Maybe now Starfox will run at 60fps instad of 15
April 30, 2006 5:33 PM   Subscribe

SNES OC'd [more] (via)
posted by BlackLeotardFront (23 comments total)
Guy cuts out an oscillator, substitutes faster one. Result: unstable machine that doesn't play games properly.

This is 100% pure stupidity. It will never work properly, because SNES games are so tightly-coupled to the hardware. He's wasting his time. And ours.
posted by Malor at 5:41 PM on April 30, 2006

Flagged for being a stupid post. No content, no interest, no text even.
posted by nlindstrom at 5:44 PM on April 30, 2006

I was like, "this post belongs on /." Then I looked at the (via). I'd be all smug if a five-year-old couldn't have made the same deduction.
posted by Eideteker at 5:48 PM on April 30, 2006

Malor, that's true with the SNES, but it turns out it's not necessarily true with all consoles - the N64 is particularly suitable for overclocking, and apparently it really helps the framerate in games that pushed the hardware a bit too far for it to keep up, like Perfect Dark and Banjo-Tooie. I've been meaning to pick up one of the suitable models and give it a try. Plus, it's weirdly suitable for casemods. I've heard that the Mega Drive/Genesis can benefit from overclocking, too, so I'm actually kinda surprised the SNES messes up like that. There are certainly games out there - the R-Types come to mind - that could have used a bit of extra grunt.
posted by terpsichoria at 5:56 PM on April 30, 2006

Fantastic post. Please ignore the trolls.

I'm really interested in overclocking one of my virtua-boys - but I totally want a guide, first. The hardware in those things is way wacky.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:01 PM on April 30, 2006

NES and SNES relied on hardware timing for a lot of things. And generally, with anything pre 64-bit, when you up the frame rate you up everything, and it just goes all insane.

I don't know why you'd want to do this in hardware, anyway, and mess with a perfectly good Super Nintendo... just put it in an emulator and run it fast if you really really want to.
posted by blacklite at 6:07 PM on April 30, 2006

Sorry I didn't write a little essay for you, nlindstrom. I just saw this and thought I'd put it here - along with that little epicgaming site. I know its not a major post, that's why I made it small! Isn't this a place for sharing? Not everyone checks slashdot every hour of every day, and this was a small post even there.

Anyway, Malor, the reason it's freaking out isn't because the idea is dumb, it's just that he used the oscillator he had at hand and not one that would work at a good multiple of the SNES clock value. The talk on the slashdot post suggests it's possible to do it better, and the other site has dedicated dudes doing it to NES and Genesis systems.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:12 PM on April 30, 2006

So after 13 years someone beat 'turbo mode' in streetfighter II and wanted MOE?
posted by Space Coyote at 6:27 PM on April 30, 2006

I find the manufacturing of the CPU for the SNES by Ricoh to be fascinating. I wasn't aware Ricoh manufactured parts for other companies.

But I'm sure fabrication and assembly of chips, "computer-innards", et cetera is done by a multitude of companies for other businesses.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 6:40 PM on April 30, 2006

The long, unshielded wire from the oscillator to the clock pin is a huge no-no. Who knows what sort of crap that wire is pumping into the CPU's clock?

Looking at it, it appears that it isn't TTL oscillator driven, it is direct crystal driven, though without a datasheet, I can't be certain. I do see a crystal, not an oscillator, on the system board. The "right" way to do this is desolder the crystal (labled as X1) and replace it with a faster one, or at least put the oscillator next to the CPU.
posted by eriko at 7:00 PM on April 30, 2006

Leopard... it doesn't work. Your post boils down to "Some Random Guy Replaces an Oscillator In A Circuit And Breaks It!"

If it WORKED, sure it'd be worth a post. Hell, it'd be worth two. As is, wtf?!

Overclocking some consoles certainly makes sense... as terpsichoria is saying, the N64 would benefit a great deal. And older, simpler systems would probably OC pretty well, too, if their chips could take the extra stress.

But the SNES is probably the single worst candidate in all of video gaming; the system was very slow, relatively speaking, and had several processors. So the programming to make really great games was nasty and snarly, and often took advantage of tiny side-effects and extremely exact timings. It's hard even to emulate, much less overclock.

Your comment about not using an 'even multiple' as being the reason it breaks is a crock. The next 'even multiple' would be 2, doubling the base speed. It's quite unlikely that a 3.58Mhz chip would run correctly at 7.16Mhz. The crystals the guy is begging for are just different uneven multiples.

I'm sorry, but it IS a dumb idea. And "Guy breaks SNES!" is not FPP-worthy.
posted by Malor at 7:09 PM on April 30, 2006

No digg.
posted by furtive at 7:13 PM on April 30, 2006

God damn! I just thought I'd put it here because some guy was doing it! It's not my life's work. I'm sure you're right about the crystals, I don't know shit about it and just thought it was great that he was at least trying it. Thanks for correcting me.

At the other link I provided the guys are OC'ing NES, Genesis, and N64s, and now some guy is trying it with an SNES. That's all.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:30 PM on April 30, 2006

Unless overclocking your SNES means it will run super fast speeds or something, what exactly was this kid's accomplishment? That he opened up his SNES and broke it?

If there's some cool easy hardware hack you can do to the system I'm anxious to hear it, but right now this looks like the amazing sequel to my research into the effects of pouring coffee onto my keyboard.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:07 PM on April 30, 2006

Have they ported Linux to the SNES yet? That's the only way I could see this being useful.
posted by xthlc at 8:36 PM on April 30, 2006

BlackLeotardFront, Just so ya know, I found it fun to read about guys overclocking a Nintendo. It's not really about making it better, it's about being able to do it at all. Investigation, experimentation, learning!! Hell, I find it impressive the guy is over clocking something without simply moving a jumper on a mother board.
posted by BillsR100 at 8:53 PM on April 30, 2006

For some people, overclocking is a religion.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:59 PM on April 30, 2006

Well, it's interesting that they attempted this but, unfortunately, it's not "some guys overclocking a nintendo". It's some guys failure to overclock a nintendo. That said, I never noticed a problem when running prefect dark with the expansion pack. Smooth as glass on my first gen, black case and all.
posted by IronLizard at 10:36 PM on April 30, 2006

But the SNES is probably the single worst candidate in all of video gaming; the system was very slow, relatively speaking, and had several processors. So the programming to make really great games was nasty and snarly

Hmm, no kidding. and on top of that, he only re-clocked the main CPU, not the entire system so other chips would have gotten out of synch.
posted by delmoi at 11:19 PM on April 30, 2006

I, as a non-techie person, found this very interesting. Even if the over-clocking was poorly done (as it evidently was, judging by the response) my fascination with the innards of gadgets was satisfied. Thank you, BlackLeotardFront.
posted by brundlefly at 11:26 PM on April 30, 2006

Good post.

I would know, my liquid mercury cooled NES is now running at 485 Mhz and all my old NES games are slowdown free!
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 2:44 AM on May 1, 2006

The liquid mercury is an interesting choice, personally I've switched my regular blend of super cooled dilithium out in favor of folger's crystals. Let's see if anyone notice.
posted by IronLizard at 2:50 AM on May 1, 2006

from my favorite slashdot comment, by Nova Express, on the post:

Next up: Adding neon to your Whitney Cotton Gin.
posted by VulcanMike at 8:39 PM on May 1, 2006

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