NES Classic is surprisingly powerful

Teardowns reveal more than meets the eye

Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition won’t be made widely available until this Friday, but some folks have already gotten one and pulled it apart. The first pictures of the mainboard came from GameSpot Senior Reviews Editor Peter Brown. Enterprising Redditors analyzed the pictures and have come up with the system’s hardware specifications, which were collected by PC Magazine.

  • System on a Chip: Allwinner R16 (4x Cortex A7, Mali400MP2 GPU)
  • RAM: SKHynix (256MB DDR3)
  • Flash: Spansion 512MB SLC NAND flash, TSOP48

    Since the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) ran at just 1.79 Megahertz, the NES Classic Edition is several orders of magnitude more powerful. The Allwinner has four cores, something unimaginable 15 years ago, let alone during the NES’s heyday. PC Magazine theorized that the extra processing power is needed to make the system display in HD and to support the screen filters included on the system. 

    Although the system has an off-the-shelf board and appears to run Linux, don’t go thinking that you’ll be able to easily add game ROMs to the NES Classic. As Mr. Brown wrote in his tweet, you won’t be able to do so without desoldering the flash memory from the motherboard. At that point, you may as well just stick your own hardware in the shell.

    Thanks to Jorge for the tip!

    NES Classic is a quad core Linux computer [PCMag.com]

    Kevin McClusky
    I'm a longtime member of Destructoid, and you may have known me in a prior life as Qalamari. In other words, hi. I've been here a long time. There's a good chance I'm older than you. I write freelance articles for other publications, so you might see my name elsewhere occasionally. Disclosure: I wrote a paid testimonial for the Speedify VPN service in April 2017.