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A Nintendo 64 Modded Into An HTPC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

A modder crammed an HTPC into a Nintendo 64 chassis.

Typically this would be set aside for another PC case mod story, however modder polvorito's HTCP crammed into a Nintendo 64 chassis just couldn't wait.

After purchasing the classic console at a flea market, polvorito ripped out Nintendo's hardware and replaced its innards with Zotac's IONITX-A-E motherboard. While the board isn't listed on Zotac, it features a mini-ITX form factor, Intel's dual-core Atom 330 1.6 GHz processor, Nvidia Ion graphics, two slots for DDR2 667/800 RAM (4 GB max), Realtek ALC662 integrated audio, ten USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, and more.

"This zotac mobo has almost everything needed (sound, graphics, CPU, connectivity HDMI, Wifi N, optical out etc ), has a CPU that can work without [a] fan, has external power unit and fits nice inside a N64," polvorito said in a forum post.

For memory he inserted 2 sticks of 1 GB RAM and added a 30 GB SSD to the console's top. The controller ports had to be cut down to allow space for the motherboard, and the back of the console's chassis was modified to accommodate the IONITX's various ports. Unfortunately, the modified PC couldn't run fanless after all.

"With the N64 case closed, the processor reached 90-degrees Celsius," he said. "I tried the fan delivered with the motherboard (diameter of 60-mm, thickness of 10-mm), and it didn't fit so I cut 10-mm off the heatsink. Later I [inserted] a fan 10-mm thick [and] 70-mm [in]diameter at a slower speed. Conclusion--the temperature dropped to 40-degrees Celsius in normal usage."

According to the modder, the overall objective was to make a living room PC for watching media and surfing on the Internet. To see how this N64-themed PC was created, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    K3vBot6000 , October 12, 2010 12:42 AM
    But can you play Mario Kart on it?
Other Comments
  • -3 Hide
    kermee , October 12, 2010 12:04 AM
  • 4 Hide
    kermee , October 12, 2010 12:05 AM
    kermeeHuh? [...] 26&lang=en

    Might help if I use the correct URL:
  • Display all 28 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    hokkdawg , October 12, 2010 12:31 AM
  • 6 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 12, 2010 12:39 AM
    Awesome. These case mods stretch the borders of imagination. Kudos to the modder!
  • 1 Hide
    tu_illegalamigo , October 12, 2010 12:40 AM
    Pretty cool. I`ve still got two and a carrying case. One is broken...hmm.
  • 17 Hide
    K3vBot6000 , October 12, 2010 12:42 AM
    But can you play Mario Kart on it?
  • 0 Hide
    borisof007 , October 12, 2010 12:51 AM
    Pretty sweet mod!
  • 0 Hide
    skine , October 12, 2010 1:06 AM
    There are a lot of interesting mini-itx projects.

    For example, someone crammed a computer into a Windows XP box.

    There are more links on the right, including a Sega Genesis console for those who liked to do what Nintendidn't.
  • 1 Hide
    chickenhoagie , October 12, 2010 1:11 AM
    K3vBot6000But can you play Mario Kart on it?

    N64 emulator :) 

    if only he could get an N64 USB would literally be a PC and a true N64
  • 1 Hide
    eklipz330 , October 12, 2010 1:41 AM
    that is. bad. ass.

    oh man i need one.
  • 0 Hide
    tacoslave , October 12, 2010 1:51 AM
  • 0 Hide
    RailGun88 , October 12, 2010 1:59 AM
    Just pure epicness! All he needs to do is mod an N64 controller to be usb. And get the Project64 emulator.
  • 2 Hide
    vittau , October 12, 2010 2:00 AM
    Someone's gotta try an Atari 5200 now, you can fit a whole supercomputer inside that thing.
  • 1 Hide
    athreex , October 12, 2010 2:08 AM
    chickenhoagieN64 emulator if only he could get an N64 USB would literally be a PC and a true N64

    There are N64 controller to USB adapters available.
  • -2 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , October 12, 2010 3:07 AM
    Why is the N64 white?
  • -3 Hide
    dEAne , October 12, 2010 3:11 AM
    I will buy one of this.
  • -1 Hide
    elcentral , October 12, 2010 3:28 AM
    1 thing to make it a bit cooler wuld be to use the game port ass a removeble hard drive that inserts ass a normal game wuld hah awuld look so epic
  • 1 Hide
    dupaman , October 12, 2010 4:33 AM
    Thanks for posting this story! I've had a pet project on hold for a little while that involves stuffing a similar Ion board into a 2nd rev. Sega Genesis (the sleek one with the oval trim on top) and was hoping it might run passive with just convection airflow, so I appreciate the reality check as my Genesis is nowhere near as tall as the N64 and barely fits the heatsink without the fan. Oh well, hopefully the Zacate (or similar) CPUs make their way to mITX as the TDP is a lot lower than atom+9400.
  • 0 Hide
    kalem13 , October 12, 2010 12:18 PM
    While I was reading that story, the Super Mario 64 music started playing on my playlist. Nice coincidence.
  • 0 Hide
    dalta centauri , October 12, 2010 12:28 PM
    "Runs well with OSx"
    I could see Apple selling something like this. It really reminds me of a projector with the way he modded it.
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