Picture of NES Computer
I decided to make one of these after seeing the one made by hatsuli (rest in peace).  So here is my version of an  NES PC. For what it is, it was a beast of a build. This is my first computer build. Consequently, this is also my first Instructable.

Step 1: Getting the Gear

Picture of Getting the Gear
First you'll have to get all the gear. For the NES I got just what I need from here fast shipping, reasonable pricing. They were great. As for the rest, the motherboard I got is a mini board. 6.7in by 6.7in I got this board since it comes with a laptop style power source. Which saves a ton of room for the rest of the stuff. I got that idea from nemaster203.

NES and power switch                                                  $ 30 
Motherboard: Zotac IONITX T-U                                    199
RAM whatever your board supports. Mine was            24
Hard Drive: Western Digital Scorpio Black 160 Gb     75
USB Hubs                                                                            20
CD Drive Slim line preferred                                            30
Velcro or like substance                                                      4
Rubber Feet                                                                           2
CPU Fan I cannibalized one from another comp           0
Total                                                                                  $384  

mixahman5 months ago

Nice, I thought about using Velcro but I used the cover itself to harness the slim dvd drive in place with 2 screws and a thick piece of aluminum. I used a Dremel and added to holes to each side and screwed it on. The aluminum piece has enough room to place the sata & power cables.

Check it out.


cowstick (author)  mixahman5 months ago
Nice work! This is why I love Instructables, every project is ever evolving. I wouldn't have thought about using an Aluminum piece to hold it up.
How big of a video card could you fit in this? would it be possible to fit a gtx 660 in there with the riser card?
mechagen1 year ago
Do you know if this would have a large enough amount of space to fit a decent single slot graphics/video card. If that said card was low profile/slim line or such. Or would I have to get a 90 degree pci-e angle adapter.
cowstick (author)  mechagen1 year ago
You would need to get a 90 pci-e. I also highly suggest getting a graphics card. You don't need o e, it is just better with one.
mechagen2 years ago
Just for the record what OS do you prefer Linux, Windows, or Mac, and since I'm a noob, whats Zune?
cowstick (author)  mechagen2 years ago
I'm rocking out Windows 7 on it. Zone was the Microsoft answer to the ipod.
Thanks i haven't been on this site in a while so I'm just getting to replying to this while at school (after having completed my school work of course). So thank you again for clearing the Zune thing up. However I kinda pegged you for a Linux type guy.
cowstick (author)  mechagen1 year ago
I am a Linux guy but more of an anti-apple person.
Cool what Linux distribution do you regularly use? I use Slax Linux it kinda sucks that it is all module based but that happens when you pick a live USB Linux distribution.
cowstick (author)  mechagen1 year ago
Ubuntu for my comp and raspbian for my RPie.
cowstick (author) 2 years ago
The video card isn't powerful enough to play Diablo 3. I don't know how well it would with PS1 games.
Looks really nice. Can it play PS1 games smoothly? Im sure it does all the older systems.
Pax882 years ago
Im curious as to which PSU you used.
cowstick (author)  Pax882 years ago
The mother board comes With an external one.
Maybe if you ever need to build one again you could use a sheet of plexiglass to screw the motherboard into to prevent any electrical jumps and to keep the motherboard in place.
Can you tell me where you got the rubber feet from? that is a good idea how you used them. Does anybody know how to clone hard drives? I would like to clone a 3.5 inch HDD into a SDD.
Still looking to clone the drive? There's plenty of free software that works decently good. It's just slow if you have a bloated drive like I did. Make sure the drive to be cloned isn't the OS drive on the PC or else you need a second machine to plug it into. Plug the old and new drives in, direct the software to the drives, clone, done, ..., profit?
Thanks for the advice. I I think I have enough space to put in the full 3.5 inch in. I might need to clone a hard drive in the future though.
cowstick (author)  DIYourselfer1283 years ago
I got those at home depot.
zmohammadi2 years ago
or this forsale ? item i wanna buy one
sonicdude103 years ago
No matter how many times I've seen this it never gets boring. Now I really want to build one myself. Epic win here.
cowstick (author)  sonicdude103 years ago
Thank you. Now go build one.
Remember Zork?
Calico Jack3 years ago
Can you tell me what kind of RAM you used? I am making something similar to this with a custom built case, and this motherboard is perfect, but I am having trouble finding RAM for this motherboard.
cowstick (author)  Calico Jack3 years ago
Yeah. I used a 204 pin DDR3 4gb kit from micro center. Here's a link. http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0307459
where did you get the adapter for the dvd drive?
cowstick (author)  weirdalyanksyou13 years ago
At New Egg. Here's the link for the product.


The sata cables sit very loose on this. To the point where if its not held on it will fall off with movement.

If you can find a similar product I would go with it instead.
You do hatsuli an honor, nice instructable!
cowstick (author)  MongooseDundee3 years ago
Thank you.
Kudos on the Mastodon poster on your desk!
cowstick (author)  then-comes-dudley3 years ago
\m/ I love those guys. Ive seen them 4 times now. Crack the Sky is amazing.
nemaster2033 years ago
There's a few things that I would have done differently, but I'm pretty sure most people would after their first time building something like this. I would suggest replacing the red power LED with a dual- or tri-colored LED so you can also have a HDD indicator light. Also, using resistors to connect the LED is always best, but if you get the right LED you may not need to with the power coming from the motherboard.

I would also cut holes on the top vents (the bottom side) because those L-shaped vent things prevent airflow, and then add 40mm fans to that part to get some extra airflow. I know that when I built mine from hatsuli's instructable, the dual core Atom processor in the motherboard I used was getting into the 80C range, so I had to add those extra fans and cut those holes in it so it would actually work. You'll see what I mean about those vent holes if you actually do that.

Another thing I would suggest doing is using one of the controller ports or the black plastic space above the controller ports to add a IR remote sensor, in case you're going to be using this as a HTPC like I am.

If you don't choose to use a motherboard that has a built-in picoPSU, you can just buy a picoPSU and use your own power brick for those, if you have one the right voltage and amps for your particular picoPSU you ordered. A picoPSU is basically the same thing as having the motherboard come with a built-in PSU, except you buy it separate and it takes up just a little bit of room, it's not even that much actually.

Another thing you can do is use high-quality black cardboard like I did and glue that to all the ugly holes when you're putting your stuff in. It makes it look a bit better (Controller ports and where the DVD/BD drive goes). You can also cut holes in this cardboard for things like front audo ports, more USB ports, or just make a grill for it instead so you can lift the DVD drive cover for some extra airflow.

You can also fit 2 regular sized 2.5" harddrives or SSDs underneath the motherboard if you do it right, so if you think you're going to need extra storage, that's an option.

You can omit the DVD/BD drive if you don't think you're going to use them and get a 2.5" harddrive hotswap bay instead, so you can put games on a SSD to insert your "cartridge" to play games.

I hope some of these ideas can help people when they're building their own NES PC.
cowstick (author)  nemaster2033 years ago
First let me thank you for the assistance you gave me. With out your help I would not have been able to finish this.

Second, Excellent additional information. All of these are great suggestions. Like with most instructables you can make them your own.
cowstick (author) 3 years ago

If I had a few grand to spend on a computer, I would have made a much larger version of an NES to fit all that amazing gear I would buy with the rest of the cash.
cowstick (author) 3 years ago
Thanks skuishingbugs. Since I'm not an Apple person, there was no other option.
i respect you for having a zune.
Wouldn't it be awesome to use a few grand worth of components in your PC to make it an amazing "gaming" computer