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SageC

[Completed] Project N64 PC: A Kaveri HTPC inside a Nintendo 64

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update #1 - 6/8/2014

 

Update #2 - 6/30/2014

 

Update #3 - 7/6/2014

 

Update #4 - 8/2/2014

 

Update #5 - 8/5/2014 - Final Update

 

txo8QnA.png

 

With the dawn of the supposed "next gen" consoles, I started to think that maybe there is something to being able to sit on your couch and play games and watch movies on a big TV. So I started to consider my options and because running an HDMI cable from my main rig to the living room TV was just too easy, I thought maybe cramming a new Kaveri APU into a something like a NES would be cool. But since I've seen countless NES PCs around the internet I wanted to do something  a bit more original, then was born the N64 PC!

 

My goal was to mod the case of an N64 to fit mini itx FM2+ motherboard sporting a A10 7850k (Which at 95W TDP will require some interesting cooling methods) and wire up all the original controller ports and switches to work just like a real N64. The finished product should be capable of playing most new AAA titles at 720p 30FPS (or play them through Steam in home streaming) and any emulator I wanted to put on it. I also had the idea of installing an internal XBOX 360 wireless controller adapter so I didn't have to have one plugged in the back all the time.

 

Parts:

 

  • AMD A10-7850k

  • ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ Motherboard

  • G.skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory

  • Crucial M500 120GB mSata SSD

  • PicoPSU-160XT

  • May Flash N64 Controller Adapter x2

  • Wireless Xbox 360 Controller adapter

  • Scythe Kozuti Low Profile CPU Cooler

  • Broken N64

 

Let The Building Begin!

 

 

Deconstruction:

 

It was a pretty straight forward process, just four screws on the bottom of the console but unfortunately they are a proprietary tamper proof screw so either you have to do what I did and melt the end of pen to mould to the screw or buy a custom made bit. I'd strongly recommend the latter.

 

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The innards of this thing are pretty interesting absolutely everything is attached to one tiny board, even things like the switches and the cartridge slot!

 

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A test fit. It's going to take a lot of modding to make this thing fit!

 

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Getting started on the dremelling!

 

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The top.

 

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The controller ports.

 

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The Motherboard! I chose this one in particular for it's layout and it's inclusion of a mSata port. With that I don't have to mount a full 2.5" SSD inside the thing. 

 

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The CPU cooler. I chose this for no other reason than because it's small and apparently can cool a 95W TDP processor, let's hope that's true!

 

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Both together.

 

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Well, I can't really say I'm surprised it doesn't fit. I guess I'm to have to get creative!

 

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The controller adapter.

 

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Removed from their cases.

 

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Starting de-soldering!

 

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Started soldering the original controller ports. Now, if you're doing this yourself you're going to have to take a metal brush to the pins and really clean them. Just flux isn't going to cut it, I found out the hard way.

 

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It's definitely going to require some better cable management.

 

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The Xbox 360 Controller adapter. I got a knock off one 'cause I didn't want to spend the extra money just to tear it apart. My original plan with this thing was to hook up the case LED to the controller sync led and hook up the reset button to the sync button so when you pressed the sync(reset) button the case LED would blink kinda like on a 360.

 

IeSHReul.jpg

 

Did I mention getting into one of these things is freaking impossible! It'd probably help if I had a slimmer screw driver or even a spudger but if you're patient enough you'll eventually break the seal.

 

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Finally!

 

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And it still works, which is a bonus!

 

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So my plan now is to make a new bottom for the N64 out of acrylic this should gain me at least another centimetre of clearance and will make it more flexible if I need to raise the case even higher.

 

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There! I'll come back and clean up the acrylic later.

 

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And it still doesn't quite fit, hopefully it will when I get the feet back on.

 

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My first crimp! To do this right you really need the right crimpers. I forget which ones I got but if someone really wants to know I'll go looking for them.

 

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Soldering the crimped wires on.

 

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I removed the switch from the Xbox controller adapter

 

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And started to solder.

 

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The connector went on nicely!

 

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Doing some heat-shrinking, it really cleans up the wires.

 

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Dem zip ties.

 

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All installed into the case. It's looking nice!

 

guOuHOEl.jpg

 

Uhh.. So I  plugged in the Xbox controller adapter after wiring it up to see if it still worked and.. Well there was smoke and it got incredibly hot. It seems to have blew what I assume to be the capacitor above the 5v solder joint. I don't think I'll be able to find a replacement and I don't want to wire up another one just for the same thing to happen. So unless I can figure what caused this I guess this idea is going on hiatus.

 

o7GuhH9l.jpg

 

The wiring for the USB everything seems to be in the right order.

 

MSEJFRdl.jpg

 

Wring for the LED. Which upon closer inspection was wrong but I don't think that is what could have killed it.

 

0dUODoSl.jpg

 

I went back and cleaned up the base.

 

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And made a back plate.

 

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Also cut the feet accordingly.

 

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Alright so that's everything I've done up until now.  I don't know how frequent the updates are going to come for this but I'm hoping I'll finish this within the month! 

 

This is also my first post on the forums so if there are any norms I'm breaking here or things I should feel free to let me know, thanks!


N64 HTPC: [Completed]

 

Main PC: i7 4770k @ 4.2 Ghz | Be Quiet! Dark Rock TF | Asus Z87 Maximus VI Formula | G Skill Ripjaws X 16GB | Zotac GTX 1070 | Samsung 850 EVO 500GB | Seagate 1TB Hybrid | Samsung 840 EVO 128GB | Corsair 1200i | Thermaltake Core P5

 

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not the first time i have seen this done but pretty damn sweet 


Specs

CPU: i5 4670k i won the silicon lottery Cooler: Corsair H100i w/ 2x Corsair SP120 quiet editions Mobo: ASUS Z97 SABERTOOTH MARK 1 Ram: Corsair Platnums 16gb (4x4gb) Storage: Samsun 840 evo 256gb and random hard drives GPU: EVGA acx 2.0 gtx 980 PSU: Corsair RM 850w Case: Fractal Arc Midi R2 windowed 

 

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Why do all the build logs happen at night? :(

what time is it for you? its 3pm aus time 


Specs

CPU: i5 4670k i won the silicon lottery Cooler: Corsair H100i w/ 2x Corsair SP120 quiet editions Mobo: ASUS Z97 SABERTOOTH MARK 1 Ram: Corsair Platnums 16gb (4x4gb) Storage: Samsun 840 evo 256gb and random hard drives GPU: EVGA acx 2.0 gtx 980 PSU: Corsair RM 850w Case: Fractal Arc Midi R2 windowed 

 

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what time is it for you? its 3pm aus time 

you live in australia?!

 

its 11pm here in the US of A


Diamond 5 in League :)

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So uhh... I'm torn here. 

 

On one hand this is sick and I love it.

 

On the other hand you just f**king messed with an N64 and need to burn for it.

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welcome to the forums, great first post!


My Car: http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/274320-the-long-awaited-car-thread/?p=4442206


CPU: i5 4590 |Motherboard: ASRock H97M PRO4|Memory: Corsair Vengance 8gbs|Storage: WD Caviar Blue 1TB|GPU: ZOTAC GTX 760 2gb|PSU: Thermaltech TR2 500W|Monitors: LG24M35 24" & Dual 19"|Mouse:Razer DeathAdder 2013 with SteelSeries Qck mini|Keyboard: Ducky DK2087 Zero MX Red|Headset: HyperX Cloud|Cooling: Corsair 120mm blue LED, Lepa vortex 120mm, stock 120mm|Case:Enermax Ostrog Blue Windowed


 

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you live in australia?!

 

its 11pm here in the US of A

yep best place in the middle of no where 


Specs

CPU: i5 4670k i won the silicon lottery Cooler: Corsair H100i w/ 2x Corsair SP120 quiet editions Mobo: ASUS Z97 SABERTOOTH MARK 1 Ram: Corsair Platnums 16gb (4x4gb) Storage: Samsun 840 evo 256gb and random hard drives GPU: EVGA acx 2.0 gtx 980 PSU: Corsair RM 850w Case: Fractal Arc Midi R2 windowed 

 

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you live in australia?!

 

its 11pm here in the US of A

1:15am for those of us in a state using EST.

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yep best place in the middle of no where 

you be deh snoiper?

 

1:15am for those of us in a state using EST.

MST <3


Diamond 5 in League :)

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you be deh snoiper?

 

MST <3

im a spooo 


Specs

CPU: i5 4670k i won the silicon lottery Cooler: Corsair H100i w/ 2x Corsair SP120 quiet editions Mobo: ASUS Z97 SABERTOOTH MARK 1 Ram: Corsair Platnums 16gb (4x4gb) Storage: Samsun 840 evo 256gb and random hard drives GPU: EVGA acx 2.0 gtx 980 PSU: Corsair RM 850w Case: Fractal Arc Midi R2 windowed 

 

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Great build log! Looking forward to the final product!


CPU: i7 2600 @ 4.2GHz  COOLING: NZXT Kraken X31 RAM: 4x2GB Corsair XMS3 @ 1600MHz MOBO: Gigabyte Z68-UD3-XP GPU: XFX R9 280X Double Dissipation SSD #1: 120GB OCZ Vertex 2  SSD #2: 240GB Corsair Force 3 HDD #1: 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM PSU: Silverstone Strider Plus 600W CASE: NZXT H230
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83GHz COOLING: Cooler Master Eclipse RAM: 4x1GB Corsair XMS2 @ 800MHz MOBO: XFX nForce 780i 3-Way SLi GPU: 2x ASUS GTX 560 DirectCU in SLi HDD #1: 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM PSU: TBA CASE: Antec 300
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ALL OF MY WANT!!!
I plan on doing a similar project with a SNES if i ever get the money after i get my main PC bought and built(likely to never properly happen)


CPU: Core 2 Quad Q8300, MoBo: HP OEM, RAM: 8GB Samsung DDR2 800MHz, GPU: EVGA 750 Ti 2GB, Case: Enermax Ostrog, SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 512 GB
Linus once unboxed a Toblerone
 

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I like where this build is going, but how are you going to cool  the processor with just the heat sink. I don't think that it will be very cool when operating.


CPU-- AMD FX-8320 (Stock), Motherboard-- ASUS M5A99FX PRO R 2.0, RAM-- Team 8gb 1600Mhz, GPU-- Sapphire 7870 GHz with OC Edition, Case-- NZXT Tempest 210, PSU-- Corsair CX600m, HDD, 1tb Seagate & 2tb WD External, Monitor-- Dell S2240M IPS Display, Keyboard/Mouse-- Some Logitech keyboard and some Dell mouse, Speakers-- Logitech Z533

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This is going to be goooood :D


My Sig Rig: "X79 (3970X) -Midas"http://pcpartpicker.com/p/wsjGt6"  "Midas" Build Log - https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/59768-build-log-in-progress-code-name-midas/


"The Riddler" Custom Watercooled H440 Build Log ( in collaboration with my wife @ _TechPuppet_ ) - http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/149652-green-h440-special-edition-the-riddler-almost-there/


*Riptide Customs* " We sleeve PSU cables "

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Why do all the build logs happen at night? :(

 

Because I was I working on it all day.  :D 

 

not the first time i have seen this done but pretty damn sweet 

 

Yeah, I think I've seen around 4 well documented builds inside an N64, but all of them either used a low end motherboard with onboard CPUs or something like a low power i3 or pentium. A top end Kaveri has a lot more power and produces a hell of a lot more heat.

 

ALL OF MY WANT!!!

I plan on doing a similar project with a SNES if i ever get the money after i get my main PC bought and built(likely to never properly happen)

 

I think I've seen a couple a couple of SNES builds but they definitely are rare. They're really small so it would be quite the challenge!

 

I like where this build is going, but how are you going to cool  the processor with just the heat sink. I don't think that it will be very cool when operating.

 

Yeah passive cooling would definitely not work. There's a fan in between the CPU block and the heat sink.

 

SCKZT-1000_3.jpg


N64 HTPC: [Completed]

 

Main PC: i7 4770k @ 4.2 Ghz | Be Quiet! Dark Rock TF | Asus Z87 Maximus VI Formula | G Skill Ripjaws X 16GB | Zotac GTX 1070 | Samsung 850 EVO 500GB | Seagate 1TB Hybrid | Samsung 840 EVO 128GB | Corsair 1200i | Thermaltake Core P5

 

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That fan is sneaky!


CPU-- AMD FX-8320 (Stock), Motherboard-- ASUS M5A99FX PRO R 2.0, RAM-- Team 8gb 1600Mhz, GPU-- Sapphire 7870 GHz with OC Edition, Case-- NZXT Tempest 210, PSU-- Corsair CX600m, HDD, 1tb Seagate & 2tb WD External, Monitor-- Dell S2240M IPS Display, Keyboard/Mouse-- Some Logitech keyboard and some Dell mouse, Speakers-- Logitech Z533

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That poor baby...


●CPU: i7-4790K w/H100i ●Mobo: MSI Z97 MPower ●RAM: Corsair 16GB Dominator ●GPU: EVGA ACX SC 780 3GB(X2) ●SSD: 850 Pro 256GB ●Case: 450D ●PSU: AX 860i ●Monitor: Asus PB278Q 1440p

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Just awesome. Where are you going to stuff the PSU?

im thinking he is using the board with the 12V DCin for a picoPSU?


"Unofficially Official" Leading Scientific Research and Development Officer of the Official Star Citizen LTT Conglomerate | Reaper Squad, Idris Captain | 1x Aurora LN


Game developer, AI researcher, Developing the UOLTT mobile apps


G SIX [My Mac Pro G5 CaseMod Thread]

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This looks nice, i like the fact you have put a lot of effort into in and its a proper project build with your mods and not just a pc from bought components.

 

looking good so far, shame about the xbox controller adaptor fried..


got to love Asus components

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update #1 - 6/8/2014: 

 

 

So I accomplished a bit more so it's time for an update! This is probably the only update until the paint I ordered arrives. Let's get started!

 

So I drilled out the holes in the new base.

 

sda3yLzl.jpg

 

And cut out the back plate.

 

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The screws for the CPU cooler fit properly through the base.

 

DjxrWnll.jpg

 

And the back plate fits! It looks a little rough bit I'm only ever going to be using the Ethernet, the USB 3.0s, and the HDMI ports. The rest of the holes are only there to appear functional.

 

p3fu8Gkl.jpg

 

Everything fits inside the case! I did not expect it to I thought I would have to put the case on standoffs for it to fit, but nope it works!

 

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Started working on the reset button. 

 

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There, it works and has a real satisfying click!

 

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The case and motherboard secured down with bolts.

 

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The power button.

 

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The power button in the case. It works just as the original, push up on the button and it clicks the switch!

 

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With the top of the case on, everything still fits.

 

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The back.

 

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The switches and LED all wired up! Apparently the original N64 LED still works so all I had to was add the wires and put on a connector!

 

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The reset button with the newly wired switch.

 

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The power button all wired up.

 

oZuS6jkl.jpg

 

I also tested the N64 controller ports and only one of them worked. Upon closer inspection almost all the wires were in the wrong place so re-soldered them properly and now all four ports work!

 

So that's all I've got for now! I'm just waiting on some paint so I can get this thing painted and working. I also still need to get the processor, ram, power supply, and SSD, but I should be able to plug those things in and it should run, I don't think I have to do any modding to get those things to work.

 

Thanks for viewing!

 

Edit: I totally forgot to mention that the idea for how the start and reset buttons work is not completely my own and mainly came from a fellow N64 PC builder located here: http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?24650-HTPC-in-a-Nintendo-64


N64 HTPC: [Completed]

 

Main PC: i7 4770k @ 4.2 Ghz | Be Quiet! Dark Rock TF | Asus Z87 Maximus VI Formula | G Skill Ripjaws X 16GB | Zotac GTX 1070 | Samsung 850 EVO 500GB | Seagate 1TB Hybrid | Samsung 840 EVO 128GB | Corsair 1200i | Thermaltake Core P5

 

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