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NES PC with HD 5570 and E8400

Discussion in 'Cases, Modding & Electronics' started by cliffmidnite, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. cliffmidnite New Member

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    Hello everyone, I just wanted to share a project I have recently completed. I have seen many NES mods across the net the last few years and have always wanted to do my own build. I didn't want to settle for an embedded cpu gpu combo because it just wasn't enough power for my gaming needs. I started this build off with a zotac 9300 itx mobo and an E8400. everything came together rather nicely, and the 9300 itx actually has a bit of gpu juice to play modern warfare 2 on low setting in 720p. It just wasn't enough though. I wanted to be able to play Crysis, Dirt 2, Burnout Paradise, and GTA 4. These all work well with the 360 controller. After I initially finished the build, I just used it to play nes games and stream HD from my media server. I already had usb to nes cables from retrozone that I bought several months ago for playing nes games on my main pc. I used these cables in my nes build. I didnt my research and decided that I would have to wait for an HD 5570 to come out. It was about a month and a half ago when I originally finished and the 5570 wasnt out yet. I uses a 150 watt pico psu and 150 watt brick. The 5570 would just barely fit within my power envelope. I have several pics that I documented my build with. I cut out the bottom of the case where it was raised about 4mm and reglued it back in flush with the bottom of the case, to give me the extra headroom I would need for a tall chipset and cpu heatsink. I knew heat was a factor in these things, so I opted to go for extreme performance and skipped out on a slim dvd drive to make more room for bigger heatsink/fans. I download most of my games from steam, and stream all my media, so I have no reason to even need the burner. I will post several pics below. I need to take some snippits of the temps and some benchmarks to post as well.I could write a tutorial too if anyone is interested. I havent seen any builds like this with a pci express graphics card installed. I'm really impressed with the HD 5570, it idles at 10 watts and max draw is 40 watts loaded and the power of an 9800 gt in a low profile package. It runs everything very well at 720p on my tv and streams HD audio perfectly. I need to figure out how to add more photos. I will try to upload them all somewhere and add URL links.
     

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  2. cliffmidnite New Member

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    thanks, it was a lot of fun building. Im attaching more pics below
     

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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
    AlienIsGOD says thanks.
  3. DannibusX

    DannibusX

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    Ah, the NES. How do I love those things.

    That's a fantastic build!

    I only hope that it was dead before you tore it apart :p
     
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  4. cliffmidnite New Member

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    Yeah, it was dead, I'm not a killer. I wouldn't never harm such a beautiful thing as the Nintendo. I picked it up on ebay for $5.50. plus $10.00 for shipping. I'm sure that NES was happy to get a 10,000x cpu and gpu upgrade.
     
  5. cliffmidnite New Member

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    power reset and led light

    A really important part of the modding of this case was leaving the power, reset and led fixture in place. When you gut out the nintendo, there is a metal bracket that holds the power, reset, and led power light in place. the nes has its own power reset clickers that I tore off of the metal bar they were attached too. The power and reset buttons pop right off and a realized that they would fit right onto a standard pc power button. I pulled the power reset and led pin headers from an old pc case. Once you tear away the old clickers from the nes, the pc power and reset almost fit perfectly into the grooves in the metal bar. I only had to shave off about 1/16" to make it a little wider, and make sure not to make the groove to wide, because I wanted the buttons to be pretty snug. I then hot glued the buttons into place and put the power led from the bundle into the plastic nes led holder. Then I just put the metal piece back in place. This was the easiest way to hold the buttons in place. thankfully I left that in tact and didnt cut that piece out like I did all the other plastic posts in the case.
     

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  6. cliffmidnite New Member

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    idle and load temps in NES case

    Here are some pics of the idle and load temps under prime 95 and some of the pc specs.
    Zotac 9300 Itx mobo
    4gb ocz gold ddr2 1066
    Core2Duo E8400
    150 watt Pico PSU
    150 watt power brick
    HIS HD 5570 1GB vram
    dual retrozone USB to NES adapters
    xbox360 wireless gaming adapter
    Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse
    Thermaltake TT chipset cooler
    CPU cooler from old pentium D 940(heatsink is twice as big as stock e8400 cooler)
    80mm thermaltake case fan(had to cut the corners off to make it fit)
    80 Gb 2.5in fujitsu hard drive
    Gutted NES case

    that about sums it up.
     

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  7. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    OMG, Harry Potter, Super Mario 3 and all being played on a modded NES. You sir have the Uber-Geek Trifecta! Such awesomeness packed in there. :toast:
     
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  8. cliffmidnite New Member

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    Dirt 2

    It plays Dirt 2 beautifully too. If only Modern Warfare 2 supported the 360 controller. I really dont understand the logic behind that. MW2 and most games play great on the 5570 since i'm mostly playing at 1280x720, I just like the leisure of using the 360 controller from my couch. So i get my keyboard mouse fix from my desktop. I added those retrozone ports for nes controller use, but its just as good using my 360 controller, and the 360 controller is what I use for sega, snes, and n64. If I didn't use my single xbox 360 wireless pc adapter back and forth between my desktop and my nes htcp, I would probably just wire it to one of my spare usb headers inside the case.
     
  9. MKmods Case Mod Guru

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    LOL, sweet build... I wonder if the designers of the NES ever imagined having the GPU power of the 5570 in their case?
     
  10. AudiTuner

    AudiTuner

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    Wow, nice job! :)
     
  11. cliffmidnite New Member

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    yeah, its funny the way cpu and gpu power have increased in 25 years. Its going to be the same story though in another 25 years. They will probably be packing the horsepower of a room full of google servers into the size of an xbox360, and 20 5870's in crossfire in there too. HA! it sounds rediculous, but we shall see.
     
  12. bobzilla2009 New Member

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    i don't doubt it for a second. but 20 hd5870's sounds a little conservative. I say 2^12 hd5870's :)
     
  13. cliffmidnite New Member

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    yeah, you are probably right, I probably was conservative on the future of gpu power since my brain cant even comprehend such a thing.
     
  14. steben New Member

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    Damn, beat me to it

    Only kidding, I was looking at trying this eventually.

    Out of curiosity, how much clearance do you have with that video card installed. Would you have been able to fit it in without removing the T at the bottom of the case? Did you undervolt the CPU? From the pictures (which aren't too clear) it almost looks like it.

    How much power this rig is sucking under full load?

    At any rate, excellent build. I always wondered if this were feasible. Fallout 3 on a nes! :D
     
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  15. Soylent Joe

    Soylent Joe New Member

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    That's too cool man. Great job. A lot of times when you see systems like this the hardware is so weak that you wonder if it would be usable. This thing has some power to it. :toast:
     
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  16. cliffmidnite New Member

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    there is less than 1mm clearance from top of card to case. I think its actually touching throughout the length of the card. You have to remove the T at the bottom to get a half height card into this thing. Another problem that made me remove the T was that with a socket 775 board vs embedded, the 775 heatsink pins were in line with the T to where I would have to raise the board a bit more because I couldnt push the pins in. I used 3/4in machine screws that I put drilled and placed through the bottom of the case and then I used 3 nuts screwed onto each machine screw which raised the board about 3mm from the bottom of the case. I have'nt used a killowatt meter to measure power draw, but I think it is pulling awfully close to 150 watts under full load. I have seen power stats for the zotac geforce 9300 itx with 65 watt cpu under load with a burner and hard disk installed drawing around 110 watts. Add in a 5570 with max tdp of 41 watts and you have reached the 150 of my psu. However, i think since i'm using the 5570 as the gpu instead of the onboard 9300 graphics, the mobo and cpu alone are probably pulling less than the 110 watts that I have seen around other sites. I opted to not install a burner anyway since it gave me more space for cooling, saved a bit on power, and really wasnt necessary. Cutting the raised T out of the bottom and reglueing it flush with the case bottom was the most tedious part of the whole project. I have played modern warfare 2 for hours and dirt 2 for about 6 hours straight without any hickups. So heat and lack of psu power are definately not an issue with this setup.
     
  17. cliffmidnite New Member

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    The point of this whole build was to put the most power possible into the NES case. I wanted to be able to play real current PC games and not just emulators. I think the zotac itx board with embedded atom processor and 9300 graphics with built in psu is great for just streaming media and playing emulators. It would have been a lot cheaper and easier to build and I am thinking about doing a build like that for another room. This was all about power and the 5570 is the most powerful half height single slot card.
     
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  18. cliffmidnite New Member

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    the 9300 itx board didn't have any undervolting options
     
  19. steben New Member

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    One Model Does

    Actually, one board allows some CPU undervolting, GF9300-I-E (has an overclocked GPU) Up to -0.1 Volts.

    I couldn't really tell what motherboard you grabbed, the chipset cooler on the I-E is black in comparison to the stock silver.
     
  20. cliffmidnite New Member

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    I have the original board version. I bought it when it very first came out. Its the one with only 2 sata ports and also has that sleep problem where it cant recover from sleep because the usb ports lose their power. I just dont let it sleep and shut it off when I'm done. I enjoy pushing the NES power button anyway. The board actually has overclocking ability up to + .3 volts. I ran it at 3400mhz, before I put in the 5570, but temps were an issue. Now with the 5570, I wouldnt try any overclocking because I don't want to exceed my power window. DFI lan party has a new mini itx board 1156 socket with pci-e x16 and no onboard graphics so It probably has a lower power draw, but the i3 uses atleast 73 watts vs 65 for 775. That would be a bitchin board though to put a 73watt i3 with some ddr3 and a 5570 in a nes.
     
  21. cliffmidnite New Member

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    I have fallout 3, but its not installed. I have a 1 terbyte wd my book what I'm going to hook up to the E-sata port on the back of this board and put the rest of my games on it including fallout 3. So I'll let you know about the experience. I did this build with mostly spare parts. I already had the 9300 itx from a previous htpc built and pulled the E8400 and ram from my main rig and replaced that with a Q9550 and some corsair ddr2 4-4-412 1066. I also had an 80gb 2.5 laying around that I threw in there. So I don't have lots of hard drive space. I don't think the external e-sata will take away from coolness since it will be hidden.
     
  22. steben New Member

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    I wouldn't even consider overclocking it, system puts out enough heat as it is. (And like you mentioned more importantly there's the power consumption to consider) That card really hits the top? According to Wikipedia low profile cards can't exceed 2.6" in width.

    I did look at the current gen Intel processors, but like you said they use a little more juice. I could care less about going with the i3 or i5, the CPU doesn't matter nearly as much in games as the video card. Although the current gen has brought back Hyperthreading...
     
  23. DirectorC

    DirectorC New Member

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    Hahahaha! Nice build. One of the best NES builds I've seen yet.
     
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  24. cliffmidnite New Member

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    Yeah, an E8400 is perfect. 5570 is the bottleneck anyway. I can play most last gen games in 1080p and current gen are really smooth at 720p. 1280x720 looks great on my 50" and I'm about 10' away. I really don't notice much if any visual differance at that distance anyway between the resolutions. I switch my display to 1080 for 1080p .mkv files only. 720p is also visually better for me from my couch too because the text is perfect size for web browsing and reading icons on the desktop. 1080p from my distance is just to small and a bit eye straining. I only did the overclocking to test the mobo's stability and overclocking ability. If my board had the ability to underclock I might have pursued that, but my temps are decent. I also stream my high def content through media player classic and it uses the 5570 for hardware decoding so my cpu never tops 15% when watching movies. The 5570 never gets above 60c either and thats after being loaded for a few hours in dirt 2. I have to give kudos to ati for such a powerful low heat low power card.
     
  25. cliffmidnite New Member

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    Thanks, the only thing I plan to add are front usb ports. I have a spare usb header on the mobo and I have seen mods where people cut the black molding above the nes controller ports and added a small hinge so you can just lift up the black part to expose usb ports and headphones/mic jacks. Adding that and a larger capacity hard drive and I would definately put my build up agaist the best of 'em. I will go out on a limb and say this case packs more power than any NES build ever has.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010

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