PCPartPicker

  • Log In
  • Register

Build

Retro Mini ITX Gaming Console / PC

by yamahaguy

122
34 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

June 21, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

2.8 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.02 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.15 GHz

Description

Parts wise it's a pretty standard Mini-ITX PC. However I've modified the front optical bay panel and the front of the case to accommodate 4 N64, 4 Gamecube, 2 NES, 2 SNES, 2 Dreamcast, 2 PS1, 2 Atari 2600/Genesis and 2 Saturn controller ports, all wired to USB with some breadboard between them. Hardware side they all function correctly with their respective controllers, but they're only ever let down on the emulator side by software glitches.
I built this early 2013, and because I currently have minimal space to work on projects where I live, everything modified was done with my trusty dremel, so please excuse some of the hackjobness. Once I'm home again and I have a proper shop to work in, I plan on giving it a fresh case and finalizing the wiring and making an overall cleaner setup. I also chose less than stellar parts for it since I didn't know whether or not I could even pull off the build.
Due to the tight space of the Mini-ITX size and the insane amount of wiring I had to do, overheating was a problem so a 120mm Slip Stream 2000 and inlet was added to the bottom of the case to help remedy the issue. All of the controllers' breadboard are housed in a project box mounted where the hard drive cage used to be, and the hard drive relocated to the unused optical bay with a mounting adapter. A Sedna 10-port internal USB hub is mounted to the underside of the hanging project box. The hub was used for isolating wiring problems so I could conveniently eliminate controllers I'd already finished. An automotive toggle I had lying around ended up on the back so I could control the red cathodes lighting up the case.
The dinky 40mm fan on the front obviously doesn't do much, it was never meant to. When I was designing the layout for the ports, I had an irritating space left over no matter how I repositioned the setup, so I added the fan to get rid of it. Originally it was going to be a 40 to 60mm adapter with a 60mm fan on the inside, but I didn't realize how little space I'd end up with.
Eventually the case and wiring will be redone, and soon I plan on upgrading the mobo and cpu with a Xeon E3-1231V3B 3.4GHz and an SSD.

Comments Sorted by:

MightyAlFred 3 Builds 7 points 42 months ago

Definitely upvoted because of the modding, very nice work!

Stuart_Munto 2 Builds 5 points 42 months ago

Oh man this is AWESOME!!! Love that front controller panel! This is so cool! Long live the Sega Megadrive!

yamahaguy submitter 2 Builds 3 points 42 months ago

Oh yeah, Sonic 3 and Knuckles, all day long.

MicahCerrone 4 points 42 months ago

If I didn't have all these classic consoles hooked up to my TV already, I might have had to make one of these myself! Incredible build.

ankousmachine 2 Builds 3 points 42 months ago

wow, amazing modding would even have to say better mod then most cases ive seen on this site

AidanSB 3 points 42 months ago

So awesome. The front panel so nice! Great job man.

jonesmbarry 3 points 42 months ago

This thing is awesome! Nice work, very clean and original.

SHADOW54312 1 Build 3 points 42 months ago

Legendary status obtained.

Eschaton 6 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

That is ridiculously cool. Does the Phenom not get the job done in terms of speed for your emulators, or is it a heat issue that's causing the impetus to replace it?

Also, do you have to be careful how much pressure you apply to the front as you insert your controllers?

yamahaguy submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

It's a little bit of both. The Phenom only shows it's age when emulating later systems such as the Gamecube or Dreamcast, but even then they're still playable.
The ports won't be going anywhere, they're held in with a mix of chopped glass strands and resin, essentially fiberglass. Having a friend drunkenly push one in was definitely a concern when I was building.

Eschaton 6 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

lol, well thought out man! My only regret in life is having but one upvote to give this build!

confuzledandlost 40 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

This is brilliantly creative! Well done, +1! As a side note... Would you be willing to do something similar for someone else? I could make it worth your while lol

yamahaguy submitter 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Possibly. Shoot me a pm with what sort of build you have in mind.

nervozer4 4 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

wow that is a very rare mobo you got there. almost as rare as unicorns+1

crashingknight 2 points 42 months ago

how did you get the controller ports there? Did you buy the USB adapters and modded them to fit in there? or did you take apart old consoles and put it there? I've never done any sort of modding before, so sorry if my questions are ignorant

JasonBent 2 points 41 months ago

I am curious about this as well. I have seen it done both ways on different builds. Hopefully the OP sees this comment and responds.

mhanson101 7 Builds 2 points 36 months ago

This is awesome! Great work on the controller mods up front, that is crazy impressive!

CrazyChief24 5 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

i would love to know how in the world you got all the ports to work correctly with windows let alone all that wiring. lol

WiViW 2 points 14 months ago

This build is amazing and it would be cool to have the front mod be mass produced it already looks amazing!

pcuser114 1 Build 2 points 14 months ago

Dude I am so jelous right now!

MrSnak3_ 2 points 13 months ago

Did you use third party adapters for the ports? could you link them?

IceColdTabasco 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Really ******* cool man!

Dunder 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Awesome!

ncarter13 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Such wow. Great creativity.

yamahaguy submitter 2 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Much appreciate. Very thanks.

powellbm86 9 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Best emulator station I've seen yet.

TheEthernet 6 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

That's fantastic. Great work!

lilshatespug217 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

You should see if you can play sonic and Mario at the same time. Inb4 the PC catches on fire.

guitaristmatt 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Just needs a handle on the back.

TheScaryBear123 1 point 42 months ago

2 legit 2 quit. hacking ftw

swierkocki86 1 point 41 months ago

wow really impressive build man. Can you make me some of them controller ports for mine? well jealous!

Jovie918 3 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

first use of this case where someone genuinely tried to do some cable management. Kudos to you!

[comment deleted]
[comment deleted by staff]
[comment deleted by staff]
WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Wait...

4 points
4 builds
4 Nintendo64 ports
4 Gamecube ports

Illuminati?

A pre-emptive apology for the illuminati reference. =D

yamahaguy submitter 2 Builds 0 points 42 months ago

Thank you, I had fun building it! The N64 wasn't my first console but I have the most memories playing it, so that's the reason it's ports are on the top row. Going from my broken hand-me-down SNES to a N64 just blew my mind as a kid.

[comment deleted by staff]