Custom made Nintendo Entertainment System case with full Mini-ITX gaming build inside with Bluray drive, USB 3.0 ports, working NES/SNES controller ports, power button, reset button, and LED light.
I decided to do this build because I had seen a few people try their hand at this and their completed build left a lot to be desired. I wanted to go all out and build the ultimate Retro-ish HTPC that had all the features of a gaming PC and more in a tiny package!
This build took me the better part of a year to fabricate with fitting, trial and error, fine-tuning, and lots of frustration!
The first plan I laid out was to find a power supply small enough to fit and naturally I chose the 160W Pico PSU as it is durable and has an extremely tiny footprint. I then began planning around that by finding a powerful mini-ITX motherboard that would not interfere with the NES' internal functionality like the power/reset buttons, LED, and controller ports. The ASRock z270-ITX was the best choice for me due to it's position of it's internal ports as well as supporting the Noctua L9i CPU cooler for low clearance inside. I then began the crucial and toughest plan of this build, the Graphics Card! I had a lot of ideas floating around like maybe using a Mini GTX 1060 horizontally with a riser cable but with the 1060 I would run the risk of the PSU not being able to supply enough power (I may experiment with this in the future with a 400W HDPlex). After lots of scrapped plans and research I found the card I needed.
The Zotac 1050 TI Low Profile was an absolute perfect fit for this build. The top of the NES has only just 1mm clearance inside after some tweaking to the motherboard standoffs. With clearance and measurements laid out I was able to finally fit my design inside and begin the arduous and painstaking task of Dremeling this thing to pieces so it could all fit. 3 tubes of JB-Weld, a can of spraypaint for the misc pieces, another sacrificial NES, and 1 bottle of Buffing Compound later I had finally gotten this thing looking fairly finished.
Finally, with the end in sight I had to think of the best and most efficient way to cool this PC. I was throwing around ideas like adding blowers or small fans for the top vent but I wanted it to be as quiet as it could be and small fans/blowers weren't the answer so, with a little tweaking and some inspiration from other builds like this, I chose a 15x80mm intake fan at the side to allow as much airflow as possible. A few hole saw cuts and some mesh wire was the finishing touches that it needed to keep this thing both physically and visually cool!
The last step in my plans were to make the front buttons and controller ports FULLY functional and that I was able to do thanks to more JB-weld, some soldering, a couple of SNES controller ports, and a 4NES4SNES PCB I purchased so that the controllers could be managed via USB.
This was an exciting and educational project that I am very proud of and hope to maybe experiment with another one in the future!