After you’ve built a snazzy Raspberry Pi-powered retro gaming console, you might be wondering if you could have just a wee bit more power and run some of those other games you might remember, such as Xbox, Wii, or PS3. Perhaps in the future, a later revision of an RPi could handle it but currently, to emulate the 6th/7th generation of consoles, you need something a little beefier. Luckily, [Zac] got his hands on an old gaming laptop and turned it into his own game console.
The first step was to take the laptop apart and discard the parts not needed. [Zac] stripped away the battery, Bluray drive, and spinning hard disk. That left him with a much smaller PCB that could fit into a small case. The power button was integrated into the keyboard but came into the motherboard by the flat cable keyboard connection. So by bridging a few pins, he could power up the laptop. Next, he upgraded the RAM, wifi card, an NVMe drive, and redid all the thermal paste and putty to try and keep things cool while overclocking the GPU.
The case for the machine heavily used his CNC as it was walnut with a mid-section made of plywood. The top has a gorgeous cast acrylic window to see inside. The part the [Zac] was dreading with the fine pitch soldering. Ultimately he got both wires connected with good connections and no bridging. Because it’s just a PC at its heart, almost every game is on the table. Emulation, some more moderate PC games, streaming from his office PC, and cloud gaming services allow him to access most games made. We love the concept and the idea.
We love the aesthetic of the build but if you prefer to keep your consoles looking a little more faithful, why not put your mini PC inside of an actual N64 case? Video after the break.