Skip to main content

This modded Sega Dreamcast is actually a stealth, AMD-powered gaming PC

In the world of stealth gaming PCs, it doesn’t get much better than cramming a rig into a retro console. Along those lines, a modder managed to cram a Ryzen 4650G APU, 2TB of storage, 16GB of RAM, and a dual-band Wi-Fi chip into a Sega Dreamcast shell to create the perfect stealth mini PC for retro fans.

Temujin123 showed off their work on the ComputerBase forums, including a video documenting the process of hollowing out the Dreamcast shell and adding the new components in. Step one was the disc drive, which the modder replaced with a Matshita DVD drive wired up to a magnetic switch. The switch triggers the drive to spin when the lid is closed and stop spinning when it’s open.

Thankfully, that looked like the most complicated part. Temujin123 fashioned a mounting plate with standoffs out of sheet metal to mount the mainboard. Instead of an off-the-shelf motherboard, they used an ASRock X300M bare-bones kit. The tiny board comes with the essential connections for a build like this but nixes PCIe connectivity for builds that don’t need a graphics card.

Critically, the board includes connections for M.2 SSDs and Wi-Fi cards, allowing Temujin123 to install a 1TB Samsung 970 Evo, 960GB Corsair Force MP510, and a dual-band Intel Wi-Fi chip directly on the board. They also managed to fit a 120GB Samsung 830 SATA SSD, which sits below the mainboard.

To keep everything cool, Temujin123 chose the Noctua NH-L9a CPU cooler, which is only 37mm thick. Still, the cooler juts slightly out of the bottom of the Dreamcast shell. Temujin123 installed the mainboard upside down to draw cool air in through the bottom, with warm air being exhausted out the side. After a coat of paint and a few USB ports in place of the controller jacks, the Dreamcast gaming PC was finished.

A modder installed a gaming PC inside a Sega Dreamcast.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As for performance, the Ryzen 4650G can run recent AAA games between 30 frames per second (fps) and 60 fps at 720p with Medium settings. Although the aging Vega graphics cores inside the chip can’t stand up to a discrete GPU, they still provide enough power for indie titles and games that are a few years old. It’s not a high-end gaming PC, but it’s hard to argue with that kind of performance inside a Sega Dreamcast.

Temujin123 says they are planning a “Dreamcast Two” for AMD’s upcoming but still unannounced Ryzen 6000 APUs. These APUs reportedly feature new RDNA 2 graphics cores, which should greatly improve performance.

Editors' Recommendations

Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
I tested Nvidia’s new RTX feature, and it fixed the worst part of PC gaming
A Hallway in Portal Prelude RTX.

You wouldn't suspect that a mod like Portal: Prelude RTX would debut such a major piece of kit for the future of PC gaming. But lo and behold -- it's the first game we've seen with Nvidia's new RTX IO, a feature that was announced nearly three years ago.

It's not as flashy as ray tracing or DLSS, operating in the background and offering a slew of benefits without drawing attention to them. But according to my testing, RTX IO may have a bigger impact on PC gaming than any other RTX features.
What is RTX IO?
Portal: Prelude RTX | RTX IO Off vs On Comparison – Cake Scene

Read more
How we test PC components and hardware
RX 7900 XTX slotted into a test bench.

When it comes time to build your next PC, the first thing you do is run out to the reviews. What graphics card is best for gaming? What CPU do I need for video editing? Is Nvidia or AMD better? Our job as PC hardware reviewers is to guide you in the right direction.

Our hardware reviews are more data-driven than experiential products like monitors or TVs because, at the end of the day, the main question with PC hardware is what performance you can get at what price. A little more is involved than just playing a few games on the latest graphics cards and running Cinebench on CPUs, though.
How we test graphics cards

Read more
Cooler Master’s bizarre gaming shoe costs a cool $6,000
A living room showing Cooler Master's Sneaker X custom PC, alongside a TV, table, chairs, and other accoutrements.

People who love PCs and people who love sneakers are both deeply enthusiastic about their chosen passions, but what if you’re into both? Well, Cooler Master thinks it has the answer in the form of its Sneaker X custom PC, an utterly bizarre computer that is shaped like a chunky, garish piece of premium footwear.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the Sneaker X (it was initially revealed in early 2022 to mark the company’s 30th birthday), but Cooler Master has been awfully quiet since then. Now, though, the company has unveiled the product’s price for the first time -- and it doesn’t come cheap.

Read more