N64:N64 Model Differences
Page content & researching collaboratively taken from io55.net's N64 page with permission.
There is only one N64 model, but there are six revisions within it.
Models + Revisions
Models are arranged chronologically. Revisions are underneath their respective model.
Some page content & researching collaboratively taken from io55.net's N64 page with permission.
The Nintendo 64 largely maintained the same external design throughout its life, with special "Funtastic" color schemes being added later in its life as well as a limited edition Pikachu-themed system. Located in the front of the console are the four controller ports (a first for a Nintendo console), with the Nintendo 64 logo jewel placed in between ports 3 and 4. A red power LED sits below the jewel. On the top are the power switch, memory expansion slot, and reset button, all positioned near the front with the cartridge port located behind them. At the rear are the recessed multiout port (same as the SNES/Super Famicom) and a large receptacle for the AC adapter, which plugs directly into the console instead of the electrical outlet. A covered expansion port is located on the bottom, which was only used by the 64DD add-on and game backup devices such as the Doctor V64.
NUS-CPU-02 to 04 (1996-1997)
These motherboards are found only in early release North American and Japanese consoles. Their only distinctive factor is relatively important, as these consoles can be easily modded by the user to support RGB output. After the NUS-CPU-04 revision, changes to the video DAC require the user to do a much more complex RGB mod. Identifying these is quite simple, as practically all of them have a serial number that begins with NS1. Serial numbers which begin with NS2 or higher are of later motherboard revisions. NUS-CPU-04 revisions do not have composite sync (CSYNC) present on pin 3 of the multiout as the components for it were left unpopulated at the factory.
NUS-CPU-05 to 07 (1997-1998)
As described above, chip changes within these consoles result in the user experiencing significant difficulties when attempting to RGB mod them. While it is still possible, it becomes a lot harder. Furthermore, the plastic around the EXT port on the bottom has been made a bit smaller. Such a change results in devices like the Doctor V64 not fitting into the plug anymore. Easily identified by their serial numbers beginning in NS2.
NUS-CPU-08 to 09-1 (1999-2001)
Found in, but not limited to the colorful “Funtastic” series, these revisions have a video output that is more aliased. While this may not appeal to everyone, a user that doesn’t care about RGB modding and prefers a sharper but pixelated look, will probably take interest in these. Presumably has both the smaller EXT plastic and RGB mod difficulties found on the 05-07 systems.
NUS-CPU-P-01 to 02
Found in all black PAL consoles and in early colorful PAL “Funtastic” series systems. These board revisions expose S-video to the multiout, but a special cable with certain parts is required to correctly display S-video.
Found in colorful PAL “Funtastic” series (mostly in the blue/white variation) as well as in Pikachu consoles. This board does not make S-video available on the multiout, but it is possible to restore it.
Found in black PAL consoles sold in France. These can be easily identified by the label on the bottom of the console reading “FRA” instead of “EUR”. This motherboard can be easily RGB modded by completing the footprints already present on the motherboard or by adding a simple RGB amplifier circuit, similar to early NTSC consoles. S-video can also be restored the same way as in the New-Style SNES or Super Famicom Jr.
https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=56513 (funtastic/rev8 aliasing info)