Putting A Little More Juice In Your Emulation Station

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.

9 thoughts on “Putting A Little More Juice In Your Emulation Station

  1. This is not only a nice emu station but could be a good budget desktop too, the only problematic thing for most hackers will be the case tough as most people will have access or even posses a jigsaw and i know from experience that these aren’t the precisest of tools. Even my expensive Bosch can produce a rollercoaster with thicker material as the blade tends to bend.

  2. I know this is decisive but surely he has just made a laptop worse ? I understand hacking for benefit but it’s probably the same size as a laptop and surrounded by an incredibly poor thermal conductor ?

    1. If i got that right the laptop was partially broken anyway and he installed that big Noctua fan for better thermals.

      Reusing computer parts is something i can accept as it now still has a purpose and won’t, if recycling fails, end up in a landfill.

      1. WiFi, battery and thermals …. no reason to dismantle a perfectly good laptop in my opinion. You lose the benefit of the screen and he made it 3 or 4 times wider. With regard to thermals, I’m not sure that console emulation is going to stress that laptop half as much as Windows 10 running farcry. The fan probably wouldn’t come on at all…

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