Reuse old AV Receiver as PC case

Discussion in 'Cases & Case Modding' started by Ej24, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    Has anyone attempted to use an old AV receiver as a case for a living room PC? I tried googling it but came up empty handed. There's a distinct lack of larger living room worthy cases that are horizontal and that also blend in seamlessly.

    There is the Silverstone Grandia series of cases, some of which are roughly the same size and similar in appearance to an AV receiver. But from what I've read, they can't even accommodate a 240mm AIO due to weird fan mount spacing and clearance. They also have ridiculous amounts of space dedicated to huge 3.5in and 5.25in drive cages which are just useless for me.

    I have an old AV receiver gathering dust. I'd be lucky if I could sell it for $50. I figure why not try to turn it into a PC case?

    It's 17in wide, 14in deep, and 8in tall. Rip out all the guts and it could easily accommodate full ATX and anything else I could possibly want.

    I've been a SFF enthusiast forever. The Ncase M1 is actually my largest PC. However I'm kind of tired of paying a premium for SFF when I barely take my PC anywhere anymore. I'm kind of ready to try something new, but a conventional tower is definitely not what I'm looking for. I want people to walk in my living room and have no idea there's a super high end PC right in front of them.

    Anyone come across anything like this before? I'm not dead set on modding an AV receiver, so if there are any OEM cases that look like premium AV equipment while also supporting larger air coolers or AIOs, large GPUs, etc, I'd be open to that too.
     
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  2. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    not yet ;) been sitting on an old sony amp to attempt it one day.
     
  3. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one. I'm looking at the Silverstone GD07 and thinking, damn, that's huge. I definitely don't need 11 drive bays. I could probably do better with my old receiver. But at the same time I'd spend countless hours and probably way too much money to transform an old AV receiver. I've found there are a few "boutique" options but they're like $300+
     
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  4. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    yup that's what I found too. theyre few and far between and expensive!
     
  5. AngeloBJ

    AngeloBJ n00bie

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    What great idea! I've been staring at this old Onkyo because I'm too cheap to throw it away!
     
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  6. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    I found the Streacom F12C which looks super sleek in black with no optical drive. However, it doesn't look like its in production anymore. Can't find black in stock anywhere and no used ones for sale either, Streacom is pretty low volume AFAIK so holding out for a used one may be futile.
     
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  7. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

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    No but I Have used an old VCR as a PC case.

    769789_orig0.jpg
    But is was back when we had PII-s. Sorry, I have no images of it, as it was before the time of not just smartphones but digital cameras as well.
     
  8. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    Nice! That would have been pretty cool to see. It would also make for quite the "sleeper pc" today haha
     
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  9. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    I'd be worried about heat or noise from fans having to strain unless its a very low power PC.

    I went through the same issue and was close to building my PC inside an old cathode ray TV set, but then was given a wood dining table.
    I chopped the 2 pull out leaves in half to make 4 side panels but left one end open for the PC wires and to ease air flow out.
    Fitted a bottom made from mdf and chopped the leg height in half so its like a large coffee table
    It turned out fantastic, loooads of room and easy to cool almost silently.
    I use 2x 15" air tunnels with 2x 14" fan to draw air from under the table onto the gfx card. This knocked 5 to 10C off the temps.
    My CPU is water cooled with the radiator and pump under the table, with a little thought it would be easy to use an air cooler.

    Some piccies.
    https://hardforum.com/threads/anyone-ever-get-bored-of-their-case.1933885/#post-1043000076
     
  10. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    A table eh? That's pretty unique. The duct for fresh air to the gpu is nice. I've done that before,works great. I thought about modifying a drawer of my TV stand to accommodate a pc but it looked like more hassle than it was worth.

    As for my old receiver, I think it should breath fine. The top panel is almost entirely vented.
    UsksC0A.jpg
    The side panels don't have as much ventilation though. I could probably drill more slots/holes or completely cut out a portion and replace it with a plastic/metal fan grill.
    lBDrfgM.jpg
    Still thinking of just selling it for $50 and buying a proper HTPC/living room case.
    If I really want to do this in the future I could probably get a broken receiver for $5 at a yard sale and gut it.

    I suppose I should mention my setup is currently in the Dr Ząber Sentry. A beautiful case. Looks great. Crazy good construction. Portable. But it has the same limitations as an sff system. (image from when I delided my 4790k) I wish I could have the Ząber Sentry, just 30mm thicker. hIWAnoZ.jpg
     
  11. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    The venting slats will give a fraction of the airflow required.
    Not a chance without fans and opened up sections for a normal PC.

    That small PC might be ok, but why change it?
    Its far better looking than in an old amp shell.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  12. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    I had a GTX 1080 in the pc for a while and it was tough to keep it cool and quiet. Had to delid my i7-4790K and use liquid metal to get the cpu temps to be acceptable. I want to upgrade to something like a 8700k and a RTX 2080ti but that's going to be almost impossible to keep temps under control. So while it's novel to have a small system, it's a lot more work, more expense and lots of limitations.

    I recently got an Ncase M1 for a home office pc. The biggest case I had worked with in a long time. Put a Noctua tower cooler on the Xeon cpu, never see temps over 55C. Put an aftermarket gpu cooler on the GTX 1060 and never see temps over 50C. At those temps, the gpu maintains 2150mhz constantly. It's incredible. All of this while being nearly silent.

    My current living room setup in the Sentry case is nice but noisy by comparison. Along with all the aforementioned shortcomings.

    Like I said, it's a beautiful case. But it has the same pitfalls as any sff case. I think I'd like something that can fit mATX or ATX while being in a horizontal configuration rather than a tower. Relatively minimalist. And look like it belongs with other things in a living room entertainment system.
     
  13. Tony Ou

    Tony Ou SilverStone Tech Representative

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    If you don't need the drive bay capacity, make sure to also check out the smaller GD09 and GD10.
     
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  14. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    Yeah the GD10 is also one I was looking at. The GD09 is basically the same but with an exposed front panel and visible disk drive slot on the front which kills it for me.
     
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  15. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    same.
    thnx though, tony, for the suggestions. nice to see reps around.
     
  16. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    I totally didn't notice your Silverstone Rep Badge at first. It'd be great to see these cases updated to be officially compatible with aio coolers, 240mm seems possible. Maybe a few cable management tie down points or channels to tuck cables in. Better support for 2.5in drives, cases this big should support more than just one or two 2.5in drives which are common for Sata ssd these days. Also more brushed aluminum too, less plastic.

    I understand they're probably low volume cases for Silverstone but they could be great if they were updated a bit with modern case features that are common in most cases these days.

    The GD07 has the best outward appearance but I think the GD10 is a better size for most people.
     
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  17. Fractal Design NA

    Fractal Design NA Sales and Community Manager

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    I actually had a Grandia GD06 myself back before I joined on at Fractal Design. It was a bit too deep to fit with the other home theater components, but it was well made and I remember being fairly impressed with it overall.

    Our Node 605 was an outstanding case when it came to blending in well with a home theater stack, but sadly it was discontinued about a year ago so it's not something you'd be able to find easily. I have one at home myself and wish I'd have gotten a second before we ran out.

    One slightly unconventional alternative you might consider though is the Node 804. It looks nothing like either of the aforementioned cases or any sort of AV equipment, but you could totally be forgiven for thinking it was a high-end subwoofer if you saw one on the floor of a media room.
     
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  18. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    I was actually about to post something about the Node 605. It's a shame it was discontinued, it looks like it was a beautiful case. Every now and then they show up on ebay, usually for a premium.

    The Node 804 is interesting. A large cube isn't a form factor I had previously considered. It looks like quite the no-compromises case. I'd have to think about it though as the goal has always been to keep it seamless with the other AV equipment on the shelf. It is almost the size of a subwoofer though, haha it might blend in. Thanks for the suggestion!
     
  19. Tony Ou

    Tony Ou SilverStone Tech Representative

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    It's a bit more industrial / storage focused, but the upcoming CS381 will have support for 240mm AIO cooler if you are OK with other features we've thrown in. But yeah, even though HTPC cases are low volume compared to tower cases, we do plan on continually updating or redesigning them for years to come so thanks for the inputs!
     
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