PC in an SNES Case is a Weirdly Perfect Fit

For better or for worse, a considerable number of the projects we’ve seen here at Hackaday can be accurately summarized as: “Raspberry Pi put into something.” Which is hardly a surprise, the Pi is so tiny that it perfectly lends itself to getting grafted into unsuspecting pieces of consumer tech. But we see far fewer projects that manage to do the same trick with proper x86 PC hardware, but that’s not much of a surprise either given how much larger a motherboard and its components are.

So this PC built into a Super Nintendo case by [NoshBar] is something of a double rarity. Not only does it ditch the plodding Raspberry Pi for a Mini-ITX Intel i5 computer, but it manages to fit it all in so effortlessly that you might think the PAL SNES case was designed by a time traveler for this express purpose. The original power switch and status LED are functional, and you can even pop open the cart slot for some additional airflow.

[NoshBar] started by grinding off all the protruding bits on the inside of the SNES case with a Dremel, and then pushed some bolts through the bottom to serve as mounting posts for the ASUS H110T motherboard. With a low profile Noctua CPU cooler mounted on top, it fits perfectly within the console’s case. There was even enough room inside to add in a modified laptop charger to serve as the power supply.

To round out the build, [NoshBar] managed to get the original power slider on the top of the console to turn the PC on and off by gluing a spring-loaded button onto the side of the CPU cooler. In another fantastic stroke of luck, it lined up almost perfectly with where the power switch was on the original SNES board. Finally, the controller ports have been wired up as USB, complete with an adapter dongle.

[NoshBar] tells us the inspiration for sending this one in was the Xbox-turned-PC we recently covered, which readers might recall fought back quite a bit harder during its conversion.

20 thoughts on “PC in an SNES Case is a Weirdly Perfect Fit

    1. Thank you!

      This is my new Linux box, and I gave it a quick test playing back a fullscreen 4K YouTube video while compiling MAME and the temperature never rose above ~65 degrees, so it’ll do for my purposes for now, at least.

      However, I’m always interested in alternate solutions, what did you have in mind?

  1. This brings back memories of 2002 when the VIA Epia boards introduced the world to the Mini-ITX form factor. I vividly remember that Epia 800 board crammed into everything — and I mean *everything* — that had 14×14 cm of space, from NES, PS1, PS2 and Saturn cases to toasters and Ikea breadbins.

    1. The EPIA 600 and the EPIA 1000 (600Mhz and 1Ghz resp) boards I know of had the on board graphic link header and an LVDS mini-board attached… they went inside of XN9000… that mashup of boards were nearing their last attempt at bar tills before they went under. They even sent out prototypes to customers containing all the E-POS board functions were on separate sub-boards (Got me my first FDTI serial PCB that way). the later ones were all on one e-pos board (The EPIA was separate though)

  2. A Tandy 1000 HX could have a Nano ITX board installed into its expansion bay. Some hackery with the power and keyboard could have both systems working simultaneously. The keyboard circuitry is on the Tandy’s mainboard so tapping the matrix is a matter of wedging something between the ribbon cable and its mainboard connector.

    There’s enough space that such a hack could be made 100% reversible, aside from putting holes in the expansion bay back cover.

    1. Hoo boy, that’s such a nicely done conversion, nice job!

      I like the whole PC being in there, case-and-all, it’s what I had planned for the EEEPC that I used the case of.
      But I was kinda obsessed about shoving the PSU in there with the PC, because I’m tired of external power bricks.

      The USB ports… just really neat!

  3. Why is there always someone who gives negative feedback? All I have to say is how come you never thought of the main idea if you’re that clever?

    Looks good to me! But would be weird to play as a SNESPc

    1. Did you take my comment as “negative”? Because I see a surprising lack of negativity in the comments.And all I said is, “things like this have been done before”. Because, well, they have. Some 15 years ago: https://www.mini-itx.com/projects/animalsnes/

      And that’s not to take anything away from this project, especially since it makes good use of contemporary Mini-ITX boards allowing to have desktop CPUs in the same small form factor. Actually, I’m a bit amazed that this kind of project is not much more common, especially with the existence of Mini-STX boards offering the same in an even smaller package.

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