CPU: 64 Bit Risc CPU, (R4300i series) 93.75 MHz
• 64-bit data path, registers, buffer
• 5-stage pipeline
• manufactured by NEC
• based on .35 Micron Process Graphics 64-bit MIPS Risc Co-processor, GSP & DP, 62.5 MHz (RCP)
• aka: "Reality Immersion" Co-Processor
• 128-bit vector core
• over 500,000,000 16-bit operations/sec
• 32-bit operations (four 32-bit ops/clock)
• 64-bit operations (two 64-bit ops/clock)
• over 4 Million Transistors Total (CPU and RCP)
• design team's names are engraved on the chip (visible only under electron microsocope)
Built-in Audio/Video Vector Processor (RSP)
Built-in Pixel Drawing Processor (RDP)
• Texture-Mapping


4 .5 megabytes Rambus DRAM (36 megabits)
• max. transmission speed: 500MB/sec (eight 1-bit data lines plus parity)
• transfers up to 562.5 MBytes/sec
Rambus DRAM subsystem
Custom 9-bit Rambus Bus (to the DRAM)
• clock speed: 250MHz
• bus system event speed is 500MHz
• internal data bus to the RCP is 128-bit


• 256 x 224 to 640 x 480
• PAL also: 768x576
• limited by TV standards
• flicker free interlace mode
Video Output
• RF
• Stereo A/V
• S-Video
• 21 bit color video output
• 32-bit RGBA
• pixel color frame buffer support


Digital Sound
• stereo 16-bit
• ADPCM Compression
• sampled at 48 KHz max (better than CD)
• internal special effects
• voice (w/ pitch Shifting)
• gain and pan
• reverb and chorus
• up to 100 PCM channels (each PCM channel takes 1% of the CPU time)
• average number of channels will be 16-24
Wavetable Synthesis
• gain and pan
• reverb and chorus
• external (software) effects supported


Color combiner
Depth buffering
Detail Texturing
Environment mapping
Gouraud shading (only needs 32-bit operations)
LOD (Level of Detail) managment (software selectable)
Perspective correct texture-mapping
Realtime anti-aliasing
Texture and depth clipping
Transparency (256 levels)
Tri-linear mipmapping
Vertex positioning


cartridge slot
four controller ports
extension port (bottom)
memory expansion option (top front)


four controller ports
three-prong feed
memory card slots in controllers
default controllers are analog and digital with nine buttons


Cartridges (32-512 Megabits)

• JPEG image format for pre-rendered images
• polygon graphics on the fly
• on-board hardware decompression (software optional)
64DD Disks (Japan only)
• High-density 3-3/4" magnetic disks hold 64MB of data (optional 64DD add-on required Japan only)


10.25" x 7.5" x 2.9"
2.42 lbs


Input: AC - 120V, 26W, 60Hz ·Output: DC - 3.3V, 2.7A (U.S.)


MSRP: $199 (U.S) (with one controller, no game)

Realtime Anti-Aliasing

The N64 can blur pixel edges by surrounding jagged "stairway" bitmaps with pixels of slightly different brightness or color. The eye is tricked into seeing a smooth line. While anti-aliasing is nothing special in the computer world, the N64 offers it as a hardware feature.

Tri-linear Mip-Mapping

Mip-Mapping corrects the distortion of texture-maps in 3D graphics commonly associated with point sampling when the "camera" is far away from a texture-mapped object. Mip-mapping pre-computes different levels of detail of the texture and calculates the appropriate level according to the camera's distance from the object. Tri-linear mip-mapping first chooses the two closest mip-maps, then performs two bilinear interpolations to determine the objects color value and finally arrives at an average of the two interpolations to come up with the final image value. 3D Games, such as Doom and its five million clones, will appear much smoother and more realistic on the N64.


Z-buffering uses a frame buffer F with a color value for each pixel and a z-buffer Z, with the same number of entries, in which a z-value is stored for each pixel. The z-buffer is initialised to zero, representing the z-value at the back clipping plane, and the frame buffer is initialised to the background color. The largest value that can be stored in the z-buffer represents the z of the front clipping plane. Polygons are scan converted into the frame buffer in arbitrary order. During the scan-conversion process, if the polygon being scan converted at (x,y) is no farther from the viewer than is the point whose colour and depth are currently in the buffers, then the new point's color and depth replace the old values.
Perspective correct texture-mapping

This process, also known as inverse texture mapping, makes sure that textures do not look deformed when mapped to moving or large 3D objects and ensures that objects aren't incorrectly distored in the side peripheral areas.