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jcrowley30

Nintendo NES PC Build

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Hello All,

 

I know it has been done many times before, but I have an idea for an NES PC that I was planning on doing and wanted to get some feedback on. I have gutted my NES and I am waiting for my dremel to arrive.  I will give updates as I go through the steps (right now taking pictures of a gutted NES seems silly).  My idea is to have a PC inside a NES but to have the PC upside down and have the bottom of the NES be plexiglass, so that the work can be viewed simply by flipping it over.  I also don't love just cutting out the T shape plastic and leaving the rest.  Let me know if you have any thoughts on it.  I have searched through many pages of builds and I have not seen that combo done.  Is it doable and would there be any issues?  

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I would be worried about airflow doing that. Those that have flipped it upside down have done it so there can be a fan actually on the bottom of the case not clear plastic. I have done a build and its posted on here. They get hot especially since its the cpu doing everything. I would out the clear plastic on the top with some cool lights inside, but I'm sure you want it to look like an old NES until you flip it over.

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I would be worried about airflow doing that. Those that have flipped it upside down have done it so there can be a fan actually on the bottom of the case not clear plastic. I have done a build and its posted on here. They get hot especially since its the cpu doing everything. I would out the clear plastic on the top with some cool lights inside, but I'm sure you want it to look like an old NES until you flip it over.

That is a good point, I didn't really consider airflow. The nes is already lacking on airflow as it is too.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

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So I am in the process cutting out the inside of the case.  I am still working on the build.  I am debating on whether to put in a GPU or not.  This changes the budget from around $275:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/B8t4zy
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/B8t4zy/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor  ($49.00 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H97M-ITX/AC Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: *Mushkin ECO2 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($35.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Hitachi Travelstar 1TB 2.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($57.60 @ Directron)
Total: $202.58

$75 for pico psu 160W combo.
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-11-16 12:57 EST-0500

 

The budget if I include a GPU would be around $175 more since I would need an HDPLEX-250W instead of a pico psu 160W.  Anyone have any thoughts/what you want to see?

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I should really think about changing the motherboard since you won't be able to overclock at all with the H97, the Z97 or B85 would be a better choice for the G3258. I have mine ocerclocked to 3.9Ghz without problems. Also the CPU cooler will be important since there isn't much space. I have the Noctua nh-l9i in mine and it works great.

 

Also, be sure to check the placement of the components on the motherboard...for instance I can only fit one ram slot of the two on my motherboard since the cartridge tray is in the way, but that will depend on how the stuff is oriented on the board.

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That is a good catch, I didn't even think to look for that.  Very strange, that motherboard can't overclock but the ASRock H97M Pro can.  I am not set on parts yet, going to wait for black Friday sales and that may determine how big I go.  I will watch for the overclocking though since I was planning on going to around 4.0ghz. I won't be using the cartridge tray for my build since I think it would take up too much room.

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Then the Z97 will probably be your best bet, works great with the G3258.

 

About the RAM not fitting because of the cartridge tray...I actually meant the cartridge opening (door), the inside of it extends pretty far into the console and I had to cut a fair bit out it just to fit one RAM piece.

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Find a cheap Thin Mini ITX board that has a DC port built in.  Then you can save $75 on the pico.  I went with this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JZO2RWQ?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00 on my build.  It worked awesome! Its an older board now though so probably not compatible with the processor you want without a bios update but I am sure you could find something similar.

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I thought about that route but I want to put a gpu on it. I'm not sure if it will be right away or down the line.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

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If you can fit a gpu then why not? But yes, you'll probably need more psu power than the picopsu can deliver then. I searched forever to find a pci-x raiser that would let me bend it...but couldn't find any. Not sure they are even made.

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Update: So after much thought, I have decided to go without a GPU for now since I think it would turn the NES into a mini toaster and something that would go on fire at some point since I do not plan to drill any unnecessary holes or vents.  I am 3/4 done with cutting out the bottom of the NES, I am taking it very slow with my dremel, I really do not want any cuts on the outside of the NES.  I will post pictures when I am finished carving this thing up, which should be this weekend.  Here are the parts I have purchased as of now.  I was able to check and verify that I can overclock with the H97 motherboard I chose.  I was able to get some pretty good deals on the G3258, motherboard and then used a $10 off to buy the G Skill Sniper memory for only $25. 

 

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/R8hJK8
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/R8hJK8/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor  (Purchased For $49.99)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i 57.5 CFM CPU Cooler  ($42.49 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock H97M-ITX/AC Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard  (Purchased For $59.99)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  (Purchased For $24.99)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($51.88 @ OutletPC)
Other: picoPSU-160-XT + 192W Adapter Power Kit (Purchased For $79.95)
Total: $309.29
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-11-18 13:16 EST-0500

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Cool...looking good! I'd say that will work with most systems up to PS2 and even some PS2 games :)

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Update: Finished cutting out the T shape in the NES.  I think it turned out decent, I will be putting a lexan plastic to cover up the hole created.  I have some ideas that I hope people will find interesting, I just hope I will be able to make them happen. Here are the picture updates.  I roughed up the inside of the case so that the plastic will bond better once I glue it.  I know the NES is a little beat up but that was the condition that I received it in and I will be keeping it in that condition.

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Looking good, I regret that I didn't cut the T-shape out myself, more space that way, but I used the space to put the HDD and some other stuff instead but still...the cpu cooler is very close to the top.

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Update: Parts are all in and shown in the picture.  It took me so much time to cut the plexiglass to fit the bottom of the NES and I think it turned out pretty terribly.  Thankfully no one will ever have to see it.  I have a new respect for anyone who has perfectly fit a bottom to their NES as it was the hardest thing.  My dremel which was supposed to have a 3 hour battery life had more like a 40 minute battery life.  This and a 9 month old delayed the process.  I am going to glue down the plexiglass tomorrow.  I am planning on not cutting out the back of the NES and will be rerouting 4 USB ports to the front of the NES when you open up the lid.  Later on i will have the NES inputs working to the other USB ports but for now they will be dummies.  I am still working on which way will be best to set up the motherboard.  I already had to shave down the Reset button which isn't a huge deal since I was only planning on having the power button working.  I look forward to soldering and burning my fingers more than the pieces of plastic from the NES did.

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Update: So I have glued down my plexiglass with apoxy and it is really sturdy now which is nice.  I have drilled holes and put the hard drive in place temporarily so everyone can see it.  I decided to ditch the real NES button mechanism as it ended up being too close to the motherboard and I was worried about shorting it out.  A quick note to anyone, do not use crazy glue on plexiglass, it basically burns the plexiglass and leaves it cloudy.  I used that on the seams and you can see in the in the pictures, no big deal though. 

My next step is to cut out the underneath vents on the top of the NES so I can install my vent fans.  I also need to setup my HDMI output and power to the back on the NES, USB ports relocated to the front, mount the hard drive to the top of the case.  I am waiting on a few parts to arrive for those things.  I will also try to wire as much as I can under the motherboard and attached to the bottom of the case as there is some room and it would look cleaner.

 

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Did you ditch the Noctua cooler or haven't you recieved it yet? That stock cooler will give you serious trouble inside that small box, not even speaking about overclocking :)

 

Looking good btw...clever idea to use the original button with a normal switch, is it working like it should?

Do you have plans to add the led back in? I read a lot of posts that cut the original led down to get it to fit, I just soldered the cables from the MB power led to the original myself, but I suppose you could fit something in there in your build as well.

 

I see a bunch of fans in your part image, are you planning on fitting them somewhere? And if yes, where?

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Did you ditch the Noctua cooler or haven't you recieved it yet? That stock cooler will give you serious trouble inside that small box, not even speaking about overclocking :)

 

Looking good btw...clever idea to use the original button with a normal switch, is it working like it should?

Do you have plans to add the led back in? I read a lot of posts that cut the original led down to get it to fit, I just soldered the cables from the MB power led to the original myself, but I suppose you could fit something in there in your build as well.

 

I see a bunch of fans in your part image, are you planning on fitting them somewhere? And if yes, where?

 

Still waiting on the Noctua cooler. I wanted to put something on it thought so it didn't look silly for the picture.

 

I am still working with that button.  I think I will add a spring to it so it works like normal, right now it gets stuck sometimes which would be an issue.  I will be adding the LED back in also, I just need to figure out how it fits.  I think I will have to do what you said and cut it down so it fits. Thanks!

 

Two of the fans will be attached to the top of the NES case where the air opening is.  I will be cutting the inside part of the opening and using those two attached to the case fan on the motherboard, just waiting on a splitter for that.  The third fan I am undecided on where it will go.  I was thinking of making it and intake fan and putting it on the side where the Yellow/ Red cables went but I am not sure if it would be a big enough hole to create airflow.

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Update: So I got a little delayed with the holidays and family stuff.  My wife got pregnant again somehow so I didn't have much hobby time until this week.  I spent most of this time debating back and forth on the front power/reset buttons and decided to go back to the original new buttons I ordered.  The one's I was trying to create the button with were the original and in the end it just didn't feel right or work as it should.  I raised the motherboard up a little to allow me to wire underneath and also so the power buttons would not interfere with the motherboard.  I carved out the back and put in the hdmi input and power output.  It turned out decent but if anyone has any other ideas let me know.  If you can believe it, I am still waiting on some parts to arrive.  Apparently if you order parts from China they arrive within 3 months, maybe.  I wouldn't even know how to track them based on the number I got but they are still within the time frame and have emailed me to let me know they are still on their way.  I put in the noctua cooler which looks awesome and was the only reason I could raise the motherboard.  My next update will be putting on the top fans to top of the case.  I am still waiting on the parts for the my front panel USB ports and my hard drive brackets to mount to the top of the case.

 

Let me know what you guys think and If you have any other ideas for ways to make this better.

 

Thanks,

John

 

 

Don't mind the white on the bottom of the case, apparently you aren't supposed to put super glue on acrylic since they don't react well.  I wish they would've taught me that in chemistry.

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Back panel

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Top View

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Hit another bump in the road.  The hard drive doesn't fit with everything.  I need to get a laptop hard drive to mount to the top.  I will have more pictures up tonight those as I have a little more work done.

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Ah...I missed that you changed it to a 3.5 HDD at one point, you did start with a 2.5 HDD on your part list so. I could have told you straight away that the 3.5 HDD won't fit :( 

Too bad your MB didn't have a M.2 port, then you could have had a superfast M.2 drive for OS and HS and a normal 2.5 HDD for roms.

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