Nintendo GameCube Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

Member-Contributed Guide

Member-Contributed Guide

An awesome member of our community made this guide. It is not managed by iFixit staff.

The Nintendo GameCube launching 2001 was the second most powerful gaming console of its time, though it didn't feature any other multimedia capabilities than playing games.

It was my first stationary gaming device and I still appreciate it, because a lot of good games like Zelda: The WindWaker and the best version of Resident Evil 4 have their homes on this platform.

The unit disassembled in this teardown is a PAL one.

That's it. enjoy the teardown!

Edit Step 1 Nintendo GameCube Teardown  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Nintendo GameCube Teardown  ¶ 

  • Before you can even think of disassembling any Nintendo device you have to face the same problem with every console except NES and Wii: the screws of the enclosure. And the most tricky fact of these screws is their type because this is not a reasonable standard screw.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • These four screws I'm talking about are a compound of a flat plate with a thicker convex layer with six notches in the brass.

  • This bit is a Nintendo Reduced E Series bit size 8. Found at http://eazypower.com/shop/nintendor-tee-...

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • I couldn't find anything suitable in the internet, so I built one on my own in this way:

  • Using a steel rod of about 8 mm diameter.

  • I tried to mill three teeth with equivalent distance around the boundary of one end of the rod with an angle grinder. After that I drilled a hole perpendicularly in the center of the rod. Taddaah... a working screwdriver!

  • Now let's begin the Teardown.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Make sure to have a game disc inserted to avoid damaging the lens. Flip the unit upside down and remove the screws sitting in the four holes with your possibly self-made screwdriver. Don't remove the enclosure yet!

  • Turn the device on its stands again, now lift the top case off. It'll come up easily.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Unsnap the controller port cover and the rearmost I/O-cover by unsnapping the two snaps on the sides of each cover. Don't remove the controller panel yet.

  • Then remove the heatsinks of the memory card slots (necessary step).

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Now start removing the 'normal' Phillips #0 screws.

  • Start by removing the fan assembly.

  • then unscrew the 12 visible screws on the edging of the now not any more so cubeshaped GameCube.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Now you can lift the drive assembly up. You maybe have to loosen it a bit with a screwdriver or a heavy duty spudger.

  • The mainboard is now visible.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Now remove the heatsink. Unscrew the six screws holding it.

  • Now use anything flat and durable to carefully lift up the heatsink by putting it under the aluminium and using it gently as a lever.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • If there are thermal pads remainig on the processors and/or ram chips, remove them with a plastic spudger.

  • Now disconnect the controller port panel connector by lifting and jiggling it carefully. It should come off easily.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • 24 MB MoSys 1T-SRAM

  • ATI 'Flipper' GPU, 162 MHz with 3 MB 1T-SRAM embedded within the die

  • IBM 'Gekko' CPU, 486 MHz (PowerPC 750CXe-based core)

  • Connectors (2nd pic):

  • 'Hi Speed Port'

  • 'Serial Port 1'

  • 'Serial Port 2'

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • If you lift the mainboard up, you'll see a metal plate, probably for EMI-protection. Remove the two screws holding it and you have access to the internal power supply.

Required Tools

Spudger

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Phillips #00 Screwdriver

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Gamebit 4.5mm

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Great teardown Thomas!

Miroslav Djuric, · Reply

Quote from Miroslav Djuric:

Great teardown Thomas!

Thanks!

Thomas J, · Reply

WOW! Great work, Nintendo stuff is hard to open!

Mc128k, · Reply

Quote from Mc128k:

WOW! Great work, Nintendo stuff is hard to open!

Thank you! Everything beyond Triwing requires creativity.

Thomas J, · Reply

It is called a "gamebit" driver, they are pretty hard to find, if you don't know what they are called.

Chris Green, · Reply

Otherwise known as a "Nintendo Opening Tool", it's a bit that goes into any screwdriver. VERY handy to have... I got mine on eBay.

Cyrus, · Reply

I read (and have successfully used) this tip:

Take a clear bic pen, and disassemble it. Then melt the end of the barrel with a lighter. Let it cool for about two seconds then press it firmly against the screw. Instant custom-molded gamecube screwdriver. Only problem is the "screwdriver" will strip after one or two screws, but it's enough for at least one. If the screwdriver strips, remelt and go again.

TuxRug, · Reply

Clever idea !!! never would

have thought of that

Traiva, · Reply

A caveat: make sure you do wait the two seconds before jamming the pen against the screw, or else the plastic will melt together with the plastic of the case.

TuxRug,

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