to name it stalker.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

hahaah!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

lol

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Congratulations! this build is Featured!

nc build for the price!

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

So many pictures! I like it! Good Job!

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

I love all the work and attention to detail on this build. Outstanding job

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Love picture 25

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome build. Enjoyed watching every single photo.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

+1, Awesome build. Anyone else notice the Mass Effect reflection in one of the Picts?

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

If I had to guess, I'd say you just made me look through those pictures again...

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Which pic are you referring to?

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

64, left hand hand side of the pict...

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, yes. That's "Art of the Mass Effect Universe" concept art book standing up on the bookshelf. ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

It's funny what one sees the picts these days, that is a classic one right there...

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

10/10, It's a budget built.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

nice build. whats with the cut out on the top of the case for? exhaust?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :) The cutout in the top is a carry handle.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

<3

What are the final dimensions of the case? That's a pretty cool layout.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. It's 11" deep x 10" tall x 6.5" wide.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

thatshot.jpeg

Have you tried running the PSU in reverse at all? With the fan on the inside, exhausting the air outside the case?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

The PSU fan is pulling air in through the vent in the side panel and exhausting the air out the back. I don't want the PSU pulling air from inside the case because it will then be fighting against the CPU cooler. ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Probably one of my favorite builds on this whole site. Your case modding was excellent my man ;)

An easy +1

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Very well done. It looks strangely incomplete without the front bezel being painted to match, though. Why not the same black paint and a nice flat white where the silver is?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. I want to keep the front the original gloss black, but I am planning to finish the cut line on the front bezel trim and paint the silver white to match the rest of the build. ;) Will add more pics once that's done.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

A build fit for the zone.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

I wonder how much money people could get doing this and refurbishing old Mac cases - particularly those old aluminum Mac Pro cases.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I have thought about doing this as a side business, but decided just to keep doing it as a hobby. Would be very difficult to make anything, to be honest. Custom built PC's is a very niche market. Most people out there just want a PC that works and aren't willing to pay the extra cash for the higher-end specs, time and effort put into custom builds. :/

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Totally. It'd have to be something boutique and small scale like the Parvum Systems case.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Keep it as a hobby. Unless you are swimming in free time, you'll never get an acceptable pay per hour spent.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I'm certainly not swimming in free time, lol. :P

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Upgrade the GPU, add a better CPU cooler for overclocking, and then get an Enermax Mighty Charger ECR501. And this build would be perfect!

And you get +1 for modding a case that is really near and dear to me, since some of my first days gaming on a PC, the PC had that case, the HP Pavilion a6110n Case.

You get the biggest +1 I can give!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. :) The G3258, even when OC'd to 3.8 barely puts off any heat, so for now the stock Intel cooler is OK. I might be upgrading my main rig (completed build; Ghost) to an i7 or Xeon some time in the next 4-6 months, so if and when that happens, this machine will get the i5-4570. As for the GPU, low budget was the big factor and I just love the look of that old Fermi. Would love to put an ITX GTX 970 or R9 Nano in this thing, but for now the 460 does the job just fine. :)

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Please mod that powermac G5 as well! i would love to see that done.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Just picked that up the other day for dirt cheap. That's the next project. ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

YESSSS!! Thanks you so much i love these things

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

great build! what did you use to paint the video card? It looks great.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. Just typical automotive spray paint.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Beautiful craftsmanship! Excellent build log. Wish i could give more than +1

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Even though I have a 650 TI right now, I still want it. It just looks amazing!

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

creative little hack job you got there

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool transformation. Thanks for posting. +1

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Jaw Drops Brilliant work, man! What's pictured on slide/pic 41? Are they rivets?

Congrats on the work, it's truly inspirational what you've done.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :) Yep those are rivets before they've been "popped". ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

The only thing that has held me back from modding heavily on the case are those rivets...hadn't bothered to research how to rivet the case back together.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

It's actually quite easy, once you've done a few. :)

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

WOW this was super fun I bet, how much time took you to mod the whole case from start to finish ??? ThumbsUp for sure :D

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you. I'm not really sure how long exactly it took from start to finish because I had to work on it a little bit at a time. Took quite a while, that's for sure. :)

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Saw this on the LTT forums, very impressive, love the ingenuity!

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

This build is amazing. I have an HP Pavillion that I've been slowly building on. Painting was my next endeavor but I may have to reconsider after seeing this one cut in half.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Now that's what I call case modification :0

That is a butt ton of measuring like dayyym one thing out would have ruined it, but you got it all perfect.

What was the hardest part of this whole thing?

Final product is a masterpiece you should be proud of your work +1

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Very cool!

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build! The only problem is that Mac sitting next to it....

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol, don't worry, that Mac is being dealt with... ;)

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha, nice

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Dude holy ****! Your case mod is sick!

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Dude I may have to shamelessly copy this build, I have some of the same old hardware knocking about and was wondering what to do with it. Just need an old case to butcher modify and I'm set.

Those little 460's can still rock certain games especially at 720p even 1080p and the 3258 is a beast overclocker even on the stock cooler (my nephews runs at 4ghz cool as ice on stock cooling)

Maybe you could add some rubber around the handle you cut out?

Seriously though this is a great inventive build, great for LAN parties, and your stencilling work is phenomenal :)

+1 and shameless copy incoming from me :P

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

One word...

W T F

After looking at your first pic, I thought you bought a small case for your rig, but at the time I was browsing the other pics, I was really shocked of how amazing your skills are! I couldn't even find one PERFECT diy case, but this is just outstanding! It's like you could make your own case and sell it to anyone! HaHa.. Anyways, awesome skills and what a beautiful looking machine!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :) That's actually three words though... :P

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

aha no problem :) and that is one word btw lol xD

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

My first time seeing this, it's amazing!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the size. Thinking of doing something similar pickup a q6600 yesterday +1

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

umm a gtx 460? :P

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

nice build tho

  • 44 months ago
  • -3 points

"Moderately Powerful" Really?

I mean, this is an awesome project and all, but the parts aren't really that powerful.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

It's not meant for running triple A games at max settings. But for how much it costs, it runs the games I need it to run and does what I need it to do just fine. The G3258 is fine for budget gaming and the GTX 460 is certainly far better than any new GPU you could buy for $60. ;)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay.

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  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

I don't mind. Everyone has their own opinions. :)

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

That'd be great

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  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey Dan! :) Yeah, I bet there are a lot of LTT members on here. ;)

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  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

maybe not very active, but yeah, i do think a lot of us are on ltt

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  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

oh ok, im at school too haha!!

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  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. :) One of the aspects of this build was to keep it as low-budget as possible. So no plans for sleeved cables in this system, unfortunately. And since it doesn't have a wide panel window, I'm OK with it. ;)

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  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, it's driving my OCD crazy too. I will fix that up, don't worry. ;)

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