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Custom Atari 2600 PC mod highlighted by Microsoft

by Mark Tyson on 14 September 2012, 12:45

Tags: Atari (EPA:ATA), Windows 8, PC

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The early 80s “wood veneer” Atari 2600 wedge shaped console lives on. This is thanks to a new PC “case mod” made to accompany the classic Atari HTML5 games re-launch. A couple of weeks ago the HTML5 Atari Arcade was launched by Atari and Microsoft, partly to promote IE10. Now the Windows Extreme Blog presents “one of the coolest case mods I’ve ever seen!”

Hard Drives Northwest of Bellevue, Washington put together this modern PC in a 1980s console gaming shell. Though it retains the wonderful olde Atari design, inside the console the components are strictly modern and cutting edge.

Simply looking and comparing the old and new consoles’ CPU, the Windows Extreme Blog calculates that the new 2600 has 22,857 times more processing power...

  • Atari 2600 (1982): MOS 6507 Processor, 1 thread @ 1.19 MHz
  • Custom Atari 2600 PC (2012): Intel Core i7 2600S Processor, 8 threads @ 3.4 GHZ

The modern 2600 needs a fan which is mounted on the underside of the case and dual fans within the cartridge port area to keep things cool. The Core i7 system is supported by a full range of ports on the back of the console “including an Ethernet port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 eSATA 3 GB/s ports, d-Sub and 2 DVI ports, a DisplayPort connector, an HDMI port, and analog audio jacks.” The front panel switches and controls are used for powering up and resetting the PC and there are recessed front USB ports there too.

Internal PC hardware spec:

  • Motherboard: Intel Executive DQ67EP
  • Processor: Intel I7 2600S, hyperthreaded quad core, 3.4 GHz
  • RAM: Kingston DDR3 8GB
  • Storage: Intel 520 Sata 120GB
  • Graphics: ASUS EAH6570/DI/1GD3(LP) Radeon HD 6570 1GB 128-bit DDR3
  • Power Adapter: PICO PSU-160-XT 192W

Gavin Gear at the Windows Extreme Blog hooked the new 2600 up to a 47” TV and aimed his IE10 on Windows 8 at the online Atari Arcade to have a blast on Combat.

Overall it’s a pretty cool limited run of cases, signed by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushell. The front USB ports look a bit weird though, I think something more interesting could have been done here with LEDs, even if it was further from the original 2600 design.

HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Motherboard is slightly wonky!!:p

It would have been cool if they used the following instead:

They could have used a passive cooler I suspect.

Instead of a low profile HD6570 this low profile HD7750 could have been used:
Gah, all that work, yet there are ugly gaps around the mobo ports.

I dare say I'd do a better job… I'd build it with better gear too.

Also, no internal pics?
You know, it was only a couple of days ago I was saying to me wife that I should build a PC into our 2600 case.

That said, ours still has a working 2600 in it, so maybe not. Perhaps I should hunt for a cheap broken one on ebay… ;)
Gah that's awful couldn't they have cut a suitable hole to use the proper I/O shield supplied with the motherboard. Case mod fail because of the hole cutting, I'm quite surprised the rest of it looks pretty well done.
Shame about the back yeah, otherwise it looks quite nice. There's not been any new ones for a while, but I did enjoy the projects at