Nintendo 3DS disembowelled, reveals 128MB RAM

What's inside the Nintendo 3DS? There's only one way to find out: fetch the tools and tear it open!

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

What's inside the Nintendo 3DS? There's only one way to find out: fetch the tools! The vandals in Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad and at iFixit have torn the 3DS open to see what makes it tick.

The teardown teams began by investigating the 3D screen to see how it works. Getting in close with a 100x loupe, they worked out the resolution of the screen is as high as 132 pixels per inch.

The intrepid reverse engineers also discovered the screen consists of an LCD panel for displaying images and another below it, forming the parallax barrier that creates the 3D effect. Several other plates are designed to keep the screen looking bright and vibrant so the 3D effect doesn't leech all the light from the display.

Other bits and pieces continued to fly out of the 3DS' insides, including chips by Toshiba, Texas Instruments and Fujitsu. Chipworks worked out that the Fujitsu chip is the boss of the 3DS, packing 128MB of RAM. That's not a huge amount, certainly when you'd expect that 3D requires a lot of processing power.

The battery is pretty meagre too, and out it came. The console is pretty hard on batteryjuice -- 3D gaming gives you just 3-5 hours of fun -- so here's how to get the most from your 3DS' battery.

If all that DS disembowelment action has left you hungry to feast your very own minces on some 3D gaming joy, check out our Nintendo 3DS deals roundup. For more gadget vandalism, take a look at these teardowns of the iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy S 4G and iPhone 4.