There is a fun trend going on right now with people using single-board computers (SBCs) to create tiny, functional scale models of their full-size desktop gaming PCs. These aren’t capable of reaching anywhere close to the performance of their larger brethren, but that isn’t the goal. The objective is to recreate all of the details as faithfully as possible, all the way down to itty bitty RAM sticks and hard drives in some cases. Zack Freedman wanted to get in on the fad, but took things to the next level by miniaturizing his entire computer setup. The result is “Coccolith,” which is a 1/4 scale model of his main “Monolith” PC, complete with monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
Like most similar projects, this one is built around a single-board computer. Specifically, it is running a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. Coccolith looks exactly like a small version of Freedman’s full-size Monolith PC, which is about as stereotypical a gaming PC as you’ll ever see. Monolith has a windowed case so you can see all of the goodies inside, including a pair of graphics cards and fluorescent green tubing for the water cooling system. The case even has hardware status readouts shown on a vintage VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display) tube screen. All of those features are present in the miniature Coccolith computer — though most of them aren’t actually functional. The reason for that is simple: components like graphics cards and water cooling systems just aren’t made at this scale.
Almost all of the parts for this build were 3D-printed, including the “monitor” enclosure that matches Freedman’s larger monitor. That monitor is built around a 5” LCD touchscreen, though the touchscreen functionality is not being used. Two Teensy boards are used to represent the graphics cards in the Monolith. One of them is purely decorative and isn’t used for anything. The other drives a tiny OLED screen that mimics the VFD tube readout on the monolith. There is no water cooling in the Coccolith, but Freedman bent some fluorescent tubes to make it look like there is. A small mouse and keyboard complete the look, and everything was placed on a miniature desk. As with all gaming PCs, the real test was to see if Coccolith could run Crysis. Obviously, it cannot — not even close; there wasn’t even enough space on the SD card for it. But Freedman was able to play Crysis on Coccolith using Steam Link. It is also capable of running both Minecraft and Doom natively. Coccolith is just one of many projects in this style, but it is one of the most well-executed that we have seen.